Singing During The Communion Procession

Le_Repas_d'EmmaüsI noticed a growing thread on PrayTell: The Spirituality of Singing During Communion. My new parish sings well during Communion, and I sense there’s a mature Eucharistic spirituality in place.

One of the few laudable developments to emerge in the post-Redemptionis Sacramentum Church is the opportunity to sing a good amount as the priest and Communion ministers receive and prepare for the procession of the assembly.

My own pastoral practice is to program an antiphonal piece, and very frequently, the singing continues well into the procession. Quite often, I program “can’t resist” favorites, and people sing a bit more.

My personal preference is to simply announce the song. I don’t ask people to sing. But I find that in my last several parishes, they do.

If I joined a parish where there was no singing during Communion, I think that the post-Communion hymn or song of praise would become a fairly regular feature. Receiving the Eucharist and encountering the Lord Jesus in the sacrament led to New Testament believers who were barely able to contain themselves. As long as the modern sacramental celebrations inspire similar hearts afire, the people can sing lustily, selectively, or barely. It’s all good.

Image credit.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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6 Responses to Singing During The Communion Procession

  1. charlesincenca says:

    “Quite often, I program “can’t resist” favorites, and people sing a bit more.”
    If that’s so, my brother, one- you’re taking responsibility for a choice founded upon your own criteria. And that choice results in singing for singing’s sake. Hmmmm.

    • Todd says:

      That would be a typical CMAA comment. I happen to trust the communities I’ve served to have a deeper liturgical prayer life than what’s behind the usual “ignorant attack sheep” comments I see on reform2 sites. If people have an attachment to Isaiah 43 or Psalm 91 or even the Didache set to familiar music, I can accept that.

      In the context of Mass, singing is for God’s sake. Choir-only ordinaries and propers are singing for (correct) singing’s sake.

      • Liam says:

        “Choir-only ordinaries and propers are singing for (correct) singing’s sake.”

        There’s a greater risk of this if it’s exclusive and chronic, much less so if not. ‘

        Again, it’s important to be aware of the movie, not only the photos (that is, the arc of praxis over time, more than the individual liturgy).

  2. charlesincenca says:

    Geez, I always thought of myself as an atypical CMAA member. And I don’t know from where the attack sheep reference was prompted. But for example, when examining options for this 23rd B Ordinary, Communio is Ps.42. Now that may not meet the criteria you have for an apt restatement of the Gospel or another lection, but it is prescribed. Of course, GIRM allows for option 4 based, among a zillion criteria, to accompany the specific liturgical activity. So, are you saying that those three criteria, Proper, Lectionary or Liturgical action may still be over-ruled by your inclination to guarantee actual congregational singing by popular favorites? Not playing gotcha, just curious.

  3. charlesincenca says:

    And I forgot that there are besides Hurd and O waly waly, busloads of Ps42’s.

  4. Todd says:

    The O Waly Waly setting is nice, but it’s a hymn–not optimal. I’m not looking for a restatement of the Lectionary, but something complementary, and that people know. I remember folk groups in the 70’s doing new repertoire every week. I think it was a poor move then. I think it’s equally poor when propers-promoters suggest it today.

    There’s something in between 52 different Communion songs and the six I seem to remember some bishop suggesting a few years back. And Ordinary Time propers are largely random–like the second reading. Certainly not our best option.

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