Forget “The 4 Hymn Sandwich”, as in reality, this is not really allowed by The Church. Considering the Banal “Quality” of what is being sung(Or Ignored, which is most of the time), it is time to get rid of such songs(Hymns are reserved for worshipping God, Not SELF), which are filler. These songs do NOT constitute Actual Participation in The Mass. Rather, they constitute Distraction from the Mass. Songs like “Seed, Scattered and Sown” are simplistic as well as condescending, which is insulting to one’s Intelligence.
For My Most Dear Friend, She has a Rule of Thumb:
ANYTHING Written from 1965:onward, is simply not sung, as most of this is “Vomit, Barf and Puke.” For with the updated version of the 1962 Roman Missal, with permission to use Vernacular with the Correct Translation, there were Modernist Americans who took stately hymns and tried to wing it on guitars beginning in 1967, in order to reach a young demographic. Those Hymns are made for Pipe Organ and not Guitars and Tambourines which accompany the Guitars. So, Folk Music was composed, which turned Sunday Mass into “The Consecrated Karaoke and Campfire Music Hour”(With a Nod to Fr Joseph F Wilson, who finds this Music to be totally without Merit, for which I heartily concur with this Assessment).
The Four Hymn Sandwich is a throwback to the Tridentine Latin Mass “Low Mass” days. In reality, actual participation in The Mass was and still is, reciting the responses and keeping silent at appropriate times such as Offertory and Consecration. Singing AT The Mass is NOT the same thing as singing the Parts of The Mass, such as Chants, Responses and Propers. So singing “Gift Of Finest Wheat” is not the same thing as singing the Nicene Creed or Gloria. Besides, “Gift Of Finest Wheat” is of Dubious Eucharistic Theology. Anglicans, Lutherans and Methodists and Presbyterians sing this at Holy Communion, where their belief in Holy Eucharist is that of Consubstantiation instead of Transubstantiation.
“The 4 Hymn Sandwich” is actually an American Practice. And given that about 90% of the “Music” in anything published by Oregon Catholic Press, is not singable since most of the songs are Treacly Dreck, directed not to God but to SELF, it is time to go away from this practice.
The Muzak which appeared starting in 1966, is supposed to reflect CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, NOT “CHURCH OF NICE” Lack of it. The Bishops in the USA and Canada, have by and large not done this, so when you hear “Table of Plenty”, just assume that the Imprimatur came from Howard “Cardinal” Stern, whose Coat of Arms reads “Bababui”, in my attempt to Latinize it, to give it some sense of “Church of Nice” Formality. (“Wow”, exclaimed “Cardinal” Stern).
<So I went to an Ordinary Form Mass, where the Priest "Reads The Black and Does The Red", at St. Agnes R C Church on Archbp Fulton J Sheen Place(East 43rd Street, Lexington to 3rd Avenues on the cross) in Midtown Manhattan, which I arrived at on time, with no time to spare with No Thanks to MTA Bus for their damnable inefficiency. Mass began with singing of the Entrance Antiphon and Opening Hymn, which by the way, was the ONLY Hymn sung. The Kyrie and Gloria were sung. This was a "Plainsong" Mass, with Offertory Antiphon and Communion Antiphon. The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass was in vernacular(English).
At Holy Communion Time, many knelt at the Latin Mass Altar Rail and received on the tongue(Latin Mass Style). Still others stood for Holy Communion (Byzantine Rite Style, minus the Gold Holy Communion Spoon)..
There are NO Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at St. Agnes Church. It is Priests and the Occasional Deacon, who distribute Holy Communion.
All that is needed is:
Singing of Entrance Antiphon;
Singing of Kyrie;
Singing of Gloria(Only on Sundays, Holy Days of Obligation and Major Feasts);
Singing of the Responsorial Psalm;
Singing of Offertory Antiphon;
Singing of Nicene Creed(Only said on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation and Major Feasts);
Singing of Lord’s Prayer and
Singing of Communion Antiphon.
Confeitior is recited and so are responses.
No Hymns need to be sung, though a Stately and Beautiful Hymn may be sung(& Should Be Sung).
This would be a Properly Sung Mass in The Mind of The Church. What is sung, currently, seems to be more in the mind of “Cardinal” Stern(Wow).
Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum!