Quote from Paul Inwood: "Chant was never honored by Church until the 19th century."
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  • David

    please repost (unless that is not possible)
  • Yes, David, please repost.
  • It's gone, and maybe for the better.
  • If you remember it and can digest the salient points, I'd be curious to know what others (besides don roy) took away from my comments.

    Otherwise, I'm sorry but it's lost in the ether.
  • David, you are as entitled to post your thoughts as anyone else who posts here.
  • David Andrew, Like you,I am in mourning for my country today. So depressing.
    But I thought you were simply making a rather valid comparison.
  • david and others
    I am truly sorry that anything i posted has led you to indicate you are not "musica sacra" material. That was not my intent and in fact the political statement was an aside to a post that i thought was entirely reasonable. I should have said that earlier.
    There is a strong human need to belong. I feel that need here and understand the pain of not being accepted and the joy of being accepted here.
    The political atmoshere this day and age is poison. Regardless of what side of the health care debate you are on, we can all agree that the vitrol is horrible. I come to this site to get away from that , to get away from thje very real frustrations of modern life and to commiserate on a subject that is dear to my heart and soul. I quit contributing to the nlm because of the underlying social and political conservatism inherit in much of what is said there.
    this really does beg the question concerning the new liturgical atmosphere. Do moderates like myself have a place here or is the restoration of the sacred only the perview of conservatives?
    I beg everyone to please keep this blog focused on what is clearly important to us all...namely the restoration of sacred music in Catholic worship. The subject is too valuable to be innocently hijacked by well meaning but misplaced political commentary at a time when the sacred is gaining acceptance among mainstram Catholics.
    David, I ask you to not give up but to continue to contribute your valuable comments with regards towards sacred music, comments that I have enjoyed in the past. Your pol;itical views however, and those of everyone here, I have absolutely no interest in.
  • Everyone here has very valuable things to offer. We all agree to disagree at times, but I would never want to see anyone leave. Especially DA! It is just as impossible to separate religion from politics as it is to separate the intellect from the heart. That is why politics have run amuck. In fact any gift of God that is separated from God runs amuck. Think about it.
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  • David Andrew, there's nothing there I could argue with. Some of these NPM composers seem to bewail the fate of the Church all the way to the bank. I'm certain the publishers do.
  • david
    I agree totally with your critique of inwood and you raise some points im gonna think about. I am sincerely glad you re-instated your post.
    I continue to respectfully disagree with your view on stupack, but my original posting to you was rude and so let me apologize. I hope this disagreement that I obviously have with most of you (and will continue to have) does not alienate me from the very people I have grown to have deep respect for.
  • David, I believe your analogy between Stupak and Inwood is so very accurate (I don't dare say more), and you have addressed very clearly and succinctly the concerns and issues being addressed here. More often than not, truth is painful but it can also be healing if we let it be.
  • I think it would be better to keep politics off the board as much as possible. Talking about liturgical music already puts us at defcon 3, with a difficulty factor of 9.8. Keeping our heads in the game is an endurance test worthy of a Navy Seal.

    I don't mean that politics should be banned or anything. Just that it's not always going to be helpful.
  • I'd like to point out the Forum Etiquette Guidelines, which provide an outline for how we should discuss matters such as these. In particular, this rule:

    5. Do Not Defame
    Members may not level insinuations of heresy, bad faith, or criminality against members; members should also avoid such inflammatory language against non-members.

    Note that this is extended to non-members as well. These categories are somewhat broad, and rather than use this as a club against other members, I ask those who have posted on Paul Inwood, Marty Haugen, David Haas, or whomever: Have you done this? No, I'm NOT asking is it true, because the rule does not stipulate that you may not lie, only that you cannot accuse or insinuate. So have you done this? If so, I suggest for the sake of a civil and welcoming board (I think of no reason Mr. Inwood would wish to join us after reading this thread), you should consider a retraction or deletion of your comments.

