Sacred Music in Jacksonville: a report
  • JDE
    Posts: 588
    Last Sunday (24 February) I visited Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Jacksonville, FL. Mrs. Y and I were in town for the Young Survival Coalition conference, and IC was the closest parish to the hotel, and they offer an 8:00 AM Extraordinary Form Mass.

    Thanks to you all here at the Forum, I got in touch with some people from the parish, and offered to come and lend my voice to the singing. Looking forward to the liturgy, I spent some time learning the propers. As it turned out, the propers were not sung; it was a Low Mass.

    The music was nothing like what I expected: instead of the chanted introit, there was a hymn in English: By the Blood that Flowed from Thee from the old St. Basil Hymnal. During the collection the ensemble sang Adoramus te Christe from the New St. Gregory Hymnal. Since they already had tenor and bass covered, I sang alto on that number.

    At Communion, a gentleman sang Jesus, Jesus, Come to Me (also from the New St. Gregory Hymnal) as a solo; he had a very sweet voice. After the choir had communed, the ensemble sang Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All from the Adoremus Hymnal. It was not much fun juggling the stack of hymnals, my (useless, as it turns out) Liber Usualis and the pamphlet guide to the Tridentine Mass they had put in my hands; it made me glad we use a printed music bulletin at my parish.

    At the end of the liturgy, the entire congregation sang Take Up Your Cross, the Savior Said from the pulp missalette/hymnal. I believe they were using Word and Song from World Library Publications. The text was paired with the tune BRESLAU, a combination I had not encountered before; but after some research on Oremus, I see that it is one of the more popular tunes for this text. In my parish it has most often been sung to O WALY WALY, but next time we sing it I think I will change to BRESLAU. That melody suits the character of the text much better.

    The director and the other choir members were very kind, and they welcomed me graciously, esp. considering they didn’t know me from Adam’s housecat. The church itself, by the way, was quite beautiful inside, and they are rehabbing all the stained-glass windows to the tune of about half a million dollars.

    I’m not sorry I learned the propers; it was good practice, and the word-painting on Passer invenit sibi domum is beautiful; but (call me shallow!) I would certainly have preferred a sung Mass over the one at which I assisted. Maybe I'll get that opportunity one of these days, but in the meantime I have enough to do to get the music for the Novus Ordo where it should be. On the whole, this experience with the EF will not cause me to agitate for it in my parish. There is nothing wrong with the Novus Ordo when it is done reverently and according to the rubrics rather than as a piece of performance art.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Thanks for the great report!

    One of the main problems with English hymnody in our parish is the relentless surprise that comes from discovering--usually during liturgy--that the edition of hymn in Traditional Choral Praise [(c) OCP (registered trademark and patent, valid and enforced for 1000 years)] has different words and verses and keys from the edition printed in the pew booklet Heritage Missal [(c) OCP (registered trademark patent, valid and enforced for 1000 years)].
  • JDE
    Posts: 588
    Maybe I should go forward with my idea to create a public-domain hymnal for use in parishes with good taste in hymns. No feminized language, no heresy, no "songs of ourselves," and packed with good tunes and theologically sound texts.

    Oh yeah, and no removing the "thees and thous."
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    "Maybe I should go forward with my idea to create a public-domain hymnal for use in parishes with good taste in hymns. No feminized language, no heresy, no 'songs of ourselves,' and packed with good tunes and theologically sound texts.

    Oh yeah, and no removing the 'thees and thous.'"

    I have often meant to check out, but never got around to, the ICEL hymnal. Someone TOLD me, when I expressed a similar idea to yours, that it already existed, and this was it, but I have my doubts.
    And while most of what I would program is in the public domain, I would hate to have a hymnal without "Lift High the Cross," among others...

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I've had the same idea, but something more basic and less reactionary. A "Core Catholic Hymnal" with:

    -Full Kyriale with modern notation
    -All the hymns of the hours in English set to either protestant tunes ("Hark a Thrilling voice", "At the Lamb's High Feast" are examples) or common chant tunes
    -The more prolific Greek hymns in English with protestant tunes ("The Day of Resurrection")
    -Any other common Catholic antiphons in Latin with chant tunes ("Parce Domine")
    -Historically noteworthy hymnody by Catholics ("Adeste Fideles", "Faith of Our Fathers", everything by Newman)

    I don't think anyone needs to reinvent the wheel like Yuri proposes, just something our regular OCP/GIA/WLP hymnas can function as a supplement to.
  • john m
    Posts: 136
    Does anyone know what has become of the idea of a "core Catholic repertoire" that is supposed to be included in every Catholic hymnal/pulp missalette? This was prominent in the USCCB's Directory for Sacred Music (mandated by Liturgiam Authenticam), and its theological guidelines as posted on the USCCB website are gratifyingly stringent. However, all has been silent on this front for over a year now.
  • Cantica nova has a nice handlist of hymns that every Catholic Parish should know. Check out their website.

    Yurodivi, I agree, the church is quite exquisite. Maybe someday they will start doing Missa cantatas.

    BTW our chant Mass got bumped by Divine Mercy Sunday chaplet... We will be doing the 3rd Sunday of Easter (EF calendar) on April 13 in Jensen Beach. If any of my forum friends find themselves in the area, we'd love to have you sit in. Be sure to practice your chants though!