Musical Notes | December 8-9

The Second Sunday of Advent’s opening hymn, #418 “On Jordan’s Bank,” echoes John the Baptist’s announcement that we should repent to make room in our hearts for the coming of our Lord. The cantor and the congregation laud the Lord in Psalm #996 “The Lord has Done Great Things for Us; We are Filled with Joy,” while the preparation hymns, “God of all People” (#412) and “People of the Night” (#407), cry out to our Savior to come save us.  The Liturgy of the Eucharist will be found in the Mass of Light, starting with #361 “Holy, Holy, Holy.”  The Communion hymn is the great canticle of Mary: “Holy Is Your Name” (#395).  At the end of today’s service, we sing joyfully about making ready the way of the Lord with hymn #409 “People, Look East.”

What is the role of the Cantor?  The USCCB’s Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship (2007) identifies the cantor as a trained singer who proclaims the Psalm and may also sing the Gospel Acclamation and verse.  The cantor also acts as a song leader for the congregation when the choir is not present (Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2007)).