Protestants in Vestments
  • madorganist
    Posts: 308
    Is it appropriate for a non-Catholic member of a TLM men's schola to wear a cassock and surplice, particularly on occasions such as Palm Sunday and Corpus Christi when the choir is visible? Why or why not? Can anyone speak to preconciliar practice and whether it was customary to admit non-Catholic singers apart from real necessity?
  • Madorganist,

    In the documents of Vatican II and related places, we are told that non-Catholics can't fulfill a liturgical ministry. Full stop. I didn't know this prohibition existed when, in my much younger days, I did stupid things like have non-Catholics serve as cantors at school Masses.

    I believe that the prohibition dates from well before the Council.

    To pre-empt what someone else is going to write: the American bishops asked for (and obtained, if I recall) permission to allow women to sing in choirs in spite of the prohibition back in the dusty days when Popes still wrote and said Catholic things (i.e., some time before 2013).

  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,142
    Chris, to help us in the matter, would you please cite the document referenced in your first paragraph? Thanks.
  • madorganist
    Posts: 308
    For EF Masses, it's well established that a true liturgical choir substitutes for a choir of clerics and must be all male.

    Tra le sollecitudini (1903):
    13. ...Singers in church have a real liturgical office, and that therefore women, being incapable of exercising such office, cannot be admitted to form part of the choir....

    14. Finally, only men of known piety and probity of life are to be admitted to form part of the choir of a church, and these men should by their modest and devout bearing during the liturgical functions show that they are worthy of the holy office they exercise. It will also be fitting that singers while singing in church wear the ecclesiastical habit and surplice, and that they be hidden behind gratings when the choir is excessively open to the public gaze.

    Mixed or all-female choirs are tolerated but constitute a "choir of the faithful," not a liturgical choir or schola cantorum.

    De musica sacra et sacra liturgia (1958):
    99. It is highly desirable that a choir or schola cantorum be established in all cathedral churches, in parish churches, and all other churches of importance....

    100. Wherever such a choir cannot be organized, a choir of the faithful, either mixed or consisting only of women or girls, can be permitted. But such a choir should take its place outside the sanctuary or Communion rail....

    Now that I re-read the pertinent legislation, the only options would seem to be either a choir consisting of "only men of known piety and probity of life" or else a "choir of the faithful," either of which would obviously exclude anyone not numbered among the faithful.

    According to more recent legislation, non-Catholic Christians may be allowed to read scripture or the petitions of the universal prayer in special situations approved by the bishop.

    Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism (1993):
    133. ...On exceptional occasions and for a just cause, the Bishop of the diocese may permit a member of another Church or ecclesial Community to take on the task of reader.

    No mention is made, however, of non-Christians fulfilling liturgical roles under any circumstances.
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • A goodly portion of the above citations refer to pre-conciliar documents and norms, or to the EF. It would, I think, be not altogether impertinent to question their applicability to post-conciliar OF ritual.

    Licit or not, it is not uncommon nowadays even for choirmasters and organists of parish and even cathedral churches to be non-Catholic. In fact, some go out of their way to employ non-Catholics on the very real possibility that such are often more competent in truly sacred music. (I, at this moment, am not suggesting morally or licitly pro- or con- in this matter - just stating a fact.)

    Too, paid singers, and even volunteers, in our choirs commonly are of other Faith Communities. (We have in the past had several Jews in the cathedral choir at Walsingham. Their service was impeccable and valued - and they were vested like everyone else.)

    When choirmasters and/or choristers are non-Catholic, it seems to me that they, nevertheless, should wear whatever is choir habit at their given parish. Being choirmaster and organist, and being a chorister is a liturgical ministry, and those who fulfill the same should (I would say 'must') be appropriately vested.

    While some who quibble over matters such as these are, I think, truly concerned about propriety and respect for our rites and beliefs, others are, it often seems, simply mean hearted and scornful of the infidels in our midst. If one does not wish to respect the liturgical dignity of non-Catholics who are serving liturgically in our rites, the honest solution is not to employ them in the first place (and, thereby avoid any possible attendant spiritual pride.)

