Holy Sacred Music, Batman!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,656
    Wow:

    HOW FAR have we wandered from the conscience of the Church in terms of sacred music!

    Regulations for Sacred Music Approved by Pope Leo XIII and Published by the Sacred Congregation of Rites (September 21, 1884)

    Article 11. It is absolutely forbidden that any music should be performed in Church, however brief it may be, which contains themes drawn from theatrical works, from dance music of whatever type, whether polkas, waltzes, mazurkas, varsoviennes, quadrilles, galops, contre danses, lithuaniennes, etc., or profance pieces sucn as national hymns, popular songs, love-songs, funny songs, romanzas, etc.
  • Drat you, Holy Batman!

    I had one each of a varsoviennes, quadrilles, galops, and lithuaniennes in my sandwich for tomorrow morning!
    Thwack @#$%* Harumph!%#$^@! Gazooom+@#$%?

    On a much lighter note, the list doesn't contain a verbatim ban on "sacro-pop", per se, which is not to say "popular songs, per se. NPM can breathe easier now, thanks to me! No, please, don't get up, stay seated, oh you all are so gracious.....

    Thwack @#$%* Harumph!%#$^@! Gazooom+@#$%?- cubed.
  • It is absolutely forbidden that any music should be performed in Church, however brief it may be, which contains themes drawn from . . . profane pieces such as . . . popular songs


    Question: does this cover a Missa l'Homme Armé? If not, why not?

    Just askin'.
  • Well, Mark, since you asked...
    Nope, Trent couldn't solve parodies then, so how could we expect that "authority" would deign distinguish parodies of Lloyd-Webber and Bernstein now? Heck, the ubiquitous "they" let Woody Guthrie and the LimeLighters gain a foothold in the crypt Masses. Matter of time before sentiment ran rampant and amok. (I just wanted to say "amok," it's such a nihilistic catch-all and fun!)
    Francis, have you ever taken in Walter Huston's "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" ?
    I think that was the turning point of Western Civilization in the early 20th: "Badges. Badges? We don't got to cho you no steenking badges."
    I'm in a very "que sera" mood, having tried to slay dragons at PTB for a couple of days. Very quixotic.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,783
    Dare I mention that "Hernando's Hideaway" is a Long Meter tune?

    Ducks!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Well, Mark, since you asked...
    Nope, Trent couldn't solve parodies then, so how could we expect that "authority" would deign distinguish parodies of Lloyd-Webber and Bernstein now?


    I don't get it -- so the answer is, "Yes, but you don't really think people have ever been so square as to actually take crusty old papal proclamations literally, do you?"
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,656
    wow

    wow

    wow...
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Thanks, Francis. Since we still have lots of abuses in local parishes, we tend to get immune to them and forget what is really sacred. It's good to know and remember what Church Fathers said about the liturgy and the sacred music, so we know what we are dealing with. I believe even after Vatican II permitted some options in order to use as steps, the tradition and the ideal of the Church's sacred music continue in our time, regardless of the exceptions at a certain time and places.
  • It's pretty obvious what Leo was saying. The problem he identified is much worse today. There are one billion Roman Rite Catholics in the world. We need to remember this constantly. What percentage of those do you suppose experience the propers of the Mass each week? Maybe 1/100th of them, under a wildly optimistic scenario?

    Think of this fact before you trash any attempt short of pure Gregorian chant to bring the propers to Mass in a form that is part of our history (such as chant in English or chanted hymns). I'm constantly amazed that anyone who imagine that steps toward the ideal is necessarily contrary to the ideal. Again, absolutely no one is suggesting that those who currently sing from the Graduale should abandon that in favor of English chant. That scenario has nothing to do with the real world. These proposed steps toward the ideal are designed to provide a bridge away from non-liturgical music toward liturgical music. This is why they all deserve support from the champions of chant.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,656
    Yea. Lately we use Adam's SEP and Ford's BFW.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    " I'm constantly amazed that anyone who imagine that steps toward the ideal is necessarily contrary to the ideal."

    Maybe I haven't read the forum as often, but I haven't read anyone who says we can have only Gregorian chant here or anywehre. More problem I hear is those voices that whatever is 'allowed' is equally good, therefore there are no ideals and steps. (mixing stuffs seemed to be one of favorite things to modern minds even in the liturgy.)

    This morning there was a small talk on sacred music and new translation in a nearby parish. Before the talk by a schola member on sacred music, the priest mentioned that some people like contemporary music and others like chant, and placed them in an equal level. (he wanted to make sure this talk doesn't become too much of 'the traditionalist.' When someone asked why the words in Lamb of God' is switched around in a particular setting they sing, he answered that some composers do so to match the melody, and he says that is allowed.)

