“ In addition to employing psalms as scriptural proclamations in the Liturgy of the Word and as processional chants at three points in the Mass, psalms also appear either in direct citation or by allusion in liturgical texts.”
(antiphona ad Communionem or Communion chant) at Mass are not sung for their own sake but to “cover” ritual movement. In the dioceses of the United States, these processional chants may be taken from four sources, two with normatively psalmic texts assigned to the particular celebration or season (Graduale Romanum; Graduale Simplex) and two from other collections of liturgical music “including Psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms” [GIRM 48, 74, 87]. Te Praenotanda of the 1989 edition of the Graduale Romanum published by the monks of Solesmes, give detailed directions for how the Introit is to be executed: “Either a shorter or more protracted intonation of the antiphon can be done as would be opportune,
FROM THE EDITOR continued
Workshop he will offer this winter and spring in collaboration with NPM and Liturgy Training Publications, exploring the many ways we encounter psalmody in music and worship. Ten on page 4, continuing our focus on psalmody in the liturgy, Wendy Silhavy of the Office for Divine Worship in the Archdiocese of Chicago addresses the role of the psalm and the psalmist in Sing to the Lord, the U.S. Bishops’ document on music in the liturgy.
Each issue of our 2020 redesign of Te Liturgical Singer will also feature articles addressing the specific ministries of the cantor and the choral director. In this first issue, Diana Kodner Gokçe, author of Handbook for Cantors, offers a reflection on the
art of “transparency” in the cantor— how can the cantor offer focus and leadership to the assembly while at the same time bringing that focus not to themselves but to the deeper reason for our song? My article for choir directors addresses a related challenge for our choral singers: how can we help our singers find the balance between a healthy intellectual attention and focus on what they are singing, and a deeper level of prayer and presence?
We are also grateful to have two regular contributors to Te Liturgical Singer: Voice professor and professional singer Lynn Eustis will write an ongoing column on voice and vocal technique for everyone who sings, called “Ask a Voice Teacher”—please send your questions
about any aspects of singing and voice that you would like to get her input on! Our second regular columnist, composer and hymn-poet Alan Hommerding, will choose an excerpt of a different psalm—again, the prayer-book for those of us who sing the liturgy—for each issue of Te Liturgical Singer, and offer a reflection to help us better pray these words we hear and sing again and again.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve my fellow musical servants—please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or thoughts, or to let us know more about what you would like to see, at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Peace! •
or, better, the chant could be begun by everyone altogether . . . Te antiphon having been sung by the choir, the verses are offered by a cantor or cantors, and thereupon the antiphon is repeated by the choir. Te alternation of this antiphon and verses can continue for the time needed to accompany the procession. However, before the antiphon is repeated the last time, ‘Glory to the Father’ [and] ‘As it was’ is sung once as the final verse. If the singing of the “Glory to the Father” and repetition of the antiphon would make the chant too protracted, it may be omitted. If the procession is shorter, only one psalm verse might be sung, or even the antiphon alone, with no additional verses [GR, p. 9: my translation].” Te directives from the same source for the Offertorium are much less explicit: “After the antiphon for the Offertory chant, versicles may be sung, according to tradition, or may be omitted even in the chant ‘Lord, Jesus Christ’ from the Mass for the Dead. After individual verses the portion of the antiphon indicated is repeated [GR, p.11: my translation].” Finally, the directives given for the Introit are applied to the Communionem: “While the priest consumes the Body of the Lord, the antiphona ad communionem begins. Tis chant is performed in the same way as the Introit, but in such a way that the cantors can conveniently participate in the sacrament [GR, p. 11: my translation].
In addition to employing psalms as scriptural proclamations in the Liturgy of the Word and as processional chants at three points in the Mass, psalms also appear either in direct citation or by allusion in liturgical texts. For example, in Form B of the Penitential Act as part of the Introductory Rites, cites Psalms 41:4 and 85:7: “Have mercy on us, O Lord. / For we have sinned against you.” + “Show us, O Lord, your mercy. / And grant us your salvation.” Similarly, the bishop’s blessing at the end of a Pontifical Mass cites Psalms 113:2 and 124:8: “Blessed be the name of the Lord. / Now and forever.” “Our help is the name of the Lord. / Who made heaven and earth.” Te Post-Sanctus section of Eucharistic Prayer IV seems almost a weaving of psalm allusions: “We give you praise, Father most holy, for you are great and you have fashioned all your works in wisdom and in love.” (Psalm 75:1 + Psalm 86:10) “You formed man in your own image and entrusted the whole world to his care.” (Psalm 8:5-8).
Just as Jesus exhibited deep familiarity with his heritage of psalmic prayer, so the Christian church continues to mine these inspired texts in both personal and communal prayer. How privileged are the Church’s ministers to maintain this holy communion! •
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