A Brief Musical Aside

Mass was very interesting today, musically speaking. We started out with “The Glory of These Forty Days” (not a favorite, but not one I loathe) and everything went swimmingly from there on, response-wise, until the offeratory. I still have the occasional lapse back to old translation’s responses, primarily when I’m toddler wrangling. But today, GeekBaby was very good, and I could concentrate properly.

But the offeratory was I Want to Walk As a Child of the Light” (again, neither favorite nor loathed) and afterwards, I could not get a response right to save my life. GeekBaby required no wrangling at all, and actually fell asleep during this period, so my usual cause of distraction wasn’t to blame. The best I can come us with is it was the music.

The opening hymn was rather somber, but easily singable. I mentally marked it out as a good one for the Liturgy of the Hours, easy to sing without accompaniment. And that was it. The offeratory hymn was a bit singsong, and while that always feels a bit out of place it wasn’t really obnoxious.

Yet after the sing song hymn, my kneejerk reaction was the old responses.

I have a similar problem with the Gloria. We started with the new ICEL chant setting for the Gloria, and it was wonderful. Then they transitioned back to their old setting of the Gloria, once it had been reworked for the new translation. (I think it’s Mass of Creation? Not sure.) And because the music is the same, I keep getting mixed up and seguing into the old translation of the Gloria. It drives me bonkers.

So there you have it. Does the selection of music really affect the Mass all that much? Absolutely.

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