An enormously long blog post here contrasting the use of chant and official texts versus non-plainsong and other texts. As usual, the reform2 stance suffers from a bit of myopia. Note their use of certain terms:
Four-hymn sandwich began as a progressive commentary in the 70’s on a certain persistence of the pre-conciliar effort to get people singing at the Low Mass. I grew up in the American northeast, probably the area most conservative and most resistant to conciliar reforms. In my home city, most parishes had organists. Whether full-time or part, these men and women played what they knew: organ-based hymnody. Most programmed four of them. But it was a fairly early post-conciliar development to get people to …
Sing the Mass rather than sing at the Mass. By the 70’s, the more forward-thinking parishes were already singing psalmody in the Liturgy of the Word. Mass settings were progressively implemented and liturgy people in the 80’s were talking about singing the Mass. They meant singing as part of the essential ritual moments: Psalm and Gospel Acclamation in the Liturgy of the Word. Plus the Mass Ordinary: Gloria, Holy, Acclamation, Amen, and Lamb of God.
The second ritual editions of RCIA and the funeral rites got more people thinking about the ritual moments there: signing of the senses, the rite of election, the dismissal of catechumens, and the song of farewell.
When reform2 people talk about singing the Mass, their utilization of including the proper texts isn’t quite the original meaning. Singing at entrance, preparation, and Communion accompanies a ritual action. These pieces, be they hymns, songs, or antiphons are not quite the basic building blocks of acclamations, litanies, and even hymns like the Gloria.
I think of a hymn as a text with stanzas, each sung through. Examples would be Come To The Water and Holy God, We Praise Thy Name. Festival Canticle would not be. Hymns could be based on Scripture. Many are fairly close to the original text, but very nearly all have been adapted to fit a scheme of rhythm, rhyming, or both.
A hymn isn’t really determined by accompaniment. A P&W band can play a hymn. A hymn also isn’t determined by age or composer.
A very early development among post-conciliar composers, both those working in the organ/choir format and with guitar groups was the re-emergence of the antiphon-plus-verse format. Also, more texts based on the Bible, especially the Psalms.
A lot of Catholic music critics are ignorant of the real post-conciliar liturgical developments. They may be young. They may not have been active Catholics. And some are likely to have been stuck in Vatican II-resistant parishes.
Anybody else see anything of interest in this article? Admittedly, I stopped about 1/4 of the way through. Misunderstanding and misinformation doesn’t hold my long-term interest.