Thursday, April 12, 2007

how to begin Mass...

I'm still trying to figure out the difference between the "introit," and "entrance antiphon," and where to obtain something that is actually antiphonal, and how to include the congregation in what the Church says we should use as an entrance for Mass...


Anonymous said...

The Introit is the Entrance Antiphon proper to a specific day. The Entrance Antiphon is a proper term for antiphonal (that is, going back and forth between multiple choirs) things during the procession into the church. Keep in mind, it needn't be sung, but we'll assume this is the case for now!

My advice on how to proceed is one of two things:
-have the entrance begin with a recited antiphon, with the priest leading. Not terribly glamorous and kinda out of place on a Sunday, but it dives right in to the concept.
-start with a psalm each Sunday. Maybe the same one for a season, or changing each week, but have a cantor lead a responsorial psalm each week. That has the right style down.

Doing introits on Sunday is a particularly challenging feat (except option 1 I mentioned). My idea is to eventually have the congregation chant it together according to psalm tones. But this is a looong way off. There aren't a whole lot of settings of Introits, so you can either compose your own or find some median, such as a responsorial psalm, reciting, or a psalm tone.

Doing Gregorian propers is a good way to start too. There are worse things than a congregation standing listening to the choir at the beginning of Mass!


Jonathan McLear said...


In addition to the Gregorian Antiphon (in Latin), there is a nice resource compiled by Christoher Tietze that employs the Proper antiphon text (in English) to common hymn tunes that many, if not all, are familiar with. It is available here from WLP.

It is nice and a lot of places use it. I have also composed a common refrain (taken from Psalms) and set the Proper Introit text in English as a verse (I have Advent and Lent completed). The congregation picks up the common refrain quickly and they're getting the Proper texts. It works for my parish.

Best of Luck!
Jon McLear
Holy Cross Catholic Church
Batavia, IL