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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 such is the nature of man that he cannot easily without external means be raised to meditation on divine things, on that account holy Mother Church has instituted certain rites, namely that certain things be pronounced in a subdued tone (canon and words of consecration) and others in a louder tone; she has likewise made use of ceremonies such as mystical blessings, lights, incense, vestments, and many other things of this kind in accordance with apostolic teaching and tradition, whereby both the majesty of so great a sacrifice might be commended, and the minds of the faithful excited by these visible signs of religion and piety to the contemplation of the most sublime matters which are hidden in this sacrifice."
— Council of Trent (Session XXII)

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.