Thinking of Resigning
  • It must be a challenge to dance on the head of that 'what's a solemn liturgy?' pin, by the way. We call it 'the Mass.' (It may also include LOH.)

    The Mass and LOH are liturgies. They may or may not be solemn. Especially when there are clowns.

    Ok, dad29, how many Masses each week are celebrated in your parish. How many have the propers and ordinary of the Mass sung in full in English, in Latin?
  • Agreed about brevity in emails, and leading with what may diffuse tension. Also agreed about meeting in person.

    Noel's revision looks very professional if you decide to go the email route. I might skip no. 5 and ask to discuss it in a meeting.

    As far as the side topic being argued, I have the same understanding of terms as dad29. Noel's point about sung vs. spoken masses on a parish schedule is taken, however it is quite clear that music is integral to the mass. The overarching thrust of the liturgical reforms of Vatican II was to realize the goal of restoring the sung sacred liturgy. Musicam Sacram gave a point by point guide as to how that could be accomplished.

    If you're considering the issue from an "on the ground" position, take a look at the principal mass in the parish mass schedule. It's typically the one with the most music. The issue is not that every mass is a concert, or "all about the musicians", rather that prayers are elevated when sung, and God deserves public praise in song.
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,306
    I like Noel's revisions, too, for what that's worth.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,475
    I agree with Noel. Too many words will probably make him impatient. Stick to summaries.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,225
    Ok, dad29, how many Masses each week are celebrated in your parish. How many have the propers and ordinary of the Mass sung in full in English, in Latin?

    Heh. I have zero functions in my parish outside of choir-singer. And--FWIW, the pastor of my parish doesn't care about all those "rules" at all. He's 'pastoral,' ya'know. The Mass is reasonably close to that prescribed by the Church, most times.

    As to the music? Frankly, it's not very good at all. I'd argue that it would be better to celebrate a completely silent Mass than to sing some of the stuff we use.

    Aside from "clowns," (however you may define that), please tell us about NON-solemn Mass. Recall that there is no longer a "low" or "high" Mass.
    Thanked by 1teachermom24
  • The pinhead is getting crowded. So you do not and cannot attend a solemn mass at your parish.

    There is still a High Mass and Low Mass - the only thing added is a "Mass the way we think it should be" by people who didn't have a clue.

    I do wonder how much of the NO Mass became common because of priests who tire of dealing with us! Usually they are only called on the carpet by the bishop or parishioners who have issues about matters of faith and morals. Then these meddling musicians, some of them talented - some difficult, pull out the Latin documents and the downward spiral begins. Unlike planes, we do not automatically recover.

    If we have to explain to a priest what we are doing and why, we are on almost all instances challenging their education and knowledge. Something that smart people never do when dealing with the person who can hire them and fire them.
    Thanked by 1musiclover88
  • Yes, that's why I haven't brought this up yet at all.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • emails such as the above happen every other month or so when I send out the music planner, and always immediately after I send the planner

    Red flag!

    To quote someone famous, what we have here is a failure to communicate. If the one Latin song you have isn't even in Latin, but the Latin is the only thing he noticed, the response is preprogrammed. Eons ago, I scheduled music for a choir over which I had some limited authority. The same piece of music was in two books in the pews, one of which was more plentiful than the other. I planned it out of the more plentiful book and withstood a firestorm of, frankly, preprogrammed adolescent responses from people in their late 30s and early 40s. One (solitary) thoughtful response noticed that this was a hymn they wanted to sing, and I had made it possible for more eyes to see it because I had used the more plentiful book.

  • BenBen
    Posts: 3,114
    Ok, dad29, how many Masses each week are celebrated in your parish. How many have the propers and ordinary of the Mass sung in full in English, in Latin?

    In my parish, all the Masses are sung. Dialogs, preface, propers, ordinary, etc. Both because we have the resources and because we see the importance of it.
  • BenBen
    Posts: 3,114
    Noel, you're discussing two different issues:

    1. How/when people bring up issues regarding music.
    2. The actual ideals the church holds.

    Of course, we musicians must be prudent when dealing with (1), but you seem to also be saying that importance of sung liturgy in regards to (2) is also minimal.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,183
    Yep. One more vote for Noel's version!

    * It keeps things short and simple.
    * #5 is just an appeal for understanding, and it doesn't sound like a counter-argument.

