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 Post subject: A survey on singing in Mass
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:00 pm 
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http://www.npm.org/Articles/singlitresults.htm

What helps American Catholics to sing the liturgy? In a recent online survey by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM), both musicians and non-musicians had an opportunity to offer a response to this question.

Congregational singing has been a normal part of Sunday Mass only since 1964, when the first liturgical changes were introduced following the Second Vatican Council. In its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, the Council had directed that all the faithful should take an active part in the liturgy, and identified singing as one of the most important means of that active participation.

Since the time of the Council, bishops, pastors, musicians, publishers, and other leaders have devoted considerable effort to enabling and supporting the singing of worshiping assemblies. Parish musicians and other leaders have sought to foster singing by developing good leadership and by making sound musical choices, while publishers have provided both traditional and contemporary music for the liturgy.

The NPM survey asked people to select from among thirteen factors those that most helped them to sing the liturgy. Respondents could choose as many elements as they found helpful to their sung participation:

leadership factors-the role of the organist and other instruments, the cantor or director, the choir, and the priest celebrant;
musical choices-easy to sing, something I can sing by heart, familiar melody, traditional song, contemporary song;
the words of liturgical songs-meaningful text, linked to the liturgy of the day or season;
environment for singing-enthusiasm of the congregation, a church building that makes singing a pleasure.
The survey results demonstrated an interesting divergence in the perspectives of musicians and non-musicians. Non-musicians identified familiarity and ease as most important in supporting their sung participation in the liturgy. The top three responses from this group related to the choice of music for people to sing: familiar melody (52.2%), easy to sing (51.4%), and traditional song (47.9%).

Those involved in music ministries-directors, organists, cantors, choir and ensemble members-were more likely to focus on issues of leadership and text. The top responses from this group included leadership of organ or instruments (66.4%), meaningful text (65.6%), leadership of cantor or director (60.9%), and music linked to the liturgy of the day or season (59.6%).

Complete results from the two groups appear in the tables below.

WHAT HELPS YOU TO SING THE LITURGY?


% of Those Involved in Music Ministry (1,541)

Leadership of Organ or Instruments
66.4

Meaningful Text
65.6

Leadership of Cantor or Director
60.9

Linked to Liturgy of the Day or Season
59.6

Enthusiasm of the Congregation
58.7

Leadership of Choir
47.3

Familiar Melody
46.7

Easy to Sing
43.5

Church Building That Makes Singing a Pleasure
35.0

Leadership of Priest Celebrant
32.9

Traditional Song
30.7

Contemporary Song
25.6

Something I Can Sing by Heart
23.9

Other
22.0


WHAT HELPS YOU TO SING THE LITURGY?
% of Those Not Involved in Music Ministry (808)

Familiar Melody
52.2

Easy to Sing
51.4

Traditional Song
47.9

Enthusiasm of the Congregation
47.0

Meaningful Text
46.8

Leadership of Cantor or Director
44.7

Linked to Liturgy of the Day or Season
42.2

Leadership of Organ or Instruments
39.9

Other
33.4

Leadership of Choir
29.6

Something I Can Sing by Heart
26.2

Contemporary Song
25.7

Leadership of Priest Celebrant
20.4

Church Building That Makes Singing a Pleasure
18.7



What does everyone here think ?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:15 pm 
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Handmaids of the Lord
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I'd just like it if they wouldn't play that nasty horrid pablum stuff. Something REALLY uplifting--away from ME and to God. After all, I'm not there to sing about myself, :).

And if it includes clapping, or guitars, it doesn't belong in Mass, frankly... (not even classical guitar, which I would love in another setting)

Rachel

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:21 pm 
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I wish they'd bring back the old songs. It seems like the church thinks they have to use modern upbeat songs to attract the young people. I think they are dead wrong. Beauty is timeless. Even as a child and teenager (and a hard rocker at that), when I was at Mass I preferred the old hymns over the bongo playing, tambourine shaking, beep bop sounding crapola. I'm OK with the guitar though--with the right song a guitar makes a lovely sound.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:39 pm 
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Well 2 weeks ago at mass, before it started they sang a gospel song, a GOSPEL song. Ok, yes we are in the south, BUT I would be used to that in a Southern Baptist church (from which I came.) I like to think of the Catholic Church as being very reverent. Its not a revival party, iykwim. I am into the traditional aestetics (sp) of the Catholic Church, but a cheery gospel song is not what I would like to hear at mass, imho. Its bad enough the way people dress around here, among other things.

Bleh!

Candace

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:30 pm 
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I have no problem with a guitar, per se, in a reverent song. Some parishes simply cannot afford a pipe organ and may not have someone available who can play the piano. Heck, they may not even be able to afford a piano.

I think the problem with a lot of our songs now is that they aren't PRAYERFUL. As such, they have no place at mass, IMHO.

I would like more prayerful songs, no complicated modern melodies (the parishioners often can't sing them), and that's that.

Of course, I am biased. I love chant.

Dani

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:23 am 
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I will sing anything that isn't heretical, worshipping the congregation, or improper for Mass. Needless to say, at some parishes, I don't sing at all.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:58 am 
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Bonaventure wrote:
I will sing anything that isn't heretical, worshipping the congregation, or improper for Mass. Needless to say, at some parishes, I don't sing at all.


Bingo. :)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:47 am 
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By the way, who else has read Day's book Why Catholics Can't Sing?

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 Post subject: Re: A survey on singing in Mass
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:38 am 
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aussie_mal wrote:
Congregational singing has been a normal part of Sunday Mass only since 1964, when the first liturgical changes were introduced following the Second Vatican Council.


