Removing The Beauty Of Mass For Lent
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,641
    I'm assuming the OP would not be doing Gregorian propers, but the thought of a Lent V passing without singing Judica me brings scandal and terror to my heart. The thought of Lent IV seemingly having almost no music, rather than the Sunday of Rose vestments and organ music makes my heart sink. Everything about this plan - or any similar plan - is gravely disturbing. Likewise the thought of what the OP describes as music for Good Friday is so beyond weird that I almost wonder if this is all real.
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  • Priest: Remove the beauty of the mass for Lent.
    Priest: is said to be in persona Christi.

    Something doesn't add up here.
    (As in there is something wickedly oxymoronic in the juxtaposition of these two dicta.)
  • This kind of thing is why I really can't see myself working as DM for another OF parish. There's too much liturgical goofing off on the part of your average OF priest in the US, and they don't listen to reason whatsoever.
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  • "And the homily should be simpler and shorter as the weeks go by"


    From what was described, I'd say that the homily should be skipped entirely. Permanently.

    And to OP: Bless you. I will pray for you and your parish.
    Thanked by 1dad29
  • I have no idea what the 'average OF priest' does, goofing-off-wise, but saying that they don't listen to reason whatsoever, seems (to me) to be a hasty generalization, and not very charitable. (The relatively few priests that I do know are mostly quite reasonable men.)
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  • (The relatively few priests that I do know are mostly quite reasonable men.)


    Do they balk when you show them the GIRM and SC and cite them as sources for doing chant and Latin in the Mass? What reasons do they give for refusing them (if they do refuse them)? "Because the people don't understand (or speak) Latin," is argumentum ad populum and is not reasonable. "Because the people can't follow (or understand) the chant," is likewise. "Because it's not uplifting enough," isn't reasonable, either, as it is ambiguous. Many of the arguments against using chant and Latin (and true Sacred Music in general) are anecdotal at best, and are not generated in an attempt to be reasonable.

    Of course, all of the above is begging the question, because I assume that the priests you know, as many that we all know, will cite the reasons I gave for why they do not allow chant nor Latin in their parishes. Again, as melo likes to say, YMMV.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,637
    Clerget,
    It's generational, and also sometimes a regional thing.

    My pastor is 51. In this diocese, men his age or younger are asking their DM's to find ways to make chant happen at their parishes - in spite of the challenges you've cited.

    (And that's what they are: Challenges. Some priests will use them as excuses. Those are the priests you do not want to work for.)

    It is true that people don't know Latin. It is true that chant is a new style to them. It is true that some have trouble following even vernacular chant. That's why my job description has the bullet point: A love and passion for sacred music and a willingness to assist others to love sacred music.
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  • G
    Posts: 1,389
    Maybe he could do his part by not brushing his hair on Ash Wednesday.
    1st Sunday, not having shampooed.
    2nd, no socks.
    3rd, not shaving.
    4th, stop brushing his teeth, and so on....

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
    Thanked by 2canadash chonak
  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,137
    Haha!
  • Maybe he could do his part by...

    wearing a hair shirt for forty days.
  • TeresaH, this is not a happy position to be in, I agree.

    But the bottom line is that you are an employee or a volunteer in a Roman Catholic parish. Church law is quite clear that responsibility for what happens in a Roman Catholic parish lies with the Parish Priest. So as a worker of whatever status, you need to do as asked. Agree this can be difficult, but it's the bottom line of working in the RC church.

    Of course you should quietly make sure that the bishop / diocesian liturgy office / whoever is aware. Even if they cannot act on this, it's all part of a pattern. And may strengthen your case for getting a better PP next time everyone is shuffled around.

    fyi I've been in a parish where something similar was suggested. I learned a lot from watching the response of older, wiser liturgy group members. They:

    1 Acknowledged the good features of the suggestion (it makes Lent markedly different, and provides more time for practising Easter / rest of year material)

    2 Asked the PP how he wanted questions and comments from congregation members handled - suggesting that it would be best to refer everyone to him.

    3 Noted that the communication about the change would need to be repeated every week, because not everyone attends every week.

