Pondering that (usually early) Sunday Mass without music, I was thinking back to the parishes I’ve served over the years. My first parish had music at the 8AM Mass, even the Gloria. But the repertoire was basic, and generally different from the other Masses. That was 1983-84.
For my first full-time position, the 8AM had music year-round. A small ensemble twice a month, a quartet of singers from the big choir once. The other one to two posts were taken by cantors with accompanists–the only time cantors were scheduled, as every other Mass had choirs of various sizes, a dozen to thirty-ish.
Clicking off the boxes of the next parishes: music at all of the Sunday Masses. Then I was hired by a priest who was a nationally-regarded organist, composer, and liturgist. He explained the difficulty in making headway against the expectations of the 8AM community. One year, my third I think, we had a particularly brief spell between Baptism of the Lord and the First Sunday of Lent. I thought, why not take a stab at it. People noticed, and not in a good way. We got critical communication for those four Sundays, because of the music.
I know there are yet a few Catholics from around the world who still visit here regularly. What’s the practice in your parish now?