Planning the music for Mass used to be one of my favorite things to do. In fact, that is probably the most common question I get when people first hear my job; "So does that mean you get to plan all the music?"
But lately, especially the more I learn and read about what the Church directs the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to be like...I find that nothing I do is quite correct.
I read the English translations in the Gregorian Missal of the proper antiphons for the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion, and I could try and pick hymns that match those at each of those spots. Trouble is, there aren't many hymns that match. Or for example, take the Communion for 2nd Sunday of Lent: "Tell no one about the vision you have seen until the Son of Man has risen from the dead."
talk about random. No, there's not really any hymns that "match that."
Otherwise, I could try and find the "theme" of Mass for that day. My liturgy planning aids from various large Catholic music publishers give me such helpful hints as "Images of light are common to both sets of Gospel readings. X Y and Z are obvious musical choices that can be incorporated into Year B and RCIA liturgies today."
OR I could take the route of opening my hymnal to the "Lent" section, and randomly distributing the 8 or so acceptable song choices throughout the 5 Sundays of Lent.
I'm supposed to be planning Lent music right now, that's why I'm thinking about this.
In fact, besides planning music as used to be being one of my favorite things to do, Lent songs and particularly Holy Week songs are among my favorites for the year!
But this is just getting...frustrating.
(however, at the 10:30 Mass, I do incorporate both the English Entrance Antiphon, Proper Offertory verse, and Communion chant, so technically I don't have to worry about those proper texts.)
but besides that, it's just difficult. WHICH of those three routes should I go?
I think during Ordinary Time I tend to look more at the the proper texts, but for seasons like Lent I pretty much just distribute the 8 Lent songs among the Sundays, heh heh.