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Andrew Motyka is the Archdiocesan Director of Liturgical Music and Cathedral Music for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
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“Since the ability of Francisco Guerrero is now abundantly known to all […] he shall henceforth act as master of the boys so long as: ( 1) he must teach them to read, write, and to sing the responsories, versicles, antiphons, lessons, and kalends, and other parts of divine service; (2) he shall teach them plainchant, harmony, and counterpoint, his instruction in counterpoint to include both the art of adding a melody to a plainsong and to an already existing piece of polyphonic music; (3) he shall always clothe them decently and properly, see that they wear good shoes, and ensure that their beds are kept perfectly clean; (4) he shall feed them the same food that he himself eats and never take money from them for anything having to do with their services in church or their musical instruction…” [cont’d]
— Málaga Cathedral Document (11 September 1551)

Tools for the Day
published 22 January 2014 by Andrew R. Motyka

AVE YOU EVER NOTICED that the Communion Antiphon, more than any other proper, tends to directly reflect back to the Gospel? It is most certainly true of the antiphon this weekend, which goes directly to Jesus’ call to Andrew and Peter.

On a side note, this weekend’s Gospel is why my namesake is included in the Roman Canon as a mandatory name, even though most of the other apostles are optional. Andrew holds a special place as the first apostle to be called. So there.

If you anything like I was several years ago, you are tired of the same half-dozen or so Communion hymns that show up in every hymnal. Since most parishes are not yet ready to move to the Gregorian Proper, why not give these a try? They are simple antiphons which do not require a worship aid to remember, follow the text of the proper, and are related by modality to the Gregorian chant of the Communio. The verses are set to the St. Meinrad Psalm Tones, which is another tool that every pastoral musician should be familiar with.

We should be always expanding our toolboxes with new ideas for implementing propers and furthering the solemnity of the liturgy. Increased solemnity in the liturgy should always be our goal, and the propers help with this much better than the newest song about gathering around the dinner table.

This past Christmas, I received one of the best compliments I’ve ever received. I was told that the music did a beautiful job fostering a spirit of prayer and keeping us there. That is the goal: to bring people to Jesus.

Come to think of it, every time Andrew appears in the Gospel, he is bringing someone to Jesus. We should do the same.