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 Post subject: ? re the position of the choir
PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:57 pm 
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I mean their physical position in the church. They always seem to be up front where the congregation can see them. It seems to me it would encourage participation if we were not watching the choir. So often now, the choir or the cantor seem to be putting on a show, and it doesn't encourage the congregation to sing, but rather to just watch.
Is there a rubric about where the choir should be? Should there be one?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:12 pm 
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Greetings,

Latest things I have read by american bishops is that the choir should be seen as part of the worshipping community and separated out to much. They should also be placed to lead the congregation. I am not saying I agree with it, but just this is what our teachers are telling us.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 7:12 pm 
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Greetings,

The psalm IS scripture, so I do like the idea of the psalm being sung from the Ambo, which is also the norm found in the Girm.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:58 am 
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In my parish, the choir is located on a choir loft at the back of the church (where the organ is, too). You would not normally see them but you do hear them very well. The cantor comes to the ambo to sing the psalm, however.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:27 am 
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Traditional choir is in the choir loft, with the organ. Contemporary choir is in front, on the side, with their instruments. It seems to work.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:11 pm 
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"Choir" has two meanings today.
1. an architectural term noting a specific spot in a church
2. a group of church singers.

... and the terms are historically joined.. a group of church singers/chanters who would sit IN the "choir"....

The choir, traditionally, is a specific piece of church architecture.
Traditionally, it housed clergy stalls (for lack of a better term?) and may have been located, IIRC, in the front of the nave (separating the congregation in the nave and the sanctuary with the high altar) OR it may have been located in an apse (or, for lack of better terminology... an east 'wing' or west 'wing' just off to the side of the sanctuary.

This picture shows the former perfectly:
Image

I don't know exactly when choir lofts came into being .... perhaps they have always been around. I've actually seen protestant churches that have a traditional "catholic" choir (space) as seen in the photo above.

In any case, unless you're in a monastery (and some may, in fact, have choir lofts and not a traditional choir(space)), then I would agree with matteo's description (as if my take on the matter were of any importance).

I've seen an indult parish that also has a novus ordo available.... the choir gets up in the choir loft for the indult ... they go down to the front for the novus ordo.
(FWIW, i've also seen an indult parish that offer a novus ordo afterwards, but the church was never designed with a choir loft, so... the choir and the organ are down in front, next to the altar at the indult mass... the choir and the guitar(s) and bongo drums are down in front, next to the altar, at the novus ordo afterwards.)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:46 pm 
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I prefer the choir to be in the choir loft where they are not visually distracting. HOWEVER, as a person who has done a lot of choral singing myself, it is easier for me to sing along when I can actually watch the director of the choir conducting, especially when they make specific motions for the congregation to follow.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 6:17 pm 
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tAnGo wrote:
"Choir" has two meanings today.
1. an architectural term noting a specific spot in a church
2. a group of church singers.

... and the terms are historically joined.. a group of church singers/chanters who would sit IN the "choir"....

The choir, traditionally, is a specific piece of church architecture.
Traditionally, it housed clergy stalls (for lack of a better term?) and may have been located, IIRC, in the front of the nave (separating the congregation in the nave and the sanctuary with the high altar) OR it may have been located in an apse (or, for lack of better terminology... an east 'wing' or west 'wing' just off to the side of the sanctuary.

This picture shows the former perfectly:
Image

I don't know exactly when choir lofts came into being .... perhaps they have always been around. I've actually seen protestant churches that have a traditional "catholic" choir (space) as seen in the photo above.

In any case, unless you're in a monastery (and some may, in fact, have choir lofts and not a traditional choir(space)), then I would agree with matteo's description (as if my take on the matter were of any importance).

I've seen an indult parish that also has a novus ordo available.... the choir gets up in the choir loft for the indult ... they go down to the front for the novus ordo.
(FWIW, i've also seen an indult parish that offer a novus ordo afterwards, but the church was never designed with a choir loft, so... the choir and the organ are down in front, next to the altar at the indult mass... the choir and the guitar(s) and bongo drums are down in front, next to the altar, at the novus ordo afterwards.)


I thought church choirs were not for the choir, but for canons or monks who chanted the office?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:16 am 
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Tantum-Ergo wrote:
tAnGo wrote:
"Choir" has two meanings today.
1. an architectural term noting a specific spot in a church
2. a group of church singers.

... and the terms are historically joined.. a group of church singers/chanters who would sit IN the "choir"....

The choir, traditionally, is a specific piece of church architecture.
Traditionally, it housed clergy stalls (for lack of a better term?) and may have been located, IIRC, in the front of the nave (separating the congregation in the nave and the sanctuary with the high altar) OR it may have been located in an apse (or, for lack of better terminology... an east 'wing' or west 'wing' just off to the side of the sanctuary.

This picture shows the former perfectly:
Image

I don't know exactly when choir lofts came into being .... perhaps they have always been around. I've actually seen protestant churches that have a traditional "catholic" choir (space) as seen in the photo above.

In any case, unless you're in a monastery (and some may, in fact, have choir lofts and not a traditional choir(space)), then I would agree with matteo's description (as if my take on the matter were of any importance).

I've seen an indult parish that also has a novus ordo available.... the choir gets up in the choir loft for the indult ... they go down to the front for the novus ordo.
(FWIW, i've also seen an indult parish that offer a novus ordo afterwards, but the church was never designed with a choir loft, so... the choir and the organ are down in front, next to the altar at the indult mass... the choir and the guitar(s) and bongo drums are down in front, next to the altar, at the novus ordo afterwards.)


I thought church choirs were not for the choir, but for canons or monks who chanted the office?


Yes, that's why I referred to them as "clergy stalls" near the top of my post. I would say that yes, those in holy orders (monks/canons/brothers/etc.) made up the original -- that is, what we would refer to today -- "choir" ... now, it's all made up of the laity.

(I really don't have anything to back that up 100%, though)... I have a feeling that there were no "lay choirs" back in the day for at least a couple of reasons, but what seems most likely in my mind is that the laity didn't know the Latin words (although they most likely became familiar with the sound of the chants)..


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