Church Music

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  • PDR wrote: »
    The ASB did seem to bring a brief coming together of the moderates from all tribes within the CofE.
    Not in my neck of the woods, and CW hasn't done much better.

    The biggest criticism I have is that both the ASB and CW were meant to provide services that would be pretty much standard wherever you went to worship, but then the PTB provided almost limitless alternatives which made a mockery of that. I'll leave the banality and general clunkiness of the language unremarked upon, except to note that I doubt any would-be modern playwright could get inspiration from CW.

  • PDR wrote: »
    Alan29 wrote: »
    Where do screens and projectors fit in?

    Somewhere around the 6th or 7th circle?

    Sounds about right!

    Others would see things differently. And having projectors and screens doesn't automatically have to equate with worship bands and modern music, though I agree that they often do come as a package. FWIW we use a projector, we don't have a worship band and we have a mixture of traditional hymns, worship songs and what you might call "modern hymns" (Fred Pratt Green et al).
  • PDR wrote: »
    Alan29 wrote: »
    Where do screens and projectors fit in?

    Somewhere around the 6th or 7th circle?

    Sounds about right!

    Others would see things differently. And having projectors and screens doesn't automatically have to equate with worship bands and modern music, though I agree that they often do come as a package. FWIW we use a projector, we don't have a worship band and we have a mixture of traditional hymns, worship songs and what you might call "modern hymns" (Fred Pratt Green et al).

    I was (mostly) joking. I do think the use of screens has to be careful and it concerns me to see (as I recall seeing on Alpha Course videos from HTB) the entire sanctuary screened off to make projection easier. To my mind the focus when people look up should be the cross and the altar, maybe the Bible during a reading. Focussing everything on the projection screen doesn't sit well with me.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    PDR wrote: »
    Alan29 wrote: »
    Where do screens and projectors fit in?

    Somewhere around the 6th or 7th circle?

    Sounds about right!

    Others would see things differently. And having projectors and screens doesn't automatically have to equate with worship bands and modern music, though I agree that they often do come as a package. FWIW we use a projector, we don't have a worship band and we have a mixture of traditional hymns, worship songs and what you might call "modern hymns" (Fred Pratt Green et al).

    I was (mostly) joking. I do think the use of screens has to be careful and it concerns me to see (as I recall seeing on Alpha Course videos from HTB) the entire sanctuary screened off to make projection easier. To my mind the focus when people look up should be the cross and the altar, maybe the Bible during a reading. Focussing everything on the projection screen doesn't sit well with me.


    I have several reasons for not being that fond of screens. Firstly, if there is one large screen it usually has to be placed badly so you can still see the other things you need to see. That usually means that I have to sit, kneel or stand awkwardly craning my neck to read the thing, or sit way at the back. This objection usually does not apply in places that use multiple small screens, though. Secondly, if what is projected thereon is at all fuzzy it is very hard work to read it as I have some eyesight problems (I have the same problem with cheap paperbacks.) Thirdly, I still think the altar/pulpit/lectern should be the focus. Also, there is a something a bit too work-related about screens and projectors for me to be completely happy about running into them in worship. It just makes church another place where I have to engage with the same effing banal technology orientated culture that forms the irritating part of my job from Monday to Friday.
  • Alan29Alan29 Shipmate
    Alan29 wrote: »
    angloid wrote: »
    Oblatus wrote: »
    There's a nice video on YouTube that shows a 1662 Holy Communion, without sermon. Almost exactly 30 minutes, without any rushing. But yes, there are lots of fixed texts that are longish and that the rubrics require every time. The only things that change are the collect, the epistle, the Gospel, and possibly a proper preface.

    Here's the link, since I tried to link some text above and the site is not cooperating:
    https://youtu.be/oKLu_ebVyms


    Takes me back! A reminder that impersonal worship can be reverent and holy. Although my proletarian inverted snobbery found the priest's upper-class accent grating.

    I wasn't expecting a chas, or a server in a Roman cotta.

    Having watched I am surprised at the amount of clerical ritual there was from kissing the altar to hand gestures. Does this really count as BCP?
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    @Alan29 - It depends on who you ask. I would consider it a bit over the top for BCP, but others would be fine with it. Celebrating AO with 1662 I would tend to gravitate towards the Gospel ("north") side of the altar for the Ante-Communion, but cart the book across to the epistle side for the Epistle if I did not go down to the chancel step for the readings. I would bow at the name of Jesus, the Incarnatus, and the Sanctus as usual, but I would leave much else out.
  • OblatusOblatus Shipmate
    edited August 12
    Alan29 wrote: »
    Having watched I am surprised at the amount of clerical ritual there was from kissing the altar to hand gestures. Does this really count as BCP?

