Every Catholic Church Must Sing On Eagles Wings
  • In the late 1960's seminarians assigned summer duty to a Catholic church near the East River in New York City bragged about being paid by the Pastor to take the statue of Mary outside the church, the one that was venerated daily by little old black-clad ladies, and hoist it on their shoulders and dump it in the East River.
    Funny was the time they stuck the statue of St. Joseph in the bed of a Brazilian priest in residence while he was studying Russian at NYU. A Portuguese-speaking priest in a mostly Spanish-speaking parish. Surrounded by Orthodox Jews on one side, Mandarin speaking Chinese to the south of us. And a Portuguese priest retiring to his room to be seen running back down the stairs calling, "There's someone on my bed!"

    Back to the statue. The little ladies would bend and kiss the toes of this statue. Statues had to go. That was the edict. Who cared about the little old ladies?

    On Eagles Wings and more bad music and bad theology has become the ersatz Foie Gras forced down out of good Catholic throats for more than 50 years. To kick this music out and alienate these generations is just as bad as what was done back then.
    So what's the solution? Before 1960 there were two, count them, two Masses said in church. Low Mass, two lit candles, no music, unless the organ played during the offering and communion. High Mass, six lit candles and lots of chanting and singing in Latin.
    Now it is time for revision, and it needs to be immediate. We need to establish three Masses:

    Low - no music - not even background music by an organ.
    Middle - all the theologically-unsound and bad music of the last 50 years
    High - Music that follows the strict directions of the Church.

    The Middle Mass should be eventually phased out, with that music moved to personal prayer services which is where almost all of it came in the first place.

    But the most important of these is the Low Mass. It is cruel and usual punishment for Catholics with musical sensitivity to have to attend Mass with music that is offensive by style, quality of performance or anything at all about it that offends the ear.

    Mass has been offered with music for centuries. Take away the music and it is still the Mass.

    But the big issue is this...we must also sing Eagles Wings. Not all the time. It needs to be trotted out and put away. The wings need to lose their feathers on their own. Masses that elevate Latin and Chant and Polyphony need to be moved to positions of importance, and their current step-child status assumed by the music of the present generations and phased out.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 5,435
    Don't hold your breath waiting for me to play "On Eagles Wings." You will die first from lack of oxygen. I hope Michael Joncas has to spend eternity listening to it.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,119
    I believe frogman's on to something.

    This is not unlike Jeffrey Tucker's notion that there should be different music at different Masses, rather than the "blended worship" hegemony that so many parishes (especially suburban ones) have been imposing for the last 30 years.

    I've begun a campaign for this, although there are those in the music ministry and on staff who are saying out loud, "here we go again. We had different music, then under the last two pastors we've had the same blended music at all Masses, under one DM's responsibility for selection. Now we're back to different music again."

    I think it is the ultimate in "diversity," a favored buzz-word among the liturgiratti, to have traditional music at one Mass, contemporary at another and no music at yet another. We're not ready to abandon music at the early Sunday Mass, though my suspicion is that few people would complain (other than the ones that see it as their opportunity to "serve" the community, and their own egos).
  • G
    Posts: 1,279
    On Eagles Wings and more bad music and bad theology has become the ersatz Foie Gras forced down out of good Catholic throats for more than 50 years. To kick this music out and alienate these generations is just as bad as what was done back then.
    I agree. And that is why I will grit my teeth, and smile and try to play Eagles' Wings this weekend with as much love as Therese of Lisieux dealt with the sister in the community who had the knack of rubbing her the wrong way..
    (And then go to solemn Vespers at St John Cantius to drive the earworm out of my head and the devil out of my soul...)

    Save the Liturgy, Save the World!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 5,435
    I will strafe your house with F16s
    Bomb you into kingdom come
    Make you to shine like the sun
    And blow you into the flames beyond
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,707
    No, I disagree with so much of that. #1, it is my interpretation of Vatican 2 that the primary goal was the elimination of the Low Mass, in legislation and in practice. The ideal Mass of Vatican 2 would have seen chant have pride of place, much of it sung by the congregation, and excellence in music. And this fits into MY hermeneutic of continuity - "nothing changes" - we have Masses that are 45 minutes long with a few verses of 4 vernacular hymns. That's the Low Mass. The Low Mass needs to die for the sake of Catholicism. And that goes for the horrid idea of a Sunday Mass without music. Sacred music IS Catholicism. I don't see Noel saying "well, some people like modernist architecture, and some like imitation Baroque, so let's stick people in a white, plain box-room and celebrate Mass on a white table so no one is forced to tolerate architecture they don't like!" And I WOULD argue that modern interpretations of church design, done well, are equally valid to any other period - I would NOT say the same of modernist music vs. chant!! Apologizing for the slur against protestants, but that's exactly what you become when you try to separate "the part that matters" from the Tradition!

