Whose fault is it that we use bad music and what can we do about it?
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    The problem isn't with the hymns (except for the bad and heretical ones, of course, but that's another discussion), the problem is with people and their attitudes toward the Mass and the Office, which is contrary to sound liturgical principles, against Tradition, and, if I may be so bold to say, against Desiderio desideravi, because the use of non-liturgical, devotional hymns to replace liturgical texts, including replacing the hymns of the Divine Office, deforms the liturgy (cf. the American Liturgy of the Hours, where the actual Office Hymns by Gregory, et al., are replaced by songs by Lucien Deiss). The problem is that liturgy is no longer taken as an objective reality, but as a venue for creativity, for the community to fashion in its own image: it's the "Liturgy is a permanent workshop" (I believe it was Joseph Gelineau who said that) mentality that is the problem, because it causes the liturgy to cease to be the dialogue between the Bride and the Bridegroom, or the instruction of the Mother to her children, and instead becomes the monologue of the narcissist, praising himself as he gazes into the mirror.

    Hymns (the good ones) are not the problem in themselves, they are objectively good, but things that are objectively good can be misused.
    Thanked by 2MarkB ServiamScores
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    I should point out that I have used Kathy's metrical Introits, and highly recommend them to those who want to introduce the Propers. I personally prefer them to Tietze's, because they are all in Long Meter which allows them to be sung to many well-known melodies, and can be a great way of introducing chant, since there are many great Office hymns which are LM.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    As pointed out already, GIRM provides for a freely chosen hymn of praise after communion. And a recessional is not banned by GIRM.


    Yes, two hymns at least are allowed, and the option at the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion (during distribution) are probably allowed to be hymns as well: "another liturgical chant that is suited to the sacred action, the day, or the time of year, similarly approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop" (Entrance and Offertory), and "some other suitable liturgical chant approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop" (Communion).


  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 428
    Badly performed beautiful music is still beautiful music.


    Nope. Nothing badly performed is beautiful, by anyone's sense of beauty.


    The Hootenanny Mass (if I understand correctly) is intentionally focused on the worshippers, and not on God.


    Why? Latin lyrics from the propers can easily enough be set to folk-tunes. And the Mass is a celebration (ie party) where relive the death and resurrection.
  • Bach isn't to blame for hideous synthesizer and kazoo renditions of his work. The thing itself is a work of beauty, but the performer has damaged it. Otherwise, the public worship of the Church is a thing of great ugliness, because some people mangle it (and some of those do so fully cognizant of what they're doing and why).
    Thanked by 1LauraKaz
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    i hear all your documented reasons... i used to subscribe to them all... for decades... however... like Charles has often pointed out... it's like moving chairs around...
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    Please don't miss my point.

    I'm not arguing for a greater use of hymnody.

    I'm arguing that we stop letting our ideals about proper texts shame us into fearing to do the good we would be able to do if we actively engaged hymnody.

  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Am I not doing enough to promote excellent hymnody for a liturgy which I believe is faulty? I struggle even as I do.

    UPDATE

    The NO is the face of a faulty body. Having a ‘face fix’ on the NO (good and appropriate hymns for example) does nothing to fix the body which is running in the wrong direction altogether. To illustrate the point, WHO decides if Sarah Hart or Thomas Aquinas is the opening hymn for the liturgy?
    2378 x 3007 - 215K
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    And the Mass is a celebration (ie party) where [we] relive the death and resurrection.

    Yeah, no, sorry. That isn't what that word means in church-speak. It (coming from the Latin) refers to the solemn officiating or performance of a public ceremony or religious service, what is called "leitourgos" in Greek (Latinized as "liturgy").
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    At the risk of sounding argumentative (which ship has, most likely, already sailed and sunk)...

    I'm arguing that we stop letting our ideals about proper texts shame us into fearing to do the good we would be able to do if we actively engaged hymnody.

    I think that I am on the same page as you, i.e., don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and that the hymnody used needs to be truly liturgical and of the highest quality. And I believe this in both the Mass and the Office. One of the first things that I did when I took my current position as Director of Music a million years ago was weed the hymn repertoire of the parish: I also had to fight to use truly liturgically appropriate hymnody, rather than everybody likes or knows XYZ so we should do it, even if it doesn't have anything at all to do with the proceedings.

    Unfortunately, engaging with hymnody is the last thing that some people want to do. There is no discernment in programming hymns. One of the things that I love to do (within reason, of course) is find connexions between part of a reading, a proper, or an oration, or even of an entire feast, in a hymn that no one would expect to be used at that time. E.g., on Corpus Christi one would expect the hymn after Communion to be one of the standard Eucharistic hymns, like "Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all"; not this year: this time I programmed "Of the Father's heart begotten". But I think that this kind of engagement is lacking in most places. E.g. on "Good Shepherd Sunday", at a Mass celebrated by the Bishop, the official diocesan TV Mass (which is now, and always has been completely dreadful), the musicians chose "Hail, Holy Queen, enthroned above" as the Entrance Chant. Reading GIRM 48, I can't figure out why such a hymn would be appropriate for this part of the Mass on this particular Sunday.

    I think that part of the problem with our use of hymnody is that all of the devotions and para-liturgies have gone away contrary to the desires of the Council, and so we feel that we need to wedge as many things into the Mass as possible. I agree with Dean Eric Milner-White when he said that the Church needs more imaginative worship, and so he created the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, while NB keeping the official Prayer Book Liturgies (Matins, Evensong, Eucharist) untouched. We need to do the same: Keep the Mass the Mass, the Office the Office, following the directives of the GIRM, GILtH and other legislation, using, to the best of our abilities, the options that our resources can handle, be they Gregorian Propers, seasonal chants, or good hymns, wisely and in an authentically liturgical way, while at the same time reviving or devising devotional services, which is where many hymns were originally intended to be used in the first place.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,746
    I have also weeded our hymn repertoire. Recently I cleared a linear foot-and-a-half from just one of our filing cabinets that contain the choral repertoire too. I have much more to do on that front this summer, as I have about four times more to comb through than I already have.

    Also, the only nod I made to July 4th this weekend is to improvise a medley on a few “patriotic hymns” BEFORE mass. There is nothing liturgical about July 4th, ergo, I don’t see any value in singing about it during mass.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,028
    E.g. on "Good Shepherd Sunday", at a Mass celebrated by the Bishop, the official diocesan TV Mass (which is now, and always has been completely dreadful), the musicians chose "Hail, Holy Queen, enthroned above" as the Entrance Chant. Reading GIRM 48, I can't figure out why such a hymn would be appropriate for this part of the Mass on this particular Sunday.


    Ah, but you have to think like "they" do. Good Shepherd Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter, was May 8, 2022, which was also Mothers' Day. Elementary, my dear Watson!
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,746
    How ironic, considering what I wrote about July 4th being non-liturgical, immediately preceding Mark's observation.
    Thanked by 3Salieri tomjaw LauraKaz
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Again, this to me begs the question... who decides what music is appropriate or not for the liturgy?
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    Ideally it would be the hierarchy, not music publishers.

    On a practical level, it is up to Directors of Music, but they need to be educated in Liturgy, music history, theology, etc., which isn't happening, and most of those institutions that were doing this before the Council, such as, ahem, the Gregorian Institute of America, either folded completely after the Council or morphed into peddlers of mediocrity, banality, and heresy. Thankfully there are some institutions that are trying to revive authentic liturgical formation, like Dunwoody Seminary in Yonkers, but their reach is somewhat limited.

    Tangent:
    What I would love to see is a collection like Gueranger's Liturgical Year, but for the Novus Ordo calendar and Missal, with profound theology and sound history, rather than just polemical things; I have a book called "The Liturgical Year" by Adolph Adam (not the guy who wrote "O holy night"), which I had to stop reading after the first few pages: its polemics, in favor of the reformed Rite, make the polemics of the sedevacantists against it look mild. The person who should have written a Liturgical Year for the Novus Ordo was Joseph Ratzinger, but unfortunately he was elected Pope, and so didn't have the leisure to do such a thing.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Salieri

    Thank you for trying to answer my question. It just seems that the 'ostrich with the head in the ground mentality' is the basis for continuing to think that the NO will at some point stop it's incessant bending and arrive at 'rigidity'.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,967
    I believe the intended answer to the OP's question is: "Not mine."
    Thanked by 1Reval
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,001
    While we sing a Marian hymn as appropriate on her feasts, during the novena to the Assumption, or during the months devoted to Marian devotions (like in May or October), we always sing the Marian antiphon (with verse and collect) before singing anything else, except at Masses for the dead or on other weird occasions like the Paschal vigil… and I get it, we're a mostly-trad parish (one English Mass/week). Nevertheless, all sorts of normie parishes enjoy the Salve, and they can be convinced to like the three other antiphons.

    Re: Salieri's point: learning what GIA stands for was a blackpill for me.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    Introducing chant, since there are many great Office hymns which are LM.


    Tangent: Salieri, can you please suggest some beautiful, fairly non-melismatic LM chant hymn tunes other than JESU DULCIS MEMORIA, TE LUCIS, and CONDITOR ALME SIDERUM?
    Thanked by 1Liam
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    VOX CLARA ECCE INTONAT; CHRISTE, REDEMPTOR OMNIUM; CHRISTE, QUI LUX EST DIES; RADIX IESSE IAM FLORUIT; CHORUS NOVAE IERUSALEM; LUCIS CREATOR OPTIMAE; TU TRINITATIS UNITAS. Then there are the several tunes for O SALUTARIS in the "Cantus Selecti", and the seasonal tunes for the hymns of the little hours (NUNC SANCTE, etc.) in the "Liber Usualis".
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen Kathy LauraKaz
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    Thank you!!!
  • Reval
    Posts: 181
    "There is a nearby parish where one of their services is affectionately referred to by a friend of mine as the "Hootenanny Mass." The music is dreadful."

    Regarding the original post, in case someone doesn't know, the term "hootenanny Mass" was first used back in the 1960s:

    Typical and perhaps most interesting of the innovations engineered through the Music Advisory Board by Father McManus, Father Diekmann and Father Weakland was the “hootenanny Mass.” The scenario began in April 1965, when Father Diekmann delivered an address entitled “Liturgical Renewal and the Student Mass” at the convention of the National Catholic Educational Association in New York. In his speech, he called for the use of the “hootenanny Mass” as a means of worship for high school students. This was the kickoff of a determined campaign on the part of the Liturgical Conference to establish the use of profane music in the liturgy celebrated in the United States. Universa Laus had already begun a similar effort in Europe.19 In September 1965, the Catholic press began to carry reports of the use of hootenanny music by those in charge of college and high school student worship.

    https://northlandcatholic.blogspot.com/2009/08/rise-of-hootenanny-mass.html

    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,746
    One priest who is dear to me refers to them as “kachunka-chunk masses” (his colloquial description of poor guitar strumming).
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Reval
  • Badly performed beautiful music is still beautiful music.


    Exhibit A:
    https://youtu.be/8PVal8Fy7CM

    Maybe if he lifted his soft palate a bit more...
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,943
    I am trying to convince myself he wasn't in my choir during my church music days. I had one bass who used to drive me nuts. He had the notes, just never could get the words right or in the right place. One of my friends who listens to the livestream mass tells me he is still in that choir and still comes in late with mangled words.
  • Sponsa,

    Isn't that Exhibit A and Exhibit B, given that he sings twice. Or is it also exhibits C and D (for the accompaniment so in keeping with his singing that it's ...[rant truncated]
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,177
    An objectively beautiful piece of music is still be objectively beautiful even if a specific performance causes one's ears to bleed.

    Johannes Brahms's "O Gott, du frommer Gott" is still an objectively beautiful piece of music, even though I thoroughly destroyed it one day.
  • DavidOLGCDavidOLGC
    Posts: 75
    Why so much bad music at the NO mass?

    Maybe it's because the chants in "Jubilate Deo" have not been used as intended in the NO mass.

    https://archive.ccwatershed.org/media/pdfs/13/08/12/10-44-03_0.pdf

    https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/letter-to-bishops-on-the-minimum-repertoire-of-plain-chant-2204

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubilate_Deo

    "After the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, Pope Paul VI presented a 1974 document as a "minimum repertoire of Gregorian chant",[1] which the faithful should learn to sing."

    https://www.liturgyoffice.org.uk/Resources/Music/Jubilate/Voluntati.pdf

    "Pope Paul VI has expressed often, and even recently, the wish that the faithful of all countries be
    able to sing at least a few Gregorian chants in Latin
    (for example, the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei"

    That did not happen everywhere, that's for sure.

    http://www.blahedo.org/jd/

    http://www.blahedo.org/jd/jd-booklet.pdf

    http://gregorian-chant-hymns.com/publications/booklet-latin-mass-hymnal.pdf

    https://adoremus.org/2007/12/quotjubilate-deo-latin-chantsquot/

    https://isidore.co/misc/Res pro Deo/Greg Chant/jubilateb.pdf

    Sorry to revive an old thread, but I appreciate all the previous posts.
    Thanked by 1LauraKaz
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,715
    @DavidOLGC
    Words are cheap, and can be printed easily these days. It is actions that are important...

    If say Paul VI really wanted the Faithful of all countries to be able to sing the following, ALL Papal liturgies could demand this, all Masses said in Rome would demand this. Oh and when appointing bishops and Cardinals he would ensure that they believed this, and would act.

    He could even demand that all music written for the Mass must be sent to Rome for approval before use...

    I suspect that the statements you have listed above were not that important to them.

    Music is a cultural activity and is part of tradition, if you lose the tradition of good music it will take a long time to rebuild. Of course all rebuilding starts at the bottom, with the Faithful, so they need every encouragement. Those that are against such endeavours need every discouragement. The person at the top can demand all he likes but if he is not in agreement with the mind of the Faithful his words have no power.
    Thanked by 2Bombarde16 CHGiffen
  • francis
    Posts: 10,697
    Let’s see… 1974 all the way to today (2023)… that’s about 50 years and the situation is getting WORSE NOT BETTER… WHEN do we stop kidding ourselves about the utter failure??
  • DavidOLGCDavidOLGC
    Posts: 75
    I agree with both of you - the implementation of the NO mass could - and should - have been handled much better.

    "I suspect that the statements you have listed above were not that important to them."

    Possibly so.

    "that’s about 50 years and the situation is getting WORSE NOT BETTER"

    Well, at least in our little parish we have gotten rid of all OCP products like the Breaking Bread. Our pastor uses as much Latin chant as possible.

    The only guitars are in our Spanish language mass, it's organ only for the English services.

    Thanks for caring!
    Thanked by 3tomjaw LauraKaz Reval
  • David,

    I'm not sure you do agree with them, but I'll let them speak for themselves. More importantly, I'm not sure that your understanding and the facts coincide.

    Consider:

    If you wanted to invigorate the faith of Catholics, would you insist that nearly everything they had known, and their parents had known, and so on, was false, or at least out of date, and would you, sensitive to the feelings of the modern world, have changed so much, practically overnight?

    If you had wanted to spread the knowledge and love of the faith, so that more people accepted the truth and welcomed Truth, and more people who called themselves Christians would unite under the banner of Christ the king... would you have watered down or obfuscated, or ambiguitized every statement of faith?

    To show the faithful how much you valued them, would you have told them that they needed to downgrade priests, take over the role of the priest to the maximum extent possible, and damage the beautiful churches (which represented to them, in their own parishes, the participation of their parents and grandparents in handing on the faith)?

