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The Forth in Praise Organists' Blog

The personal views of a Catholic parish organist

October 5, 2019

Gloria on the loose – update

evelyn @ 1:02 pm


The release into the wild (i.e. without a cantor) of the Gloria mentioned a few weeks ago was an outstanding success.  I was half-expecting the embarrassment of playing the verses solo, but no, a good chunk of the people (possibly more than half) joined in, to my great delight.

Without any cantor support they sang all the verses.  In fact, a number of people said it was because there was no cantor that they sang.  Obviously, they had learned it just by listening to it.  And it wasn’t a chanted-verse Gloria, either.   No, what they sang last week, quite spontaneously, were three quite distinct melodies for the three verses.  We are now considering letting loose another verse-and-refrain Gloria, bringing our current total of unaided Glorias to three, which we can rotate.  Before this, it was a choice of either roping in a cantor or having the same old thing week after week after week.

The conclusion to be drawn from this has to be that congregations are not as stupid as the makers of the Vatican II liturgy seem to have thought.  People are perfectly capable of memorising quite complicated melodies.  Therefore Mass music doesn’t have to be easy to pick up at the first hearing and utterly boring thereafter.

Thank goodness.


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