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.
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 even 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 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, but in a short amount of time they can be sung 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.
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