    4 Wondered what the pastoral impact might be for those people who only come to church at Christmas and Palm Sunday(*) - would they go away thinking that our parish has cancelled music all the time.

    It was the last point that changed the PP's mind: he genuinely had not thought through the full impacts of the proposal, and how it would be seen by different groups within the parish.

    These questions might not work in your case. But they provide a model for how you can have a respectful dialogue about a proposal or an instruction, even one you don't like. You are called to model Christ's love, even if you don't believe that your PP is doing so.

    However you do need to know exactly how the PP wants comments / complaints responded do. And so your all your choir (or whatever you have) members musicians.
  • PaxMelodious -
    Has spoken sagely. There isn't much that one can do when suffering under such a man than to 'be obedient' and to reap the spiritual profits (real or imagined) from said obedience. Such obedience may save much internal stress, anger, resentment, and so on, and may stave off much mental anguish, anger, and angst. (On the other hand, it does little to assuage the sensation that one really has been spiritually, intellectually, and professionally 'violated'.) He has, also, pointed out that one is an 'employee' of a parish priest who is responsible for the liturgical life of 'his' parish. So, other than resigning (which would be the most honourable alternative) or finding another post, one has little choice because the 'cards' are stacked against him. All this, though, does not at all come anywhere near to addressing the fact that The Parish Priest has absolutely no real authority to change one jot or tittle of the mass, nor require what the Church in her documents forbids, nor forbid what the Church in her documents enjoins. Such priests (and bishops!) are tyrants who imagine that they and their vision are supreme, even more supreme than what the Church says to do or not to do. A tyrant is one who sets himself (or herself) above all law and authority and presumes (presumes!) an authority which he or she does not, in fact, have. So, one could go and 'tell' the bishop, who would likely do nothing, leaving one in more hot water than one had been in already. The most honest and virtuous thing, the thing of greatest integrity, is not to serve such men. Their actual, real, authority begins and ends with their own obedience to what the Church says to do and not to do - it is neither unfettered nor carte blanche.
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  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 467
    But the bottom line is that you are an employee or a volunteer in a Roman Catholic parish. Church law is quite clear that responsibility for what happens in a Roman Catholic parish lies with the Parish Priest.

    I'm sorry, but this is not correct. Being under orders of the parish priest does not absolve one of responsibility. It would make life a lot easier if it did! This may not be the point at which you have to quit rather than cooperate, but that point definitely exists!

  • Liam
    Posts: 4,014
    Oh!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cDAqrywsHE

    Instead of *removing* beauty, would the pastor instead gradually *veil* it?
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Liam, are you actually advocating veiling? I agree with you, though, that veiling statues and removing instrumental music is an appropriate mortification of the senses for Lent. Depriving people of sung music at Mass, however, is not. Remove the ornamentation, not the substance.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,014
    Julie

    My point is more subtle (unsubtle counterpoint provided by Arnold Horshack, of course): if someone's pushing *removal*, on what basis can they object to *veiling*? It's an indirect way to demonstrate to someone that you see the hollowness of their reasoning, without directly saying so. It's, um, a Roman approach. You ask a non-rhetorical question, and let it sit there for a long while.

    (PS: I like Passiontide veiling. I also love Lenten arrays, but I am not English (rather, I'm a Euromutt, 50% Swabian, 25% from north Leitrim (the most desolate and depopulated part of Ireland), and 25% from the northeastern corner of traditional Masovia), so it's not my tradition.)
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  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    The church has already given us a framework for liturgical austerity (no alleluia, no organ, then no statues, then no Mass and eventually no light). However, it's worth noting that never has a lack of music been a part of this, because music is an integral part of the solemn liturgy.