    And - one might well ponder: is it more important to stress the importance of the liturgical ministry being exercised, or the un-Catholicness of he or she who is exercising it (the Donatist controversy may be as applicable here as elsewhere!). So again, considering the inherent problems and messages involved, it would seem that, for some, not to employ a non-Catholic in the first place would be the most apt policy. As for the rest of us - well, we never know when love shown will result in a conversion, or at least a very respectful friend.
  • Chonak,

    I'll have to go looking, which I can't do just at the moment, but I shall see what I can find.

  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,117
    I do find it amusing that Popes can write about the ideal Liturgical choir, containing all these Catholic men "of known piety and probity of life", And then create a Liturgy that according to ++Heenan will see men leaving the Church in droves, sadly he was correct in his observation.

    It is all very well to quote 'Ideals' but if the Church does not encourage or even help in the achievement of them, they are just another waste of paper.

    I do wonder where the enforcement of them would leave say the choirs of, Westminster Cathedral, the London Oratory, Southwark (St Georges) Cathedral?
  • prohibition dates from well before the Council

    The earliest Church document against employing non-catholic musicians I know of is a writ from the Holy Office some time in 17th century. It was cited by Latin Mass Magazine years ago. I have given to somebody this issue, and it is not online. If somebody subscribes to that journal one could find it. So far as I remember, the inquisitors argued that such employment would be against both divine law and reason.
    I do find it amusing that Popes can write about the ideal Liturgical choir, containing all these Catholic men "of known piety and probity of life", And then create a Liturgy...

    Two different Popes, and different ghostwriters, too.
    I do wonder where the enforcement of them would leave ... the choirs ...

    This means a confession that catholics by definition do not have among them competent and willing singers to ensure quality singing in their divine services, so the 'outsourcing' is the only possibility. Not even in large cities?
  • narfie13
    Posts: 13
    How many churches are actually following the path of Catholic Men (and Boys?) only to sing Propers for EF, if everyone is up in the choir loft? Or having all Women and girls groups grudgingly? Can all humans sing the ordinary still? I assume so. I am more inclined to think that the reason men nowadays dont go to church is more to do with soccer and other sports games competing for time than letting females and non Catholics sing in the choir, as a recent Pope lamented wrt church attendance in Spain.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    This entire subject seems to me a case of straining at gnats. In my place, we now have some formerly Protestant singers who became Catholic after working with us. So in practice, it is something of a conversion tool.

    How many churches are actually following the path of Catholic Men (and Boys?) ...


    How many churches are actually following any Catholic path?

    Some of those prohibitions against non-Catholics date from a time when Protestantism was also a political movement opposed to Catholicism. Now the choice may be between the Protestant pagan in the choir or the Catholic one.
  • I'm not sure that we are all actually addressing the OP.

    The question was a) specific to the EF, b) specific to cassock and surplice (as opposed to choir robes), c) asked specifically about pre-conciliar practices.

    MO, I can't speak to pre-conciliar practice. However, I believe that CGZ's post is probably the clearest indicator of what the norm was intended to be pre-V2.

    Although I've seen certain individuals who use the cassock and surplice while fulfilling the choir duty for the EF in the loft, that has always seemed to me to be more of an affectation rather than something rubrical. Most frequently the loft choir is mixed. To my mind it would almost be like having men of the congregation routinely don cassock and surplice in the pews if the congregation happen to sing the Ordinary alternating against the choir.

    If the schola members (all male) are taking part in the sanctuary by either singing the Office or singing the Mass "in choir", then they would obviously be vested in cassock and surplice. Again, I think CGZ's post would also address non-Catholic members of such a group in such a situation...

    If your custom is to have the men in cassock and surplice in the loft, and the visibility is by taking part in the procession, I would think that non-Catholics - like the ladies - would be in lay clothes but would still take part in the singing.
    Thanked by 2madorganist eft94530
  • While I find the documents Chonak requested that I produce (a good request, but one I haven't managed to fulfill yet) let me pursue another avenue of answer to this.

    Clericals (cassock and surplice) are supposed to be worn by clerics. At one point, choirs were composed (in large part) of those who had received minor orders, that is, they were composed of at least one grade of cleric.

    Women can't be clerics, so a natural, logical prohibition grew up against women in choirs. Since women can't be clerics, they shouldn't wear clericals.

    Protestants have all sorts of fancy dress for their own choirs (which is slightly ironic, given that Olly Cromwell and company decried all those frills and ceremony as Papist) but those same Protestants are incapable, if I understand correctly, of participating in Mass, never mind taking a ministerial function within the sacred rites. Therefore, they should not sing in our choirs, nor wear clericals.

    When I was a boy, all the Catholics who loved good music and had the instrument and the training to contribute to it did their "duty" at St. Joseph's Cathedral and then came down the street to sing music which was more Catholic than what they had endured previously. Why would Protestants want to be in clericals, or sing in a Catholic parish choir?



    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    I'm not sure that we are all actually addressing the OP.


    Protestants in Vestments - sounds like a good title for a heart-rending country song. If we can find a way to include the death of the composer's dog and his truck breaking down, we've got a hit on our hands. This is a family friendly forum so we can leave out the tramp who broke his heart.
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 757
    My wife, a Catholic, volunteered to join the choir in a Russian Othodox Cathedral (the London, Moscow Patriarchate one). After a fair bit of chewing it over, they decided not to have her as 'it would give a confusing signal' to have a choir member not eligible to receive the Eucharist.
  • madorganist
    Posts: 308
    M. Jackson Osborn:
    We have in the past had several Jews in the cathedral choir at Walsingham. Their service was impeccable and valued - and they were vested like everyone else.
    I don't doubt it, but it doesn't necessarily follow that the practice is licit or traditional. Do you have women in the choir wearing cassock and surplice?
    If one does not wish to respect the liturgical dignity of non-Catholics who are serving liturgically in our rites, the honest solution is not to employ them in the first place
    Isn't baptism the basis of this liturgical dignity? What gives Jews or other unbelievers the right or privilege to serve liturgically in Catholic worship? (But note the title of this thread: the immediate question is about Protestant singers, not non-Christians.)


    Incardination:
    Although I've seen certain individuals who use the cassock and surplice while fulfilling the choir duty for the EF in the loft, that has always seemed to me to be more of an affectation rather than something rubrical.
    Many male choirs sing from a loft for practical reasons - there's not enough room for them in the sanctuary or they would be too far from the organ. At nearly every televised Mass from the Vatican basilica, there are not only clerics in choir but even concelebrants positioned outside the sanctuary. I don't think the usual location of the Sistine Choir would be considered within the sanctuary - but admittedly, they're not all the way at the other end of the church up in a gallery either. The motu proprio simply says, "It will also be fitting that singers while singing in church wear the ecclesiastical habit and surplice," so I don't understand why you would consider it an affectation. An all-male choir constitutes a real liturgical choir, not just a "choir of the faithful" which is essentially a part of the congregation.


    Chris Garton-Zavesky:
    Why would Protestants want to be in clericals, or sing in a Catholic parish choir?
    Maybe to blend in, and to get paid, respectively.
  • I dont' doubt it, but...

    Madorganist -
    Yes, we do have women in the choir wearing cassock and surplice at Walsingham.
    This is something that has been quite ordinary in the Anglican tradition.
    Incidentally, the choir cassocks at Walsingham are lady blue.
    Thanked by 1moderntrad
  • MO,

    Your examples for wearing cassock / surplice reference clerics at televised Vatican Liturgies. However, I don't believe the norm for male members of lay parish choirs singing from the loft was / is to vest in cassock and surplice despite the motu proprio (at least in the US).