    I wondered about that as well when I first saw the video, but I think the rector added a comment in YouTube that it reflects his parish use at Sussex Gardens and not a pure 1662 ceremonial. So chasuble, genuflexion on the way in and out, etc. I do like the server's accent and manner of reading the Epistle. Yorkshire? Northern, in any case.

    So it does seem to conform to 1662 textually but doesn't try to take us back to that era ceremonially.

    A friend said that when the rector says, "I believe in one God," he sounds like Sir Christopher Lee. :)

    The link again: https://youtu.be/oKLu_ebVyms
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    @Oblatus - I took another squint at the video, and it actually isn't that far off how I used celebrate 1662. The main think I noticed was that he did not observe the turn to face by the right, and turn back to the altar by the left rule, and did not start at the north side (i.e. read the Lord's Prayer, Collect for Purity, and Decalogue on the gospel side of the altar before having the server flit it to the Epistle side for the collects and Epistle.) The other thing I caught was that he did not do the fraction at the Verba as 1662 requires. Other than the fact that I am a profound bow, not genuflect guy it all looked alarmingly familiar. I am pretty sure the server's accent in W.R. of Yorkshire, but somewhat scrubbed.
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    Gosh, I am familiar with St James Sussex Gardens but it wasn't till I read the comments above that I realised that's where it was filmed, although I didn't watch the whole video. If that is the present vicar's preferred style I wonder how he manages with the quite different central altar designed for modern catholic liturgy.
  • OblatusOblatus Shipmate
    angloid wrote: »
    Gosh, I am familiar with St James Sussex Gardens but it wasn't till I read the comments above that I realised that's where it was filmed, although I didn't watch the whole video. If that is the present vicar's preferred style I wonder how he manages with the quite different central altar designed for modern catholic liturgy.

    I've never visited St James's, but I get the impression from the website, at least, that Fr. Paul is comfortable with different styles; I think the video reflects a focused quality that befits a PBS demonstration.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    angloid wrote: »
    Gosh, I am familiar with St James Sussex Gardens but it wasn't till I read the comments above that I realised that's where it was filmed, although I didn't watch the whole video. If that is the present vicar's preferred style I wonder how he manages with the quite different central altar designed for modern catholic liturgy.

    It isn't that difficult to turn things through 180 degrees provided you do not have trouble with left and right - which is what usually lets me down. :disappointed: It is also possible to be pretty comfortable with different styles of celebration. I manage it myself, and I am not exactly the most flexible of people.
  • angloid wrote: »
    Gosh, I am familiar with St James Sussex Gardens but it wasn't till I read the comments above that I realised that's where it was filmed, although I didn't watch the whole video. If that is the present vicar's preferred style I wonder how he manages with the quite different central altar designed for modern catholic liturgy.

    There have been previous references to his style here: https://shipoffools.com/mystery-worshipper/st-james-sussex-gardens-london/ and here: https://forums.shipoffools.com/discussion/comment/167580/#Comment_167580
  • OblatusOblatus Shipmate
    I referred to Fr Paul Thomas as the rector, but he's the vicar. My apologies!
  • Alan29 wrote: »
    Where do screens and projectors fit in?

    A big screen and a projector improved the singing in our church dramatically - people raised their heads to sing, the church was filled with song, and I was an instant convert. However, that was a few years ago. The screen is still used to display the words to the repetitive, vacuous tripe that the band bawls out, and to show banal videos to illustrate the sermon, but the warm sound and fellowship of congregational singing has gone.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    As a person whose memory goes back to a time when all services were 1662, I found that service interesting but a bit odd.

    It's not that there weren't services done like that then. It's that one of the multiple drivers of Series 2, 3, the ASB and CW were to satisfy and legitimise the aspirations of the 1928 people, who didn't really like 1662. If you're one of those who like thee and thou, Common Worship includes traditional English versions of some at least of its permutations. So, even if you like chasubles, choosing now to celebrate according to 1662 but turning your back on the congregation, huddling over the altar and mumbling (though I accept he did speak fairly clearly) strikes me as making very little sense, and really a bit weird. I can't really see the logic now of insisting on sticking to 1662, if you don't celebrate from the north end of the altar, wearing cassock, surplice and either a seasonal stole or a black scarf.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    As a person whose memory goes back to a time when all services were 1662, I found that service interesting but a bit odd.

    It's not that there weren't services done like that then. It's that one of the multiple drivers of Series 2, 3, the ASB and CW were to satisfy and legitimise the aspirations of the 1928 people, who didn't really like 1662. If you're one of those who like thee and thou, Common Worship includes traditional English versions of some at least of its permutations. So, even if you like chasubles, choosing now to celebrate according to 1662 but turning your back on the congregation, huddling over the altar and mumbling (though I accept he did speak fairly clearly) strikes me as making very little sense, and really a bit weird. I can't really see the logic now of insisting on sticking to 1662, if you don't celebrate from the north end of the altar, wearing cassock, surplice and either a seasonal stole or a black scarf.

    Because the rubric at the beginning of Matins actual mandates the ceremonial customs of 1549 - which included eastward position, chasuble, etc.. Unfortunately, although the 1565 Injunctions and the 1604 Canons modified this 1660-62 left us with the 1604 Canons and the Ornaments' Rubric more or less unchanged. Until 1965, the last word on the subject was the Lincoln Judgement of 1890 which pretty much said the O.R. means use the 1549 ceremonial if you wish.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Yebbut - that's not what I was saying.

    The people who wanted to celebrate 'turn your back on the congregation, huddle over the altar and mumble', were the ones who didn't like 1552/1662 and got all excited about the 1549 book which was only in use for three years. They were the ones who were more likely to push the boundaries in the extent to which they used the abortive 1928 book.

    So if you're that way inclined, I can't see why you'd want to insist on 'all services 1662'. And why if you're asked to celebrate according to 1662, do so in a way which so far as one knows was unknown between about 1570 and 1870?
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    You are forgetting rule 1 - "People are odd."

    I would tend to north end the 1662, if the altar is set up for it, but I can understand some folks our are a bit more catholic leaning doing the eastward position given the rubrics. What I have been able to tumble to is the English Missal way of celebrating, which always feels a bit baity-switchy.

    By the way, to some folk facing the people looks like a puppet show, or a closed circle where priest and people worship each other.
  • PDR wrote: »

    By the way, to some folk facing the people looks like a puppet show, or a closed circle where priest and people worship each other.

    That’s how it feels to me.

  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    edited August 14
    Enoch wrote: »
    Yebbut - that's not what I was saying.

    The people who wanted to celebrate 'turn your back on the congregation, huddle over the altar and mumble', were the ones who didn't like 1552/1662 and got all excited about the 1549 book which was only in use for three years. They were the ones who were more likely to push the boundaries in the extent to which they used the abortive 1928 book.

    So if you're that way inclined, I can't see why you'd want to insist on 'all services 1662'. And why if you're asked to celebrate according to 1662, do so in a way which so far as one knows was unknown between about 1570 and 1870?

    Yes I can understand catholic-minded Anglicans being attracted to the old language, but not to the theology of Cranmer's rite. Since 1928 unofficially, and since the 1960s officially, there has always been the option for a 'traditional' [sic] liturgy that expresses more mainstream eucharistic theology. I can't understand why people would want to perform the text of 1662 with the rubrics and style that belong to another tradition. [PS why is this discussion in the Church Music thread?]
  • But wouldn't that have been the rubrics and style instituted by Laud?
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    But wouldn't that have been the rubrics and style instituted by Laud?
    I don't know. Laud and his followers certainly strove for dignity in worship, but I'm not sure if that amounted to a ceremonial style that included chasubles, genuflections etc. Does anybody know how Laud actually celebrated the eucharist?
  • I don't know about vestments but Laud's reforms did include, prominently, placing the altar on the east end, with the celebrant facing east, and also genuflections. These reforms did not obtain universally but I don't think they can be seen as alien to 1662 BCP practice.
  • angloidangloid Shipmate
    Whatever the practice of the Laudians, it's clear that they were forced to comply with the text of 1662 which was probably as alien to their theology as it was to that of the Tractarians. Since the middle of the last century the C of E has been free to use other rites which reflect a different theology from that of Cranmer. That's the point I was making.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Hosting I suggest (gently) that the BCP discussion may be another thread. Of course I wasn't prompted to this suggestion by Angloid's square brackets. Never noticed the comment at all. What comment? But I, spontaneously, led by the Great Spirit, suggest in a gently hosty way that the rather interesting BCP conversation (to which I was about to contribute) belongs in a new thread.

    I'll try to do a cut and paste (stated here so we don't have seventeen acolytes rushing off to do the same thing).

    Meanwhile ... back to plainsong, Marbeck, Merbeck or Merbecke, and Shine Jesus Shine, please.

    /hosting
  • Wesley, Watts, Townend and Bell, perhaps (among others)?
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    I was at a pointless meeting at church offices today (121, if you know what I mean). As part of a getting to know you exercise (aargh) we had to answer the question "What is your favourite hymn?" It was no surprise to me that the elders present all knew their answer without thinking, while the ministers (which spell check thinks should read monsters) hadn't a clue. When you've been picking them week in and week out for some years, your relationship with them is far more complicated.
  • Especially if you've been around since CH2.
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Far easier, and more significant, to state one’s least favourite.
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    Cathscats wrote: »
    I was at a pointless meeting at church offices today (121, if you know what I mean). As part of a getting to know you exercise (aargh) we had to answer the question "What is your favourite hymn?" It was no surprise to me that the elders present all knew their answer without thinking, while the ministers (which spell check thinks should read monsters) hadn't a clue. When you've been picking them week in and week out for some years, your relationship with them is far more complicated.