    Why do we try and make this stuff up when the framework is already there?
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    LOL! Subtlety is not my forte.
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  • Liam
    Posts: 4,014
    Julie

    Too many people in St Blog's have an inordinate fascination with the stylings of pugilistic debate. Few people can carry off Cicero like, well, Cicero. (And remember where it got his tongue - pinned by Fulvia....). I did my years in that style (more parliamentary than the very strange idiom of high schools and colleges of recent decades), but over time I've seen greater wisdom in .... letting gravity do it's work, one might say. Strain to avoid going for the jugular - you're more likely to get hurt, than your target. Rather, argue modestly and be patient. Understand that, the frothier one gets, the more likely one is to get in one's own way. This actually requires more courage, prudence, faith, hope and charity than the other way.
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  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,438
    Very sage advice, Sir Liam. Diplomacy is a lost art.

    diplomacy = skill in managing negotiations, handling people, etc., so that there is little or no ill will
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,014
    Julie

    Mind you, there are times for pugilism in argument. In my experience, it's *most* effective when (i) there are shared assumptions and terms, and (ii) where you are engaging in mirroring to raise mutual awareness of an unfortunate turn in the argument. People imagining they will pull off a slam dunk that will suddenly persuade the other side of its folly are usually kidding themselves and rationalizing an indulgence of ego/id urges.
  • At Walsingham all statues are veiled in purple throughout Lent, red on Palm Sunday, white on Maundy Thursday, and black on Good Friday and Holy Saturday; likewise the needle-point kneeling cushions at our altar rail. We have yet to use the Lenten array, but are talking about it. We, of all people, should! Of course, the mass is sung as always, with only the music changing appropriately for the season. We will sing the Englished cum jubilo mass as in The Hymnal 1940. You should hear 200 people singing this kyrie, which 'the people', according to too many Catholic clergy and musicians, 'can't sing'. I regret that we have fallen into the 'chant-mass-during- penitential-seasons-only syndrome' and hope that we can change that unfortunate mis-characterisation of chant. (One would think that our English version of the cum jubilo mass, Gloria and all, would be perfect at least for solemnities of our Lady.)
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,583
    We have yet to use the Lenten array, but are talking about it.

    Please, please, do. The Lenten array is one of the most beautiful symbols of Lenten austerity: unbleached linen is much more seemly during the Great Fast than purple & gold damask and brocade.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    Idiot.


    I'm rolling. HAHAHAHA
    Pretty sure that's all that needed to be said.
  • Why do we try and make this stuff up when the framework is already there?


    Because some people are selfish and they want attention and glory for themselves. By inventing a brand new and exciting, novel and liberal, popular thing, they think they are accomplishing that goal.
  • Perhaps your priest has the mindset of the Emperor?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCud8H7z7vU
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,744
    actually the emperor in this case was spot on... and, there is not enough harmonic development either. the general public loves Mozart... just like joncas
  • Yes, Francis, "The Abduction of the Seraglio" was not my favorite Mozart opera, either: no baritones.
  • actually the emperor...

    was clueless. It was the court composer, possessed by rivalry and intrigue, who had to feed him what to say.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 862
    Yes, MJO, but the Emperor had some sort of problem with it, already, but couldn't quite say how. Salieri sort of just proved how clueless the emperor was by giving him an option relatable to his not-so-musical brain.
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  • Liam
    Posts: 4,014
    So that means we'll be singing OEW for at least another 200 years.... Is this a promise or a threat?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=463jDvbw3LQ
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  • irishtenoririshtenor
    Posts: 1,137
    FWIW, I love "Abduction" -- two tenor roles!
    Thanked by 1ClergetKubisz
  • There has yet to be heard hyperbole which even approaches excessive in reference to Mozart and his music. Everything he wrote is a gem. And those (ahem: Francis) who denigrate his harmonic vocabulary could never hope to reach the genius of achieving so much with so little. Even his masses are wonderful - as (I hasten to add) concerts spirituelles; not, of course, as liturgical music.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,744
    and that is your opinion, and I hold to mine

    today I drove twenty miles and tuned two pianos. when I finished, I asked, "who is your favorite composer". both times the answer was Mozart, and I delivered by performing a sonata to fulfill their request. oh... it is definitely entertaining, but also absolutely shallow. people LOVE to be entertained. either for others or themselves. I find it boring.

