Music for Mass (Parts of Mass, not hymns)

posted 3 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
3677 posts
Sugar bee

First question: do either of you read music?

If you do, then you can start by getting ahold of a few hymnals and looking through their “Service Music” sections (generally at the front) and finding one you like. (Try to stick with recently-published hymnals. If the hymnals are more than a couple of years old, their service music will not reflect the latest revisions to the ICEL translation.) Keep in mind that if you find one that isn’t in the books your parish uses, you may need to purchase it for them. How many copies you will need to buy depends on how many musicians will be involved in your wedding.

Another option, if you and your fiancee do not read music, is to go to the websites of the major liturgical music publishers, search their Mass settings, and look for sound clips you can listen to. The big publishing houses in that field are GIA, World Library/J.S.Paluch, and Oregon Catholic Press. You may also find some Mass parts on YouTube (i.e. search for just the “Gloria” or the “Lamb of God”, etc.)

If you know of any particular liturgical composers whose style you like, that can also be a good starting point. We used Steve Warner’s “Mass of Our Lady” because I have worked with him in the past and really love his composing style. You might also ask any church musician friends or acquaintances to recommend some of the settings they are familiar with. Randall DeBruyn’s “Mass of the Resurrection” is kind of nice if you want something more traditional, or you can always use the chant settings, etc.

Post # 5
Member
2395 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I’m a new Catholic, so I may not know what I’m talking about – is it possible to use settings like Mozart’s C Minor Mass?  There’s some GORGEOUS music in there.  I’m not sure whether it can be cantored though – it might need to be sung by a choir.

Post # 6
Member
3677 posts
Sugar bee

@oneofthesethings:  Something like that would be really elaborate for a contemporary wedding – they are Masses, but really they are more “performance pieces” than settings that could be used to celebrate an actual Mass nowadays. One of the principles of “Music in Catholic Worship” (a document produced by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops a few years back) is that the music used for Mass, especially the regular Mass parts like the Gloria, Alleluia, Holy Holy, Memorial Acclamation, Amen, Lamb of God, etc., should be accessible so that the congregation can participate in singing them. That’s tough to do with the classical settings by Mozart, Beethoven, etc.

 

Post # 8
Member
2395 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

@KCKnd2:  Oh interesting!  Thanks for the insight!  I had a classical music/singing background way before I became Catholic, so I didn’t know that those masses weren’t really used.

Although I suppose I could have figured it out since my parish is the Chicago Cathedral and we don’t even do them there 🙂

Post # 9
Member
3677 posts
Sugar bee

@oneofthesethings: Welcome to Catholicism! Smile The cathedral in Chicago is so beautiful – someone from my former choir got married there a few years back, and someone else from my current choir will be getting married there in a few months!

Back in the day they were used at Masses (as in, back in the 17th through 19th centuries), but it was also a time when going to Mass was kind of like going to the theatre (and they were mainly used in the big cathedrals and royal chapels, not as much in smaller local parishes). At that time it was all in Latin, people didn’t participate the same way they are expected to nowadays, and the focus was on having a lot of pomp and ceremony and splendor in the liturgy (especially at a cathedral or royal chapel).

Nowadays, one of those settings would maybe be used at something like a coronation Mass, but for most ordinary liturgical celebrations, especially after Vatican II, something simpler is preferable. In fact, I would argue that one of the hallmarks of a really well-written Mass setting is that it should be versatile enough that it can sound good with anything from a full choir to just a simple cantor-and-accompanist.

 

Post # 11
Member
3677 posts
Sugar bee

@Duncan:  You know what? You might check with their music director there – they may have an archive of their liturgy planners and be able to tell you what setting it was (or at least what settings were in use there at that time and what it is likely to have been).

If it was 2003, then it was prior to the revised translation and you would have to find out whether the setting has been updated. (Many of them have, but not all of them, and some of them don’t sound the same with the new translation.)

Are you in Australia? GIA, WLP, and OCP are all US-based publishing houses, and I don’t know if they are the big dogs for the entire English-speaking world or just North America. There might be another company that you could check with, too. Or, I know that WLP at least has a very convenient electronic “Click-And-Print” option where you can buy sheet music with a credit card and immediately download it in electronic form rather than shipping hard copies.

Post # 14
Member
284 posts
Helper bee

@Duncan:  HA. That’s what I get for just clicking the “related links” at the bottom. Best wishes and congratulations 🙂

Post # 14
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Catholic Church Ceremony & Restaurant/Bed & Breakfast Reception

Duncan:  So what music did you go with? I’m currently in the same boat…I was a music major and studied classical music for over 12 years and was the organist/pianist at my Anglican church until recently. Since I’m converting to Catholicism (not too big of a stretch) the one thing that drives me batty is the music. It’s horrid! And a shame because Catholicism has the richest historical collection of all sacred music and then something happened in the 60s with Vatican II. Anyhow…

I would love to hear what you chose! 

Post # 15
Member
33 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Duncan:  Oh! Look into the Mass of Renewal.  I really love it!  Do a quick youtube search for GIA mass parts. 

Leave a comment


Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors