Sing to the Lord: The Spin
  • The new USCCB document "Sing to the Lord" was disappointing to many musicians involved in the sacred music movement -- certainly I was less than impressed, and I suspect that many others were too. But I had an interesting conversation with an important priest yesterday that made me feel much better. He had just spent maybe 10 minutes with the document--did not read it in detail obviously--but his impression was that this document represents a huge shift toward chant and a traditional understanding of sacred music, that the document essentially legitimizes what we do at our parish.

    This was very exciting for me to hear! We've all wondered what the "spin" would amount to with this document. This was the first sign in which I've detected a prevailing spin, and it is very good actually. As we talked, I further pointed out that this document replaces "Music in Catholic Worship," which was incredibly far from Vatican documents -- and, most famously, rejected terms such as propers and ordinary and said that music of the past is not a helpful model for music of the future. This document is now mercifully gone from the stage -- existing only as a link on the USCCB website.

    In so many ways, I have begun to suspect that we will one day look at this new document as a ratification of the reality of new times.

    We all know that, in the end, what matters is the spin. Here is my summary:

    MCW: repudiation of heritage
    StTL: embrace of heritage

    We could do worse.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    Who was the important priest?
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    As I've been saying. S to the L represents an impressive about-face on encouraging silliness in church. Count me in as a firm supporter of it. Besides, what did you expect from the USCCB, another Musicam Sacram?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    OK... so this document has become so controversial that it is no longer available in a digital file? If it is, does anyone know where?
  • I'm sure it's on the USCCB site somewhere. They recently "upgraded" their website, resulting in everything getting lost and the site becoming totally unusable. Just try looking for information about which days are holy days of obligation. Whoever is responsible really ought to be fired; if this were a business, it would be an unthinkable disaster.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    Yea...

    This is why Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail... without that promise we would have been outa business centuries ago.

    I have the file... thanks all... just wondering if anyone knew where it might be located on the USCCB, but Mark has made the point loud and clear. However, I kinda think it's odd that it is lost and only available for sale.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Here's a trick which is great for all those web sites where navigation and search are useless: Go to google.com and type in

    site:usccb.org "sing to the lord: music in divine worship"


    That "site:" tag says to just give you the results from that particular site, nowhere else. Now in this case, you find out quite quickly that Google hasn't found a copy of the document on the site, so perhaps it's been removed or put somewhere else.

    I've used this to find things on things on this site itself:

    site:musicasacra.com/forum "Carl D"


    shows all the discussions which have comments I've written.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    hey, Carl, that is extremely nifty.
  • There are some not so good provisions in Sing to the Lord, though. One of the big caveats is the additional tropes for the Agnus Dei, something that is not allowed. Furthermore, the fact that the USCCB did not choose to have the document receive the required 2/3 vote of the Latin-Rite bishops in order to forward the document to Rome for the necessary recognitio.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    benedictgal

    where is that documented about the lack of votes? i want that info on my resource directory.
  • Sing to the Lord was approved by a vote of 132 bishops to 12 (with, by my calculation, 6 bishops abstaining or not voting), i.e., by 88% of the bishops. (Reference.)
  • Mark, while you enjoy doubting me, it was still not sent to Rome. Thus, SttL is only binding when it refers to the authoritative documents of the Church.
  • I don't "doubt" you, I'm just correcting your misrepresentation about how many of our bishops stamped this document with their approval: it was 88% (> 2/3) of the bishops. It is characteristic of an impoverished and hyper-legalistic view of the authority and teaching role of the bishops to say "it is not binding, therefore it might as well not exist as far as I'm concerned." Do you really want to play the "is it binding?" game with, say, the statements of Pope Benedict on sacred music, or of Bishop Slattery on ad orientem worship? The rules of the game are: if it is not binding, then it is stupid and should be thoroughly ignored, except when it references something that is binding.

    As I have elsewhere and at another time remarked on the topic of the responsorial Gloria:
    The Roman documents often aren't as cut-and-dried as some people would like to think. "You must sing the text as it is given, without adding anything," the documents say. But if this were to be understood literally, then it would ban a huge proportion of sacred polyphony from the Mass, since composers so often repeat and interweave the "official" texts. So clearly that is not the intent. The question, then, is whether the use of a refrain is more like other reptitions and embellishments, and thus licit, or more like making things up and sticking in foreign texts, and thus illicit. It is a matter of interpretation, and it can hardly be said that there is one "obvious" answer. The Roman documents do not deal with the question. Consequently, it falls to others to decide on the right course, and that's what the bishops did on this topic in Sing to the Lord, which was approved by 88% of the American bishops.