    On the other hand, if you wished to weaken the faith of Catholics would you insist that nearly everything they had known, and their parents had known, and so on, was false, or at least out of date, and would you, sensitive to the feelings of the modern world, have changed so much, practically overnight?

    If you had wanted to truncate/diminish the knowledge and love of the faith, so that fewer people accepted the truth and welcomed Truth, and fewer people who called themselves Christians would unite under the banner of Christ the king would you have watered down or obfuscated, or ambiguitized every statement of faith?

    To show the faithful how little you valued them, except as useful idiots, would you have told them that they needed to downgrade priests, take over the role of the priest to the maximum extent possible, and damage the beautiful churches (which represented to them, in their own parishes, the participation of their parents and grandparents in handing on the faith)?
  • Badly performed beautiful music is still beautiful music.


    No, it’s not. It’s horrid and painful to listen to. Badly performed music is badly performed music and contrary to what the Church demands.

    It’s better to sing simple beautiful music well than to try to sing beautiful music that’s beyond your choir’s skill level.

    I spent the Triduum listening to a very complex and professionally arranged music program. It took every ounce of will power not to go up into the loft and tell the violinist that her intervals were out of tune, her ornamentals in the Stabat Mater were both inappropriate for Good Friday and out of tune. By the time Easter Sunday postlude came around I had a full blown sensory overload.
  • DavidOLGCDavidOLGC
    Posts: 75
    https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/profile/1402/Chris Garton-Zavesky

    Chris,

    I certainly don't want to get into another discussion of Vatican II.

    It's obvious that many if not most of the members of this forum are traditionalists that, shall we say, are not especially fond of Vatican II and its aftermath.

    Although I have read both the actual Vatican II documents and many critical books and articles on the problems in the church afterwards, I'm not particularly an expert on the subject. Frankly, though, I have seen the awful results of people using the so-called "Spirit of Vatican II" to further their own own agenda.

    One such agenda was making the music at church "relevant" and entertaining.

    I would have been happy if things were the same as when I was a child - I was baptized, had my first communion and confirmation before the implementation of the NO mass.

    Mostly I was offering a possible reason for bad music.

    Blessings.

    https://forum.musicasacra.com/forum/profile/13305/SponsaChristi

    " Badly performed music is badly performed music and contrary to what the Church demands."

    As a trained professional musician, I totally agree.

    It's even worse when it's BAD music badly performed.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,028
    Ultimately, it's the fault of bishops.

    Bishops must decree for their own dioceses that chant, which the Church has instructed is proper to the Roman Rite and should be given the first place among music at Mass, be used regularly in parishes, and they must state a minimum repertoire of Latin and vernacular chant that every parish should know and sing for a specified minimum number of weeks every liturgical year. In dioceses where this would be a new mandate, a timeframe for achieving satisfactory progress must be provided, and pastors and music directors must be held accountable.

    Bishops must concomitantly provide diocesan-sponsored and funded education and training for pastors and parish music directors so that they acquire the skills to implement chanted ordinary settings and chanted propers at Mass. Very few parish music directors have the knowledge and skill to implement chant successfully in a parish setting. If a mandate is imposed without providing education and training to accomplish it, there will be resistance, resentment, and widespread failure.

    Diocesan celebrations should use the Jubilate Deo Mass ordinary setting or the Missa de Angelis and the ICEL Missal chants. Stop using any setting of the Mass ordinary published by OCP or GIA or anyone else at diocesan liturgies. Set an example and an expectation.

    If bishops don't care, if they don't state and enforce expectations for liturgical music, the generally poor quality and poor selection of music at Mass will not improve. Probably less than 2% of all Catholic parish music directors use this forum or are knowledgeable about instructions for music at Mass. The other 98% mostly just choose songs from the OCP and GIA repertoire that the publishers suggest they program because that's all they have been taught how to do, and that's what they believe Catholic liturgical music is.