    And I suspect this and the chorus of "amens" is based on a feeling that OEW can't be gotten rid of. It can be - I've done it. It's really quite easy - you put the numbers of any other hymn on the board. You need to have a VERY thick skin, a little thicker than mine even. And you need a pastor with a spine - there are so few, God send us such men!! But, given a year without it or anything sounding close, people will lose hope. I hate to use metaphors of fighting in Churchly discussions, but that's what this is. Why are we so happy to give in on music? As I once said to a priest, if you were asked to shut up about Christ and just tell jokes at the sermon, would you? Why should we do the equivalent with our music?

    In a way, the pastor and seminarians were right to toss the statue in the river. To them the statue represented a harmful devotion and a thing incompatible with Catholicism. It needed to be removed. Their presumptions, that Marian devotion through art was harmful and statuary is incompatible with a 'new' Catholicism, were dead wrong. BUT why shouldn't we take steps to keep people from kissing the feet of secularism during the Mass? Yes, good and holy people DO find a strong devotion to Christ through trash music. And that is why we have to dump Joncas in the river - their spirituality is stuck in the 60s and we have something timeless to offer them.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 5,435
    I agree, Gavin. If musicians had not played this stuff to begin with, it would have died out quickly. I haven't done "On Eagles Wings" in 5 years. No one even asks for it anymore. When anyone did, I told them the text was great, but the music was better suited to the stage. The lady who does funerals for us will play it if the family requests it. In my parish, that song is now associated with "funeral music."
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Gavin,

    The Mass has nothing to do with music. And to think that you must have music at Mass is a very Vatican II thing. And it is wrong. There are rubrics for the rites, there are lists and lists of things that the kind of candles, the number of candles, the exact percentage of bees wax for certain candles, but there is ONLY one, sole and true instruction that talks about the presence of music AT the Mass.

    In the NO the Alleluia is OMITTED if not sung. The Mass, TLM or NO does not become invalid if there is no music. The Mass is not lessened by the absence of music. Even STTL says this when it calls for SILENCE. Beware of making too much music, be sure there is silence.

    And as far as the statue being a harmful devotion? That's up to God, not a bunch of inebriated seminarians.

    Women of piety approach a statue,,,,the Priest approaches the Altar, housing a relic. They all bow and offer a kiss.

    Let's do it the way of the Marine's....but in a kinder way: Once they have passed on to their reward, let's let God sort it out.

    During the past two years at SJN On Eagles Wings, Let There Be Peace on Earth and all suspect non-theological hymns have been not sung and all bad music hymns (dance beat, verses that differ in metre and choruses that differ in metre except for the singing of EYE HATH NOT HEARD twice have been banned and not done in any Mass in which I have planned the music.

    Hymns have been secretly changed behind my back for various reasons, but only from a select list that is acceptable.

    It is easy to be a seminarian, even the one who had no intent of ever being ordained and was hiding from the draft board and Vietnam, and know what is incompatible with Catholcism. Be a 60 year old lady whose husband died when she was 30 and who has worn black every day since and prayed for his soul at at 10,951 Masses since he died (she went to morning Mass before his funeral Mass) and who venerated the statue every time she passed it, praying to Mary for the forgiveness she is trying to feel for him, a man who broke commandments as if they were bread at the Sunday table, gambled their money away, and left her with nothing and the fear that he would rot in heell....

    Give her back her statue.
  • Blaise
    Posts: 339
    I've never played a solo instrument for Mass before (guitar/piano, and organ instructors outside of academia are scarce), but I have played my saxophone in an instrumental ensemble (really a comination between a quasi-praise band & a pseudo-concert band type arrangement, depending on what was played and who showed up for it), as well as sang in a drive-by "choir," where people showed up 1 hour before Mass so that they can sing the melody.

    However, if I ever did play the part of the soloist, I would play/sing OEW so badly that people would be screaming for better music.

    Get rid of the "Middle Mass." Either the music is worthy of being offered in God's royal temple or it is not. And if it is not, it is best to deal with a Low Mass than a bad one with music.

    Clip the feathers off those eagles----NOW. And make sure that they do not grow back. Preferably, drive a stake through the heart of it. I'm only 25 years old, and I'm already sick and tired of the drivel that passed for Catholic church music during my growing years.
  • Blaise
    Posts: 339
    Funeral music???!! That song should be given its own funeral, preferably outside of the Church's official liturgies. Better songs may include, "Thine be the Glory, risen..."

    If the funeral Mass is the official prayer of the Church for the repose of the deceased, then it stands to reason that the deceased are entitled to something better, even if they are no longer capable of expressing their wishes.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 5,435
    No doubt the deceased do deserve better. Since I don't do weddings or funerals, I never hear "On Eagles Wings." That's between the contract organists and the families.
  • Let us not burn the bodies of EAGLES WINGS on street corners. It is not our job to rip what little people have now away from them and force them to listen to chant. This has been tried over and over again in the Church and it has always failed to have the impact it should as is proven by the fact that EAGLES WINGS exists.

    Phase it out, sing it at Masses, sing Chant at other Masses...when your chant singing is attracting more people than the strumming of guitars, THEN you have truly succeeded. Otherwise we are going to end up with SpeakEasy Churches....and never elevate Chant.
    Thanked by 1Chris Allen
  • Perhaps doing away with the practice of singing hymns (or songs) at every Mass should be done away with. The infrequent use of hymns (some area great and very appropriate at certain times of the year) would sort the good from the bad pretty quickly. Set the propers and use them. Sing hymns on occasion when it's beneficial. The sooner we get rid of the slots, the sooner OEW will retire itself.

    Paul, sounds like this is the first you have heard of the "traditional" songs for Catholic funerals! OEW, Do Not be Afraid, Here I Am, and the best of the worst end up at funerals by default these days.
  • urli
    Posts: 35
    Maybe OEW (and the like) could be recognised for what it is: music suitable outside formal worship. There's not much constructive about rubbishing "Jesus Christ, You are my life" and its ilk as void of worth when it most definitely has a place. I'd rather a teenager wander down the street humming the latter (or even OEW!) than Ella Ella Ella E E E....
  • Letting this poor music be sung at prayer services is a solution....getting it away from Mass which people must attend.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,707
    I agree with urli completely. Promote OEW! Every church MUST sing it! But not during Mass!
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 187
    Parishes must teach the difference between "prayer services", a' la' Protestant, and the Holy Mass.
    AND must offer "prayer services" (for all the "wrong" reasons people go to Mass, such as):

    -to meet friends
    or
    -to hear the preacher who gives great homilies/speeches
    or
    -to hear "praise" music
    or
    -to feel good about themselves

    That way, people get their fix of all those things in a proper setting.
    Good Catechesis.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 4,960
    Would it be helpful to sing all the not-so-great stuff as devotional music before Mass?
  • How do you say, "we worship each other" before Mass, and then change hats to "we worship God" during Mass if you do that.

    But you have to have a firm belief that that crappy music and theology is about us, and the other, the sublime, the simple is about God.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • a1437053a1437053
    Posts: 187
    What are some established, or working definitions, to identify both "genres"?

    What makes "sacred music", sacred?
    What makes "we worship each other" music, not suitable for liturgy?

    Perhaps a compilation of articles would be appropriate?

    (In a related thought, a friend of mine reflected on the differences between liturgical, devotional, and private prayer. We agreed most music sung at our parish "youth Mass" clearly did not belong in the first category. We had a difficult time using technical words to explain our reasons. Yes, Jacqui, I'm talking about you.)


    UPDATE:
    http://musicasacra.com/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=507
  • Blaise
    Posts: 339
    Michael,

    I've heard of "Be Not Afraid" and "Here I Am Lord," plus "Our God is an Awesome God" being used for Catholic funerals---just not OEW.

    Of course, I haven't lived long enough to go to very many funerals, let alone Catholic ones. I prefer weddings---as long as they don't play "Bridal Chorus" aka "Here Comes the Bride".
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    "The Low Mass needs to die for the sake of Catholicism."

    I find this an unacceptable comment.

    As Catholics, we are called to die for the glorious, ineffable, holy, wonderful Mass.

    My happiest memories are Low Masses.

    Perhaps I misunderstood the intent of the comment.
  • The idea that music is part of the Mass is a very recent one, possibly tied to the very incorrect idea that the Mass is ours, that we own it, that idea was echoed by an Episcopal priest's recent note to the parish stating that he could not celebrate the episcopal eucharist by himself...
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 4,960
    Well, it goes back at least 105 years to Pope St. Pius X and Tra le sollecitudini:

    "Sacred music, being a complementary part of the solemn liturgy, participates in the general scope of the liturgy, which is the glory of God and the sanctification and edification of the faithful."
  • "Sacred music, being a complementary part of the solemn liturgy," does not mean:

    "Sacred music, being an intrinsic part of the solemn liturgy,"

    A guy goes into a bar. Sits down, bartender is way down at the other end of the bar, getting something. It's just him and the bartender. Place is empty. A small voice says. "Nice tie!". Guy looks around, nobody there. Then he hears, in the same small voice, "Nice haircut!" Looks around again, nobody there.

    Bartender approaches. Guy says, "Hey, do you hear somebody.?" Bartender: "Oh. It's the peanuts."

    "They're complimentary."

    Music is complementary to the Mass. Not an intrinsic part of it. The Low Mass is still the magnificent celebration when it is offered by a priest in a side chapel, all alone, as it is when offered by Benedict at St. Peter's.
  • If you have to sing "Here I Am Lord" at a funeral, shouldn't God already know you are There with Him? The protestant hymn, "His Eye is On the Sparrow" is so much more Catholic than Here I Am:

    Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
    Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
    When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

    Refrain

    I sing because I’m happy,
    I sing because I’m free,
    For His eye is on the sparrow,
    And I know He watches me.

    “Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
    And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
    Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

    Refrain

    Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
    When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
    I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
    His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

    Refrain

    Civilla Martin, 1905 Text now in Public Domain.


    This is more St. Augustine that St. Louis Jesuits...
  • I've heard of "Be Not Afraid" and "Here I Am Lord," plus "Our God is an Awesome God" being used for Catholic funerals---just not OEW.


    OEW gets played at many, many Catholic funerals. I myself contend that the text (which, except the refrain, is right out of Psalm 91) is more appropriate for Lent than for a funeral.

    I know of one local parish that just tells bereaved families what the music for the funeral is. I believe they accommodate the families’ requests if they are reasonable, but apparently most of the time they have enough else to worry about that they’re ok with not being asked to choose processional music for the funeral.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,119
    ISTM the whole argument about whether or not music is an intrinsic part of the Mass becomes moot once you get past this silly idea and come to understand that the single most appropriate "music" for the Mass, chant, is not music at all, but rather an ancient formulaic way of cantillating a text.

    Once you've done that, it naturally follows that the highest degree of participation by the congregation happens when they chant the dialogic responses to the priests. Now, in the EF are these responses necessary? No, and part of our theology teaches us that we're not the only ones in attendance at any Mass . . . we, rather, have the privilege of joining the angels and saints who forever sing of God's glory before the throne of grace. To think that the sound of our own voices is the sine qua non of God-glorifying liturgy is, to my mind, the height of pride.

    Low Masses certainly do have a place, and I think a return to them would do wonders in truly helping the faithful regain their Catholic identity.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 5,811
    i agree with david. music is 'joined' to the text of the mass. music is not indespensable, but it CAN, however, make it more beautiful if done properly. i would rather have no music than bad music at any liturgy.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 4,960
    Hymns not to be sung at a funeral:
    1. "Father, We Thank Thee Who Hast Planted"
    Thanked by 2jward E_A_Fulhorst
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,119
    chonak, go to your room.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • The Muslims have a similar attitude towards chant. To them it's not even considered music. OTOH any actual music that approaches the style of Koranic chant is considered the most elevated. We can learn something from them.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 5,435
    quoted by chonak:

    Hymns not to be sung at a funeral:
    1. "Father, We Thank Thee Who Hast Planted"

    I guess that means "Another One Bites the Dust" isn't appropriate, either. ;-)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 5,435
    chonak, did I mention "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes?"
  • lisam
    Posts: 3
    I found this blog by typing "Does the Catholic Church require 'On Eagle's Wings" at every funeral?" and from the sound of this threat, it seems that it does. Is this true? It's required? or is it just what the priest suggests and grieving families do what he says? What's wrong with Schubert or Bach-Gounod's "Ave Maria"? Does anyone genuinely like Eagle's Wings? Did money change hands at some point? Did the guy blackmail the church? I sing at funerals all the time, and, unlike at weddings, where everyone wants to be original, people cling to what they know, what their grandparents and their grandparents sang when someone dies. Those songs are in our very cells.
  • lisam
    Posts: 3
    Ha! I wrote "threat"! Freudian slip.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • WendiWendi
    Posts: 616
    I'ts not required, that was posted "tongue in cheek" I'm sure.

    It's my opinion that songs like OEW are the spiritual equivalent of Ice Cream, ie...comfort food that isn't very healthy for you.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 5,811
    my comfort food is a scotch... spiritual equivalent to the Requiem Mass and chanted in Latin.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • lisam
    Posts: 3
    Hey - well, if people really do like it, then I'm okay with it. I just thought it was something that was foisted on them - maybe not required, but strongly suggested. It's not the worst song ever written. It's just the melody that sounds sort of contrived. I always felt that way about "The Lord's Prayer." Thanks for the clarification. Now I'll go back to planning my own funeral service...
  • Back in 2008 it seemed prudent to not rip away all the poorly written words and music in use then, as it was done in the 1970's.

    But, it's time now. Only bald eagles are protected. This emotional, heartstrings touching music belongs at prayer service, which Catholic won't go to, even to sing their beloved songs, so it's a polite way of killing them.
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • Lor's Prayer by Malotte is also not acceptable in most churches for the reasons you cite, because it takes away prayer that is part of the congregation's part....
  • I thank God every day that I do not have to musically and liturgically prostitute myself in my current job by singing OEW and presenting that to Him during Mass. Many good musicians can't get around it, because of (arguably) pastoral reasons.

    I concur with the folks saying it's suitable for religious and devotional music. Go for it! Just keep it out of masses that people are obligated to attend.

    Charles and Chonak... My husband thinks it's funny to hum 'Return to Sender' as I leave to sing or direct a requiem. Sad to say, I still chuckle at it after all these years.

    Thanked by 1Chris Allen
  • Cantate
    Posts: 33
    I played for a funeral where the singer was a convert in her late 20s. She had only been a member of my parish. The music requested was On Eagle's Wings and Be Not Afraid...music that I only allow to make appearances at funerals. She had never heard of them or sang them before. Part of me felt bad for just assuming she'd know it and not giving her sufficient time to practice....another part of me exploded with deep-rooted jealousy....
    Thanked by 3Kathy Wendi tomboysuze
  • Kathy
    Posts: 3,522
    I once called someone a prostitute who wasn't a prostitute. My excuse was that I was a little kid who didn't know what the word meant, just (from the Gospels) that it was shokingly insulting.
    Thanked by 1Spriggo
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 723
    I like to explore my friends' suggestions, Noel. Where will I find this chant? I can't see it anywhere in the Liber or the GR. Is it in the next version of the Parish Book of Chant? Is it proper to the Feast of St. John the Apostle? Or perhaps to a local feast? :-)
  • Contrary to Frogman's statement of October 2008 [which I've just read] no religion of any significance in any culture in world history has operated effectively without music. In fact music in some cases, singing let us suggest, is more important than speaking. One can, of course, cite the Quakers, but that is essentially an American religious group and is generally singular in recognized religious observances in Christianity.

    I think, if you look at the Bible itself for this, since we are within a Christian context here, we shall find King David writing at the behest of the Holy Spirit just how the Lord would have music set up as part of His worship. We note here I Chronicles 15:16-24 and, later, I Chronicles 25, all of it, in which David goes into considerable detail about music in the worship of the Godhead and who should be in charge of it: Levi and his sons. . . . .because they knew and understood it. St. Matthew even indicates in Matthew 26:30 that Jesus and the apostles sang a hymn [probably one of the Psalms] before going up to the Mount of Olives.

    Low Mass is equivalent to the early Christians in the sense that everything can be done quickly. In the catacombs time was essential. This is long since no longer the case, though a large parish could afford a Low Mass, say at 7:30 a.m.. We do not have that sense of fear in the USA [not yet anyway] of worshiping God in the more elaborate manner which has been a part of our history for centuries. So we have the choir, we have the organ, we have brass and other orchestral instruments on special occasions. As was pointed out some time ago, Vatican II supported all of this; it was never negated and chant was given pride of place.

    St. Paul has given us to understand that the Church was to be a refuge from the world, that entering a Church permits the individual to get away from the secular. Following Vatican II we had those whose understanding of Christianity was somewhat limited. They chose to bring the secular into the Church and thereby transform the Church into a secular institution, not to keep it as the bride of Christ. Simultaneously, we have colleges and universities preaching a similar secular doctrine so that we have a generation of people [who generally did not think for themselves anyway] bent out of shape here with respect to what Christianity was all about. To them life was an instant gratification of the nerve ends and the Church must fit into that philosophy.

    Of all the arts music is by far the most powerful and influential, emotionally and intellectually, and affects more of the brain and general bodily functions than anything else even remotely equivalent. The Church has known that from the outset which is why the big fights between sacred and secular music which began to get serious in the 15th and 16th centuries. The dichotomy has become more pronounced with the passage of time.

    For those who prefer cocktail lounge music in the Church, "Eagle Beak" is probably fine. But, then, their religious foundation could be called into question. Along with that is "Here I Am, Lord" better titled "Where Am I, Lord?", since that falls into the same religious confusion. Music has a spirit and music has motive all of which is knowable. To the thinking Christian [or any thinking person for that matter] the spirit and motive of any given piece of music is usually obvious in rather immediate terms. When we say "contemporary" music or composers, we should be speaking of composers of music intended for the elevation of Christian worship, e.g. Vaughn Williams, Howells, Ireland et al in the English tradition or Distler, Brahms, Schroeder, Rheinberger et al in the German tradition or Berger and Sowerby et al in the American tradition. That's aside from plainchant which needs no argument.

    Our bench fees are $200.00, more if there is extensive consultations for weddings. That's only fair. Who makes an appointment with a medical doctor and 1] expects to receive a diagnosis for free or 2] fails to keep the appointment and doesn't expect to be charged for it?
  • hilluminar
    Posts: 58
    I agree with Gavin above about the elimination of the Low Mass. Beginning with Our Lord Himself at the Last Supper, the norm in the Church has always been the High (sung) Mass.

    "There was a night foretold by Israel's great prophet (Isaiah), when the Lord Messiah would come and sing the Passover service. In the original Hebrew it is: 'You shall have a song as in the night of the solemn Festival, and joy of heart as when one goeth with a pipe, to come into the mountain of the Lord (Sion), to the Mighty One of Israel (Christ). And the Lord shall make His glorious (hod, 'beautiful') voice (gol, 'sound') to be heard'...Numberless proofs force us to believe that the Last Supper was a pontifical High Mass sung by the Lord, His apostles and the people taking part in congregational singing." (Fr. James Meagher in "How Christ said the First Mass, 1906, p. 356)

    For many centuries there were no Low Masses. Only sung Masses. In all of the Eastern rites (all 22 of them), this is still the case. The Low Mass is an abnormality that would be unthinkable to the early Christians, as well as the Christians of the East today. We should always strive for the High Mass in the Roman rite as well.

    "The whole Mass itself is its own gigantic hymn, and it is only by indult that it is said at all instead of being sung." (Fr. George William Rutler in "Brightest and Best: Stories of Hymns", 1998, p.12)
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 746
    "Who makes an appointment with a medical doctor and ... expects to receive a diagnosis for free ..."

    -a Canadian?
  • E_A_FulhorstE_A_Fulhorst
    Posts: 381
    As much as I personally admire and appreciate the Low Mass --- probably because it's the only Mass where I don't have to be singing! --- reinstitution of the Low Mass appears to flesh in no way with the documents of Vatican II. Heremeneutic of continuity does not mean baptizing the pre-Vatican II liturgical abuses, even if a traditional priest here or there would insist the Rosary is an appropriate devotion during Mass.

    However, this is not the nut of Mr. Jones' idea. Merely he makes the case for varied musical settings across varied Masses. This seems solid. Give the first place to Latin and chant and sacred polyphony --- a nice, juicy 10.30 slot, say --- and fill in the rest of the slots with varying degrees of schlock.

    This idea of varied musical settings has several distinct advantages. As a reform of the reform, this suggestion is

    1. Concrete,
    2. Practical,
    3. Incremental, and
    4. Effective (Potentially.)

    A real worry would be making this obvious bit of parish politicizing not look like parish politics, complete with retaliations and full-blown power struggles. The best course would be that it not be parish power politics, but on that Your Mileage May Vary.
  • This idea was firmly trounced by the organist at my parish as she would not learn and play different music for masses to make this possible. And the cantors hated it too.
  • benedictgal
    Posts: 753
    Might I add that we should also add "Pescador de Hombres" to the bonfire of liturgical vanities. It is to the Spanish-langauge liturgy what "Eagles Wings" is to the English language Mass. Both are totally reprehensible.