My choir is doing the Palestrina “O Rex Gloriae” on Ascension Sunday along with the Stravinsky “Ave Maria” since it’s May.
My parish is a regular old suburban parish with over 100 volunteers spread out over 8 ensembles. Music at Mass ranges from the super-Evangelical praise-song “Awesome God” (not done much, thanks to our Awesome God) to sacred polyphony in Latin. We’ve got all sorts of stuff in between. It’s accomplished by a different group for each of five Masses that has a different focus in terms of musical style. We have tried to standardize psalms and eucharistic acclamations in order to have some common repertiore while keeping a real balance in the final set of music for each Mass.
One big issue is music directors who got their masters in Liturgy while moonlighting at the piano bar. If any pastors read this, next time you hire a music director you’d be better off hiring someone who knows that Bach is not pronounced “Batch” and is comfortable letting the choir know the proper latin pronounciation of phrases like “Ave Verum Corpus” and “Pange Lingua” and even “Alleluia.”
Errr… who am I kidding. No pastors are going to read this.
I’ll write more about balance in liturgical music repertiore another time.