    If we have a clear idea of what the Church desires for the Holy Mass we will be trying to use SEP and so on, instead of insisting on hymns in place of Propers.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,368
    Mia, I think the key word in your last sentence is "trying." We should be "trying" to move towards propers.

    Let's be realistic. It is not responsible to ignore the expectations of our congregations. If the people believe there should be hymns, we can't responsibly just say, "Ok, I don't care what you think. We are singing propers for the introit, gradual, offertory and Communion."

    Can we?
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,124
    Well, yes, Kathy; you can. But your tenure may be ......attenuated.

    How about slipping the knife in gradually? Introit first; 90 days later, the Communio, then 180 days later, the Offertorium.

    You can STILL have a hymn following the last two, and after the Mass.
  • yes, Kathy is right. It is great to talk about what we would like, what it is right, what should be. But if we neglect the reality of parish life - the strategic, political, pastoral, resource issues - we make no progress. Plenty of evidence to support this, obviously.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Jeffrey, I agree, but I don't think we are talking about something obvious here. I don't think this thread is about neglecting the 'reality'.

    Francis, I truly appreciate your info. about the Church's documents and quotes from Church Fathers you present in the forum. I know there are many musicians, including me, would love to hear more about them and reminded of them, so we can do so called 'step by step' in our own parishes in the right direction according to our own situations.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,656
    Sorry... chiming in now because I have been running all day long.

    Here is the problem as I see it.

    Recently my pastor said to me, "once the toothpaste is out of the tube it's really hard to get it back in".

    I would modify this statement a bit: "once the toothpaste is out of the tube it's NOT POSSIBLE to get it back in".

    In other words, anyone who sets out to arrive at the destination that embodies the patrimony of liturgy (ie., Latin and the use of GC) is only fooling themselves if they think that singing chant in English will 'eventually' lead everyone back. True liturgy is unitive in every respect. (Music, action, word, language, vessel, architecture, etc.) The church attained that expression in the Rite that developed for centuries around the world... a global expression that is unitive in every respect (patrimony). UNITY is the goal Jesus called out for. It is his desire that we be ONE-even in our global outward expression.

    So while I use the SEP and other English chant aids (thank you Adam and others for the resources), NO ONE is eventually going to walk up to me and say, 'hey... that English chant music you are doing is pretty cool... Maybe we should sing it in Latin!" These are new types of vernacular liturgy, certainly more beautiful than the rubbish we have endured, and certainly rooted in the tradition, but I don't think it is a stepping stone per say. I think it arrives at its own comfortable end which keeps me divided from the (ie., Spanish) brother who sits next to me. Why? Because he is preoccupied and busy at this very moment composing the SSP (Simple Spanish Propers) for "his preferred" musical style of chant, complete with cultural slants and all the rest... and the Italian guy is doing the same thing... all knockoffs of the real thing.

    That is why the Motu Proprio is the only way "back"... because the Pope presents the right and true model of the liturgy in total without regard to geography, cultural idioms, personal taste, etc, etc, etc.--THE UNITIVE LITURGICAL EXPRESSION OF THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH. People who like or want or will even tolerate English chant are not being directed toward something bigger than their own (segregated) world... not in 1000 years. They are satisfied, enamoured with and 'taken' with their new vernacular counterpart. Beautiful in its own 'rite', so to speak, but it still falls short of the unity Jesus calls out for in John 17. This is a matter of the theological underpinning of an individual. The REAL question is, 'which individual will subscribe FULLY to what the Church puts forward as the truly universal model of liturgy?' - - the expression that most perfectly makes us ALL... the entire world, as one. (Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose it shall preserve it.)

    Most people who want or will tolerate chant in English do not want to tolerate a Universal Church and Universal Liturgy. They can't stomach it. It's just taking it one step too far. And THAT is the critical and final step that they will NOT take to reach the destination of unity in expression. Unless a conversion of heart takes place, and a willingness to EMBRACE a universal Church that prescribes Latin (ONLY BECAUSE IT IS OUR PATRIMONY) as the common language, there will never be true unity of mind and heart among nations. We will always fall back into our self-centered relativism, the philosophy that "I must express myself as I am without regard to others (or my own patrimony) to be 'true' to myself." NOT!!!!!!!

    ‘We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.’
    C.S. Lewis

    So who are the REAL progressives here on this forum?
  • Fancis, with all respect, who exactly gives you charge to call the question?
    I'm sorry, my dear colleague, we must traffic via one soul at a time, the first being our own.
    I've had a notion that someone would, indeed, call this question very soon. I've heard it mentioned by the likes of Mahrt, Rice and Schaefer, from their very voices.
    You're a scholar. Do the math as you like. But to call that question here and now- a litmus of our own personal orthodoxy within fellowes- seems desparate, if not divisive. Many who contradict and contravene our common goals can point to many instances of where we cannabilize our own should we deviate. I, myself, have read a great deal of SSPX doctrine and opinion that is attractive and enticing. But ought I make that leap to satisfy my own discomfort. Hell, no, literally. Now is not the time to divide in order to conquer. We are not at war with anyone but the Enemy. We represent truth and love. Let's not doubt each other now, please.
  • Bringing people's attention to the idea that there EXIST proper texts is the first step. That is why we use Chris Tietze's introit hymns, Andrew Motyka's Communion antiphons, By Flowing Waters, and the like.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,656
    Hi Charles:

    Can we review your last comment? I am unclear about some of the content.