    And no, it doesn't matter if every word you say is true (and I offer no public judgment on whether it is or not), it's simply bad etiquette to make that argument. We all have colleagues near us; if you have to rant, go to a bar, have some beers, bring a picture of your least favorite composers, and play darts. But, if for no other reason than to maintain our high levels of scholarship here, it is our duty to avoid the kind of boring sniping at our favorite enemies that would turn this into a bland partisan rant-fest. All it takes is some consideration of the guidelines and some self-moderation.
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  • Again, Gavin, the great value of the internet is that it adds real accountability to people's public statements.

    Now, whether everyone wants that accountability...THAT's another question!

    If I state publicly that, "Yesterday, I invented polyphony in my backyard," within seconds someone in Africa can be reading a critique of my stupid comment.

    I may not like this. Therefore, I should not have said it publicly.
  • Well, I've just read the etiquette post, and I'm guilty of violating pretty much every policy of the board.

    I should have stuck to my original plan and not reposted my viewpoint regarding Mr. Inwood, his work and his actions.

    Once again, I've pulled it down, and please do not ask me to repost it. I'll remain an observer of this forum, but not a contributor. It's not worth the agony, and since just about anything I've written here on one thread or another could be considered or construed as a violation of the board standards as interpreted by some, I'll not subject myself or others to the brutality of it, nor run the risk of being humiliated by being officially banned.

    Meanwhile, people have come to know my opinions about various issues and topics of the board, they are strong, and the language I use to express those opinions is often fueled by colorful adjectival descriptors that apparently offend the sensibilities of folk like Gavin, don roy, Kathy and others.

    It is truly sad that we've gotten to the point in our culture and society where hyper-sensitivity and political correctness have all but shut down all forms of discussion. This, of course, has been the goal of progressivists all along. They want to ensure that the ugly truths about what they're up to are hidden behind a heavy curtain of "tolerant" language that is actually designed to keep that truth from ever seeing the light of day.
  • I agree that it is bad to throw accusations of heresy around willy-nilly. It would be stupid for me to come here and be like, "all papists are heretics!!!!1!!one!!" even if the Orthodox do consider papal infallibility a heresy. This is a Catholic board: I ought to expect Catholics to believe what the Catholic church teaches, and not run into their churches and their forums yelling at them for that.

    BUT. What if someone came on this board and was like, "Jesus was not God! That's why I write such-and-such liturgical music. You Catholics ought to get with the Arian times and use these things." Is it not appropriate to be like, "Arianism is a heresy" ?

    Like, where DO you draw the lines between etiquette and watering down your faith?
  • David Andrew -

    Please take what I say not as an insult, but in the truthful charity that it is intended: You are being a bit overdramatic. You are not going to be banned; you are not deeply offending anyone (I venture to guess); No one wants you to refrain from contributing. Gavin was just issuing a broad and general reminder. That's all.

    This forum is and continues to be one of the most civil on the internet that I have ever encountered, your postings included.
  • Believe it or not, I'm still in the process of forming my opinion. I plan to post something here - more carefully thought out and written than usual. But I need more background info.

    Here is a short bio on Paul Inwood: http://www.wlp.jspaluch.com/340.htm

    He was born in 1947, I was born in 1951. This should mean that both of us had similar experiences with the Mass while we were growing up. But this bio mentions his "experience and skills since 1963". That is clearly on the cusp of the Vat II changes. I really need to know what his familial and parochial background was to help form my opinion.
  • Steve, you'll find more at http://www.magnificatmusic.com/inwood_5.htm

    I am less than a month older than Paul Inwood and live my first five years in Ludlow, MA; but, like you I suspect, had remarkably similar Catholic upbringings.

  • Gavin, well said. I love what C. S. Lewis says about reverence for neighbor (in the last paragraph of his sermon, "The Weight of Glory"):
    It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbour. The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbour’s glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken. It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations — these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit — immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously — no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner — no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat — the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.
  • I'm not so interested in Inwood's bio as I am in the cultural trend that he is a part of. I do think there is a big difference between people who lived through Vatican II and those of my generation, who were born and raised in the decades following the Council. To me, 9th century chant, 16th century polyphony, and 1960's folk music are all "old" music from well before I was born. And much of the music from the 80's sounds dated and old-fashioned, or else it was a childish thing to be put away as I got older. In this case "all other things being equal" I can choose among them based on 1) the Church's instruction 2) the ability of the congregation and choir and 3) the work's musical quality. Old or new, like or dislike never really enter the picture.

    I think the older generation understandably sees the reformed liturgy as a change, as something new. Just the other day I had to sit through a meeting where the liturgist presenter (an OCP songwriter) rattled off a list of "before Vatican II we only did x" and "since Vatican II we now do y" (and, probably half of those things were not true). This group seems to be in complete denial that by restoring the EF to widespread use, B16 has effectively said that there is nothing about the pre-Vatican II Mass that is necessarily inconsistent with the Church's most current instruction on the liturgy. In that way the EF can be a model for what COULD be accomplished within the structure of the OF. This is the very essence of modern thinking. The Church continues to change with the times and move forward, not back in time to 1968.
  • incantu: well said.

    Reminds of when Dr. Mahrt pointed out, "Pop music is the music of a generation, or of a certain portion of the population."

    How right you are, incantu, about how dated the 80's stuff sounds to my generation! (I was born in late 1981.)

    . . . turns out the Church knows what She's talking about!! (slaps forehead)
  • What incantu said!
  • Paul, that makes him very much like Christ - we know when he was born, and what he did after college. I would like to know more about his real "formation". College, even high school, is not where we are/were formed liturgically speaking.
  • Isn't it funny, Jeff, when people in their 60's call us "old fashioned"? I don't know about you, but I actually directed an eight piece "contemporary ensemble" when I was first starting out as a music director. Then I went through a phase where I tried to "balance" popular style songs with classical hymnody, but still ignored chant and polyphony at the expense of singing the propers. It's only since I started studying the Church's instruction on music, and devoting myself to learning the sacred repertoire that I have discovered the error of my earlier ways. For me to go back to either the "four hymn sandwich" or the "blended liturgy" would be old fashioned for me.

    On that point, can anyone really say they "choose" option 4 if they don't read chant notation, or haven't sung a chant Mass? Can anyone "choose" to play the piano exclusively at Mass if they can't play the organ? I'm still not very good at the latter, but when I play it -- it's a choice based on what I have learned about sacred music and the Church's instruction on the liturgy.

    Going back to the OT, I'm not sure how much experience Inwood haas with chant. Maybe quite a bit! What I do know is the more I sing the chant, the more I find diversity of style from a syllabic chant hymn to a melismatic antiphon, from an Offertory chant to a Communion antiphon, from a Tract to an Easter season Alleluia, from a simple Marian antiphon to the solemn tone... Now I know the PIP's don't necessarily experience that as a diversity of style, but then again... if they don't, it's probably not because we're doing too much chant.
  • Incantu, I was born in the mid-Sixties and heard "Folk Mass" through high school. I thought it was funny, actually, because it was so obviously disjunct with the beautifully mysterious chanted melodies that our pastor sang and the fine chorale-like hymns we sang in harmony.

    One of the assistant priests who was a fan of the folk-pop 'ritual song' music was quickly moved away from our parish because he was found to be touching altar boys inappropriately.

    So when I hear folk and pop now, it takes me down memory lane to the Seventies, when folk ensembles made their simplistic and disjunct noises and young priests were getting in trouble for taking egregious, destructive liberties.

    So for me, the liturgical associations of folk and pop are 100% negative.

    I never heard Palestrina until I sang in a fine Lutheran choir in my late twenties.

    That was the sound of holiness, excellence, and it demanded a great deal from us.

    For our generation, the cultural game board is completely different. I hope some of our readers understand that.
  • Steve Collins humorously remarked:
    Paul, that makes him very much like Christ - we know when he was born, and what he did after college. I would like to know more about his real "formation". College, even high school, is not where we are/were formed liturgically speaking.

