• I truly do not understand your animosity Charles. If I have insulted you or someone else I am sorry, it was never my intent. I am not a nut who thinks that the Trindentine Mass is the only legitimate Mass, I am simply asking questions because I was not a Catholic until 1978. I have not seen the level of arrogance you speak of on this forum, but I haven't read every post. And I have certainly been insulted by those who think because I go to an EF Mass I must be 1. Mean 2. A calcified Catholic 3. believe all sorts of things that I do not. I have been insulted many times, so what? And if you want to talk smug, I have certainly heard a lot from the NO crowd on this forum.

  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    I wrote that tongue-in-cheek and didn't intend for anyone to take me that seriously. You haven't insulted anyone. BTW, if you haven't read the Liturgical Mysteries - e.g. "The Mezzo Wore Mink" - they are hilarious. You would have to be a musician to get some of the humor.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,183
    I should ask Jeffrey if we can ban attempts at tongue-in-cheek writing. Satire on the internet, where there is no tone of voice and no facial expression, is hard to do competently.
    Thanked by 2E_A_Fulhorst marajoy
  • BGP
    Posts: 218
    Doug S.- The LU is/was useful to religious orders who use the Roman Rite and parishes. It is not really desighned for Monastic (Benedictine) communities. They cannot use it for the Divine Office because they do not use the Roman office. Also it does not contain the propers for the weekdays of lent, not an issue for most people but the setting in which they are most likely to be used is the Monastic one.
    Thanked by 1DougS
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Thanks for that clarification, BGP.
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Charles, I got my wife started on those earlier this year. Hilarious!
  • OK Charles I will call off the Mantilla brigade and stop launching Rosary beads. I am just a little sensitive right due to some family issues.
  • Yes, Charles. Smug attitudes and obnoxious wrong-headedness are very difficult to stomach.
  • (Posted, by the way, after reading only page one of the comments.)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    One thing I will ask. It seems Ruth needs our prayers. She is now on my prayer list, and I would ask that others say a prayer for her, as well.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • ... a more reasonable comparison would be a missal from 1570-1962 to a pre-Trent missal (and of course there were many, not just one). You would find that the Pius V missal did make major changes that rendered earlier missals virtually useless.

    Doug, what major changes do you mean? A comparison would show that the Missal of the Roman Curia of 1570 ("the Tridentine Missal") was nearly the same as the Missal of the Roman Curia of 1474. So far I remember the most conspicuous change was the introduction of the Last Gospel (already practiced elsewhere in Europe). Also, the Preface of the Most Holy Trinity was assigned to most Sundays instead of the Common Preface. What else? The most existing Mass propers where the same since the 13th century, and probably since the Hadrian sacramentary; contrary to what is often stated, the sequences where not thrown out, because the Curia ever had only four of them. Changes in the calendar, adding new feasts, changing the rank of the existing ones goes on all the time. Both the edition of 1962 and that of 1570 saw some of them removed. The latter changes would hardly render them useless. Behind the 'iron curtain' nobody had ever seen the 1962 Missal. In fact, the Missals printed in the 30s were used until 1969.
    Thanked by 1MHI
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    AA, that's kind of the point. Missals, like everything else, change and are revised continuously over time. There is no ideal missal that is the end all, and be all of what the mass should be. I tend to think that for my purposes, the missal is the one I have been authorized to use by legitimate authority.

    When I encounter this EF only, sacred missal of Trent, only way to salvation, and free from the errors of the infamous Novus Ordo attitude, I am usually talking with a convert. Usually, someone who is angry the Church took "the Mass" away from him. It didn't, BTW, since he was a member of a non-Catholic church and never had it to begin with. Generally, this individual(s) pines for what he never knew, never experienced, and was never a part of. Now granted, there is nothing, I repeat, nothing wrong with the sacred music of the ages. I do my best to preserve what I can of it. However, I am accepting of lawful changes enacted by legitimate authority. It is my job to work with them, not berate the Church for not conforming to some imagined romanticized ideal that likely never existed outside my own mind.
    Thanked by 1DougS
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Usually, someone who is angry the Church took "the Mass" away from him.

    I recall reading comments to this effect at Pray Tell after the MR3 implementation, too!
  • DougS
    Posts: 793

    Dropping sequences seems like a major change to me, if we are talking about the actual soundscape and content of the liturgy. Graduals antedating the Council of Trent are filled with them, irrespective of the 1474 missal's contents

    Even though I recently examined a facsimile of a 1474 missal next to a critical edition of the 1570 missal, I don't remember anything more significant than that (however I was looking for some other reason) and I'm sure you are right.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    There is no perfect little Catholic world, is there? And there never was.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Thank you, Doug!

    Graduals antedating the Council of Trent are filled with them, irrespective of the 1474 missal's contents

    This is surely true. But they seem to be part of the diverse local traditions. For example, the Valkenburg gradual (OFM, end of 13th c.) has 3 sequences (+ 2 glued in later), the gradual from Bellelay (OCist, 12th c.) has 4 sequences the all of which are different from those in the former book (Easter and Pentecost have no sequence there). It would be interesting to look if there have been printed graduals before 1600 to answer the question whether it was the prestige of the papacy or the invention of printing, or something else yet, which contributed most to the demise of those local uses.
    Thanked by 1MHI
  • Charles, being a human work no liturgical book, indeed, is perfect. The main point of contention in TLM vs. NO (or EF vs. OF) is theological/doctrinal one. Both cradle Catholic or convert can legitimately expect that the lex orandi reflects the lex credendi as fully as possible. Most of those theologians who have expressed critique form the doctrinal point of view about this or that aspect of the reforms done in the 60s are to my knowledge cradle catholics. The earlier reforms (mid-13th c. simplifications, Tridentine books, Urban VIII's hymns, St. Pius X's breviary), too, have received critique both from the contemporaries and later scholars, but the issues were mosty practical or aesthetic rather than doctrinal.

    For some often neglected aspects of this, see the article by Fr. C. Ripperger:
    Thanked by 1MHI
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    Liturgies do change and develop over time. The prayers at the foot of the altar were not formally added to the liturgy until 1570. They were originally a private devotion carried out in the sacristy. They were formalised as a public devotion of the clergy to stem the tide of the reformation.

    There are people out there who go further than called it the "Traditional Latin Mass", but call it things such as "The Mass of Ages" or "The Mass of the Saints" or even "The Mass of the Apostles". The last in particular is complete dalberdash because for the first four centuries the liturgy was in Koine Greek!

    Then there are people who believe that liturgy was perfect before 1963. They don't like it when I show them photos of mass being said versus populum dated from 1940, or from Cathedral masses in the 1950s which show a Bishop accepting gifts from an offertory procession! The fact is that liturgical abuse had been going on for a long time. Few people knew it for two reasons: 1.) Rubrics for the old mass can get very complicated and; 2.) Abuses were being done in Latin, and escaped the notice of 99% of the congregation.

    Then there are a lot of myths about Vatican II such as:

    VII banned latin
    VII abolished chant
    VII got rid of sacred polyphony
    VII forbids the priest from saying mass facing east
    VII got rid of pipe organs

    and a whole host of other myths. Boy do people get a nasty surprise when I show then what Sacrosanctum Concilium actually says!
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Chris Allen
  • Y'all are being way too harsh on the non-professionals who know only what they see. Here's how people come to this conclusion:

    1. Attend the Novus Ordo.
    2. Often rightly, leave disgusted.
    3. Find the Latin Mass.
    4. Grow into it, because the Novus Ordo is so, so terrible in their diocese.
    5. Sooner than later leave refreshed, loving it.
    6. Ask: Why isn't the Novus Ordo like this?
    7. Then ask: Why is there even a Novus Ordo?

    The only false assumption --- and how are they to know better? --- is that the celebration of the 1962 Missal equals what it was like in 1962. Which, really, is a perfectly understandable mistake. It says 1962 right there on the cover!

    It usually takes a long while these days to find a 1962 Mass celebrated poorly. These are ignored as abberations. (Because, these days, they are.)

    Similar things were said here, under a different handle.

