Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Translation Tuesday: Chanting the Conclusion to the Readings at Mass

"New Translation Tuesday" greetings from Dallas, Texas. Flew here very early this morning for the Southwest Liturgical Conference.

At the prayer services at the retreat in the Rockville Center Diocese on Sunday, the scripture readings were concluded with the chanting of "The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God." With a roomful of pastoral musicians, it went splendidly. Just wondering how many of you have implemented this in your parish? I have heard from some that they are hesitant to ask the lectors to sing. I have been in at least one parish where the cantor came to the microphone at the cantor stand and did the chant following the lector's proclamation of the reading.

So, feel free to comment. If you have implemented this option, how is it going? If you haven't, do you plan on doing so?

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Charles Culbreth said...

Out here in CenCA in our mother parish (of four) I have a couple of lectors who were former students in my high school choral program, and have participated in our church choral ensembles as they've grown into adulthood and those responsibilities. These two cannot make weekly rehearsals any longer.
So, I took the leap and developed them as Psalmists, and I'll always remember the first time that one had her "debut"- as she finished the OT reading, she paused for a number of seconds but remained at the ambo. The other lector expecting to see the Psalmist moving from the choir area leaned over thinking our lector needed yield the ambo. Then we intoned the introduction to the responsorial and she did great! (We chant a lot at our parish, so declaiming verses of psalm tones is pro forma.)
Our next move is to train some of our lector/psalmists to chant the OT and Epistle lessons!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Hello to Charles above,but at my parish, St. Joseph in Macon, GA, we began chanting the conclusion to the readings the First Sunday of Advent. The cantor chants it though and it has been accepted very well and the congregation's response is very robust. Since our deacons don't chant well, the cantor does it also for the Gospel reading and our music director has made sure that it is the proper chant for the readings. I recommend it highly.

Geoff said...

At St. James Cathedral in Seattle this has been standard practice for at least 15 years I think. All the lectors are asked to chant the conclusion. Most of them get the tone correct (in all kinds of various keys!). Some of them don't quite get the interval. On those occasions, the assembly just responds with whatever tone has just been sung. All the deacons and priests sing the tone as well. There have been times I am sure that we have been singing G's below low C and high E's depending on who chants it.

RAnn said...

I'm a lector and if I say so, a very good one. I am also a HORRIBLE singer and to put a mike in front of my mouth when I'm singing would be a terrible disservice to the entire congregation. We are all given different gifts; singing is not mine.