    Some of us WERE liturgically formed as teenagers. Like me, Paul Inwood was educated at a Jesuit College Preparatory (secondary school; mine was a minor seminary run by Jesuits). Actually I was deeply formed by singing in the men's schola as a boy, singing weekly at the cathedral in the seminary schola under the direction of conservatory trained Dmitri Kostiw and accompanied by Donald Cobleigh, student of Jean Langlais. I learned chant from a Jesuit, Donald St. Sure.

    Similarly at Wimbledon College Paul Inwood got a solid grounding in theology, in classical languages, in English, and in French. He was a junior organist at the Jesuit Church, Farm Street, in London, "apprenticing" to Fernand Laloux and Nicholas Danby, while he studied at the Royal Academy of Music. I haver already boasted of Paul's extraordinary to accompany chant at sight and to improvise.

    He was hired at Geoffrey Chapman Publishers in London in the mid-1960's and edited the first edition of the Lectionary and Sacramentary, as well as many portions of the Roman Pontifical. His first compositions were published in the Simple Gradual for Sundays and Holy Days (Chapman, 1970), in the typesetting of which he assisted the editor, John Ainslie. He worked so well and closely with Lawrence Bevenot, A. Gregory Murray, and Alan Rees that he was invited to join the Panel of Monastic Musicians, of which he is still an active member. He was invited to join Universa Laus by Joseph Gelineau, S.J., and served on its praesidium for ten years (he is still an active member)

    Inwood began doing music with Canon Harold Winstone at the St Thomas More Parish in North London which became the St Thomas More Centre for Pastoral Liturgy. While he was there, he founded what became the St Thomas More Group of composers. He is a former editor of the Society of St Gregory journal Music and Liturgy (1974-1981), and was secretary of the Church Music Association in the last years (1973-1975) before its re-amalgamation with the Society of St Gregory. From 1981 to 1986 he was organist at Clifton Cathedral, Bristol, and from 1986 to 1991 he was diocesan director of music for the diocese of Arundel and Brighton. In 1991 he was hired by my seminary.
  • I grew up in the 60s, and remember when I encountered the folk masses. When I saw the vested priest process to "Michael Rowed the Boat Ashore" - a song about as Catholic as my sister's cat - it was one of those, "what's wrong with this picture" moments. There was plenty wrong with the picture and it was evident our leaders had truly lost their minds. Incidentally, I detest both the song and my sister's cat.
  • Paul, I had no idea you were a "protege" of Dimitri, though my pastor mentioned your being in seminary with him. Wow, less than six degrees of separation. Did you sing at Sts. John Cathedral in Fresno? I believe he was my predecessor, once removed, when I arrived there in '87. Was Mssr. Cobleigh instrumental in the integration of the "Langlais" organ to the instrument at the cathedral?
    I'm sure you must've sung at St. Anne's Chapel at Ryan, the most hallowed acoustic for chant and polyphony in the region. Dimitri has labored on....I haven't kept up with his activities; last I knew he was at St. Anthony Padua. One of the unsung heroes in turbulent times.
  • Thank you, Paul Ford, for just about exactly the information I was looking for. I am now seeing aspects between us that are both similar and dissimilar. It will be a while before if post what I am thinking.
  • To get back to Paul Inwood's commentary, I appreciate his concern about the diversity of musical preferences among the faithful.

    Here's his thinking on how to deal with this diversity. (Let's assume for the sake of discussion that all the styles under consideration are legitimate.)

    I believe it is pastorally inexcusable to say to such people “You only like style X, but we’ll only be having it once every three weeks; so for the remaining two weeks your Mass will be comparatively unfulfilling. Get used to it.”

    Inwood rejects this idea, but I think there is something to say in its favor. Giving people some sort of musical unity in the Mass is a good thing. The first alternative he suggests is to chop up the Mass sequentially:

    We need to find ways of incorporating Styles X, Y and Z into the same celebration, so that all have at least something they can identify with as feeding their spirituality in every Mass. [...]
    I don’t think you can just have a random mélange of styles, however; it needs to be more systematic. The introductory rites in Style A, Liturgy of the Word in Style B, Liturgy of the Eucharist in Style C, Communion and concluding rites in Style D is an obvious way of using this pastoral exigency to help point out the structure of the rite.

