Singing MR3 Runs Off The Rails

And I thought it was going so well in my parish.

To set up what happened at the Eucharistic Prayer in my parish this morning at about 11:10, you should know that we work with good liturgical priests. But they’re a little shy about singing. They all pretty much wanted to get MR3 under their skin first.

So we had the preface dialogue sung today for the first time since MR1. And everybody, including the choir, sang the old responses we were used to.

If I had anticipated this, I think we would have made a case for singing them from the start.

Anybody else’s MR3 run off the rails lately? I mean, besides the really poor presidential prayers.

(Image credit: channelnewsasia)

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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8 Responses to Singing MR3 Runs Off The Rails

  1. M____ says:

    The worst thing happening here is one cleric who really loudly answers himself with “and with your spirit” every time as though he doesn’t trust the bumpkin laity to get the response right.

  2. Katherine says:

    We’re having trouble with the preface dialogue responses, too. Here, it’s lack of practice — our pastor doesn’t sing easily and rarely attempts the preface dialogue. But it seems to be a general problem; I’ve run into it in several parishes. If you can get priests to sing the preface dialogue regularly (not sure I could here), it might be worth it to have a quick 5-minute rehearsal some Sunday. My guess is the congregation would welcome and be helped by hearing a clear, confident demonstration of what they are supposed to be singing.

  3. Liam says:

    The dialogues are always sung the 2 principal Masses at my parish. Formerly, we used settings by Ted Marier, now ICEL-Missal with an accompaniment, which is not quite as flowing (there’s a bit of an art to crafting good accompaniments to vernacular chant – it helps to know the Solemnes accompaniment style and when to stick to it and when to fudge it a bit). But the congregation still sings them.

    I have to say that, since I’ve been hopping around parishes (for travel and sampling), the “with your spirit” is not a problem anywhere in any of the five places in the liturgy. The other smaller changes (May the Lord accept, It is right and just, Sanctus) are also mostly digested to memory now. The Gloria is getting closer; the Creed is still read from cards mostly – I think if the cards had boldfaced changed texts, people would feel safer about how much they DON’T need the cards for certain stretches of those prayers. The Confiteor, which is done haphazardly, is always something of a surprise dash for the card, but if it were done regularly I suspect the changes would be readily digested. (this is for Sunday Mass crowds; for daily Massgoers, it all seems fully digested, though I’ve only gone on ferias, as it were, so no Gloria/Creed.)

  4. Charles says:

    I think we had a leg up out here, Todd, because of a priests’ convocation at which Paul Ford presented on MR3 (an unveiled the Psallite model and product) which had a great effect on our pastor and vicars. And, obviously I’d been lobbying for the chanted orations for years prior due to my CMAA affiliation, etc. And on certain feasts, we’d been exchanging the orations and responses sung for years already.
    When MR3 hit, and we actually started in August, one vicar made the personal decision to virtually chant ALL the orations at every English Mass. It actually caught us by surprise, but as he’d always been a big V2 proponent with FACP etc. But as you mention, it necessitated a sort of “two minute, hurry up offense” approach to congregational participation. The only “burp” that’s ever evident is “It is right and just” and that only occurs if our other celebrants are reciting the Preface. My wife pointed out just yesterday that the chanting vicar did a big favor because it’s virtually impossible to not sing “It is right and just” or have a sound conflaguration with singing stalwarts “it is right to give Him thanks and praise.”
    So I thank Paul Ford for bolstering the notion that at least with the “singing the Mass” portion of the dialogues we are evincing a “catholic” enterprise, so to speak. And that works whether you sing Missa Orbis Factor or Bolduc’s St. Ann, or whether you sing Propers (even the Gradual/melismatic alleluias/sequences) or Option Fours.

  5. Spriggo says:

    Masses in my parish seem to echo what Liam says. Most of the changes have been absorbed and are starting to feel more natural. Our new pastor loves to chant and always sings the dialogues and the EP. The people respond with gusto to the dialogues. The singing of the Ordinary is still a work in progress. We use the “Gloria Simplex” and “Mass for a Servant Church.” It’s improving slowly but surely. Our other weekend associates recite the text, but the spoken responses are still good, and have gotten better over time. The only major hiccup occurred when a visiting priest greeted the people with “the Lord be with your spirit.” He did it every time, and every time the people were stuttering the response. I think he was trying to be helpful, but it seemed kind of silly.

  6. Brendan Kelleher svd says:

    Since the leading members of our music ministry group, here in Nagoya, Japan, have other commitments it has taken time for them to learn and introduce the music for the ordinary parts of the MR3. Further, because of the multi-national/multi-cultural nature of the group who attend our English Eucharist, even among those who would claim English as their first language, not forgetting we live in times when its probably more correct to talk of a variety of Englishes, getting the spoken responses up to par – all responding at the same pace – has been a struggle. I pointed this out in a couple of comments on a recent blog entry over at Pray Tell that focussed on an ‘infamous’ speech given by Mgr. Wadsworth from ICEL. He also made a few interventions, but ignored the point that we now live in a world with a variety of Englishes.
    Then, when we started to use some of the new settings for the ordinary parts, our liturgies became disjointed again. Finding settings that will suit our group, and not forgetting we have a shifting population – migrant workers, students on exchange programs etc – looks as if it is going to be a long haul. Hearing our efforts over recent weeks my memory goes back to blog entry over at Pray Tell, questioning whether the new translation was ‘singable’. Any suggestions for music settings that have worked well are more than welcome. Currently we are working with those in “Today’s Missal”, which is put out by OCP.

    • Jeanne Marie says:

      Hi, Brendan! It’s interesting to hear your perspective in Nagoya! I remember with fondness attending mass in Kyoto which was a mishmash of English, Tagalog and Japanese!

      A couple of thoughts from what’s worked here in my Kansas City parish – if they are not helpful to your situation, please disregard! :-)

      We used the OCP Mass of Renewal by Curtis Stephan (upbeat, piano), and our parish took to it quite well. We just last weekend switched to Mass of St. Gregory for a completely different sound (organ, slower), and so far, so good. The thing which has helped my parish with the spoken responses most (our pastor has Parkinsons and doesn’t feel his voice is reliable enough to sing the dialogs) has been the powerpoint presentation I project overhead. I was hesitant about doing it, but I’ve recieved more positive comments about it than about anything I’ve done in my 10 years here! Most commenters say that not only does it help them remeber the new responses, but it helps them to pay better attention than fumblng with a card.

      Best of luck to you!
      Smiles,
      Jeanne Marie

  7. Well, Brendan, even as an OCP arranger, I am well on record that their editorial boards, current and past, are, IMO, notorious for choosing and promoting the least worthy Mass settings of the Big 3. YMMV.
    If I had to choose, I’d stick with Alstott’s revised HERITAGE.

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