    Revising popular expectations and false understandings about liturgical music will not be easy nor swift. It's all the more difficult if a music director is trying to do the right thing at a parish on his own, without the explicit backing of the bishop for an authentically Catholic vision for liturgical music in the diocese.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,385
    [one ...] innovations engineered through the Music Advisory Board by Father McManus, Father Diekmann and Father Weakland was the “hootenanny Mass.” The scenario began in April 1965, when Father Diekmann delivered an address entitled “Liturgical Renewal and the Student Mass”
    As that makes clear, the dates show that this has nothing directly to do with the NO. It was a quite separate strand of activity, and a musical counter attack was promptly mounted by Bugnini in the Graduale Simplex.
    Thanked by 2DavidOLGC hilluminar
  • DavidOLGCDavidOLGC
    Posts: 75
    Mark B

    "Diocesan celebrations should use the Jubilate Deo Mass ordinary setting or the Missa de Angelis and the ICEL Missal chants. Stop using any setting of the Mass ordinary published by OCP or GIA or anyone else at diocesan liturgies. Set an example and an expectation."

    That's exactly what our parish is doing with the NO masses. Our new pastor is quite different from the last one, who was a guitar player and leader of music ministries. The new pastor uses both Latin and ICEL music and is very critical of any use of inappropriate music. He does seem to have the support of our bishop, too.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen

  • I certainly don't want to get into another discussion of Vatican II.


    Ok. No need. What I describe could be said to begin after the Council.

    It's obvious that many if not most of the members of this forum are traditionalists



    This isn't true. There are some who identify as traditionalists, but I think you'll find that number isn't as large as you think it is.


    that, shall we say, are not especially fond of Vatican II and its aftermath.


    One need not be a traditionalist to be fond of something other than Vatican II and its aftermath.


    It would be heartening to hear someone in authority begin to clean up the mess, rather than blaming those mean traditionalists for wanting something other than the mess.
  • DavidOLGCDavidOLGC
    Posts: 75
    "It would be heartening to hear someone in authority begin to clean up the mess, rather than blaming those mean traditionalists for wanting something other than the mess."

    I'm totally with you on this issue.
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,163
    “Diocesan celebrations should use the Jubilate Deo Mass ordinary setting or the Missa de Angelis and the ICEL Missal chants.”

    Mark, just to be clear: you mean that the ordinary parts of the Mass (Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus) should be always sung to the (one and only) melody given in the current Missal?

    Now I've never even seen an official vernacular version of Jubilate Deo nor Mass VIII de Angelis. Do such things exist?

    And why only that Mass setting? Never Mass I Lux et Origo , not even on Easter Sunday?
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,028
    You have to start modestly to make progress from the current situation. Liturgies that bring together people from different parts of the diocese should sing simpler officially approved and promulgated settings of the Mass ordinary that all Catholics in the diocese would be expected to know. Those are the Jubilate Deo Mass and the ICEL chants. Maybe Missa de Angelis because it's not that uncommon and certainly more beautiful than Jubilate Deo. Bishops should set an example by implementing the easiest of the Church's official liturgical music at diocesan events as a minimum standard and expecting that Catholics know how to sing those.

    I remember the days when the Mass of Creation and Missa del Mundo were the go-to Masses for diocesan events and national conferences. Please, never again. Why are we turning to faddish commercial music of inferior quality when the Church has already specified what should be sung as a minimum standard and promulgated it in official liturgical books?
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,163
    What I missed : that “Diocesan” as used above means “diocese-wide”, organized for and with the participation of the faithful from across the Diocese. I read it as “in diocesan parishes” or “as celebrated by diocesan clergy” , as opposed to Order parishes and clergy.

    That said: how would a Diocesan celebration use a Gregorian ordinary for celebration in English?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,715
    That said: how would a Diocesan celebration use a Gregorian ordinary for celebration in English?

    Perhaps all diocesan celebrations would be in the language of the Church, so all the various groups can participate? We have all be called to be able to sing the Ordinary chants in Latin, so why not?
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 258
    That said: how would a Diocesan celebration use a Gregorian ordinary for celebration in English?