    I don't think people with strong preferences about music would find this sort of arrangement satisfying: 75% annoying music every week is not much better subjectively than 100%. "Taking turns" among the styles in this manner would give people the unpleasant experience of shifting to a "good" style and then away to a "bad" style a few minutes later. Why do that to people? Putting the Mozart Ave Verum into a Life Teen Mass would come across as a token gesture, an attempt to appeal to the personal tastes of a subgroup rather than to present what is most beautiful and appropriate before God. It would lack a sense of wholeness, or in a word, integrity. It's better to have 100% unappealing music for two weeks, and then one week of wholeness and beauty. People would actually look forward to it.

    His next suggestion is not all bad:

    Acclamations in Style X, Litany-forms in Style Y, Antiphons and Psalms in Style Z could be another. Perhaps varying the system each week would work well.

    Many of the music directors on this forum probably do something like this: perhaps English hymns for the processions at the beginning and end of Mass, and at the offertory; four-part choral music for the principal parts of the Mass ordinary; vernacular chant for the psalm, etc. Still, there needs to be some modesty about not subdividing the Mass too much into components. Varying the system each week, though, would not be an aid to learning.
  • Isn't it funny, Jeff, when people in their 60's call us "old fashioned"?

    Incantu, you're so right!

    It is rather incongruous . . . when you get 'older generation' folks who have so much invested in the so-called 'hootenanny Mass' saying, "Come on! Keep up with the times! You need to get with the program! Church music needs to be dumbed down to reach the young people!"

    "It's not my fault!" I could easily respond. "Elvis died 19 years before I entered high school !!"

    And, of course, you can always take the "cerebral approach": go through the Church documents, talk about the tremendous & stunning Catholic treasury of Sacred music that goes back so many centuries, and/or explain to them, "Just because something's old, doesn't mean it's bad. For example: Consider the Bible!"

    But the approach with which I've had much more success leaves all the cerebral stuff aside.

    What I like to do is get some fantastic kid (8 or 9 years old is wonderful) and have them be cantor for Mass IV . . . or Mass IX . . . or Mass XI.

    I remember we did that once on Holy Thursday a few years back in a 'typical' (for lack of a better word) parish setting ... this wonderful, pleasant, friendly little 7-year-old acting as the Cantor, leading Mass IV . . . . there was simply nothing more to be said after that.

    "You need to dumb things down for the young!" doesn't fly when you have a 7-year-old leading ancient, beautiful, powerful Gregorian chants.

    I'm willing to bet that most of the folks on this forum would agree with the following statement: NOBODY learns chant as easily as our young people do.
  • Steve, you tantalize me. If you need a few more dots to connect, let me know.

    Charles, yes, I am a proud protege of Dimitri's! I sang for six years at the cathedral. Cobleigh had nothing to do with the destruction of the Willinger/"Langlais" organ at Saint Anne's. That idea was Bishop Mahony's. The wreckage has been carefully preserved in a warehouse in Fresno.

    Dimitri and I are part of a group raising $450K to finish the Willinger organ and restore it to Saint Anne's. Our goal of a Veterans Day 2010 rededication concert, under Dimitri's direction, was set back by the economic downturn. If you are interested in details, let me know.

    I dedicated By Flowing Waters to Dimitri and to Father St. Sure.

  • But what about having different types of music at each Mass? Here we have traditional music with choir at 10:30. 9am is contemporary c***. Noon- Spanish with whatever musical forces they can muster. Vigil on Sat and 7:30 am Mass is cantor and organ only. The 10:30 congregation would not sit still for a minute for the 'music' the 9am 'band' provides. We tried combining forces a couple of years for Triduum, but just does not work.

