"Dream the Impossible Dream"
  • What would it take for recognition to be given by competent authorities to the fact that:

    1) We have a heritage of sacred music from all periods
    2) That Vatican II encourages us to preserve and foster
    3) That was written with various rubrical situations and practical considerations in mind and, where worthy of the Temple, in such a way is to fit those situations very naturally,
    4) But which unfortunately often suffers adversely from later rubrical changes, appearing unwieldy or inadequate to the liturgy thanks to them.

    And then, given these facts, to allow, when a Catholic community, for purposes of divine worship, wishes to employ a top-shelf piece of our heritage of liturgical music, for special permission to be given to use older rubrics / requirements that were in place when that music was written?

    Those with an axe to grind will surely say that this privileges music over liturgy, monkeying with the rites for the sake of performance, but could it not also be said that the music actually preserves implicitly a whole body of liturgical customs, which speak, when taken together with the music written for them, uniquely of the Church's heritage of divine worship?
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,514
    Well, they'd have to get past #2 above before they could even consider #3.

    I'm a musicologist of sorts. But not when I'm being a church musician. I think that if we're going to suspend current rubrics, it would need to be in a special (i.e., not Sunday/HDO regularly scheduled) Mass.

    I haven't had much of a problem with this, and most of the problem would be self-imposed. Where I run into rubrical issues:
    1. Glorias. I don't think it's a big issue to repeat Gloria in excelsis Deo, as long as the priest sings it first. But some might
    2. Complete texts. It's an issue with Landsmesse and some other things. I recomposed the Rheinberger Op. 62 Gloria to get a complete text (see cpdl)
    3. Credos in general. Our priests don't like long Credos, the PiPs obviously can't sing along with them, and I'm just enough of a liturgy guy that I like the Creed to be a communal profession of faith. For a solemn high, maybe a polyphonic Credo. But I'm not a fan.
    4. Sanctus/Benedictus. Here there's the opposite problem: rubrically, we HAVE to break in composed music (not chant). Which means when doing something like Willan St. Teresa, we get off our knees and sing for 20 seconds.
    5. Offertory time. There's barely time to slip in a motetlet after the antiphon. We like to do hymns (chant or chorales-style), because we can break off at verse end.

    Now, I can think of some things where one might really want to do original rubrics. It would be nice to hear a French Mass with a full Salut and the O Salutaris in the right place.(Can we adapt a Salvum me fac regem for the President?) Or to do a late-19th c. German-American Mass with the organist filling in and accompanying like a black Pentecostal Hammondist.

    It's hard enough though to convince the clergy about good music, or that the Church existed before 1964.
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,458
    French Mass with a full Salut and the O Salutaris in the right place
    Jeffrey Quick - could you enlighten me on this / point me to something I can read, please.
  • In my view, priests rushing through their dialogues and the entire Liturgy of the Eucharist to get the congregation out in under an hour is more of an obstacle than the newer rites specifically. You can say the EF in no time, too, to the point where anything more than speedily chanted Gregorian repertoire or recto tono seems out of place.
  • I actually meant in context of the EF, things like on Herr Quick's list, e.g. the repeated Gloria, or even Requiems with Communios attached to Agnus Dei settings.

    Or indeed replacing the Benedictus with an Elevation Motet in French settings...

    Actually, he kind of nailed my list.

    And I quite agree: special Masses on non-obligation days for this kind of thing.
    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick
  • GerardH
    Posts: 82
    I was lamenting only recently that no option exists in the OF for the canon to be said silently. A 4+ minute Sanctus & Benedictus is quite a strain if congregation and clergy must wait on the choir. More often than not it results in the omission of the Sanctus from whatever choral setting is being sung, or the suppression of choral ordinaries altogether!

    Where's mutual enrichment when you need it?
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 225
    Couldn't this be done in the context of 'private' devotional groups or religious orders? I'm thinking of, for instance, Masses I've attended at convents that although OF and although the public can assist if they wish, are done at the pace and style the sisters prefer: slowly, contemplatively, and with all the songs and all the verses. Masses at retreats of devotional groups are also often done in their own style and at their own pace.
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,514
    Let's add accompanied Requiems, which get squeaked through for funerals but are generally frowned upon.
    Thanked by 2GerardH JonathanKK
  • Accompanied requiems? Accompanied with what? Weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth?
  • GerardH
    Posts: 82
    @CatherineS Maybe, but I doubt most choirs we forum members are involved with are 'private' or 'devotional'. The liturgy is, after all, the public prayer of the faithful, and most choirs serve the liturgy in that public context.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW