Hymn tune introit for St. John Paul

Some of our readers who are celebrating the Memorial of Pope St. John Paul with special solemnity may like to sing this Hymn Tune Introit during the entrance procession.

The Lord chose him to be high priest.
And made His gifts in him increase.
He opened up His treasure store,
And made him rich forevermore.

The Hymn Tune Introits are a way of introducing the proper texts in a parish or other worshipping community in an agreeable and easy way. This text may be sung to the tune of any familiar Long Meter tune.


2 Replies to “Hymn tune introit for St. John Paul”

  1. Reminder: the introit is a text AND a melody. It is good to return to the proper texts of the introit instead of introducing a hymn essentially unrelated to what the liturgy prescribes. A metric hymn tune does this in a remote fashion; this is a step in the right direction. However, plainsong is also a step in the right direction and a simple plainsong setting of the unaltered psalm text would be an additional direction. The ideal remains the introit in authentic Gregorian chant. The congregation need not sing it; they should first of all sing the ordinary.

  2. Thank you, Dr. Mahrt, for your thoughtful analysis.

    There are two reasons unrelated to congregational singing for the use of these introit antiphons.

    1. Some parishes have very little access to musical resources or expertise of any kind. For them, the choices are not among various chant settings of antiphons, but between speaking an antiphon or singing it in a way that is accessible to their cantors or choirs, even without musical notation. One priest in such a situation in England thanked me because it is a way for a "small, country parish" to use the texts of the Mass–which in my opinion is the goal. Another priest I know who says Mass in many different congregations as he travels and preaches, but who does not read music, was able to sing these immediately.

    2. In many US parishes, there are rather fierce contingents of die-hard chant-opposers, who truly believe that the Second Vatican Council outlawed plainsong. You and I know that the opposite is true, but it is impossible to convince these persons without a fight that few pastors would deem prudent. In these situations, progress toward chanted antiphons must be taken slowly, and if I may say so, stealthily. Using a familiar metrical tune is only a small step on the way to the Gradual, and in fact it is a sly step. I think it can help a congregation become accustomed to the idea of singing the Liturgy.

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