    There are times where I've seen individual laymen choose to put on cassock and surplice while in the loft in a mixed group setting - not in conjunction with other men within the group, but on their own. I've also seen lay people wear the cassock for some period after the ceremonies, almost as if they were a cleric. This was my reference for "affectation". I didn't intend it as a criticism of what you might choose to do in your choir - sorry that wasn't more clear! :)
  • madorganist
    Posts: 308
    The Sistine Choir is composed mostly of laymen, especially young boys. If you're familiar with the 1940 Easter Mass narrated by Fulton Sheen, it shows a besurpliced choir of men and boys singing from a loft (or some location apart from the sanctuary). We can't draw any conclusions about how common that vesture might have been in American parish churches at the time, but it's worth noting that it was selected to appear in a production presumably intended as a sort of model for how to follow Solemn High Mass.

    I would agree that non-uniform use of cassock and surplice by individual singers is odd.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,153
    I'm directing an all-male schola for at a nearby men's college. We'll be sitting in liturgical choir, so I'm expecting all my choir members to come with cassock and surplice. In case they don't, I'll probably have them singing the Gradual verses from the loft in the chapel a la chorus angelorum. I have a few non-Catholic members in my choir, and they'll be expected to vest the same as the rest of us if they're going to be in the sanctuary.
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • Stimson,

    You're working on the assumption (correctly, mind) that those performing a clerical function in choir should dress like it.

    How can non-Catholics dress in clericals?
  • madorganist
    Posts: 308
    This from the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism might be relevant for the OF (but probably not the EF):
    119. ...In a Catholic liturgical celebration, ministers of other Churches and ecclesial Communities may have the place and liturgical honors proper to their rank and their role, if this is judged desirable.

    Again, "Churches and ecclesial Communities" are specified, and no mention is made of Jews or other non-Christians.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,153
    Chris,

    The Protestants are ringers. I guess that makes them "simoniacal mercenary straw clericals", or some designation of that sort.
  • Stimson,

    When you say that they are "ringers" do you mean that they are campanologists, or that they look just like Catholics but aren't?

    Isn't the plural of straw clerical "straws clerical", not straw clericals?
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,153
    Not the former (unfortunately!) but the latter. Having trained the youth of my old parish in the joys of change ringing, I know how lively a bunch they can be. No, my group is unfortunately outside the living Faith - these are "dead ringers".

    And accordingly, where would the placement of simoniacal and mercenary fall in that formulation?

    Thanked by 2madorganist Carol
  • What is a Protestant in the context of this discussion please?

    I see a lot of difference between an Anglican / Episcopalian, a non-denominational church member, and an athiest. Even if they can all sing equally well.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,471
    Hey .. I have seen ..
    .. woven tapestry altar cloths used as makeshift curtains
    .. antependiums used as dormats to easter caves
    .. altar server vestments used as angel costumes

    So why not?
  • Pax,

    Atheists aren't Protestants, although it does appear that some Protestants think belief in God is optional. Mind you, there's an old saw to the effect that the Archbishop of Paris ought, at a minimum, to believe in God, so perhaps it's not just a Protestant thing.

    As to the differences between Anglicans/Episcopalians (not one animal, but let that pass) and non-denominational church members, I think it largely depends on the Anglican/Episcopalian (again, asserting that this is not one animal).

  • madorganist
    Posts: 308
    PaxMelodious, I see no reason why the definition of Protestant should be any different in this context than in any other context: a member of church community which separated from the Catholic Church in the sixteenth century or which has roots in one of those communities.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • .
  • stulte
    Posts: 181
    I'm a little surprised that the term 'communicatio in sacris' hasn't surfaced yet in this discussion (unless I missed it).
  • madorganist
    Posts: 308
    Well, since you brought it up:
    Whilst active communicatio in sacris is always judged impossible for a Catholic, the same is not true for a non-Catholic. It is not only not forbidden, it is in itself good that a non-Catholic should enter a Catholic Church to assist at the Mass or the divine office. (Fr. Thomas Crean, O.P.)
  • stulte
    Posts: 181
    It is not only not forbidden, it is in itself good that a non-Catholic should enter a Catholic Church to assist at the Mass or the divine office.


