From the moderator: Pray Tell reader Michael Silhavy sends in this great idea: Let’s start talking about what revised Mass settings we’ll be using. Here is how he helpfully frames the question:

By now, many parish musicians have visited the publishers’ web sites, attended showcases and reading sessions, and listened to the discs featuring new and revised musical settings of the Order of Mass. Let’s not feel discouraged if we haven’t found that new setting that totally and completely interests us, and let’s not be overly critical of composers and publishers for their efforts to this point. We need to consider that thousands of settings of the 1970 Order of Mass were written by composers of various skill levels. Perhaps a thousand were published in hymnals or octavos – don’t forget other denominations that use the ICEL/ICET texts. A few hundred have been worthy of multiple printings after the initial print run. Maybe a few dozen settings represent 90% of the Mass parts used nationwide, a hymnal may have a dozen or more settings, and a parish may choose to sing 8-10 of them. Quite the winnowing process.

We can’t kid ourselves that all 80 or so of the new settings floating around right now will meet our needs and are worthy of standing the test of time. Many will fade away in months. More settings will surface; eventually we will have plenty to choose from. May I suggest we begin discussion among ourselves, offering ideas to one another, as to what are the settings you plan to introduce?

Over the next few months, I hope Pray Tell can be a place we surface new topics related to the new and revised settings. (I’ve already got a list of old settings I’d like to see revised.)

But to start the conversation: What Mass settings will you be using?

Michael Silhavy

From the moderator: Please: only positive comments about what you like and what you intend to use! No trashing allowed. – awr

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