    Fancis, with all respect, who exactly gives you charge to call the question?

    What question?

    I'm sorry, my dear colleague, we must traffic via one soul at a time, the first being our own.

    And your deduction is?

    I've had a notion that someone would, indeed, call this question very soon. I've heard it mentioned by the likes of Mahrt, Rice and Schaefer, from their very voices.

    What question, and what have you heard from M, R and S? Can you be specific? References please?

    You're a scholar. Do the math as you like. But to call that question here and now- a litmus of our own personal orthodoxy within fellowes- seems desparate, if not divisive.

    Again, please be clear about specific points I have made. Not sure what you are addressing.

    Many who contradict and contravene our common goals can point to many instances of where we cannabilize our own should we deviate.

    Explain.

    I, myself, have read a great deal of SSPX doctrine and opinion that is attractive and enticing.

    We are not subscribing to the SSPX. I play the guitar and at the present am teaching the Storrington Mass by MH. My job requires it. Do I bitch and complain? No, I joyfully perform it to the best of my ability. Do I agree with it? Absolutely not! Do I challenge us to the HIGHEST ideal here when I myself cannot participate in it? YES! And we need to continue to challenge each other to go higher, and not just to settle back on the wreathes of compromise. SEP is a fantastic work. I hope to use it more and more. But the Motu Proprio is what will really challenge the church to turn around and walk back to the right road.

    But ought I make that leap to satisfy my own discomfort. Hell, no, literally. Now is not the time to divide in order to conquer.

    Who is dividing? I embrace all and every resource that is available. I was one if the people that begged the question from Marht and others on this forum about the parts of the Mass and their importance from which I myself began doing the AUG propers years ago. All I am saying is that we have a wonderful shortcut back to the ideal in the Motu Proprio and we should avail ourselves of that grace as much as we can because THAT my dear Charles, IS the destination.

    We are not at war with anyone but the Enemy. We represent truth and love. Let's not doubt each other now, please.

    No doubt here. Keep on keeping on. I am with everyone here in our efforts to restore our liturgy. I am hoping to begin a littld endeavor called the RCMP which promotes the return. English chanted Propers are a part of that effort. Kathy along with others are composing metrical propers. These are all options and paths toward our common goal.

    If I might use a metaphor:

    I once had a spiritual director who told me "the life of a Christian is like someone walking through the terraine. We use the rods and cones of our eyes in various ways at the same time. Our immediate position on the trail is what we can touch, what we can affect. But we must be careful not to take our eyes off the goal, the destination, which is far away at the end of the trail-Christ himself. If we become enamoured with our immediate surroundings to the point where we stop walking toward Jesus, then we are distracted. We must keep walking toward our goal using the rods and cones to see peripherally what is in our immediate surrounding. The immediate is more blurry as a result as it is not in our focus; it is the passing terraine that is constantly changing. The focus is the goal ahead and we must keep that focus always.

    I apply this analogy to our present plight to pursue and restore sacred music to the liturgy. Do we stumble and fall sometimes along the way? Yes, but it is those who get up time and time again and continue the journey who make the difference for ourself and the Church and the world. Do we sometimes wander off the path because we see a beautiful scene through the woods only to arrive at our own navel? Yea, but we have to go back to the path. Sometimes when wd reach a mountain top we want to pitch tents and just stay there. (Colloquiums?) But we must get back to the work of our ministry in the day to day.

