My otherwise sensible friend Jeffrey Tucker is promoting polyphonic propers at the NLM site this weekend. (Sorry; I’d link the post, but NLM doesn’t seem to provide easy (or even possible) post linking.)
Polyphony is great as a concert experience. And a good parish choir could no doubt render them prayerfully before Mass, or possibly at a few other moments at liturgy.
What’s wonderful here is the addition into the Mass of these intervals of great color and beautiful during processions and contemplative portions of the Mass, while the people continue to sing the ordinary.
Throw the pews a bone, I guess.
You may be surprised to learn that choir-only singing at the entrance is a possibility envisioned in the GIRM. It comes in last among the musical choices, after the alternation between people and music ministry, and the people singing the whole thing. Interesting how the reform2 crowd likes to promote and point at mainstream Catholic “unfaithfulness” when most parishes prefer hymns or songs or antiphonal-styled pieces for entrance. But their own promotion of choral singing at the expense of the assembly is touted as “cutting edge.”
Sad to say, this is another example of the elitism of conservatory musicians who know that a concert of sacred music won’t draw nearly the numbers who come to Mass. As long as they’re coming to Mass, give them a floor-to-rafter singing experience coming from their own mouths.