    The request for a meeting every two months is an effort to meet the pastor's inconsistent wants.
  • IF:

    The musician is independently wealthy and totally non-reliant emotionally on how she/he appears to others, then the actual ideals the church appears to hold should be followed without question.

    Otherwise, communication - How/when people bring up issues regarding music. - is the only chance for you to succeed in 99.999% of parishes in the US while trying to uphold the actual ideals the church appears to hold as paramount.

    Always remember that this is the church that gives chant pride of place, but no place in which it is welcome.

    Your parish, Ben, is an tiny grain of sand on a beach.

    As far as the Latin title...the average person sees or hears Latin and thinks LATIN MASS, MEN WEARING DRESSES AND LACE, SMELLY INCENSE dealing with some VERY DIFFICULT PEOPLE WHO USE THE LATIN MASS TO PUT OTHER PEOPLE IN THEIR PLACE...quickly followed by complaints to the pastor.
  • WendiWendi
    Posts: 638
    Noel is correct. So much so, that its pointless to try and change their minds. My advice to anyone who asks is to start a children's program. This generation is already formed liturgically to love the my little pony Mass. Focus on the next one.
  • Totally agree with Wendi. Start a Children's schola.
    Thanked by 1Ben
  • Thankfully our DM is teaching in our school a few times a week about liturgical music. I pray this happens elsewhere. High quality music choices within the Mass really does bring people closer to God. My wife, who is converting to Catholicism, has gotten this effect from our Choir... that they sound like angels. It is something truly special and a great feeling when you can experience such a thing....

    In regards to being scared of Latin, we luckily have a Priest who is for incorporating these things into the Mass... though they aren't all the time. It brings about something special when a song in Latin is played, and usually during communion... very contemplative.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • In my hometown, I am the music teacher at the parish school and as such I am in charge if music for the weekday Masses with the students. I have had great success teaching chant and Latin to the students. They love Adoro Te and O Salutaris Hostia (DUGUET), although their favorite hymn is Jesus, My Lord, My God My All; at least that's better fare than what I hear is in some churches. What's better is the elementary schola also chants the Communion Proper before a congregational hymn (per GIRM). However, the real kicker is that nobody complains about it.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,225
    There is still a High Mass and Low Mass

    You have a citation for that, right?
    Thanked by 1Ben
  • Sure.

    Go to an EF and you will find the truth...that was a joke, wasn't it?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,183
    On paper:
    28. The distinction between solemn, sung and read Mass, sanctioned by the Instruction of 1958 (n. 3), is retained, according to the traditional liturgical laws at present in force.
  • What other kind of mass would one have on a 'solemnity' than a 'solemn mass'? Just what do people think 'solemnity' means when they shuffle up to the altar and announce that today is the solemnity of such and such and proceed unceremoniously to say the mass just like they would any other mass?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,183
    There isn't a relationship between the ranking of days in the calendar
    feria - optional memorial - memorial - feast - solemnity
    and the form of celebration
    solemn - sung - read

    If there were, that would tend to disfavor the celebration of sung or solemn Masses on lesser days.

    The ranking of days relates to the use of propers, and to pre-emption. Solemnities pre-empt Sundays in Ordinary Time.

    Also, Solemnities have a full set of propers and they are always used, whereas most of a Memorial's propers may be left unused, according to the celebrant's preference.

    (I'm saying this from memory, but if I'm mistaken about it, I'm sure someone with the facts will share them.)
    Thanked by 1eft94530
  • It seems to me that there was a certain genius at work in naming certain days 'solemnity'. Solemnitas, I think we all know, means festivity, rejoicing, one might even say 'a state banquet'. This is a purposefully chosen noun and refers to more than a full set of propers. It means, in a word, a 'solemn mass'. That means acolytes, incense, the finest vestments, a completely chanted mass, choirs with special music and anthems, and the people's most festive ordinary. It means full solemnities. It means something rather close to Christmas or Easter, a joyful, celebratory event. All this is additive, not contradictory, to Chonak's observations about propers. (Although I might well have intuited all this, I have been told it by a number of priests who are conscientious as to the appropriate celebration of a Solemnity.)
    Thanked by 2Gavin eft94530
  • Which Church document is it that says, “choose hymns for the entrance, offertory, and communion that echo themes of the day’s readings”?

