This is the official Introit for the Second Sunday of Lent. Would you like this type of chant in place of a metrical hymn with organ accompaniment?
At Saint Joseph Church in Macon, in the past two years the cantor now chants the refrain only of the official Introit which then leads into the metrical congregational hymn. The refrains of the offertory and communion antiphons are chanted this way too but there are additional anthems or songs at these times also. Is this preserving the best of both worlds? For example, having heard the Introit above and the entire psalm that goes with it, at St. Joseph the cantor chanted only its antiphon and then we sang the following as a congregational hymn with organ accompaniment for the rest of the procession, "Take Up your Cross." More verses were sung, but these are the first two; any problem with these compared to singing the entire official psalm text of the Introit?
Take up your cross, the Savior said, if you would my disciple be; take up your cross with willing heart and humbly follow after me.
Take up your cross, let not its weight fill your weak spirit with alarm; My strength shall bear your spirit up, and brace your heart, and nerve your arm.
At a post at The New Liturgical Movement, Jeffrey Tucker writes the following:
Valentín Miserachs, head of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music, has repeated his call for a Vatican commission to pronounce on the problem of music in Catholic liturgy. Like many others, he has expressed great regret at the loss of Gregorian chant, and speaks of the widespread ignorance of music among so many. He decries the “anarchy” that persists in parishes and cathedrals around the world, by which he means the tendency for musicians to pull out any music they want and sing it during the processions of the Mass (entrance, offertory, and communion)....
....In any case, the core of the problem is not so much within the ordinary parts of the Mass but during the entrance, offertory, and communion. These are the times when the musical path wanders far away from the liturgical ideal....
....The Church needs to change its current legislation dating from 1967 that permits other texts to replace the proper texts of the Mass.
The problem text came in section 32 of Musicam Sacram: “The custom legitimately in use in certain places and widely confirmed by indults, of substituting other songs for the songs given in the Graduale for the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion, can be retained according to the judgement of the competent territorial authority.”
This sentence seems innocuous. It’s tempting to read past it. Should a legitimate custom be retained? Sure, why not? Actually, what this sentence permitted, for the first time in the history of the universal Church, was the complete throwing out of the Mass propers that had been largely stable throughout the whole history of the Roman Rite and formed the basis of Gregorian chant in the first place. The “indult” quickly became the universal practice.
This is the sentence that needs to be repealed, erased, and replaced, because it is this sentence that unleashed the musical chaos and confusion. This is the reason for why the choir is free to totally ignore the liturgy and sing any old song that they happen to have handy in place of the actual text that the liturgy is asking us to sing....
...What this analysis implies of course is that the core problem we are dealing with today only appears to be about the music. Actually, the core problem is a problem with the words of the Mass itself. The choir must defer to them. It must sing the entrance with the proper text and psalms. It must sing the offertory using the proper text and its Psalms. It must sing the communion with its proper text and Psalms. There is no indult not to. There is no “option four” as it appears in the General Instruction...
For many years now there is a growing moment in the Church to revive Gregorian Chant and to sing it in the vernacular. This chant is being promoted for parts of the Mass that almost every Catholic in the world has not heard since Vatican II for the Entrance Chant (aka, Introit), Offertory antiphon and Communion antiphon. What most every Catholic in the world has heard in place of these "official" chants that are prescribed for every single Mass is the 4th option found in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, "a suitable hymn."
This means that almost every Catholic in the world is deprived of the words of the Mass that are actually prescribed and something else is chosen that is suppose to approximate these words--usually metrical hymns that are happy, peppy and familiar, what would best be described as "devotional music."
What if we threw out our hymnals and only chanted the actual Introit, offertory and communion chants? Would there be rebellion in the pews? I think it would be hard for the congregation to sing a new setting of the chant every Sunday, so the choir, schola or cantor would have to do it for them. Would that be a good thing to stop congregational participation. Or these chants could be set to a responsorial style of singing which the congregation simply singing the refrain, similar to the responsorial Psalm. We do that every week to different melodies and words and everyone does it quite well.
How would you feel if we didn't sing congregational hymns at the entrance, offertory and communion times and used exclusively the chants provided for the Mass?