Dear Fr. Francis,
Hope you and the Holy Spirit Choir have been well. These past months I have been busy in CA with various projects and conferences. I am going to be returning to SE Asia next month. Just wish to say hello and give you Easter greetings and if you could greet the choir for me.
During April and May I will be in SE Asia, but only in Saigon for a few weeks. I believe that Vu is still going on Monday nights to Ba Chuong to teach keyboard. I wonder if or how I can be of any other support to the English Mass at Ba Chuong. I wonder if the more urgent question is not music, but how to increase the spoken participation of the assembly to the English spoken responses, and also increase their singing. If you wish, we could meet and discuss if that is a need and what proposals might help increase the participation of the assembly.
For another choir, I put together some suggestions for the first half of Easter Season. Not that you need these, but I am sharing them here, in case you wish to consider some new repertoire for the assembly, that would repeat week to week, and perhaps some news songs for the choir. Let me know if this is helpful, and if some suggestions for the 2nd half of the Easter Season, up to Pentecost would be helpful.
Again, please give my Easter greetings to the choir members!
Music Suggestions for Easter 2016Song Numbers from ENGLISH MISSAL SONGBOOK 2016-2018
To support the signing of the assembly, I suggest that the opening song be repeated at least two or three weeks.
If there is a new song every week, then the people cannot learn the song and will not sing.
If the people are not singing, then the choir is merely a ‘performance choir’, and not a liturgical music choir.
There can be a balance between new songs (that are challenging and interesting to the choir),
and these would be Prelude, Preparation of the Gifts (Offertory), 2nd Communion Song, Sending Forth (Closing) Song.
It would be better for the ritual, of the opening song and first communion song (if there are two) was a piece that was repeated frequently and the assembly could learn after hearing it, week after week.
Perhaps one of the songs below could be used as the Gathering/Opening Hymn for the first weeks of Easter
#118 Jesus Is Risen
#112 Christ, The Lord, Is Risen Today
#111 Jesus Christ, Is Risen Today
#105 Alleluia! Alleluia!
#124 Join in the Dance
#121 This Day Was Made by the Lord
Preparation of the Gifts/Offertory
This song could be a very difficult, SATB piece, only by the choir
Here are some suggestions for the various Sundays….
2nd Sunday of Easter, April 3rd
#278 Christ In Me Arise (Thomas, to follow the Risen Jesus)
#269 I Love the Lord (theme of compassion for Divine Mercy Sunday)
3rd Sunday of Easter, April 10th
#155 In the Breaking of the Bread (Jesus eats with his disciples)
# 109 Worthy Is the Lamb (second reading, Revelation text)
4th Sunday of Easter, April 17th
#231 The Lord Is My Light (Gospel text of the shepherd as protector)
#248 Because the Lord Is My Shepherd (Psalm 23 text, extension of Gospel theme)