    My usual reply to that question is "God the all-terrible" and try and leave of the room whilst they are still figuring out whether I am having them on. I can actually answer the question about what is my least favourite hymn/worship song with a straight face. Under most circumstances it is "Let us break bread together on our knees..." which for some reason irritates the sh*t out of me. There are a couple of close seconds though...
  • Why do you need to break bread on your knees? Using a plate would catch the crumbs far better.
  • Puzzler wrote: »
    Far easier, and more significant, to state one’s least favourite.

    But there are so many to choose from!

    I also have plenty of favourites. If you put me on the spot, I'd be hard pressed to pick the one that was my absolute favourite, so depending on the mood I was in, you'd either get an instant answer of the first one of my list that sprung to mind, or a prolonged pause while I tried, and failed, to order them.
  • PDR wrote: »
    I can actually answer the question about what is my least favourite hymn/worship song with a straight face. Under most circumstances it is "Let us break bread together on our knees..." which for some reason irritates the sh*t out of me. There are a couple of close seconds though...
    And for some reason, at least in my experience, it is usually sung standing.


  • PDR wrote: »
    Cathscats wrote: »
    I was at a pointless meeting at church offices today (121, if you know what I mean). As part of a getting to know you exercise (aargh) we had to answer the question "What is your favourite hymn?" It was no surprise to me that the elders present all knew their answer without thinking, while the ministers (which spell check thinks should read monsters) hadn't a clue. When you've been picking them week in and week out for some years, your relationship with them is far more complicated.

    My usual reply to that question is "God the all-terrible" and try and leave of the room whilst they are still figuring out whether I am having them on. I can actually answer the question about what is my least favourite hymn/worship song with a straight face. Under most circumstances it is "Let us break bread together on our knees..." which for some reason irritates the sh*t out of me. There are a couple of close seconds though...

    Oh, with you all the way on being able to reel off a list of at least 10 hymns/songs I'd prefer to have my nails pulled out rather than hear again, and with you on the inclusion of LUBBTOUK in that list.

    My favourite hymn, taking in words, tune, and proper time for singing? The Office Hymn for Christmas Eve, Verni, Renemptor gentium (Come, thou Redeemer of the earth) which was written by St Ambrose, has a wonderful translation/paraphrase hybrid by J M Neale and a few friends, and a splendid "modern" tune Puer nobis nascitur.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    I thought that tune was written by Praetorius?
  • PDRPDR Shipmate
    I think 'modern' is relative here, as in 17th century versus late 4th century. I have a list of about 10 hymns I am very, very fond of and do not mind hearing more than three times a year. The one on that list that I have not sung for ages is Lord of our Life, and God of our Salvation by tr. Philip Pusey to the tune Rouen.
  • Yes, PDR, that was what I meant.

    Yes, the "modern" tune for Puer nobis nascitur is taken from Praetorius. That hymn sung at Evensong on Christmas Eve is, for me, the start of Christmas.

  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    edited August 16
    PDR wrote: »
    ...I tend to be a bit grumpy about 'singing nun music' but I will admit there probably are one or two gems in there - just haven't found them yet. Same goes for the "choruses" popular when I was in my teens and twenties - there were a handful of good ones, but the other three hundred in book were pretty stale even before the ink dried.

    One advantage of traditional hymnals is usually there has been a good weeding out of the weak material before it hits the pews. ...
    Back when I was a professional singer in Chicago, I sang in a pickup choir for a Roman Catholic publishing house, making recordings of everything they published. (We did at least one minute, and sometimes the entire piece; a surprising - and depressing - number of RC music directors cannot read music nowadays, and had to hear the stuff to have any idea of how it should go.)

    Most of it was dreck. The best pieces were adaptations of standard hymns from denominations with long traditions of congregational singing. The very worst things were from the St. Louis Jesuits. I learned to dread the sight of the initials SJ after the composer's name. There's some crap in The Hymnal 1982, but most of it looks like pure spiritual genius in contrast to that crud.
    What is Nervous about the Novus Ordo? Are you just joking that Novus and Nervous are pronounced similarly in England? As an American, I'm confused.
    I'm confused, too. I've always heard it referred to as "Novus Ordure."
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    ...By the way, to some folk facing the people looks like a puppet show, or a closed circle where priest and people worship each other.
    It feels like something the celebrant is doing to us, rather than with or for us.


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