I've decided this year to have the choir sing (at the midnight Mass, and the Mass during the day,) Richard Proulx's "Born Today" with bells for the Introit.
The Introit at Midnight is "The Lord said to me: You are my Son, today I have begotten you," and during the day it is "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given. Dominion is on his shoulder and his name shall be called the Angel of Great Counsel."
For those not familiar with the piece, the words are something like, "Alleluia, Christ is born to us today, today the Savior has appeared. Angels on earth do sing, and archangels rejoice, the righteous cry out: Glory be to God in the highest. Alleluia."
My actual reasons for wanting to incorporate it are, a) it's just plain cool, b) yes, I am trying to get the congregation away thinking they have to sing a four-hymn sandwich, and c) the words (while not exactly either of the propers,) are kind closer than any Christmas carols I can think of. (They are more theological.)
My problem comes in that the boss tells me I have to write a bulletin article beforehand explaining why the congregation won't be singing an "opening hymn." (and I have to do this by Wednesday cuz this weekend is our last bulletin before Christmas!) I don't really want to say any of the three reasons I listed above in the bulletin, so the reasons I could mention would be how we will be singing lots of Christmas carols before all the Christmas Masses, and then (the whole discussion at CMAA this past summer) about how the congregation can watch the procession, how the procession itself is a part of the liturgy, and we don't notice it if our noses are in a hymnal!
ok, so I need help. Those aren't good enough reasons if I need to write this in the bulletin. (perhaps my first line of action will be to go to the boss and question if we really need to write something; I mean, who is gonna complain that they don't "get to" sing an opening hymn if they just sang five carols immediately prior?) But then if that doesn't work, I will need more evidence and arguments. Does anyone know of any church documents that talk about this? (in particular the significance of the procession,) or am I even missing any obvious arguments about moving in the direction of just having the choir sing the propers? Oh, I guess I could talk about how the thing the choir will be singing is more theological than any carols...but I'm not sure I could make that into a good case.