The New normal
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,773
    Fr Hunwicke has a new blog post, have reproduced it here,
    Apparently, robust congregational singing [RCS] is unacceptable to those who are keeping us safe from the Pestilence.

    I'm not going to crow about 'silver linings' while so many people are dying so painfully from the New Death. But, at least, I do not feel that we are obliged to mourn the criminalisation of RCS. It need not impinge at all upon traditional Catholics; the singing in a sung Mass can be done by socially distanced members of a schola or, at a pinch, by a single cantor. As far as the Novus Ordo is concerned, the sooner most of its dreadful music is discontinued, the better. Personally, both as an Anglican and as a Catholic, I have never sung hymns. When, in the Church of England, I deemed it pastorally prudent, I used to mime the words noiselessly with my lips. In the Catholic Church, with its less fierce regimentation, I have felt under no pressure to do even this.

    But what many people, including many Catholics, will probably not realise is that the proscription of RCS is de facto the proscription of the surviving patterns of Popular Protestantism. For the common (wo)man, 'worship' means RCS. For those who never visit places of worship, 'going to Church' would mean RCS and listening to a 'vicar' preaching. Vast numbers of 'ordinary' lay 'Anglicans' intensely dislike the Eucharist. This is the Elephant in the Room which nonsense-circuses such as ARCIC have never noticed. After Bishop John Richards lured me down to his own retirement patch in rural Devon, I learned a great deal about popular Anglicanism. When our Incumbent resigned and, within days, 'JR' died, I was sweetly asked if we could take this happy opportunity to abandon the Eucharist and have forms of service generically known as "Songs of Praise". That means Everybody's Favourite Hymns. Except that it doesn't even mean that. It means Everybody's Favourite Tunes.

    There are, of course, fragments of the old Anglican and Non-Conformist Patrimonies, mainly at the 'extremes', where this is not true. But, overwhelmingly, it is (I believe) a fact that modern 'dogma-free' Liberal Protestantism would not survive the abolition of RCS as a cultural phenomenon.

    So we are faced with an interesting theological conundrum. Should we collaborate in eliminating this effete and pitiful parody of Christianity? S John Henry, you will remember, faced this question when he advocated the survival of the Church of England on the grounds that it was a barrier against worse varieties of unbelief; but added that the time could well come when a different prudential assessment might apply.

    Have we reached that point? Is it best to retain a subculture which, at least, keeps alive a memory of Christianity, or would we be more free to preach the Gospel without this millstone round our necks?

    I am far from infallible, but I increasingly incline to the latter assessment. I think the encroachment of 'Women Clergy' has been significant. We used to argue that the 'Ordination of Women' was "invalid", but the truth is that it is only too potently 'valid'. A 'woman priest' or 'bishop' is an ultra-valid symbolical affirmation and expression of a profound gender disorder, subversive both of Scripture, Tradition, and of most human experience. It has been the hyperbebaios first step into a brave new world of fluid and indeterminate gender.

    So: burn the Hymn-books?

    No? Yes?

    From http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2020/05/more-new-normal.html
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,852
    No! Revive Rosary, Benediction, Holy Hour, and Vespers; and put the hymns back in these where thay came from.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,450
    He has a tendency to bitch and moan about something - it's always something. The Protestant hymns were originally singing the Psalms. There was never anything wrong with that.

    As far as the Novus Ordo is concerned, the sooner most of its dreadful music is discontinued, the better


    I have heard some pretty dreadful EF music in my time, too. No one has a monopoly on it. I think the problem with the "new" normal is that there never really was an "old" normal.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,166
    ...its dreadful music...
    Why this continual harping on the dreadful music of the OF as if it were intrinsic to the OF? The OF does not require nor call for the dreadful music that most parishes foist upon it. The OF can be, and in many places is, celebrated with dignity, reverence, and good liturgical music, including plain chant. People should stop equating bad music with the OF. It is not intrinsic to the rite. Bad music emphatically is not 'its music'. It is the iconoclastic spirit of our times and goes hand in hand with the murder-suicide of western culture at the hands of our own intellectual elites (who aren't, really, very elite).

    It is interesting that those who demean the OF and heap accolades upon the EF never take note that most EF masses were, in their day, said as swiftly as could be, had horribly done chant (if they had chant at all), horrible and maudlin choral music which was a very poor imitation of the Palestrina style.

    Both rites are capable of sublime beauty, and both rites are capable of being ruined by horrible music and a desire to 'get it over with'. Yes, the EF has/had its very own and very distinctive horrible music. And, as I have noted before on this Forum, if the EF were still the only rite it would, because of the current Zeitgeist, be accompanied by guitars and happy-clappy settings of the propers and ordinary.

    The OF and bad liturgical praxis do not in and of themselves go together.

    An analogy is available in the various modern treatments of the BCP. Most people have a well-deserved image of the exquisite liturgical praxis of the Anglican world and its sublime music. This is an accurate picture of BCP ritual. Less known but not at all uncommon, are the more than a few Anglican parishes which celebrate the BCP with all manner of contemporary sacro-junk music. We do not, though, think ill of or condem the BCP because of these unfortunate folk. We think of them as aberrant abusers of what is actually a ritually rich tradition with the finest of music. And so it is with the OF.

    The problem is certain people, not the rite.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,450
    Amen. Bad music can happen anywhere. When I was in college studying music there were some visiting folks from England who brought some music and worship practices from something called Alpha. It was dreadful. I was shocked because I didn't think the C of E did bad contemporary music. These folks did. I was glad when they departed.

    It can happen anywhere.
  • Jackson,

    Would you have the dreadful music depart from the OF, but allow (encourage, cajole, force) the good music to remain?
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  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,166
    Chris -

    I would do all the things you mention except the last, force. What is forced is never loved. An analogy was once pointed out to me - if a beautiful bird comes and sits in your hand of its own accord, you own it. If you have to clinch it to prevent its flight, thinking that that you own it, you don't and never will own it.
    So it is with force. Conversion is the only way.
    Catechise, catechise, catechise -
    consistently, insistently, patiently, lovingly, and determinably..
  • cesarfranck
    Posts: 132
    CharlesW, Alpha is sort of a "basics of Christianity" course of study that originated in COE and came to USA through Anglicans/Episcopalians. Compared with Cursillo, it is a much less emotional and not as cringe-worthy. That being said, Cursillo music and most "songs" I have heard at Alpha are horrible. Occasionally a parishioner still goes to Cursillo. I always dread when they return to the parish and want to "share" with me some "meaningful" ditties that "touched" them. Gagging! Bad music can happen anywhere and any rite or liturgy.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,450
    Understand. One of my choir members visited one of the heathen parishes in the area and came back wanting to sing, "Hosea." I told her it wasn't in the hymnal. I might have burned those hymnals if it were there.
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  • MarkB
    Posts: 312
    I attended a Mass this evening, first public Mass in two months in our diocese. It was very strange and kind of depressing to see the entire congregation spaced apart and wearing masks. It's not natural, it's not human. It's not what Mass is supposed to be.

    It occurred to me that the new normal is to celebrate Massk.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,989
    or Massque....
    Thanked by 2Carol cesarfranck
  • mmeladirectress
    Posts: 798
    So what distancing, for now. So what masks, for now.
    Still the normal:

    Deus, tu conversus vivificabis nos
    Et plebs tua laetabitur in te.
    Ostende, nobis, Domine, misericordiam tuam
    Et salutare tuum da nobis
    Domine, exaudi orationem meam
    Et clamor meus ad te veniat.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,170
    Et clamor meus ad te veniat.

    Even if slightly muffled.
  • mmeladirectress
    Posts: 798
    Chonak thanks for the laugh... needed it
    Thanked by 2CatherineS Elmar
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,604
    I object to the term "New Normal"; there's nothing normal about any of the post-COVID regimen, and we should refuse to stipulate to it being practice from now forward.

    My own diocese has essentially forbidden singing, except perhaps by the priest and cantor. Apparently the powers think that people will remember not to sing the responses when they come back; Our Lord's words about the stones crying out come to mind here.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 425
    My promises so far, which I hope continue to hold up, are:
    1) Never to use 'socially distanced' in a sentence (such as "Please come to my socially distanced bbq this saturday! byob!")
    2) To keep praying and singing every day, no matter what anyone else does.
    2a) To check in regularly on friends, acquaintances, and 'neighborhood fixtures' to see how people are doing.
    3) To patiently await properly reverent and dignified access to the Sacraments, God willing; may I not compromise on this.

    And in line with Jeffrey's comment, 4) not to accept abnormal as normal!
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,879
    So I looked it up. Somebody ran a study on prevalence of Flu-A and Flu-B virus in droplets (from speaking) and golly gee, it's exactly the same as that of Peking Pox.

    But I don't remember dumping choirs during Flu season, nor during H1N1 or SARS epidemics years ago. Hmmmmm.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Caleferink
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,989
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will release its first phase reopening guidelines today, including these for places of worship:

    https://41g41s33vxdd2vc05w415s1e-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Places-of-Worship_Circular-Checklist_Eng.pdf
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 801
    I was reading an article in the NY Times that stated that COVID-19 could be around until Sept. 2021.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 317
    The Cleveland Diocese has issued the following guidelines regarding music.
    https://www.dioceseofcleveland.org/forward-in-christ/worship-guidelines/additional-information


  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 496
    Not only is this based on the same ACDA fear-mongering presentation, they had the nerve to include this:

    "Solo or small instrumental ensembles might assist with adding musical prayer to liturgies. Keyboard, string, or percussion instruments are encouraged for such ensembles. Brass or wind instruments are not to be used, for the same reasons that singing is not permitted."

    About as liturgically wrong as you can get.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,852
    "string instruments which are played with a bow, are easily adapted to liturgical use"
    De musica sacra 60(b) & 68
    Thanked by 2tomjaw madorganist
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,989
    And the Archdiocese of Boston has in turn released its preliminary guidance:

    https://rcabrisk.org/re-opening-guidance/
    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • Schönbergian
    Posts: 496
    Strings are indeed easily adapted for liturgical use, but the ensembles that are encouraged to also include "keyboard" and "percussion" instruments are likely not touching Corelli's church sonatas.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,166
    Alas, we have entered into an age in which a 'keyboard' is not any longer exactly the same thing as 'clavier' or 'clavecin'. Nowadays by 'keyboard' is meant a piano simulacrum or a synthesiser, neither of which belongs in church (or anywhere else). A pox upon their house.

  • Salieri,

    No choir, but Eucharistic Ministers as needed? Wow. Could a sensible priest decide that he wanted not to spread COVID 19, and was low on funds for hand sanitizer, and so that there were no extra ministers needed at all? Or, could a priest decide that his parish would make spiritual communions until the ban on lingual conmmunion is lifted?

    Thinking laterally for a second, would alcohol (such as is mouthwash) be suitable as a way of preventing the spread of the virus? Could choirs sing if they used some high-powered alcohol to purify their mouths before singing?
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 317
    Chris, I don't know a choir with a snootful might sound better, I personally wouldn't care how loud I got!
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  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,577
    No choir, but Eucharistic Ministers as needed?

    What do you expect in a diocese run by the Sisters of St. Joseph?
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Ok., . but what about the rest. Jen proposes (in another thread) that this is a time of purification of our worship. Based on what you've read (and you know your bishop and your priests better than I do) is what I suggested a sensible, reasonable scenario?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,852
    From the BBC
    France's administrative court has ruled that the government must lift a blanket ban on meetings at places of worship within eight days.
    The ban was put in place as part of measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.
    The Council of State ruled the ban was "disproportionate in nature" and caused "damage that was seriously and manifestly illegal".
    [Continued]After receiving complaints from several individuals and associations - ¿not the Catholic Church Authorities ?
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Elmar
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,773
    @a_f_hawkins

    One of the few joys of having a separation of Church and state...
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,577
    Based on what you've read (and you know your bishop and your priests better than I do) is what I suggested a sensible, reasonable scenario?

    No. Since communion from 'the cup' is prohibited, what it means EMHC wise is that instead of having 11 lay people distributing communion with the priest, there will only be 5--the 6 cup people having been banished.

    And Spiritual Communion is one of those silly things that 'went out with Vatican II'--Holy Communion is a symbol of the togetherness of the local faith community, to stay in your pew and pray by yourself destroys the communal action.

    And as far as the now "mandatory" communion in the hand goes: I already know of one priest in the diocese who has publicly stated that he will refuse communion to anyone who "insists" on receiving on the tongue when the churches reopen; stating that he will be 'obedient to the local bishop'.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 425
    Though I would think the virus-hiatus is a superb time to rethink and correct liturgical abuses that had become commonplace or novelties that had become new normals in their own right, that is because my thoughts go: "God has permitted something precious to be taken away. So He is probably asking that I purify my attitude towards it. How can I take this opportunity to increase prayer, virtue, reverence, etc?" But if ones priority is "how quickly can we go back to what we were doing, and what workarounds can we use to get there faster?" the response will be different.

    I might be wrong, however. But the first approach has generally been reliable for me so far.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,450
    We do have bishops and they are in charge. We can't just have them when they do what we want and like. This whole virus situation is a trial for everyone and I will be glad when it is over. Until then, we do what we have to do to get by.

    Our directives are here.

    https://1saxj2i1vq934y49o1o3msw9lu-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Bishop-Stika-Pastoral-Letter-Decree-Diagrams-on-Public-Masses.pdf
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,577
    We do have bishops and they are in charge.

    CharlesW: I'm impressed that you have bishops that are in charge.
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,450
    Ours seems to know exactly what he wants. What is "normal" on this forum, since we are on that topic, is that our bishops are great when they do as we like. When they don't...

    All the complaining about communion in the hand is ridiculous. Be grateful you have communion at all. Granted, I come from an eastern perspective where it isn't all that unusual for someone to receive maybe 4 times a year. They survive, prosper, and do well with that. However, if it were taken away it would be greatly missed. Gratitude is a good thing.
    Thanked by 2Carol Elmar
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,604
    Eucharistic Ministers as needed

    Eucharistic ministers were needed 8 weeks ago. I have not anywhere seen where EMHC were commissioned by a priest or boshop to bring the Eucharist to the homebound faithful, nor have I seen any EMHC lobbying for that right. Did I miss something?

    If EMHC aren't needed in extraordinary times (which seems to have been the consensus), then they aren't needed in ordinary times either.
    Thanked by 3Don9of11 tomjaw Elmar
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 793
    our bishops are great when they do as we like what is within their authority to do.

    No bishop has the authority to ban communion on the tongue.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 801
    But they can ban communion altogether. Which would you rather have? No communion or communion in the hand?
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Bhcordova,

    I would rather the practice of Communion in the Hand be abolished.
    Nevertheless: if I am ever forced to choose, I shall receive a spiritual communion rather than in the hand.
  • mmeladirectress
    Posts: 798
    I wish I could remember which of the saints wrote (my paraphrase) “you want to take the Sacred Host into your hand? Really? That hand?!”

    >>> Which would you rather have? No communion or communion in the hand?

    Spiritual communion (which is not “no” Communion)
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,692
    the 6 cup people having been banished.


    I would rather the practice of Communion in the Hand be abolished.
    Nevertheless: if I am ever forced to choose, I shall receive a spiritual communion rather than in the hand.


    Here was one persons response to the whole matter... take it for what it is...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_pWslcJ7B0
  • Francis,

    You've missed Dr. Scott Hahn's talk.. It's 4 cups.
    Or one quart, I guess.
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,577
    You've missed Dr. Scott Hahn's talk.. It's 4 cups.
    Or one quart, I guess.

    CGZ: Francis was quoting from me; it is I whom you ought to be reprimanding. And, yes, I did miss Scott Hahn's talk. And to be honest, I prefer having a pint after Mass, anyway.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 793
    But they can ban communion altogether. Which would you rather have? No communion or communion in the hand?
    This is like saying that the state can ban traffic on the highway (for a good reason) - so you shouldn't complain when they put the speed limit to 10 mph when they do open the roads (for no reason).

    If they are going to allow the distribution of communion, it must be available on the tongue. This isn't my personal opinion: "each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue" (Redemptionis sacramentum #92). This was confirmed by Rome in response to a query during the 2009 flu outbreak.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CCooze
  • JaredOstermann
    Posts: 435
    Meanwhile in Sioux Falls - we opened last weekend, good crowds at all 4 of the regular Masses I played (granted, a good crowd right now with pews roped off and spacing is around 150-175 people in a cathedral that seats 700). No ban on congregational singing - we printed hymn texts in the disposable bulletin/liturgy guide since we have no hymnals now and the singing was strong. Communion on the tongue available directly after Mass at the Marian side altar (not perfect, maybe, but I think a good compromise to allow it without trying to incorporate it into the regular communion line).

    My impression from colleagues around the country is that the ACDA/NATS conference was hugely influential on Catholic cathedral music directors and office of worship directors. The trickle down to bans on congregational singing diocesan-wide seems to me primarily contingent on how much the above players bought into the conference and advocated for restrictions. I would prefer to see more subsidiarity, especially since the urban core big-city cathedral may not be a good model for small rural parishes. E.g. in rural South Dakota we have huge swathes of land where not a single case has been found.

    It's worth noting that the danger of singing has already been question by a German team. Certainly, nothing is conclusive at this point. But that means it is also not conclusive that singing is a uniquely dangerous thing for choirs or congregations to engage in (especially given the distancing requirements for congregations). Study linked to article here:
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/17/did-singing-together-spread-coronavirus-to-four-choirs

    I realize that South Dakota has been an outlier throughout this crisis, so I'm not judging those places that are more worried.

    The next month will show a lot, as different approaches are tried and everyone watches for spikes. Personally, I was not ready to lead the charge to ban congregational singing. Mass is not required right now; nor is attendance at any particular parish. If some others in town prefer not to have singing, and people gravitate there, that may be a natural way of things working themselves out. I'm in favor of subsidiarity and flexibility as everyone tries to figure this out.

  • Liam
    Posts: 3,989
    Jared

    Are people required to wear masks inside?
  • My impression from colleagues around the country is that the ACDA/NATS conference was hugely influential on Catholic cathedral music directors and office of worship directors.


    There's probably a ban on consanguinity that might apply?
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,773
    @JaredOstermann
    It's worth noting that the danger of singing has already been question(ed) by a German team.

    Here is a link to an English choir that spread it,
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52589449
    Interestingly the bar the choir go to had an out break among the staff...

    Once again I am still looking for the research that shows choir members are more likely to die of respiratory diseases. I have sung with choirs with many elderly members, and do not remember any dying of Respiratory diseases.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 425
    There may be simply the fact of a lot of people spraying saliva in closed spaces with canned air - whether that be a bar, a cruise ship, a restaurant, a party, a choir loft, etc. There is no ventilation except the wind from an air conditioner or heater; people are standing near each other and shouting, singing or chatting excitedly; there may be a lot of hugging and other close proximity (if merely because people are friends, or because it is a social environment).
    Thanked by 1Elmar