    It’s difficult to blame a young man — N.B.: “young” — for associating what was turned out to be a venerable custom/abuse with the bad fiddling around of the 1960s and 1970s. Liturgical fiddling around contrary to the rubrics has ruined the name of any and all liturgical innovation. It has even ruined, by association, anything which even looks different.

    Two important points traditional Catholics need be reminded of:

    1. To be faithfully Catholic is not to be against new things; it is to be against bad things, false things.
    2. We wouldn’t be liturgically sensitive if we weren’t liturgically sore.


    In speaking to Catholics who prefer the Mass of Trent, nostalgia never once enters as a reason for why they prefer it. It is only later, when they begin to wonder why it no longer widely exists — and what it must have been like — that looking to the past even enters the question.

    But these are twenty- and thirty-somethings, with small children, and they really can’t know any better from personal experience. All these parents of young families knew when they grew up Catholic was sand in the holy water font.

    So snark does not help at all, and is in fact utterly undeserved.
    Thanked by 4Ben CHGiffen Jenny MHI
  • There is no perfect little Catholic world, is there? And there never was.

    But there should be.
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    I find that there is an increasing cultural schism with the church. It seems that all the best choristers, musicians, liturgists, etc are going to the EF Mass, whilst the left-overs, which are your teenagers with praise bands are going to the OF Mass.

    What we need to see is the emergence of (to borrow an Anglican Term) a growth in a "High Church" attitude to Liturgy. I see places such as the CMAA, MusicaSacra, and a whole host of other institutes and associations as being a driving force behind this emergence.

    It may encourage you to know that the CMAA's Communion Chants with English Verses is practically the standard item for Sunday Solemn Sung Mass at St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta. We also use the Gregorian Missal and draw from a very long tradition of music for motets, hymns and mass ordinary. Most of our music comes from imslp.org or cpdl.org and most of the hymns we use are public domain, creative commons or even in-house composition.

    The SEP are another almost standard item at Campion College, Sydney as well as borrowing from the Anglican Use Gradual and many of the same resources as St Patrick's Cathedral, Parramatta.

    I may also point out that Sacrosanctum Concilium called for a continuation of the use of Latin. Frankly, everyone should be familiar with both English and Latin mass ordinaries as well as a variety of Latin and English hymns.

    I find it quite strange that we somehow thing that we're being inclusive by doing things such as having a variety of languages represented at Christmas (such as singing silent night in verses in several languages), but are hostile towards Latin, which should be a unifying factor.

    When I went to WYD in Madrid, last year, I waiting for a train in Avila when I met three young fellows from Ecuador. They spoke hardly any English, and my Spanish was limited to ordering beer, but we whiled away a good 40 minutes or so singing Latin Hymns and Chants from the backs of our copies of the Divine Office.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    I, too, have witnessed the retreat to the EF. Granted, many may have valid reasons for doing so. I don't challenge anyone else's reasons, but I have no such reasons. If I did it, it would be a case of running away, and I am not, by nature, a coward. I would rather stay and fight.
    Thanked by 2ContraBombarde Ben
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,007
    I have to say I've not witnessed such a retreat at all.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Well, the EF is nothing compared to the Divine Liturgy, so I can't blame you there, CharlesW!

    "6. Ask: Why isn't the Novus Ordo like this?"
    Because at one time, people asked the same question of the EF, or in those days, just the Mass. Ever since the early 20th century, liturgical scholars and Popes have felt that the Mass was not quite what it could be. They tried reforming how it was done, with little avail. So they tried reforming the Mass itself. We know how that turned out. I think that what's interesting is that things started to improve dramatically once there became options (Summorum Pontificum).

    If you have a large group of people who want a more reverent Mass, and they have the liberty to congregate with others who feel the same way, then OF COURSE it's going to be more reverent! It isn't intrinsic to the Form, it's the desire of the community. In the EF, the priest could just as easily start Mass with the "Hihowareya!", wear felt ponchos, use glassware, Vosko-ize his church, change the words, etc. All equally illicit/licit in the EF as in the OF where these things are more common. But the community has a singular, focused goal, reverence, so that's what goes on.

    "It seems that all the best choristers, musicians, liturgists, etc are going to the EF Mass"
    This isn't my experience at all, though I think I recall Hartley is from Australia. With no malice, I've found that a lot of EF Masses are provided music by people who are decent to skilled chanters, and unremarkable organists. Which is not to insult these people, I hope, nor to say that I don't know fantastic musicians who serve the EF Mass, such as David Andrew. But in my limited experience, I've found an amateurish yet enthusiastic musical culture to be somewhat the norm. As anywhere else, money is a big factor in the quality of the music. On the contrary, some of the best Catholic musicians I know work in OF churches, often churches of highly questionable liturgy. Again, this is a generalization and based on a limited experience - for example, one of the greatest organists of my generation from my home region I know to be a staunch advocate of the EF Mass.
    Thanked by 1Liam
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    On the topic of "Retreat", I know it does happen. I'm sure most of us here have considered it. I know that if I'm to work in a Catholic church again, I'd rather have it be one that does the EF regularly. (see my comments above about the community and reverence)

    However, I don't think that the retreat necessarily is about EF/OF. I have a friend whose family, while she was quite young, "retreated" to a notably conservative parish (namely, the same one Ruth attends). She was pretty much brought up in either the EF or a Latin OF. I've always considered her to be a traditionalist, but in conversation with her, I've found she just doesn't care. She even expressed much antipathy to me about the EF - "It's SO HARD to follow!" She said she would prefer attending a Latin OF, but when I pushed her, I found she had no real care of language, but simply was drawn to the model of celebration she attended in her youth: reverent, high-quality music, orthodox preaching.

    I think most people at the EF Mass cannot tell you why they are at an EF Mass rather than an OF Mass. I don't think there's more than a handful who would breathlessly tell you how wonderful the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are, or go on an energetic polemic about the the Last Gospel. But I think they just had to escape from the common Catholic landscape. Every church is pretty much the same in America, and the EF really is the only game in town (usually) if you want something remotely different. The retreat isn't from this or that, it's just from a lack of options within the OF practice.
  • I found she had no real care of language, but simply was drawn to the model of celebration she attended in her youth: reverent, high-quality music, orthodox preaching.

    Very yes. There's a great little quote by then-Cardinal Ratzinger about the "retreat", basically to this effect, that gets used in the local Una Voce promotional items. I have no idea how to start looking for it.

    I think most people at the EF Mass cannot tell you why they are at an EF Mass rather than an OF Mass. I don't think there's more than a handful who would breathlessly tell you how wonderful the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar are, or go on an energetic polemic about the the Last Gospel.

    Yes. This sort of speculation comes later, when trying to justify their intangible attraction. Being very modern, these traditionalists, they try to define it in mechanistic terms.

    But I think they just had to escape from the common Catholic landscape. Every church is pretty much the same in America, and the EF really is the only game in town (usually) if you want something remotely different. The retreat isn't from this or that, it's just from a lack of options within the OF practice.

    Very no. The chief problem with the Novus Ordo is not that there are not enough options but that there are too many, that it is ruled by the personality of of the priest, more master of ceremonies than celebrant. This, if not also something else, is what contributes so heavily to the shallowness of the liturgies in America: Each parish is a liturgical autocracy ruled by two crushing forces: the whims of who is in charge and the overbearing weight that is decades of terrible liturgy.

    Not only do people believe that it isn't going to get any better, they have lost the idea of better or worse, because they have lost the proper sense of worship.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,460
    >>Gavin: The retreat isn't from this or that, it's just from a lack of options within the OF practice.
    >>E_A_F: Very no. The chief problem with the Novus Ordo is not that there are not enough options but that there are too many

    I suspect Gavin meant- not any options for lay people looking for a reverent OF celebration. For most people, all the OF Masses within driving distance offer very little "option" between them, being essentially the same as each other- perhaps with slightly different settings on the "hymns vs. songs" or "folk Catholic vs. pop Protestant" dials.

