Monday, August 12, 2013

Can the People Sing the Propers?

Over at Corpus Christi Watershed, Richard Clark shares a reflection on a few recent Archdiocesan liturgies in Boston, one of which included singing the Propers of the Mass.

He wrote:
We sang the Introit, Offertory and Communion propers including settings by Adam Bartlett from the Lumen Christi Missal. These were included in the worship aids, so after a verse or two, the congregation began to sing, with more and more voices being added as the verses progressed. This was more than encouraging! In fact it was quite joyful to hear the scriptures being sung in this context.
(Emphasis as found in the original article)

I'm thrilled when I hear reports like this. Many have said that the Proper of the Mass cannot be sung by the people in the pews, or even perhaps that it shouldn't be. My personal belief is that this is not an either/or, but a both/and situation. The schola or choir can fully exercise its role while still giving the liturgical assembly a vocal role in the singing of the proper with the right resources and the right approach to the problem.

The Lumen Christi Missal – the first installment of the Lumen Christi Series – was a solution to this problem in the case above, and many people in parishes across the nation are discovering this solution day by day.

The "Simple Gradual" of the Lumen Christi Missal can be sung by parish congregations. The settings are not merely psalm tone based. They are not "just add water", instant gratification chants, but have enough substance to endure over time. A cantor needs to model then well, and there needs to be enough repetition for the people to learn them properly, but in a short amount of time they can be sung by everyone, young and old. Even on first hearing the people will begin to respond. Such was the case in Boston. This has been my experience, and the experience of so many others on the ground week after week.

The Lumen Christi Missal can be ordered here.

Download proper chant settings from the Lumen Christi Series for the Assumption and for the Twentieth Sunday of Ordinary Time here.

More details will come soon on the forthcoming publications within the Lumen Christi Series. Sign up for the Illuminare Publications email list to receive updates on these new and exciting resources.

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