HE CHURCH where I serve as music director is incredibly busy. We have several choirs, and we provide music for multiple Sung Masses plus Solemn Vespers each Sunday. We often have Solemn High Masses during the week, not to mention holy days and high feasts. Needless to say—like any other parish—there are sometimes additional Masses for which music is needed. So what is our procedure for “special” Masses such as Quinceañera Masses, Funeral Masses, Birthday Masses, and Anniversary Masses?
Extra Masses: When “special” Masses are needed, the interested party must pay a stipend for two cantors. A wise choirmaster knows that he must guard against demanding too much from the choir. These people have lives, jobs, responsibilities, families, and struggles of their own. If you habitually demand too many “calls” from your members, you will slowly see them start to quit. For this reason, we don’t provide a full choir for extra Masses.
Kyrie II: We had a Quinceañera Mass recently, and two female cantors sang for it. Below is Kyrie II, sung by two female cantors. I think it came out nicely, especially starting at marker 2:07. Some may be tempted to criticize, but if you pull out a device and record yourself singing, your criticism just might vanish!
Two-Voice Hymns: Here’s one of the hymns they sang, and notice that they switch into parts (Soprano + Alto) at marker 0:38. The Brébeuf choral supplement makes singing in parts easy. The hymn is Number 143, but the words are also printed at Number 149, which makes multiple melodies possible:
Sanctus VIII: We never sing Missa de Angelis at my parish, but the cantors really wanted it so it was permitted this time. I must say it came out quite nice: