MR3 Skin Deep

I had an interesting observation last night at Mass. But first, some backstory …

Our parish’s third MR3 Mass setting is a revision of Steven Janco’s Mass of Angels and Saints. The Sanctus has been a bit rough. The “learning” to overcome is to sing the old words instead of “Lord God of hosts.” People at my parish don’t sing “lamb of God;” they are still used to the invocation. It makes me think that the revised Mass settings probably aren’t the best idea. But I’m keeping an open mind.

We had a small incident last night getting into the Sanctus. Our high school pianist, who is really a competent accompanist, got a bit distracted and played the wrong introduction on the piece. She stopped, got her bearings, and restarted with some nervousness. I noticed practically everyone sang the old words to the Sanctus. Seems like when folks were a tad nervous and distracted, they went with what they once knew.

Lots of discussion at PrayTell this week on the new Missal. For something that has been received, there sure seems to be a lot of lingering angst over it.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to MR3 Skin Deep

  1. Rory Cooney says:

    Worth noting (maybe?) that in every revised mass setting the “Amen” is unchanged, the Mystery of Faith is all new, and the Sanctus is just-a-little changed. We started with a lesser-known setting and it really helped people get the new text down. Then we moved to Mass of Creation. I changed the introduction to the Sanctus, in order to keep people from going on auto-pilot. That seems to work, but there is still confusion, and may I add, some of it is from the microphoned-up clergy, who are looking RIGHT AT the new text!
    At a recent informal meeting of liturgical music writers in St. Louis recently, one fellow who is close with GIA said that after over a year, with all the dozens, maybe hundreds, of newly composed mass settings, the most popular by far so far is – the revised Mass of Creation. He said, in sum: “there is no runner-up. There’s not even a Miss Congeniality.”

  2. Todd says:

    Thanks for commenting, Rory. I like the idea of altering the introduction. We did bring back the Creation Sanctus last Lent. An altered intro might have worked better for us. Maybe my young friend had the right idea after all.

  3. Our parish music ministry leadership team (a pair of 20-somethings and me) did something of a vetting process for Mass settings during early summer 2011. Since our parish was the result of a newly completed merger, we decided to not consider any revised setting, and chose Janco’s Mass of Wisdom as a setting that was common to none of the pre-merger communities and would be something we could learn together. We are undecided about what setting might be added. Wisdom is wearing well, and we are taking a long view; we should be able to have Mass settings for the seasons at the end of five years, unless we are merged again (which is a strong possibility). In that case, because the aftermath of merger is instability, we will retain Wisdom for another year.
    For Diocesan Celebrations, we use either Misa Luna (for large scale and bilingual) or revised Heritage (for smaller scale gatherings and Clergy funerals.)

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