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CNP Feedback -
Ave Maria Fo(u)r Advent

Q. Dear CNP:

Where in the Mass would you put Ave Maria on the Fourth Sunday of Advent?

Mary N. Tsong

A. Dear Ms. Tsong:

The perfect place for a setting of the Ave Maria text on the Fourth Sunday of Advent would be Offertory time. That's the exact Offertory Antiphon from the Propers of that day. It always profits us musicians to look very carefully at the texts that the Church expects us to use for any particular Sunday (the Propers: Introit, Offertory, Communion) — and in this case, the match is exact and ideal.

However, since the Readings and the Orations also have a Marian flavor, I could certainly see singing an Ave Maria other times as well:

  1. as a prelude
  2. at Communion time [this need not speak of Eucharist, or Bread and Wine, or Body and Blood, or community — just look at the Propers, which rarely do]
  3. possibly as a quiet vocal recessional — a calm prelude to the Christmas Vigil Mass to be celebrated in a few days

By the way, the Collect for the day is the same as the closing prayer for the Angelus, prayed daily at 6:00 am, 12:00 noon, and 6:00 pm.

So — an Ave Maria on 4 Advent — just about anywhere, but ideally at Offertory.

Gary Penkala
CanticaNOVA Publications
Article written 25 Novemberber 2014

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CanticaNOVA Publications / PO Box 1388 / Charles Town, WV 25414-7388
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