Your thoughts please regarding particular and "ethnic" liturgies
  • MC, the difference lies in context. The Masses for the poor of your country offer the best mystical experience that is possible to give them, right? In a wealthy area of any country, when the lower forms of speech and music are offered, I believe it is an affront to God. The usual argument states that "God wants you at the Mass and doesn't really care about the externals." Well, the externals are our human way of showing that something is important to us. Singing ditties and letting people wear jeans, when they have much better clothing for "more important" occasions, is not what God wants, IMO. The Protestant ethic of making worship simpler and letting people decide what fashion of worship best suits them has conquered our Church for the moment. My liturgical life is dedicated to reversing that. I hope others will too.
  • "Take away all the protecting elements and the Mystery of the Mass is HEIGHTENED."

    So your priests celebrate Mass wearing t-shirts, shorts and sandals? To HEIGHTEN the Mystery of the Mass?
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Hello, MC. It sounds like you have a great amount of work to do in your country. I thought planting seeds in our parish and in this middle class suburban area, where contemporary music (I meant the recreational contemporary music) is getting louder, was a hard work. It sounds like you don't even have the soil to plant seeds yet. You are almost like a missionary. I guess learning prayers in their language is the first step for them to understand the faith. Hopefully the Christian faith will grow and also help your country people to unite and live together in peace, while their faith will bring them to see the Holy Church as Christ's church without having bitterness or resentment toward the Western culture. Any feeling of resentment and bitterness is from devil that tries to make us use those feelings as an excuse to prevent the spread of Christianity.
    I converted to a catholic without knowing chant much. But when I started to sing Latin chant, my faith got deepened and became a true catholic. When I sing those Latin chants, I truly feel connected with the Church and being part of the Church, with all the saints and holy Fathers throughout the centuries, and Christ who was here 2000 years ago and has been present at the Eucharist and will be present forever and ever. We should respect cultures of different ethnic groups. But at the same time, don't forget to help them and remind them that they are connected to our Holy Church. Chant is beautiful, and the beauty of the chant has a power to move people spiritually. It might take a long time. our time. I'll pray that different ethnic group people and villagers in your country will experience the beauty of the Catholic tradition without losing their cultural heritage.
    Mia Coyne
  • Could anyone have said it better?

    "When I sing those Latin chants, I truly feel connected with the Church and being part of the Church, with all the saints and holy Fathers throughout the centuries, and Christ who was here 2000 years ago and has been present at the Eucharist and will be present forever and ever."
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,181
    Here's something to encourage M.C. about adapting chant to vernacular languages:
    (see, p. 4 for the Vidi Aquam)

    It's a book of chants from the Iroquois (aboriginal people) missions in Quebec in 1864.
  • I am already working on setting Chonak's idea to work. I need help to understand your document Sing to the Lord 75 with references to Kyrie XVI etc. Where can I get these on the web, youtube, ares, ?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,181
    A booklet containing those pieces and other simple chants, called "Jubilate Deo", was published in 1974. Here's a page about it from Arlene's and Jeffrey's schola, with PDF links:

    There's an MP3 recording of everything in "Jubilate Deo" out on the net -- you can find it by searching for "jubilate deo torrent".

    For more substantial collections of chant, the home page offers PDFs of several chant books: the "Graduale Romanum" (1961), the "Liber Usualis" (1962), and "Chants of the Church". Those books were all published before Vatican II, but the settings of the Mass ordinary parts haven't changed in the more recent books.

    ( For more information on available chant books, see: )
  • Geez Noel,
    If I knew the whole mess _started_ with Balitmore seminarians and their "can tunafish but can't tune a guitar" attitudes in gyms, I wouldn't have finished Dobszay's THE BUGNINI LITURGY. You coulda saved me the time. :-)
    I love this thread: puts an edge on the horns of the Church's dilemma. Can our beloved Benedict really convince Asian, African, Latino and other sub-equitorial Church's (besides Pell's Australia) that re-implementing chants and such (whether one regards them as essentials or trappings) is not colonialism redux or not?
    Seems to me that the Asian Churches make really smooth ad limina visits work, say "Uh huh, will do," and then return home and choose their own paths anyway. I could be wrong.
  • Frogman, if you note the full length of what I wrote, you will note that the line you quoted, started by stating, 'to a degree....' Who in this forum hasn't been offended by the carelessness that others approach Almighty God?

    Charles in CenCA, I too, am tempted to conclude similarly about the Asian bishops but of course it's unfair to generalise all of them that way. I don't know if its a language thing but Asians tend to cop out of conflict situations. If they disagreed with the Pope, they should have had a proper dialogue rather than say 'yes' but mean 'no'.