    [It is true] that Sing to the Lord was never submitted to the Holy See for recognitio, and thus it cannot trump documents like Sacrosanctum Concilium or even Liturgiam Authenticam, with their cautions about not changing the Mass texts. That's the point, though: what's called for is an interpretation of those documents, and in the absence of Roman authority to the contrary, the American bishops, through the NCCB/USCCB, are best qualified to carry it out.
  • Mark, YES.

    Who, in this country, IS the Church? Who is the highest human authority in this country? The bishops. They are the Holy Father's representatives and act under his authority. If they are advocating something contrary to what the pope says or documents say, that is an issue between them and their "employer", as it were - the Church. Let it be handled between them. The bishops have issued a statement on music, and it has to be respected, regardless of whether approved by Rome. If a particular ordinary creates particular law to the contrary in his own diocese, fine. Otherwise, it is "binding" in the sense of it being a teaching from the bishops particular to the United States.
  • However, PGA, when it comes to something like sacred music and the ordinary of the Mass, these things should be sent to the CDWDS for the necessary recognitio. Sing to the Lord does not carry such recognitio and, there are some parts of it that contradict what Rome mandates. Without recognitio, SttL is more along the lines of a recommendaton, but not a mandate.
  • I don't care how many bishops can dance on the head of a pin . . . that is, how many have voted in favor of or not in favor of any given document. Without recognitio, it does not become particular law, bound in conscience under pain of sin for failure to obey it.

    Benedictgal is absolutely correct. And, here's why- Redemptionis Sacramentum sets the precedent forth, and codifies it:

    [28.] All liturgical norms that a Conference of Bishops will have established for its territory in accordance with the law are to be submitted to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for the recognitio, WITHOUT WHICH THEY LACK ANY BINDING FORCE.[My "shouted" emphasis added.]


    Seems clear to me. SttL, as valuable as some bits of it may be, as a matter of historical fact, simply doesn't carry recognitio. 10,000 Bishops can be very wrong indeed if they act in a way contrary to the Holy See, and we are not bound to follow what they say. In fact, we're bound in conscience to not follow what they say, if it's contrary to the Holy See, under pain of sin.

    I don't see this as being between the bishops as employees and the Holy Father as "employer." This is a matter of obedience and the welfare of immortal souls.

    That's not to say that for the time being we should be "both/and" (a favored expression of the liberal elites in the AmChurch crowd), and "live in the question", doing our very best to do what the Church asks of us, regardless what the numerous documents of the USCCB may or may not say.

    And, for the record, I agree with JT's overall analysis of the document.
  • Are there other "church-documents-which-concern-sacred-music" that don't have recognitio?
  • David Andrew (and BG): your analysis might theoretically be correct if you had statements from the Vatican and from the U.S. Bishops that were actually contradictory, such as "No setting of the Gloria may use a refrain" / "It is perfectly fine for settings of the Gloria to have a refrain." But that is not the situation. The statements from the Vatican are at a very high level of generality, and applying them to particular concrete cases is a matter of interpretation. True, if it had the recognitio then SttL would in fact overrule prior contrary statements in other legislation. But there need not be anything contradictory between SttL and prior legislation in the first place, if the former is properly understood as an interpretive document that applies the latter to concrete situations.

    As Catholics, we must always resist the Protestantizing tendency that says, "I myself must look at the source documents and decide personally on their correct interpretation. Then, if Church authorities disagree, they are clearly wrong, and are working against 'the welfare of immortal souls'." This is what Protestants do with, for example, "Call no man 'Father'," which appears on its face to be crystal clear, but which, the Church properly explains to us, actually means so little that it is perfectly fine to call priests "Father" and the Pope "Holy Father." This is also what radical traditionalists and sedevacantists do: they say, "I must look at old documents and figure out what 'Tradition' is. Then, if Newchurch disagrees, they are heretics and there is no pope." That's not the way it works. The properly constituted magisterial authorities of the Church tell us what "Tradition" means. If the old books say "Extra ecclesiam nulla salus," and I interpret this to mean that no Protestant can possibly go to Heaven, while the Church interprets it to mean that if Protestants are in Heaven it is through the Church rather than in spite of it, then I am the one whose interpretation was wrong.

    Thus, in the case at hand, it is simply not the job of the individual to read Sacrosanctum Concilium, Liturgiam Authenticam, and all the rest, decide what they mean, and cast into the outer darkness all the bishops who disagree. Bishops trump you as touches the liturgy, you don't trump them. And the Vatican trumps bishops, but you are not the judge; the Vatican is. Until the Vatican says "These bishops are wrong; our previous documents did, in fact, prohibit responsorial Glorias," then the bishops are right. The proper heuristic for reading a Vatican documents ought to ask: "Is the statement clearer than 'Call no man Father', or vaguer?" If it is clearer, then you can safely obey its prima facie meaning. If it is as vague or vaguer, then you should rely on subsidiary Church authorities to interpret its correct meaning for you. So, in the case of responsorial Glorias, a clear statement from the Vatican might have said, "Repeating any portion of the Gloria for use as a congregational refrain is absolutely prohibited." Needless to say, the Vatican has pronounced no such thing.
  • One should also consider, if the Vatican documents that say "don't add or change anything" are really so clear, then isn't it illicit to sing "Amen, amen, amen" where the missal just says "Amen"? Or if not, why not? And can that answer be derived a priori from Vatican documents like SC and LA, or is it a matter of interpretation? If so, who is in charge of doing that interpretation?
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    David Andrew (and BG): your analysis might theoretically be correct if you had statements from the Vatican and from the U.S. Bishops that were actually contradictory, such as "No setting of the Gloria may use a refrain" / "It is perfectly fine for settings of the Gloria to have a refrain." But that is not the situation.


    Mark, what about STTL's allowance of Agnus Dei tropes? That's blatantly changing the text, not even reusing other texts from the same section (in opposition to Vatican Documents). Or do you think that's perfectly fine too?
  • MarkThompson:
    David Andrew (and BG): your analysis might theoretically be correct if you had statements from the Vatican and from the U.S. Bishops that were actually contradictory

    ...

    So, in the case of responsorial Glorias, a clear statement from the Vatican might have said, "Repeating any portion of the Gloria for use as a congregational refrain is absolutely prohibited." Needless to say, the Vatican has pronounced no such thing.

    ...

    One should also consider, if the Vatican documents that say "don't add or change anything" are really so clear, then isn't it illicit to sing "Amen, amen, amen" where the missal just says "Amen"? Or if not, why not? And can that answer be derived a priori from Vatican documents like SC and LA, or is it a matter of interpretation? If so, who is in charge of doing that interpretation?


    Doesn't Tra le Sollecitudini address this?

    9. The liturgical text must be sung as it is in the books, without alteration or inversion of the words, without undue repetition, without breaking syllables, and always in a manner intelligible to the faithful who listen.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    Mark, one more thing.

    You point out that even though it seems the documents (such as the GIRM, SC, RS and TlS) would prohibit something like a responsorial gloria, yet you say the bishop's interpretation must prove us wrong.

    In my travels, I've noticed that rarely do ordinaries celebrate Mass with 7 altar candles as they should (it's not optional).

    Just to point out that just because a majority of the bishops of the US say something's ok, however sad it might be, it doesn't necessarily mean they are right...especially when Rome doesn't approve their decisions...

    And I might point out a short history of the USCCB, for those of you who don't understand why I'm frequently skeptical of anything coming out of there...
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    Mark:

    You are fighting an illogical and faulty battle.

    The view that the US Bishops 'as a body' are able and responsible to 'interpret' church teaching, is absolutely false. ESPECIALLY when they are dissenting from the faith. In the end they will each PERSONALLY be held responsible for any and all souls lost to error, and I dare say, you may have bought into the error of this thinking. The USCCB does not trump anything as a 'body' of bishops. Each individual bishop is alone answerable for his territory of souls directly to the Pope. Each bishop decides for his own immediate flock what they are going to do in terms of liturgy, catechesis, and the whole ball of wax for their particular territory, and is answerable to the Vatican. Nothing is filtered or democratically weighed in the body of the USCCB.

    You yourself have uncovered the very fault in your own words:


    As Catholics, we must always resist the Protestantizing tendency that says, "I myself must look at the source documents and decide personally on their correct interpretation. Then, if Church authorities disagree, they are clearly wrong, and are working against 'the welfare of immortal souls'."


    Well, this is exactly what some of the US Bishops do in league with each other. They look at the source documents and teachings of Mother Church and decide personally (and in league with each other) on their "correct interpretation." This is very very dangerous. THIS is where the real error occurs, and where the destruction of souls takes place. This is where we see the disintegration of the faith.

    SttL (while it is attempting to return to center on matters concerning the liturgy) is nothing more than a suggestion or a recommendation, as was mentioned earlier, and was blatantly rejected by the Vatican as being non compliant with the official church documents concerning the liturgy.

    The serious problem with a document such as SttL is that it mixes truth with error which leads many astray.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    Francis,

    Wait. STTL was REJECTED? I thought it was never submited. That's a game changer...
  • SttL was never submitted. The only parts that are binding are those that directly quote and reference the authoritative documents of the Holy See.
  • To cut to the chase over what Ben Yanke was talking about:

    In short, the Pope took enormous pains, indeed, almost unheard of pains, to make clear that organizations like the USCCB’s authority over any particular lay Catholic is:

    Zero
    Nada
    Zilch
    Zip
    Goose Egg
    Empty Set
    Non-Existent
    Completely Absent
    A sounding brass and tinkling cymbal signifying nothing

    In short, according to the infallible ordinary Magisterium, the teaching authority of the USCCB does not exist. Fifty cents and any USCCB document would not buy a candy bar, unless the cashier didn’t want to charge sales tax. The USCCB is a purely consultative body whose opinions aren’t worth rust in the scales. The only person a Catholic is required to at least listen to is his own bishop.

    No decree of the USCCB has any weight unless the local bishop endorses it.

    And the Pope felt it necessary to knock the USCCB off its high horse by creating a document that the USCCB officially refuses to notice on its own website.

    Why does this matter?

    Because within the USCCB there is a fight between bishops who wish to promote the Catholic Faith and bishops who wish to promote secular “social justice.” We must pray for the bishops of the USCCB, that all of them eventually gain the mind of good Catholics, or at least retire so they can be replaced by those who have such a mind.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    Ben

    Formally, it was never presented, but that is because the US did an informal pre-examination with Rome, and in more polite terms Rome said, "don't even try to have this approved."

    Here is a thread that discusses the ins and outs.

    http://musicasacra.com/forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=4701
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    "No decree of the USCCB has any weight unless the local bishop endorses it."

    Well, I assume that means a decree would have weight within the dioceses of the bishops who voted for it?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    I don't think so. Only the Archbishop makes any and all final decisions. It is on him alone.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,787
    Gavin posited:
    Well, I assume that means a decree would have weight within the dioceses of the bishops who voted for it?

    I don't think so either, because a vote in the USCCB isn't the same act as making a decree back home. After all, a vote in the USCCB may involve some policy compromise that a bishop would not choose to make if establishing a policy for his own diocese.
  • Francis, if Rome wasn't too friendly about it, then why did the USCCB do it anyway? This does not make sense.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,791
    Can you say ... ego? ;)
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    all i can say is look at the history of american "music documents" and their not being approved either. this is why the Pope has had to clarify the authority of conferences in recent times. in fact, if you did a side by side with the last three (AECW, BWLS, MCW) along side SttL, I would wager that each one cancels out the one before it. that demonstrates confusion of thinking, chaos in administration, faction in spirit, and division in the ranks.
  • Hence, all of this confusion is exactly why I defer to the standpoint of "the bishops are over us, Rome is over the bishops. Let Rome deal with the bishops if they are doing something wrong."

    And, as to David Andrew's comments about leading souls astray, as much as I genuinely DO believe that texts with hereasy or bad liturgical practices very much can lead souls away from the Lord and from heaven, I don't believe that singing "Jesus, Bread of Life" as opposed to "Lamb of God" three times will lead souls to damnation.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    Paix:

    You miss the point. If defiance and rebellion are in the heart of even one Bishop, that is where the danger resides. Because singing the words "Jesus, Bread of Life" isn't the real problem: but the obstinate, rebellious heart of the wayward shepherd(S) that rails against the Church in instituting that which is contrary to its laws is the serious and grave error against God himself.