  • If I'm reading my two young cohorts Gavin and Adam correctly, their point is well taken. Whether anyone wishes to acknowledge anecdotal or statistical evidence that is outside their parameters of personal knowledge, there remain but three things: the perfunctory and status quo "rendition" of the OF Mass, the reality that the style "wars" will likely continue well into the future, and "faith, hope and love." Because the greatest of that latter trio is love is why I have faith and hope that folks might just wake up and assume responsibility for improving their lot in liturgy in whatever medium of music they choose to employ. A reverent OF celebration can be had even should 6/8 or strong beat 4/4 contemporary settings of songs and Ordinaries be a certain Mass's standard faire. And the next scheduled Mass in the same parish could offer a reverent OF using all four options for processionals. Next one, Latin chant for everything, and so forth.
    But this cannot be achieved within the circle of "music ministry" alone in every church/parish. There has to be a Venn diagram of intersecting circles between clergy celebrants/deacons, support "ministries" (musicians, lectors, EMHC's, et al) and any other "stakeholders" who have in some way, shape or form studied documents, liturgical philosophies, repertoires, demographics, the calendar and catechetics (and any other disciplines necessary) so that the water-boarding drip of death that I call the Missalette Mass can finally have a stake through its convenient heart and be laid out cold forever.
    Can I get an Amen?
  • No.

    I mean, yes.

  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    "The chief problem with the Novus Ordo is not that there are not enough options but that there are too many"

    I mean options for the Massgoer among churches. Look at the options for the music: GR Antiphon, GS Antiphon, Psalm, or Alius Cantus. Do you really have a choice between those when you go to an OF church? Options for orientation: face the congregation or liturgical East. Do you have options on that? Language: There's probably thousands of options as for what's in Latin, what's in English, what's in another language. When deciding on an OF church, do you have an option to go to one where the Canon is in Latin? Or where the proper prayers are in Latin? "Et Cum Spiritu" followed by a Collect in Spanish? Or are you pretty much choosing between English and Spanish? For that matter, there are four Eucharistic Prayers - where do you go to hear the Roman Canon anymore?

    In the pre-SP church, you did not have any options, even though there were millions of possible and licit ways to celebrate Mass, effecting varying levels of solemnity, reverence, personal devotion, sense of community, etc. The EF now presents people with an option, where in the OF world there is usually (again, notable and laudworthy exceptions being plenteous) only one way to celebrate Mass.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • Liam
    Posts: 5,007
    Well, I used to hear EP1 more on solemnities and major feasts, but now I've only heard it thrice in the past 8 months, and on two of those occasions by someone who is very publicly in the progressive liturgical scholarship camp, and the other occasion by someone who is also progressive (but not a scholar). YMMV.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,460
    >> A reverent OF celebration can be had even should 6/8 or strong beat 4/4 contemporary settings of songs and Ordinaries be a certain Mass's standard faire.

    I believe this is true. The "ideals" (so-called) of all Latin, or all chant, or all "traditional" music are well and good, and I have no quarrel with anyone who holds them or works for their universal dissemination. But their implementation is by no means required for Mass to be celebrated in a way that is reverent, sane, and supportive of orthodox theology.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • Theoretically? Sure.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,460

    I've seen it in reality, though sadly not often enough.
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    If you can get the Parish Priest and the Choirmaster together on side for Liturgy, then the rest isn't such a hurdle. The trouble is generally that one or both has some nonsensical idea that "active participation of the congregation" means that we aim for the lowest common denominator.
  • Here's the thing: When folks say contemporary music, they don't mean Kevin Allen. They mean a specific style of music which does not lend itself well to reverence for the otherworldly or incredible.

    Even granting that, for the sake of your eyewitness account, there's also the trouble with of song selection.


    ... is a lot closer to reverence than "contemporary" music gets. Is there a song in the contemporary repertoire that comes nearly as close? How often do you want to play it?