    It's a challenge to implement Vatican II and there will be tensions as noted by you, Frogman. But once again, to wish away the Church's teaching on Inculturation doesn't make us any different from those who wish away Latin. We moan about how they have not read the Church's documents carefully, but let's be careful not to end up doing the same thing. If the tension didn't exist, this thread would not exist. It would just be a forum to gripe and share anecdotes how this parish or that pastor is not implementing the Latin and the chants. No, this thread is about exploring the tension between the parameters of what is permissable and desired by Vatican II in the issue of Latin-Chants and inculturation.

    I share with you an experience at WYD Sydney. I brought my teens to experience the Maronite and Tridentine liturgies. In the former, you can imagine how foreign we looked as Chinese Malaysians in a sea of Lebanese Middle-Easterners. Problem was, the organisers probably never anticipated that non-Maronites would be present. So we constantly had to check with our neighbours on which part of the Mass this and that was. Consecration zipped pass and I didn't know, trying as we were to make it out on our own. Point I am making. If we do indeed do Latin, every effort to provide explanations to help unfamiliar others to appreciate the beauty and to reverence God is much appreciated.

    Secondly, I don't know if any of you were at the Tridentine Mass at WYD. Anyway, there were a bunch of pilgrims whom looked like they did not know what they were in for. Halfway through, and at the worst possible time, CONSECRATION, a cell phone rings. Ok, so someone forgot or was just plain dumb (my phone is always on the silent 24/7 to avoid possible moments of forgetfulness like this but even at WYD, I had to switch the volume on as International nos don't register and I might be getting calls from home). But it was the response from I think a very young priest that was memorable for me and my teens in a negative way. He got up and started to glare around like, you know, those searching thingies in the movie, Minority Report. My point: we all remembered how uptight this Tridentine priest was and I won't blame my teens if they are afraid to enter into another Tridentine Mass. It wasn't the kind of impression I was hoping to leave o my teens

    The next day, we went back to our assigned parish for catechesis. A bishop from America gave a superb catechesis that impressed my teens. He used the example of a cell phone set and a service provider to explain sacraments and grace; that made a lot of sense to my youngsters who totally understood this reference (ie inculturation. Sadly, the bishop at the Tridentine rite the day before was just giving it as it was in the CCC textbook). But for me, it was at Mass that a simple gesture showed the difference between the Tridentine Bishop and this American Bishop. Although the bishop was concelebrating the Mass, at one point, the priests were busy and did not notice that the bishop was looking around for someone to put away something for him. The bishop just did it himself. Point is, he was not uptight that others dropped the ball.

    There is definitely much to be said about rubrics and maybe I am preaching to the liturgical policeman in me. But I don't think the joyless, combative and uptight witness that some of us have become in this 'Liturgical War' will effectively win souls to the Lord. Let's guard our heart in grace, kindness and the charity that listens and who makes valid space for others who disagree with us.

    Thanks Chonak for the leads. Much appreciated. I'm quite excited! God bless!
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,181
    By the way, just a little cautionary note about Kyrie XVI, etc.: those three chants are very simple, and were chosen to be in "Jubilate Deo" for that reason. However, they happen to be originally chants for the Mass for the Dead, so they're a bit somber. After you do some experimenting, it may be worthwhile to look for other simple chants with other melodies. But that's a subject for another thread.

    It would be interesting to see when you have something written up, or maybe even hear an mp3 file.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Dear MC. There are different stages in our faith journey. 10 years ago I would not have appreciated Latin Mass. At that time, I enjoyed more relaxed atmosphere and the fun-to-sing type of music. You can say the priests are uptight in EF Mass, but to me, they are being more reverant. I'm sure which one more attracts most teens, especially these days. Our Church doesn't require EF for everyone. But our job as Catholic musicians, we cannot just cut our roots and the traditional music that the Church sets as the supreme model for our Liturgy. This is not Latin vs. ethnic culture or vernacular. Our Church embraces both. To me, it's more a battle between humility and pride in our nature.
    I still don't follow everything when I go to Tridentine Mass. But trying to understand as much as I can helps me to focus better, and the reverance and music that reminds me of Heaven in Tridentine Mass reminds me why I'm there at the Mass. The Mass in English I attended yesterday, really didn't fill me up spiritually. The music was good and the homily was very interesting. Although I don't have a problem in understanding English, there were too much distractions. I wanted some more than just earthly Mass. My spirit was only half filled. Our Pope Benedict talks about the Liturgy and Cosmos in his book. EF Mass is the closest to what I can get on this earth to experience this concept (reality). Once again, EF is not required for eveyone. People have to be ready to appreciate it. Rubrics and rules are not to make you become a slave to them, but for you to love them, because you love the Church and God. (Christ came to fulfill the Law, not to destroy the Law.) I trust God that he will guide you and help you in leading your country people to find the truth and the true Church that Christ has found. (I wonder If Christ was born in Malaysia, your country people would belive him more easily.)
  • priorstf
    Posts: 460
    miacoyne said: (I wonder If Christ was born in Malaysia, your country people would believe him more easily.)

    And if He had, we would likely be arguing over whether the chant should be in Malay, Tamil, Banjar or Kabong!