    Bishop(S) are not over us. ONE Bishop alone is responsible for your soul at any given time, and to him you must answer, and to the Sovereign Pontiff he must answer, and utlimately, to God, THE Pontiff and THE Bishop will answer for your soul.

    No one can defer to their own standpoint. You are either with or against the Church. And those who know more will be held accountable for more.

    As much as some would like to install a democracy within the walls of the Church, it will never materialize. The Church is not and never will be a democracy. Democracy is a human system, fabricated on a political juxtaposition and is wrought with faults. The Church is, however, and will always be a supernatural and benevolent dictatorship, and Jesus and Mary are the faultless and most Just King and Queen, the Pope as representative of their direct authority, and each Bishop as his local representative. That's it. Nothing more.

    sinite illos caeci sunt duces caecorum caecus autem si caeco ducatum praestet ambo in foveam cadunt
  • Paix, maybe it might do well to re-read that document that Blessed John Paul II authored on episcopal conferences. If memory serves, Blessed John Paul II took an entire conference to task on the issue of their lax granting of general absolution to the faithful when no emergency conditions existed.

    The fact remains that while parts of SttL are a vast improvement over Music in Catholic Worship, there are parts that do contradict the authoritative documents of the Holy See. When this happens, Rome trumps any conference document, moreso since this one does not bear any recognitio from the Holy See.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    Here is a good example of serious error gone deadly; and it has to do with the pronouncement of errant intentions and words pronounced in a Catholic rite:

    http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20080201_validity-baptism_en.html

    QUESTIONS

    First question: Whether the Baptism conferred with the formulas «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier» and «I baptize you in the name of the Creator, and of the Liberator, and of the Sustainer» is valid?

    Second question: Whether the persons baptized with those formulas have to be baptized in forma absoluta?

    RESPONSES

    To the first question: Negative.

    To the second question: Affirmative.

    The Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, approved these Responses, adopted in the Ordinary Session of the Congregation, and ordered their publication.

    Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, February 1, 2008.

    _____


    So, falsifying the act of Baptism presents grave danger to one's soul, and even moreso to the soul of the perpetrator in obstinacy.

    I learned about this because the practice was widespread here in our diocese, and everyone had to be recalled for a valid sacrament.
  • Actually, both of you MAKE my point. Where there is a problem, Rome has intervened, taken the appropriate people to task, and set things straight. And that is all fine and well.

    Unless and until an issue is clarified, as in the baptism issue, or a bishop is removed due to heresay, I will continue to defer to his judgement as the particular law in his diocese, and I will not out of hand dismiss the collegial declarations of the conference.

    Many people don't like Roger Mahoney or Matthew Clark in Rochester. But both were validly ordained, then appointed bishops. In the case of Matthew Clark, he knelt before Blessed John Paul II, who personally consecrated him a bishop and appointed him to the Rochester See. I would think long and hard before ascribing any nefarious or subversive motives to these or any men in their position.

    The Church is made of falliable people; things are practiced for years and then declared an "abuse" - and that's fine, because we are to be obedient. But there really IS an ebb and flow, and the Church eventually corrects things gone astray.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    Paix

    All INDIVIDUAL Bishops WITHIN THEIR JURISDICTION are to be obeyed and respected... absolutely! That is what I (and I believe Benedictgal) are saying. What we are refuting is the publication of pronouncements, statements or declarations made by a group or conference. Two or more gathered together does not constitute a ruling, law making or governing body and does not expand in any way their geographical or spiritual jurisdiction by their own conjoined actions or pronouncements.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,127
    Can you say ... ego? ;)

    Insofar as STTL is a partial-walkback of the execrable Music in Worship, I think that it was not so much 'ego' as the beginning of a return to Rome (so to speak).

    The USCC has a large faction of solid Bishops who knew that something had to be done about the situation, but not quite large enough to make the document wholly acceptable to Rome.

    Ergo, they issued the "halfway home" STTL to help musicians such as those who congregate here.
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    William Mahrt's commentary to the USCCB before STTL was written and then his reaction afterward (both published in Sacred Music, I think) are really enlightening. I'm not sure if they touch on this issue but it's great reading.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    DougS

    Yes... I remember all that hoopla. Thanks for reminding us!

    http://musicasacra.com/sttl/

    (Thank you, again, prof. Mahrt for your insights.)
  • awruff
    Posts: 94
    Francis wrote:

    "Formally, it [SttL] was never presented, but that is because the US did an informal pre-examination with Rome, and in more polite terms Rome said, 'don't even try to have this approved'."