We sang hymns prior to that.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:40 am 
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Candace wrote:
Well 2 weeks ago at mass, before it started they sang a gospel song, a GOSPEL song. Ok, yes we are in the south, BUT I would be used to that in a Southern Baptist church (from which I came.) I like to think of the Catholic Church as being very reverent. Its not a revival party, iykwim. I am into the traditional aestetics (sp) of the Catholic Church, but a cheery gospel song is not what I would like to hear at mass, imho. Its bad enough the way people dress around here, among other things.

Bleh!

Candace


Was it "Go Tell it on a Mountain?" They had it for three weeks in a row, every week. Including childrens Mass! It has never been one of my favorite songs (we sang it in schoolfor some music thing for parents and I've never gotten it out of my mind)

Kel

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 12:02 pm 
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I don't think it was go tell it on the mountain, all I know the lady was real screechy and loud. ::shudder::

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:25 pm 
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If "How Great Thou Art" is gospel--it's one of my favorites. I like "Amazing Grace" too, which I think is also gospel. So I'm not anti-gospel, but would prefer it be used sparingly.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:46 pm 
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Person wrote:
If "How Great Thou Art" is gospel--it's one of my favorites. I like "Amazing Grace" too, which I think is also gospel. So I'm not anti-gospel, but would prefer it be used sparingly.

"How Great Thou Art"????????

Ugh!!!

Ptui, ptui, ptui!!!

I cannot tell you how I LOATHE that ghastly song!

The words are trite and cliched, and turn the focus of the worship away from God, and instead to the worshipper. The whole point is not God's greatness, but the fact that "I recognized it, because I saw something, and since what I saw had an effect on me,, now I say..."

It is really just another one of those songs that turn everything into singing about the everlasting me, me, me -- Bleagh.

Much worse, though, is that tune. Thomas Aquinas could come back to earth and write Latin verse to fit it, but it would still be dreadful. That awful "Wa-wa-wa-WAAAAAH" of the opening sounds like something being sung by a bunch of drunken Irish construction workers as they stagger out of the bar at 3 AM.

Almost anything -- including root canal -- is preferable to that cheapjack musical stinker.

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JOHNSON: "Sir, I have never slept an hour less, nor eat an ounce less meat. I would have knocked the factious dogs on the head, to be sure; but I was not vexed."


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:44 pm 
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Quote:
Almost anything -- including root canal -- is preferable to that cheapjack musical stinker.


::): ::): ::):

I have that reaction to certain songs, too. But not this one. I never thought about it from your view point--and well, now that you explained how you react to it, I see where you are coming from. But I don't have the same reaction at all. This song leaves me with a feeling of peace and wonder.

I, personally, don't think that it puts the glory on the singer of the song because he/she recognized God. When I hear the song I imagine a new believer who has just come to recognize God and is humbled and awestruck by His Majesty. He/she contemplates that Greatness in the sky, in the animals, in the earth, in thoughts of Jesus' suffering on the cross. His/her love cannot be contained, and his/her very soul begins to sing with unfettered joy. That's what goes through me when I hear the song. Trite or not, I love the words and the tune.

Mind you, I'm not trying to make a "How Great Thou Art" convert out of you. You are most welcome to loathe the song all you want to and that's OK :) .

Ahh, I pulled it up on my computer and I'm listening to it now. Ahh, it brings a tear of joy to me eye . . .

Quote:
HOW GREAT THOU ART

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.


Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!


When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.


Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!


And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.


Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!


When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"


Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:56 pm 
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I still say "Blecchhh!!"

You want a good hymn, with theological, literary, and musical merit?

Try this one on for size:

"Lo, He Comes with Clouds Descnding"

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JOHNSON: "Sir, I have never slept an hour less, nor eat an ounce less meat. I would have knocked the factious dogs on the head, to be sure; but I was not vexed."


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:18 am 
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I gag on Haugen's works. Yuckkkkk.....

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:08 pm 
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When it comes to traditional hymns, two of my favorites are "Be Thou My Vision", and "Sacrament Most Holy"

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:14 pm 
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Custos wrote:
Much worse, though, is that tune. Thomas Aquinas could come back to earth and write Latin verse to fit it, but it would still be dreadful. That awful "Wa-wa-wa-WAAAAAH" of the opening sounds like something being sung by a bunch of drunken Irish construction workers as they stagger out of the bar at 3 AM.

Almost anything -- including root canal -- is preferable to that cheapjack musical stinker.


I'd take root canal over this and HHS hymns ::):

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:50 pm 
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As bad as the song may be by nature, just imagine it sung with a heavy Noo Yawk accent (as I have heard it sung here) -- it moves to a whole new level of entertainment:

Oh Looawd my Gawwwwwwd, wenn I in oooawsum wundah
Cunsidduh ooooawll the wuiks yooah heeands have made...



OOOOOWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

OOOOOWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Dogs may be set howling for twenty miles...

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BOSWELL: "Have not they vexed yourself a little, Sir? Have not you been vexed by all the turbulence of this reign?"
JOHNSON: "Sir, I have never slept an hour less, nor eat an ounce less meat. I would have knocked the factious dogs on the head, to be sure; but I was not vexed."


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:15 pm 
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Custos wrote:
As bad as the song may be by nature, just imagine it sung with a heavy Noo Yawk accent (as I have heard it sung here) -- it moves to a whole new level of entertainment:

Oh Looawd my Gawwwwwwd, wenn I in oooawsum wundah
Cunsidduh ooooawll the wuiks yooah heeands have made...



OOOOOWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

OOOOOWWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Dogs may be set howling for twenty miles...


People from Philly sound similar :shock: ::):

We have a combination of NY/Philly commuters in my parish. Now I know why I hear howling outside during Mass ::):

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