Thursday, April 3, 2014

Q&A Time plus YouTube


The following is for people who meet two conditions: 1. They missed my Bookmark segment on EWTN last week and 2. They actually want to watch me chatter about the Liturgy of the Hours for  27 minutes.




For the rest of you, it's weekly Q&A time. If anything about the Liturgy of the Hours confuses you or simply piques your curiosity, ask a question in the comments below, and either I or one of my more educated readers will give you an answer.

15 comments:

  1. What is the best way to introduce chanting into my church's celebration of lauds and vespers? I bought a Mundelein Psalter and have gotten the hang of doing the chants on my own, but I'm afraid of trying to incorporate any of the chanting into the already established recitation everyone is used to doing.

    We use the Christian Prayer breviaries and there are no psalm times or pointed texts to assist in following along. I just don't see how I could help introduce the beautiful practice of chant without excessive difficulty.

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    1. Hi Dennis! I've had some experience with this and a little bit of success. You'll need to meet with whoever is running your parish's lauds and vespers and present this idea to them. You may also need to meet with your Director of Music, for once you introduce music into anything you'll need to include the music ministry in the discussion.

      I love the Mundelein, but we are in the same situation as it sounds like you are. We use Christian Prayer. The Mundelein is arranged in couplets, whereas CP is not (it can be many different various stanza lengths). CP does have a section called "Music for Liturgy of the Hours" starting on page 1709. Since you're parish probably already has permission to use CP, you have permission to use this music. Your parish probably does not have permission to use the Mundelein, and to get permission means they have to pony up the money for that as well as getting copies of that Psalter (which, as you know, is a bit expensive).

      Using the CP, you or someone will have to point the psalms. And, of course, you'll have to figure out which tone to use for them (or if you'll use different tones for each psalm).

      There's so much more to this, and I wish we could speak directly to one another somehow. Pray for it and start meeting with the folks in charge!

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    2. Chris is full of good advice, Dennis, but here is another suggestion. Unless you know your prayer group will be all gung ho about chanting, it might be best to suggest starting out with just one chanted element. The obvious choice is the gospel canticles. The virtue of the Mundelein tones is that they are super easy to learn, and I think you could teach one or both of the suggested gospel canticle tones by rote, with no need to violate copyright laws. Just mark the "points" in the Christian Prayer book as per the Mundelein canticles, make photo copies of this, and glue them inside the front and back covers of everyone's book (which does not violate copyright since you've already purchased these books and the photo copies would not enable additional people to pray the hours, but would just make things more convenient with the books that are already in use). Does that make sense?

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    3. Thank you for your replies! That makes perfect sense. I will probably talk to our music people and pastor and see what they think and then I'll suggest the Gospel canticles. I'll probably be back with more questions, but I think I have something to work off of right now. Thanks again!

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    4. Just a note about the ease of learning the Mundelein tones. They are easy, but just as easy are the ones in Christian Prayer pages 1716-1717 (the Murray Tones and the Jones Tones). Murray Tone 7 is probably as easy as it gets!

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    5. Try also the Saint Meinrad psalm tones. They're designed for the Grail Psalter and have notations showing which measures of the tone to use for 2-line, 3-line, 5-line, and 6-line strophes.
      http://www.saintmeinrad.edu/media/28377/Meinrad_Psalm_Tones.pdf

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    6. Hmmm. Okay, so is there a good reason to choose one set of psalm tones over another? I think most importantly, I don't want to confuse anyone or make it too difficult that they become discouraged with the chanting.

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    7. Choose whatever psalm tones are available and that your parish is licensed to use.

      While I like the Meinrad tones, we felt that our group didn't meet often enough to learn them, especially with the variations in the different strophe lengths. If your group has a lot of singers (or seminarians) who can read music, you can probably use them. If not, go with a simpler set of tones.

      The Mundelein tones are simple in this regard, for they are done in couplets and all the psalms are arranged in couplets to accommodate the tones (but, as I mentioned, our parish isn't licensed to use them).

      The various sets of tones in Christian Prayer come with instructions on how to handle various strophe lengths. The tones in CP are arranged for 2-line or 4-line strophes. Read the instructions in that section about how to handle odd-lined strophes.

      This is one of those things you won't be able to decide for yourself. You'll need to meet with whoever is in charge in order to make this happen. I had various ideas about what would happen in our group, and then learned that certain accommodations had to be made. It has been a great experience.

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    8. The key may be to find not the best whole set but just one or two tones from wherever that you believe the people can learn fairly quickly and will get familiar with. I wouldn't go for too much variety until that one or those two tones are second-nature.

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  2. Can anyone tell me why Psalms 22 and 23 do not seem to be in the one volume Christian Prayer?

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    1. Psalms 22 and 23 are among the psalms that are used in the hour of Daytime Prayer (Friday Week 3 and Sunday Weeks 2 and 4, respectively) and thus are not included in the 1-volume Christian prayer.

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    2. I'll add to what Steve said--if you want the complete psalter for daytime prayer, you can use an online breviary or breviary phone app. The Daughters of St. Paul used to publish a one-volume breviary that had the complete daytime prayer psalter, and sometimes these can be found second hand on ebay or other places.

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    3. Catholic Book Publishing Co (same as for CP) has Daytime Prayer, and it is the complete daytime psalter with seasonal variations. I own it and use it! http://www.amazon.com/Daytime-Prayer-Catholic-Book-Publishing/dp/0899424546

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  3. I enjoyed the interview very much and admired the way you fielded the questions with all that background noise, not to mention the loudspeaker announcements!

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    1. Thanks, Russ. Yeah, that background noise was crazy. I think part way through the sound guys must have done some kind of magic, because it wasn't as bad as the interview went on.

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