    Sacrosanctum Concilium para. 54

    "Nevertheless steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them."

    It would seem that having a diocesan celebration where there would be people of multiple native languages would precisely the occasion when the faithful should "say or sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them."

    Read closely, Sacrosanctum Concilium seems to outline precisely how to use Latin and the vernacular together. The readings would be in the vernacular. The prayer of the faithful would be in the vernacular. Whether the Eucharistic Prayer would be in the vernacular would be up to the presider. The dialogues and ordinary could be in the vernacular. However, the people should be able to confidently say or sing together those parts of the mass in Latin. Where there is not a single local vernacular, having the people say or sing together in Latin may very well be the option which divides least.

  • It's shockingly easy to change the culture of music in a parish. Not even four years ago, our choir was standing down by a piano in front of the sanctuary singing OCP songs. Today, we have a growing children's choir, a Men's Schola, and the choir is back in the loft singing Palestrina, Victoria, and Stainer - as well as carefully selected traditional hymns.

    How it begun was a small group of like-minded men who wanted to chant. We organized a monthly Mass on a Friday to for a chanted Novus Ordo. That experience showed many in the parish what it was we could reach for, and then systemic change happened quickly thereafter.

    The Novus Ordo can be beautiful, transformative, and satisfying. Could there be improvements? Sure, but dismissing it all as fundamentally flawed is an untenable position.
  • davido
    Posts: 889
    Michael, I would counter that all cultural changes which move a parish toward a reverent NO, are re-adoptions of tradition. So if the old practices are the more Catholic practices, then why change the mass in the 60s at all?

    Merely introducing vernacular translations did not necessitate a rewriting of all the liturgical books.

    But trying to change the church’s theology would necessitate such a rewrite.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,163
    Tomjaw, so we have. But if Diocesan celebrations are not already somewhat in Latin then MarkB’s “should use” doesn’t have a toe hold.

    Michael, it's true. And so, a change of clergy or visit from an unsupportive priest from the chancery office and boom it's back to 2018.
  • The Novus Ordo can be beautiful, transformative, and satisfying


    Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said almost the same thing some years ago. The unspoken part of the sentence is this: but it isn't, usually, because beauty isn't actively sought in the music, the text or the architecture.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,385
    davido - why change in the 60s? because the 1570 as enforced by SRC was a serious deformation of anything but a missa privata without a congregation. The Low Mass, essentially a chantry Mass, was preserved but everything else was dismantled. That is why SC speaks of restoration. I cite again the (privately expressed) opinion of Fr Fortescue :_
    whatever beauty interest or historic value, or dignity, the Roman rite ever had has been utterly destroyed by the uneducated little cads who run that filthy congregation at Rome;
    But the essential changes were nearly all accomplished in the 1965 revision of the rubrics.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,746
    It's shockingly easy to change the culture of music in a parish.
    We will have to agree to disagree here. In my experience, it depends very much on the pastor and the hive-mind of the parish. I have had relative success introducing chant (English & Latin) as well as a heavy diet of latin motets at my parish, however a friend 30 mins away had three choir members leave after Triduum simply because she dared to have them sing Latin a few times during Holy Week. She (and her predecessor) has quite the minefield to traverse to do anything remotely "traditional".

    As for Jubilate Deo and SC, I have quoted both of them numerous times in my "music minute" that I nestle into the worship aid every 2-3 weeks. A parishioner (whom I've never noticed having any proclivity to sing) told me just last week how much he appreciates these little lessons about sacred music, and how he has found it very interesting to learn what the church actually teaches. So I think that part of the issue is that people just don't know. In my experience, giving people the 'why' behind these decisions seems to help, at least nominally. (There are others who couldn't give two hoots about what SC and the GIRM actually say. They want what they want, and that's all there is to it. What can determine the success of these endeavors is what ratio of the open-minded vs. this latter type of parishioner, and just how vocal the latter become when they don't get their way.)

    Regardless, I'm glad that there are pockets of success. Take the wins where we can get them.