Use of Agni Parthene in Roman Catholic parish?
  • BGP
    Posts: 205
    It’s a very popular 19th century E Orthodox devotional hymn
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WkqZbFQb0O0

    I’m rather taken with it, but how appropriate is it in the context of an RCC parish? (As a choral piece)
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 257
    Depends on occasion.

    But personally I hate Byzantine stuff sung in RC settings. Regardless of the occasion.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,338
    Igneus... why? curious.
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 257
    I love both Agni parthene specifically (as a student I knew the Greek original almost by heart and prepared a translation to my mother tongue) and the Byzantine tradition in general. But pieces "stolen" there just don't fit in the Roman framework. The language, style, imagination, traditional forms - everything sounds very strange when put in direct contrast with the Roman liturgy.

    (I am aware of the few Byzantine pieces included in the Roman Breviary and now in the LOTH. And they illustrate my point quite well - actually I first learned about them by stumbling upon an antiphon like "hey, this sounds very much like a Byzantine troparion!")
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 103
    There is nothing in the rubrics which would forbid it. And since it is vastly superior to much which has been published since 1970 or thereabouts . . . .

    Perhaps it could be used as example of the church breathing with both her lungs.
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 257
    Perhaps it could be used as example of the church breathing with both her lungs.


    Better to say "as an example of one lung breathing despite of being patched by pieces from the other".
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,290
    This might work at Dom Beaudin's monastery. Average Latin parish . . . not quite.

    I mean, it's the same with Gospel music. Sung by black choirs? Awesome. Sung by a couple old biddies in multi-colored blouses hogging the microphone? Hail no.

    As McLuhan said, the medium is the message. And we don't need to send mixed messages at Mass. Lord knows we send enough of those as is.
    Thanked by 2igneus eft94530
  • igneusigneus
    Posts: 257
    Has anyone ever witnessed Byzantine liturgy featuring some of the great musical pieces (be it chant, polyphony or whatever) of the Roman tradition? I haven't. They just don't do this, and rightly so.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,308
    Of course not; almost everything they sing is something called "propers". :-)
  • Priestboi
    Posts: 154
    Hm...as a 'gathering hymn' or 'recessional' on a special feast of the BVM, there should be no problem. There again, something new could be composed based on the imagery or melody.

    It really is beautiful. An Orthodox priest-friend translated it to Afrikaans. What an amazing experience to hear that sung in one of my native languages.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Two different kinds of beauty aren't necessarily welcome together.

    The beauty of the Traditional Roman Rite and the beauty of Byzantine music might very well be such a kind of infelicitous cohabitation.

    On the other hand, in an Ordinary Form environment, where ugly is the order of the day, what would be the point of introducing something like this Byzantine music.
  • Igneus has expressed the first and last pelucid words in this matter.
    'Borrowings' such as these can find a place in sacred concerts or other non-ritual settings.
    But, as for the mass, we have our own repertory of chant and choral music, which, truth be known, is 'optional' only by the standards of recent and novel perversions of praxis. If WE did only the ritual music native to our own rite there would be no place to 'grandfather in' elements from another rite - no matter how objectively lovely they might be.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,579
    an Ordinary Form environment, where ugly is the order of the day
    The nativists are restless, I see.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • ...where ugly...
    ...nativists are restless...
    (They are, indeed!)
    It may be that, owing to the anti-cultural circumstances of our time, and of the nostalgic penumbra surrounding its resurrection, there are few 'ugly' EF masses at this time. If this is the case it is only because the EF was specifically resurrected to be an object of beauty in contrast to the liturgical chaos which was visited upon the OF for so many years. There likely are, though, some not so pretty ones here and there; and there were plenty, as in no dirth of, of them in the days before the recent council. Enough of them that they earned for the whole an undeservedly bad repute. How often do we must needs rehearse the truth that it is the people, not the rite, that are the problem - poorly trained, and even deliberately misled seminarians, poorly catechised and misinformed laity, these are the problem, not the rite itself. It is not seemly nor smart to continue throwing rotten tomatoes at the OF, because there is also no dirth of OF decent-to-exceptional masses to prove that 'ugly' is not the sui generis order of the day for it. Too, this silliness that the OF in an of intself 'invites' all the 'ugliness' visited upon it is pure hogwash. It doesn't.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,308
    For the user with the habit of pointless carping:
    image



    750 x 70 - 13K
  • BGP
    Posts: 205
    "in an Ordinary Form environment, where ugly is the order of the day, what would be the point of introducing something like this"
    Is freaking out the crypto-protestants not a good reason?



    Thank you all for your input, yes- I think it doesn't belong in a Roman context... it's just so beautiful.
  • CGM
    Posts: 419
    There's an SATB arrangement of this hymn that I've seen used in Masses of Profession for some sisterly religious orders