Source and Summit #2 – Entrance chant
Hello everybody! This first episode of our catechesis is about the introductory rites of the holy Mass.
Before I start talking about this I want to show you something. I hope you can see it — this is the 2002 Church document The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM). This book contains our Polish bishops’ valid 2005 instructions for the celebration of the Year of the Eucharist proclaimed by St. Pope John Paul II. During this year devoted to the great mystery, Pope John Paul II died. This document is available, you can buy it. I encourage you to read this book, especially now, in this year and subsequent years when we will be discussing the Eucharist. I’m sure that many other books will be available as well during this time and we will have many to read and study. I encourage you to read GIRM and the Episcopal Conference Instructions which are obligatory for everyone.
At the beginning of the introductory rites topic I want to say something about entrance chant and entrance procession. During the entrance procession the priest enters the church with the ministers. It can be a short walk, or a long one depending on the celebration. Whether a short or long distance we acknowledge the procession as we sing the entrance chant.
There is one significant question worth to mention of who should sing – people, organist? And the answer is: all the above should sing. However, the role of the organist/cantor as leading the congregation in song cannot be omitted or underestimated. Singing together is extremely important because it integrates us, we become one, we become a community of Christ’s disciples gathered together in his name to celebrate. As we well know according to St Augustine: “To sing is to pray twice.” Singing is a sign of the joy, that we feel in a church, in our parish like in our own home where we can sing with ease. The entrance chant integrates us with the liturgical period. Notice that there are many chants for each liturgical period: for Advent, for Christmas, Lent, Easter as well as Ordinary Time. When I hear one of these chants, I’m introduced to that atmosphere of each liturgical period we celebrate: praising a saint or celebrating a parish feast. The essential role of the entrance chant is to integrate us into the liturgical period. I invite you to actively participate in the entrance chant so that together as a family, we sing, celebrate and praise the Lord.