    The welcome scenario of a non-Catholic coming into one of our churches to attend Mass or the Divine Office is not what is being debated in this thread so far as I can tell. This is about whether having non-Catholic Christians and even non-Christians singing in our choirs and dressing in clerical garb despite their not believing what the Church believes. There's something materially dishonest about having a Protestant, however musically skilled, in a Catholic choir singing ...et unam, sanctam, catholicam, et apostolicam ecclesiam... or a Jew singing "...et in unum Dominum Jesum Christum..." It is all the more so if they're in cassock and surplice.
  • madorganist
    Posts: 308
    Is it more dishonest when they do it in a Catholic church than when they do it in one of their own churches? Or is it perhaps a step in the right direction?
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • stulte's objections are of considerable objective and didactic weight, and should not be lightly dismissed.

    I think, though, that allowing non-believers into our choirs does more 'for' them than 'against' us, providing that they are very respectful and innocent of any ill will towards our faith.

    Converts have come of such service; and we have grown in mercy, love, and evangelism from such service. Serving in the sanctuary would be another matter altogether, but allowing their voices to resound with those of believers can only be a positive development.

    Further, it isn't that every formally Catholic person is a thorough-going and orthodox believer. Nor are such formal Catholics free from the very sins which may or may not be imputable to non-Catholics: adultery, sex of any kind by anyone of any orientation outside or inside of wed-lock that isn't open to pro-creation, plus the catalogue of 'every day sins', and much else. There are many non-Catholics who may be more worthy than some Catholics. Too, perhaps admitting a non-Catholic into our choir brings him or her closer to God, and glorifies God more, than the Catholic who seldom goes to mass? - And, to reference an ancient settlement with un-worthy ministry, the 'ministry' and/or its effects may be quite valid regardless of the moral and confessional status of the 'minister'.

    Carrying these objections to logical extremes, we should employ only Catholic architects, only Catholic sextons, only Catholic organ builders (heaven forbid!), and on and on and on. One of the most profound sacred spaces in Houston is St Basil's Chapel at UST, which was built by the great XXth century American architect, Phillip Johnson, who was an avowed atheist - an atheist who yet was a poet of architecture who understood sacral space. We should let God use who he wishes and who he sends to accomplish what he wishes in their lives and ours. I am not threatened by them - nor is my faith bothered by them.

    Finally - if we are to admit worthy non-Catholics into certain liturgical ministries in our churches, we should want them to submit to being vested, and should not want the liturgy to be the time for their non-vested state to be a red flag that says 'THIS PERSON IS NOT CATHOLIC'. If, as I said in another above comment, we can't conscientiously allow our guests to be vested, then we should not ask them to sing with us at all. That much would be honest and blameless. The vesture goes with the ministry, and the ministry with the vesture.
  • My wife, raised Southern Baptist, spoke, or sung (as the case was), the words "et unam, sanctam, catholicam, et apostolicam ecclesiam" for six years, as a Baptist. She's Roman Catholic now, for seventeen years. Patience with good people can pay off.

    More to the point: We have a few non-Catholics in the choir, and a few Catholics who probably would not be at mass were it not for their membership in the choir. Many of these people are young, and arguably spiritually very vulnerable. (I certainly was so at that age.) Apart from the occasional slip-up, the choir loft is a place of reverent attention, and I am convinced that we are all better off for being there, vesture and all.

    The vesture is an outward sign of ministry, yes, but there are ministries and then there are ministries. All are important and require, minimally, competence and a reverent attitude, but as well, all have their place. Not even the least informed adult in the building will mistake the choir robe and the ministerial role that it represents for the vestments and role of the priest, or even of the altar servers, for that matter.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,153
    If it's any consolation, Stutle, the gentlemen will be singing for the Feast of St. Ignatius, which is only third class, so it won't feature a Credo. ;)
  • madorganist
    Posts: 308
    Not even the least informed adult in the building will mistake the choir robe and the ministerial role that it represents for the vestments and role of the priest, or even of the altar servers, for that matter.
    I would be more concerned about what the most informed adults in the building might assume!
    Thanked by 1stulte
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,409
    to be a red flag


    ...or a yellow 6-pointed star....