    Yet if you want a song with more interesting melodic content than most P&W, consider:


    Yet if you want a song with more accurate theological content than most P&W, consider:


    Yet these are, of course, inappropriate for Mass.
  • EAF, tongue in cheek is funny, FWIW. But, it doesn't counter what Adam's advancing in, uh, real time. Forget about George, Tom and Kevin Allen for a moment. I'm currently in my oversized recliner, no books about me within reach. Consider the following contemporary "alius cantus apti (? plural)"
    IN EVERY AGE Janet Sullivan Whitaker
    COME TO ME AND DRINK Bob Hurd (Yeah, yeah, "vox Dei" and all that)
    UBI CARITAS Bob Hurd
    MANY AND GREAT Ricky Manalo
    WE ARE SENT INTO THE WORLD Manalo (used as a dismissal, theologically important)

    I'm going to cut this litany here, but could go on with titles that, for moi, meet criteria necessary to justify their usage if so decided. And you're welcome to check out some of my stuff on YouTube under "tccovmusicministry" which runs the gamut.
    We must deal with particulars, not archetypes, when discussing genres before wholesale acceptance or rejection.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • Hi Gavin I think you are right about a lot of people I know at my church, that is if you are speaking of me as the Ruth in your post and Assumption Grotto as the church. The church has a lot of historical appeal as well because it has the second oldest Marian Shrine in Michigan and because it had one of the biggest Catholic schools in Detroit. The people who stayed through the social experiment of the 1970s in this city, (I was still living in New Orleans at the time), were the most attached to their church and probably also the more conservative. The priest who preceded our current pastor was more conservative than most priests in Detroit at the time and was there for around 30 years I think. But there is also a growing number of people who come to Grotto for that feeling of reference you speak of in your post.

    I agree there is little choice in the Detroit Metro area when it comes to Masses with better music, that is outside of the more traditional city parishes like St. Joseph and St. Josaphat and downriver with David, but it isn't a wasteland either. In the past 10 years I have heard of more and more change taking place in the OF vernacular parishes because of young dynamic MDs and younger priests who are slowly bringing back solid hymns mostly in English, some Latin chants mostly during Lent and other better newer compositions. I have told my students about Musica Sacra and CanticaNova and Corpus Christi Watershed and introduced as much as I can to help the vernacular OF Masses they may be responsible for. But it is a slow change that at times frustrates folks on all sides.

  • See Mystery Worshipper, www.shipoffools.com

    It's time.
  • Fair enough, Mr. Charles. I just like Nyan Cat.

    ... however, for the sake of argument, does a rock beat, or bongos, lend itself well to the otherworldly?

    Maybe my experience is flavored by the LifeTeen Mass that sets up just as the TLM is finishing up, but there is a really good reason to deal with generals and archetypes, sometimes, and you can sometimes get pretty conclusive.
  • EA the SC is pretty clear about no bongos.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,173
    ... but banjos? They are string instruments!!!
  • EAF, I have to QLOL as I know the environments of the two worship spaces involved in your dilemma! I hope there's not much overlap as the church sound system there is stadium worthy!
    As to your argument's question, early in my tenure down the highway I had a friend who did his MA up at the university on Shaw in percussion when I finished mine who attended Mass at our place. Every so often he'd show at our ensemble Mass with some hand percussion which he discreetly, incredibly wove into the textured layers of accompaniment. Likewise I've incorporated (no longer around) the talents of an accordian player and a genius (literally) soprano sax master in the past. Don't hate on me, or taze me, bro! Like the other thread started by Ben, just like chant can be mangled by ill-disciplined singers, conversely the distraction that may occur from the sonority of any instrument including a pipe organ is not necessarily the fault of the instrument, but the lack of talent and discretion of the player. It goes without saying that yes, I know the documents back to Pius X.
    And CHG, were Bela Fleck to show up at our Schola Mass and want to play the obligato of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," I'd trust him.
    Yesterday I felt frisky. Today, I guess I'm feeling heretical, or at least iconoclastic. It's been hot out here you know.
  • Ah California sure can be hot, I remember how hot it could get in Bakersfield when I was a kid and the dust!
  • I hope there's not much overlap as the church sound system there is stadium worthy!

    Yeah. Not only loud, but it crackles and fizzles like Rice Krispies in milk. Stadium worthy indeed.