    achieving so much (noteriety) with so little (substance)

    an apt description in your own words
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 862
    I need my piano tuned. If you do it for free I will promise to fail to (visibly) be impressed or entertained....
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  • If there really is one who sees nothing but entertainment where there is ingenious subtlety and substance, wisdom would compel him (were he attentive) more adroitly and with greater thoroughness to assay his subject.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,494
    What I find strange is the assumption that the mass becomes less beautiful and less worthy during Lent. The mass takes on a penitential dimension that is almost fierce in its power and promise of deliverance. The Lenten mass is not less beautiful, it just takes on a different personality and character. That difference is for our greater good.
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  • dad29
    Posts: 1,890
    He makes no physical gestures during the Mass --never genuflects, bows, kisses the Gospels, etc. At the Consecration he barely lifts the Host and Challis a few inches and then quickly back down. (He has no physical impairments that would interfere with any of these.)
    In the year-and-a-half he has been at our parish he has never once lead the Kyrie or Gloria. He thinks if they aren't sung they shouldn't be recited. (The only times we have had the Kyrie is when I do the music and lead it. The other musicians don't know to do it.)


    Houston, you have a Liceity Problem.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,744
    MJO...as a student of piano since age five, Mozart has been before my eyes and ears my entire life. Teachers, colleagues, family and friends have always put out constant requests that I learn and play his works. I have done so over and over. I am simply stating my own opinion of his music. Do not feel you must turn me to your way of thinking on the matter. The music speaks for itself. It alone must convince me.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,494
    There is something far worse than Mozart - Bach!
  • And Francis hijacks a perfectly good thread once again.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,744
    actually, I did not post the Mozart vid... someone else did.

    and I never try to CHANGE Charles opinion about Bach... nor does anyone else... peculiar
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,494
    And I posted the opposing side, Florence Foster Jenkins singing Mozart. Think of it like the rebuttal to the State of the Union address. ;-)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,744
    to put thread back on track... the NO is subject to ten times more abuse than the TLM because it is (rubrics) left open to interpretation. Case in point... we now have the hover board Mass. there is some good Mozart music for that one... I think it was in the movie
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,494
    to put thread back on track... the NO is subject to ten times more abuse than the TLM because it is (rubrics) left open to interpretation


    Yes, the potential is there. My point, however, is that usually the EF operates under the same bishops, chancery staffs, and priests as the OF. Connect the dots. What could you really do if the EF were abused by a crazy priest besides little or nothing. You are not as immune and sheltered as you think.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,744
    most of the crazies are not interested in the tlm... they crave a stage, not an altar... they need a free form, not a bunch of set rules. as for same bishops, well, with some TLM orgs, more removed.

    what is most interesting to me are those prelates who not only downplay the beauty of the TLM but actually despise it... this is the passion and death of the church in mystical form
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  • You are not as immune and sheltered as you think.


    One thing I've discovered from working in a parish school and also for a time as a parish DM in the OF is this: at some point it all boils down to the priest. Period. It all depends on who your priest is: from the quality of his formation to his interpretation of ecclesiastical law. I have come to realize that this has always been, even before the Council. Not to say that the TLM was just as subject to abuse as the OF is, but it may have been that there was better quality control in terms of who the priests were, and as a result, who the bishops ended up being, which cyclically influenced who the next generation of priests would be, and so on. To bring us where we are, something happened in that cycle. Something that I consider to be poisonous. Train a generation of priests to regard the rubrics and laws as absolutely sacred, and they will be treated as such. Not to say you won't get the occasional wacky priest that tries to deviate, but they would be much fewer in number. I suspect that much of what we see today in terms of abuses are due to the fact that modern priests believe that outside of a very small quantity of rules, they are free to do as they please. At some point the rules must matter, or at some point none of them will. Then what's the point of having rules/regulations/laws/oversight/accountability in the first place? I will also include the insistence that the focus of the Mass has changed entirely: we now have the theology of the Mass as Assembly instead of the theology of the Mass as Sacrifice. This is likely being taught in seminaries, and priests are being formed to believe that the congregation is everything, and that Mass is about who shows up on Sundays. I don't have any actual information to back that one up, but I would love to find out what is actually being taught in seminaries: it might explain a great deal, especially because the Mass you get depends greatly on the priest celebrating it.

    What could you really do if the EF were abused by a crazy priest besides little or nothing


    I would like to point out that there are systems in place that stop you from being able to do something about it.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,744
    exactly spot on
  • Chonak,

    Have you ever combined disparate threads when they seem to coalesce?

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