  • Well, what is the ideal for Sunday Masses? Isn't the ideal to only have 500 or so parishioners per priest, so that everyone can all go to the same Sunday Mass at the same time? Or even if y'all had the priests for it, would it be too late because now people are used to Mass-on-demand (whenever they need it) rather than dedicating a specific slice of Sunday morning?

    Also that's where arguments concerning the quality of music, church tradition, and what the Catholic church wants comes in. The Mass is not about people's personal preferences or even "feeling fulfilling" to certain people. It's about what is truly fulfilling to human nature and in the tradition of the church. No?
  • Jam, in my neck of the woods, there are sometimes 2 anticipatory Masses on Saturdays to meet the demand. All the Masses on Sunday are full and there are no more parking spots. The number of Masses is due to the large number of Catholics. Fortunately we are keeping up with priests here. It would, however, be nice to have a few more, but our seminary seems to be keeping pace so far. We generally have 2-3 guys graduating each year.
  • The key question - do we know a thing by comparing it to an ideal, or do we know by comparing it to as many particulars as possible?

    Inwood belongs to the school that knows about the Church by examining as many historical particulars as possible. This applies to every aspect - liturgy, music, doctrine, devotions, etc. This is the most common academic approach. It assumes a dichotomy between the 'institutional church' or 'official church' and way the majority of particular parts of the church have actually behaved. This is the 'pastoral church'. This is fine as a way to understand the historical surface level, but should not extend to the point Inwood (and many others) take it - where the ideal is discarded in favor of the particular. Thus church doctrine is not what the church teaches; it is what the majority of Catholics appear to have believed at any point in time and space. As applied to church music, this school of thought produces Inwood's comments. His whole argument proceeds from a flawed ecclesiology.
    The bottom line - it is irrelevant whether most catholics have followed the Church's ideal of chant and polyphony at a certain period of time. The ideal remains the same, and is there to guide us as faithful Catholics (all of the above is a Catholic perspective). In the modern situation, is liturgical music the junk practiced almost everywhere, or the ideal given by the church, which we can hardly ever experience? Inwood is clear where he stands. He assumes that there is no Spirit guiding the church and speaking through her. Thus any historical emphasis on any particular music is the product of merely political machinations. Or, in the case of chant, a misplaced romantic antiquarianism.
    According to Inwood and many others, we can create our own 'church pastoral' simply by ignoring the official teachings and declarations of the church. We simply substitute whatever we please, and call it the 'reality of Catholic practice' in contrast to the institutional church. We lend this a quasi-intellectual sheen by simply reading all church history through the marxist lens of power struggle between 'church official' and 'church pastoral'.
    Or, we could examine each deformed particular in each parish or historical time, in relation to the ideal proposed by the church. Hmmm..no doubt Inwood is a paragon of all human virtue; but I'll take the Church before his pastoral creation any day
  • Jam
    There is no way we could fit everyone into one or two Masses per Sunday. Except for the earliest, they are packed, and now Father is considering adding another Spanish mass on Sunday afternoon.
  • I'm not saying that you can fit people into the same Mass on Sundays. I'm asking if that is the ideal. Right now there are a LOT of Catholics, yet too few priests and church buildings. But if there were an entire parish and priest for every ~500 Catholics (so you'd have dozens of parishes close to each other), wouldn't that be ideal? And in that case, wouldn't the music have to be the same for everyone?

    I think the ideal of the Church, even putting that previous point aside, is that the music be the same for everyone; that is, that the music be the music of the Church: chant and polyphony. Like kirchenmusik said, I think the Church would rather we compare ourselves to the ideal rather than to what everyone else is doing...
  • Jam, I don't recall any RC document suggesting this as an ideal.
  • I guess I must just be extrapolating the Eastern Orthodox ideal onto you guys then. and I'd almost forgotten y'all's dependence on documents and official paperwork to determine what the ideal is.