    In a 6-person Chant-only choir of my acquaintance, three of the singers were women. Of those three, one was the 'franchise voice.' Excellent singer, knew how to blend with the others and did so unfailingly, leading them gently. The choir was in a loft, not vested. She was a Jewess, not practicing. We thought that having her there was good for her and we KNEW it was good for us.
  • .
  • It seems that there are two separate issues that are being conflated into a single discussion.

    I believe very strongly that part of our responsibility is to draw souls to Christ through the medium of our music... and that certainly includes non-Catholics. I would be totally fine allowing someone to sing in the choir loft, knowing that they are non-Catholic - allowing them space to hopefully develop the realization of the one, true Faith while seeing the example of the Liturgy and our participation therein.

    That is not the same question as vesting them in cassock and surplice (as differentiated from choir robes), putting them in the sanctuary, and implicitly acknowledging that they can serve in an official liturgical capacity.

    Several years ago, our pastor received a letter from a Catholic couple who had been traveling with two other Protestant couples. They were returning home to Florida from an event in Chicago, and happened to stop by our parish during one of the Holy Week ceremonies. According to the letter, the couples discussed what they had seen most of the way home... (I'm under the impression that none of them were familiar with the Extraordinary Form in any context - part of the reason they had stopped by was because of curiosity).

    In the course of their conversation, one of the Protestant men exclaimed - "For the first time, I see Catholicism as a different religion than mine."

    I applaud the sentiment that has us share our Faith with the unbeliever - that is true ecumenism - to expose those without the Faith to the teachings of the Church. But the gentleman's statement above "for the first time..." strikes at the crux of the matter. Our religion is NOT THE SAME as the other religions. Isn't the first step along the path to Truth to recognize that Catholicism is fundamentally different? Why, then, would we be so casual and act as if a Protestant member of our choir is fully in communion with the Church, able to serve in a liturgical capacity?

    In the early days of Christianity, catechumens had to leave the Mass before the Credo. They didn't "believe" until they were baptized. They had no part in the Offertory or in the Canon of the Mass.

    Certainly we live in a different time - I'm not suggesting that we kick catechumens out of Mass. But I think it is a mistake to equate ecumenism - true ecumenism - with ameliorating the principles of our Faith so that someone simply feels more a part of who we are without actually changing anything on their end.

    What next? Encouraging them to receive Communion?

    Is it true Charity to point out the Truth? or simply to make one feel accepted regardless of truth?
  • Thanks for steering us back to the original question. I had gotten caught up in the diversion, I admit. I certainly wasn't advocating for non-Catholics exercising a ministerial function in official garb in the sanctuary.
  • Sounds like its time to marshal forces and replace uber liberal school principals and music teachers with classical trained and educated principals and music teachers.

    Start teaching children traditional sacred music and how to sing anatomically correctly.

    Not having enough well trained and educated Catholic adults in choirs, is a result of years of uber liberals teaching "On Eagle's Wings," "Hear Am I," etc. and other sacro pop garbage.

    Otherwise, there wont be enough Catholics in any choirs; robed or not.
  • Yes that is a fundamental problem. I was taught that junk (in Catholic school, I'm afraid), but fortunately I was also classically trained (not in Catholic school) and eventually the truth was apparent.

    I'm happy to say that our parish has a thriving children's choir that is learning to sing chant and traditional Catholic music (and by 'tradition', here, I do not mean 'from the 60s'). I've started teaching in a local Catholic homeschool group as well. But these things take time. As it turns out, kids get only one year older each year.
  • Carol
    Posts: 202
    I had to sing "On Eagle's Wings" for a funeral yesterday and all I could think about was "Yoo-hoo." Thank you all for that.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CHGiffen
  • Carol,

    You reminded me of this, which I penned some years ago.


    On Eagles' Wings ...

    Yoo hoo!, here in the shelter of the Lord,
    we abide in His shelter for life.
    Hear from the Lord, your refuge:
    "In sin you should not trust"!

    And He can raise you up on Eagles' wings,
    He can keep you safe from harm,
    make you soon shine like the Son,
    but only if you're in His Hand.

    The snare of the fowler can't catch a bird like you,
    and famine can't bring you to heel:
    if you know better than God,
    what need have you of shield?

    And He can raise you up on Eagles' wings,
    He can keep you safe from harm,
    make you soon shine like the Son,
    but only if you're in His Hand.

    You needle each and every little thing
    which you see and you think has gone out.
    Though thousands tried before you,
    they erred and so do you!

    And He can raise you up on Eagles' wings,
    He can keep you safe from harm,
    make you soon shine like the Son,
    but only if you're in His Hand.

    For to His angels (HIS angels don't you see?)
    He's given the charge to call home
    ungrateful souls,
    so they bear you up.
    Would you turn away their earnest plea?

    And He can raise you up on Eagles' wings,
    He can keep you safe from harm,
    make you soon shine like the Son,
    but only if you're in His Hand.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 8,974
    And I will strafe your house with F-15s,
    Blow you into kingdom come.
    Make you to shine like the sun,
    and blast your butt into the land beyond...

    I cleaned that one up a bit over the usual.

    Yeah, I played it for a funeral earlier in the week. My cantor said, "where are they hearing all this awful music? We don't sing it." I hate it, but am not willing to argue over the body of a deceased relative. However, it will not be heard on Sunday.
    Thanked by 2Carol StimsonInRehab
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 948
    It seems to me that someone ought to write something meaningful about the churches' many pronouncements on things liturgical throughout the ages and how they change...For example, as already cited here, when the church make a declaration about some issue, one might believe or accept that is stands forever. However, the church can and often does totally reverse her opinion of many issues. Here is just one big one: In the canons of the Council of Trent "Anathema" is pronounced on anyone who attempt to celebrate the Mass in a vernacular language. Fast forward 300 years, and the church pretty much decrees that exact forbidden thing. There are many other example of this. Therefore, I think one must read these document not as an absolute law, but take into account changes in the church culture, changes in liturgical emphases and so forth. Those who scour the documents to find some "proof text" to prove a point are kind of missing the point I think.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 757
    Actually ghmus7, the anathema is against those who say the liturgy should be celebrated only in the vernacular. In the discussions at Trent the majority thought that vernacular would be inopportune at that time, not for all time. So VII did not reject the view of Trent, merely said that vernacular was no longer inopportune, and of course emphasised the continuing primacy of Latin (for the Latin patriarchate).
  • Nor did Vatican II, in Greg's words, 'decrees that exact forbidden thing'. The Church did not decree that the mass be said in the vernacular, it said that it could be done with the permission of the ordinary. We are not dealing with a command that the vernacular substitute for Latin. Not that I am opposed to vernacular liturgy - quite the opposite. But I think clarification here is necessary, just as it is on many things that Vatican II 'did away with' or commanded be done which it did no such thing, which it actually commanded be preserved!
  • {Just imagine: an Anglican ordinariate musician fundamentally opposed to Mass in the vernacular....}


    Hawkins,

    The message that anathema has been cast on those who say that the worship of the Church may be only in the vernacular apparently excommunicated Archbishop Annibale Bugnini, who claims in his book that there is no justification for retaining Latin, since (his argument) the addressee needs to understand what is being said to him......

    I wonder, therefore (and yes, this is a serious question) if the entire reform can, should, or must be called into question?
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,342
    there is no justification for retaining Latin, since (his argument) the addressee needs to understand what is being said to him......


    I'm sure God understands Latin.

    That's the problem with the OF Mass: it misapprehends Whom the Mass is addressed to.