    Sorry, but this is completely false. There was one informal pre-examination on SttL in Rome, and I was there in person for it. So was Msgr. Moroney. Neither at this meeting, nor at any other time before the USCCB vote, did Rome every say the above. The decision not to submit was made by US bishops, and it was because it would have required re-submitting other higher-level documents to bring everything into conformity (eg, on standing as approved posture for a hymn sung after Communion, which SttL approves, but which wasn't on anyone's radar when the US adaptations to the GIRM were approved in the US and then in Rome).

    It's important to correct the record.

    awr
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    awr

    aha.

    i stand corrected.

    is your clarification that the US bishops said to each other, "let's not even try to have this approved?" while all along that was their original intention? if so what was said to change their thinking? what i am confused about is if you (a US contingent) went to Rome for pre-approval, why wouldn't the US have taken the final measure to fix the draft so that it could receive final approval? isn't that kind of like building a bridge without having the funds (or foresight) to finish the project?

    please clarify.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    and also, no one ever stands for a hymn after communion. why is that even in there? since NO ONE that I have seen in my entire Catholic life has ever stood for a post communion hymn, it seems a fabrication for not bothering to submit for approval. in other words, its very odd.
  • and also, no one ever stands for a hymn after communion. why is that even in there?
    Because GIRM 88 says so.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    Paul

    it says nothing about standing whatsoever
  • awruff
    Posts: 94
    Francis,
    I can't speak for the bishops or speculate why they didn't do this or that.
    I only want to clarify the facts:
    Rome was shown SttL and never said anything negative about it. At the meeting I attended, the CDW officially praised the US church for its great interest in liturgy and its production of a document like SttL.
    The US bishops decided at the last instant not to vote SttL in as law (requiring Roman confirmation) because they realized this would have meant altering other documents. I can speculate that because this was immediately before the conference vote, there wasn't time to alter SttL. Or perhaps they wanted SttL to say what it says, but didn't want to have to re-vote on any earlier documents where they differed. Perhaps they thought SttL makes sense on standing for postcommunion hymn (I personally think so). But this is also speculation. I can only state the facts I know: Rome praised SttL, and never criticized it.
    Pax,
    awr

    PS We always stand for the postcommunion hymn at the monastery - it's generally a vigorous strophic hymn led by organ, and standing makes more sense.
    Thanked by 1ghmus7
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,665
    awr

    Well, I certainly thank you for your clarification and insights.

    In my own experience as a musician in the foxhole, SttL was sort of like a medic running to my aid, a pleasant surprise, and an attempt to reattatch my arm that has been severed in the battle. Sadly, it was an effort too little, too late. I lost my real arm years ago and have been left with a grossly formed and hideous prosthetic. But that is no news to anyone, just the deporable truth I have to live and continue to fight with.

    I do the best I can with the plastic appendage, but individuals and factions in my own platoon are constantly stealing it from me and using it for their own causes. I often stumble in upon them waving it to conduct that which seems entirely foreign, and even for the causes of the enemy, and they even try to make people think it is me when at last, it is only my fake arm in the hands of an imposter. (see Buzz Lightyear on this forum).

    Often when I finally recover my arm, I find it has been painted with peace signs, multicultural emblems, ecumenical colloquialisms and the hand is shoved full, gripping drumsticks, guitar picks and newsprinted musical licks. And of course, my bayonette has gone missing once again.

    This fabrication of what appears to be an arm has become a laughingstock and lacks all credibility as everyone plainly knows it is an easy target for mockery, scorn and humiliation. For me, it is but a lifeless and constant reminder of the wonderful arm I once owned--a true member of the body of Christ.

    Sometimes I awake from my sleep and have that phantom experience that my real arm is still there, but realize over and over again that it is only a quickly fading dream, and being awake means I must face living a nightmare for another day.

    Thank you for your time and efforts nonetheless, and for all you have contributed in your attempts to aid the musical arm of Holy Mother Church.

    Most Sincerely in JMJ

    fnk
    Member, CMAA
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • Brilliant, Francis. On your wavelength, believe it or not.