    But isn't the second ideal true: that the music ought to be the same for everyone, that is the music of the church? I don't mean everyone has to use the exact same stuff: the corsicans have their chant, the cistercians theirs, the solesmes people theirs... and there are tones of styles of polyphony too. But I don't think most of the alternative styles offered in certain Masses is ideal at all.
  • Perhaps you've forgotten y'alls tendency to criticize Catholics for not being like the Orthodox...
  • On that point, can anyone really say they "choose" option 4 if they don't read chant notation, or haven't sung a chant Mass? Can anyone "choose" to play the piano exclusively at Mass if they can't play the organ? I'm still not very good at the latter, but when I play it -- it's a choice based on what I have learned about sacred music and the Church's instruction on the liturgy.

    Just to take us off-topic for one second: I think incantu's sentiment in italics is key. Whatever your preference in church music, familiarity with all is important. My mentor in graduate school is one of the finest organ improvisateurs this country has ever produced; he can also do hilarious (and competent!) jazz send-offs. George Shearing remarked on his skill at this. My mentor was familiar with all these styles, but did he try to blend everything? No. In fact, he was wary of blending much Renaissance polyphony with a contrasting Romantic-era choral piece. It seems like minutiae to us in our everyday setting (especially if we are on the "OCP diet"), but to him it was very, very important. To me, to be able to do one's (musical) job as a church musician well, one must 1) be expert in choral training and their "applied instrument"; 2) have a firm knowledge of the styles traditional to the Catholic liturgy; 3) a working knowledge of all "contemporary" styles for reference (i.e., pop, rock, etc.); 4) the familiarity with the liturgical documents to see one's best options; 5) the "good taste" to make the proper decisions, musically speaking.

    I know it's risky getting into "culture" and "good taste", but it isn't unheard of (Newman in many of his writings, etc.) In looking at Inwood's work, there are some pieces I use at my place ("Center of my Life", for example) because they are good "bridge" pieces between different factions and use a psalm text. However, every time I use a piece like that, I have to ask myself, "Is this lasting? Is this my best option?" I don't seek to make a judgment on the entire corpus of work of Inwood, but I would say we all have to be careful of a steady diet of "utility music". Some of it is unavoidable due to the changes in the Ordinary Form vs. what was before, but we have to ask if the music we are trying to use will be fresh (or at least not stale!) a few generations from now. This applies to Paul Inwood or C.H.H. Parry or anyone else composing "church music". I agree with Inwood that much of the Caecilian stuff was junk, at least aesthetically speaking.

    Here, though, is where I break with Inwood: I believe that the "chant revival" of Solesmes was an authentic renewal, not some sort of restoration nor a case of Catholic liturgical music changing from 'pioneering' to 'preserving'. This "one among equals" approach to the chant (which I sensed, to my dismay, in Fr. Ruff's otherwise excellent book on liturgical reform) is very disturbing to me. At first glance, it always strikes me as a distrust of what is handed to us by the Church through the ages as well as a misguided archaeologism. As was stated above, I similarly worry that it is a case of us trying to fit the information in front of us into whichever tidy ideological box suits us best. To do that is truly a lack of charity, both to our peers and those who have gone before.
  • The Church does have an ideal about the number of Masses in a parish: namely, one per priest per day. It's not ideal for priests to be celebrating Mass even twice in a day, although the law permits it. As many of us probably know first-hand, many priests routinely celebrate three or more Masses on Sunday in order to meet the need, and bishops grant them the necessary permission. But this is far from the ideal.
  • How many parishes really need as many Sunday Masses as they offer? We offer 6, but we probably only need 2 or 3 (except for special events). The other Masses are offered for the sake of convenience and for musical variety. This is done in the interest of serving the community. But are we really serving the community by dividing them? And are we really helping people to participate consciously if we are tacitly teaching them that the Mass is all about personal taste?
  • Right, Incantu! You said it better than I could. That's what I was getting at.
  • Oh, it hardly matters. Catholic parishes aren't anything like Orthodox churches in this way. We can have Mass all day, on any altar we like, with big groups or small groups.

    Offer one Sunday Mass pro populo--that's as regulated as we want to be about it.

    Daily Mass, several daily Masses, no problem. We really don't worry about "dividing the community." Not a concern. At all.