    EA the SC is pretty clear about no bongos.

    For the record, I consider this forum my education on sacred music. With that in mind, could you show me where?
  • Read Chapter VI of SC and then find out when and where the bongo drum was invented. You could make a case for using a bongo like drum in Africa as it is a part of the culture of the people before they were Christianized but not the bongo itself, as it was invented in the 1800s in Cuba. I doubt very seriously that bongos were used in the well established Roman Catholic Church of Cuba in the 19th century. But I am sure there will be those who make the case for using the bongo as part of the liturgy. Personally I think there are much worse instruments that are used in some liturgies, like electric guitars and snare drums. IMHO, acoustical guitars are better than electric guitars.
  • 120. In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church's ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man's mind to God and to higher things.

    But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship, with the knowledge and consent of the competent territorial authority, as laid down in Art. 22, 52, 37, and 40. This may be done, however, only on condition that the instruments are suitable, or can be made suitable, for sacred use, accord with the dignity of the temple, and truly contribute to the edification of the faithful.

    Now, I'm the last person to think bongos are OK. I'm not sold on any percussion, really --- guilty until proven innocent, in my book. But what SC actually says is:

    1. If the Pope says OK. (Art. 22)
    2. If the Bishop says OK. (Art. 120)

    These authorities have certain principles which should be applied. It is up to them to apply these principles.

    In the light of the "true and authentic spirit" of the liturgy (Art 40), any musical forms or instruments may be adapted if No. 1 and No. 2 would "carefully and prudently consider which elements from the traditions and culture of individual peoples might appropriately be admitted into divine worship." (Art 37)

    All you have to say is that "an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy is needed" (Art 40) in the USA than in mission fields. This is dubious, but a judgment call within prudential limits. It is, in fact, the weakest link in the argument for bongos, at least if we limit ourselves to Chapter VI of SC.

    Judging by this section of SC, and only this section, it is by no means clear that bongos are disallowed. If anything is quite clear it is that nearly anything in keeping with the authentic spirit of the liturgy is allowed.

    This amounts to a kind of question begging, unfortunately.
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    To interpret this document in a "Hermeneutic of Continuity" I would ask that you refer to Tra Le Sollectudini, Moto Proprio of 1903, which strictly forbade the use of the piano and banned the use of "noisey, superfluous instruments such as cymbals".

    You can also look at Musicae Sacrae of 1958 (i think) and Musicam Sacram of 1967 immediately following Vatican II.

    Musicam Sacram 16 stated that the active participatin of the whole people be carefully promoted in the parts which pertain to them which are: Acclamations, responses to greetings, prayers in litany form, antiphons, psalms, refrains or repeated responses, hymns and canticles. This was to be done through "suitable isntruction and practices". It also stated that if the congregation was not sufficiently instructed or if the music required several voices then the music can be handed over to the choir alone. Masses where only the choir sings are to be "depreciated".

    I take this to mean that the sung antiphons from the propers should be made available in the weekly mass leaflet, as well as the melody lines for hymns, responses, etc. I find that a reasonable balance can be struck with having certain things made clear that the congregation must participate, such as the Psalm response by printing the melody line, and providing one or two hymns and a motet. Active participation of the laity doesn't mean to aim for the lowest common denominator!

    Musicam Sacram 19 states that choirs are to be developed in Cathedral Churches and educational institution and that similar choirs are to be fostered and encouraged in smaller churches. Basically, the Parish choir is meant to imitate the Cathedral of their diocese.

    Musicam Sacram 21 goes on to say words to the effect that if a choir cannot be raised, then a number of cantors to lead congregational singing should be maintained in each church.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • Yes the documents say all sorts of very good things but again Liturgical Law needs to be codified and it is not at this point so IMHO that is one reason why we have such goofy liturgies in some places. One thing most of the liturgical documents say is that Gregorian Chant is to be esteemed and used.
  • Absolutely. That's exactly my opinion, too. Appealing to SC, when wanting to restore the right sense of liturgy and worship, can only beg the question. It takes more than Vatican II.

    Sorry if everyone already knows this. I'm trying to talk my way through it.