Thursday, November 14, 2013

Advent Calendar of Hymn Tune Introits

Just wanted to make one final mention of the Hymn Tune Introits available for parish use in this handy Advent Calendar format.

Introducing proper texts into parish life can be a bit of a diplomatic challenge. Congregations that are long accustomed to singing hymns would have to overcome four separate barriers, if liturgical music was suddenly changed to the optimal music, the propers of the Graduale Romanum:
  • Unfamiliar tunes
  • Modal music
  • Latin language
  • Proper texts
The Hymn Tune Introits are of way of managing the change to proper texts in the safest possible, most incremental way, by making only one of these four changes necessary at the beginning. Congregations sing tunes they know, in modern music with modern notation, in English. But, they are able to use the vocabulary and sense of the proper texts.

The Advent Calendar is a way to dress up the Advent season easily. Copies may be freely made for parish use and left at a convenient place in the church. At the beginning of daily Mass, when the Entrance Antiphon is normally sung, the priest or music director or designated layperson simply begins singing the antiphon to any familiar hymn tune that would match the words. The tune for All People That on Earth Do Dwell would work, for example, or Creator of the Stars of Night. Everyone can join in, and behold, the first barrier to singing propers has been painlessly overcome. Now the people have in their hands and in their voices the words of the Liturgy that are usually kept from them.

This month's Adoremus Bulletin has a very fine treatment of the Introits and an alternative design for the Advent Calendar. Either version may be freely used in parishes or schools.