    Ordinary Time’s “theme” is precisely the lack of a coherent theme.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    Which Church document is it that says, “choose hymns for the entrance, offertory, and communion that echo themes of the day’s readings”?

    Even if there were documents that said this, how likely would it be that you could match all the themes with hymns the congregation knows and can sing. I find theme hymns in the hymnal easily enough, but some of the "hymns" are too trashy to use.
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,007
    Well, that's not quite true. The cursus of pericopes of Gospels in Sundays of OT lends itself to being grouped under often evident subsections of the the Gospels, and the first reading and typically the responsorial psalm then typically underscore a particular aspect of the pericope of the day. It's far from random, just not as emphatic as Advent/Christmastide, Lent/Eastertide.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Liam: The lessons, of course, partly “go together”, but the Epistle is a separate sequence. The collects don’t vary with the Lectionary cycle at all. Only bits of the Divine Office do, either. Most of the chant propers stand completely on their own: remember the offertories about Moses and Job?

    Compare this to, say, early Advent—or, really, any of the major seasons, or liturgies that aren’t part of the temporal cycle—where everything (mostly?) focuses toward a common theme.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    ^^ The genius of the Graduale Romanum.
    Thanked by 2MatthewRoth CHGiffen
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,007

    Yes. I noted that the major seasons offer more emphatic themes. We should just be cautious about thinking that OT Sundays lack themes. They are there, for them that pay attention. It just requires more work.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Gavin
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,501
    Liam, I think the question is whether the OT Sundays' lectionary themes do or should govern the choice of liturgical music. If the Gradual is not based on the lectionary generally--the Introit, for example, runs through the Psalter--should our hymn choices be lectionary-based?
  • Kathy, I think that's the main problem here: what governs the selection of liturgical music? The Proper of the Mass (given by the Church)? The theme from the Gospel/Lectionary selections? The opinion of the PIPs? The taste of the Pastor? The taste of the DM? What is it that governs how we select the music? Some would say that the documents do, and this is certainly a great place to look for that information, since it would also impose a standard on music for the Mass. Others would say (mostly those that do not know of the documents' existence nor their contents) that it is up to individual taste/opinion, and is perhaps a contributor to why so many people think that we should honor requests, do popular hymns, etc., and why they try to remove Pastors and DMs that don't think those things are important.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    For me, its-

    A both/and proposition with Proper content receiving "pride of place"

    Coincidental- select option fours often mirror option one "content," while OTOH some literal Propers don't align with other variants, such as thematic content with homilies from one or more celebrants, preachers or deacons.

    Taste will always be a factor. Unless the pastor or his vicars (argghh) have advanced degrees in our discipline plus decades of experience, reliance upon the taste of a good DM should be institutionally respected and deferred to (sorry for the dangle there.)

    Documents are maps, not GPS devices. They are good if your sense of direction is compromised. And were they more like GPS's, occasionally a left turn by someone will require re-routing.

    "Sacred, universal and beautiful."

    FCAP? Are they listening? Singing? (Yes! O, that's good.) Does the competency and effort of your choirs (and cantors) reflect the three judgments above? If a congregation shows up like Obama just to vote "present" and breathe, don't waste time and energy adjusting your values, inspiration and intuition on that mindset. Keep throwing strings of pearls out there like seed.

    But, one must admit, we are now living in precipitous times, ergo I like Kathy Pluth's advice to go down fighting the good fight.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,912
    If we have to explain to a priest what we are doing and why, we are on almost all instances challenging their education and knowledge. Something that smart people never do when dealing with the person who can hire them and fire them.

    I was revisiting this thread and saw this again. It is a good point to make, however, I have something additional from my original reply to add:

    In the case of the priest I was working for at that church (yes, I eventually resigned), he was asking me to explain what I was doing and why, therefore setting me up in a situation where I have to tread extremely carefully so as to not insult his education and knowledge. Looking back, I feel that his request was a manipulation: he wanted me to give him an answer so that he could quash it and substitute his own perspective, all under the guise of a "collegial conversation."
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,912
    Just so you all know: I appreciate all of your support in this matter. I wanted you to know that I eventually "pulled the trigger" and resigned. It's for the better, though, I think. Through prayer and conversations with my confessor and colleagues, I think the Lord was telling me to get out of there.
  • You know all of us are here for you, CK. CK, my friend, and myself all seem to live in the same state when it comes to liturgical music - the state of Denial.
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz