Monday, December 7, 2009

Advent hymnology

Last Sunday's music schedule, quite by accident, consisted entirely of hymns beginning with either "O" or "Lo!" This, of course, prompted much spirited philosophical debate on whether there is a disproportionate amount of Oing and Lo!ing in Advent hymns. (Answer: slightly above average.)

A friend commented, however, that a list of rhyming monosyllabic Yuletide exclamations ought to include "Ho!" and where are all the Santa-themed hymns in my music selections anyway? Without further ado, I present to you the following suggested hymn list for Advent III:

Processional: Up on the housetop (New Paris)
Canticle: The twelve days of Christmas (plainsong: Mode VIII:1)
Gradual: Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer (Nasus Lucidus)
Sequence/Offertory: White Christmas (Crosby)
Communion: Baby, it's cold outside (Loesser)
Recessional: All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth (Duos dentes meos)

Of course, before the week is out I expect to hear from someone who has actually attended the service I detail above. There can remain no liturgical indignity that someone, somewhere, hasn't yet inflicted upon their congregations.

Church musicians reading this entry should know that "The twelve days of Christmas" actually works surprisingly well to the mode VIII:1 psalm tone. Armed with this knowledge, you can expect to be a smash hit at Christmas parties.

5 comments:

Andrew said...

Oh, that's wonderful, in a horrible sort of way. "Duos dentes meos", indeed!

Sadly, I have heard all but the last two in church over the years, as well as "Jingle Bells" and most recently "Holly Jolly Christmas", though usually in the context of a carol-sing or that ghastly liturgical innovation known as "announcements".

diplomatizer said...

Well done!

My personal favourite is the interchangeability of the lyrics to"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Folsom Prison Blues" (not that I've ever heard Johnny Cash in a liturgical context or anything).

shogart said...

May I suggest as a choir anthem 'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause'?

Katy said...

But wait! Mode VII or VIII for Twelve Days of Christmas? You've listed both...I need to know for this Sunday morning! :)

Osbert Parsley said...

Bah! Mode VIII is, of course, correct. I'm obviously getting old.