    So please be assured that all our varried efforts are much appreciated. I am just trying to keep us moving toward the goal.
  • Great response, Francis. It's Monday AM, still tending to weekly setup and chores. I'll get to your items ASAP, but know we're basically on the same page for now. In the Governator's worten "Ah'll be back!"
    Talk wit'you later.
    Blessings,
    C
  • What question?
    "So who are the REAL progressives here on this forum?"
    Francis, perhaps I took a rhetorical question as literal. But, given the other thread you started advocating the formation of a superorthodox guild with very explicit, very stringent (unyielding, really) criteria, it wasn't too long a stretch to wonder if you really desired the readership to self-discriminate, or to "choose sides" literally in this cosmic challenge. Context.
    And your deduction is?
    I believe all of us who treat our responsibilites to be truly "pastoral musicians" (in the Jason Pennington sense) have entered into some sort of covenental relationship with God over our conduct therein. So, I must be more mindful of my relationship with God and His ordained "proxy" on earth, our Mother Church before I form alliances with "like-minded" others, however noble their cause may appear.
    And what question, and what have you heard from M, R and S? Can you be specific? References please?
    Whether we are, by our brick by brick efforts, choosing to delay the implementation or restoration of the ideal, or Mahrt's paradigm by these interim steps? And, are we risking by such a delay, losing that very opportunity to restore that ideal that we all champion in our hearts, myself included? I believe Rv.Dr. Schaefer has been "out front and public" on this question most notably. The question of tactics with CMAA is internecine, but I believe holds the heavy water in terms of real future of RotR.
    Again, please be clear about specific points I have made. Not sure what you are addressing.
    "So who are the REAL progressives here on this forum?"

    Explain "cannabilism..."

    Well, the SSPX phenomenon, or more to the point its divisiveness and publicity is a macro example. The division among former and current supporters of such potent celebrity clerics such as Corapi and Pavone, or even say Mahony and Finn, would be microcosmic examples of how, when divided, the Enemy gains a stronger foothold.

    Now my turn in the sequence to ask a question: which "motu," that of 1903 or of 2007?

    In any case, to address your next point under either "motu," particularly that of 1903, but equally valid under 2007 but even more challenging given VII: the one thing I respect most of all about the perspectives of Mahrt, Rice, Schaefer, Oost Zinner and our confreres in CMAA is that they have already "realized" the only shortcut to the ideal is to wade through their own thickets of brush confounding their own vineyards and then to share the wealth of the harvest with others of like interest and heart. We are not the same church of 1903 or even 2007. We are challenged and confounded by many more dynamics. But we ARE blessed with many more gifts and tools. But we cannot wield either our will or our tools, even under the banner of what we perceive as an unadulterated sign of universal right (the motu's) as if they were came to us in a dream as did the sign of the cross to Constantine, indiscriminately as weapons to those who resist. That imperialism doesn't fly up the flagpole anymore of our volition. People must surrender their will and be empty vessels to then be filled with the graces and beauty of God and the best of his creations artistic.

    Your spiritual director's analogy speaks to me so powerfully, and has lingered with me since attending the Chant Intensive in NOLA this last January- what are we waiting for? Perhaps, it's the liturgical metaphor of the wise and foolish virgins for us. Do we become lazy and distracted, and thus lose sight and salvation? Or do we continue to keep vigil, with a strong witness within and without us towards others, so as to be ready when moments of God's imminence become evident to us all?
    So, that's why I hope to be among YOUR number when the saints come marching in, Francis!
    Pax Christi

    PS, I've tried like heck for ten minutes to lose the "Bold" formats under text and Html, no success. Sorry.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,656
    Charles:

    I hear you. But you are not being clear.

    Superorthodox guild? No, on the contrary it is guild that follows plainly what the Church has always asked, continues to ask, and those who are willing to stand up for it.

    My alliance is with the Church. You are either with God or against Him (so he said). There is no middle ground, especially if it comes under the guise of 'pastoral' for the sake of spinning compromises or creating some kind of whitewashed Catholicism.

    You still haven't told me what Marht and the others are saying... can you clue me in with quotes or references "from their voices?"

    The motu of 2007 is that to which I am referring. Like I said earlier, I hold up the ideal with my right hand while I strum the guitar with my left. But I will hold the ideal much higher than how loud I will strum the guitar... the sooner I can leave the guitar in my music studio, the better. I am also hoping that if enough people join me in doing the same that people will take note. A voice cries in the wilderness. So what if we get jailed by kings and lose our heads in the process? It's tradition.

    Here's one...

    My son was considering the priesthood. In his discernment process he went to a few seminaries and saw what the priesthood represents (more accurately, what they fail to represent). Unfortunately, there was nothing greater than just the humanity of the priesthood being bannered high, nothing to challenge, nothing to aspire to. It was the same old milk-toast Jesus and 3rd rate washed out Catholicism that America has spun out for the last 50 years. He came back and said, 'dad, there was an incredible organ in the seminary but they were all up front on the altar strumming guitars for Mass! Who wants that?' A while back one priest stood up as a newly assigned pastor and said, "I am not your boss, I am your friend." We all winced. We don't need James Taylor, we need true shepherds who will direct the people to what we need, not what we want. My son is looking to be a man, not a wet noodle. Yuck! Another vocations director came a couple of years ago and held up his iPod proclaiming... we have all the latest and greatest stuff! (sad, sad, sad). No wonder the priesthood is becoming extinct... well, at least the priesthood that aspires to embrace all and in the end stands for nothing.

    The (false) Christianity of late is quickly fading away. The Christianity of the ages is returning. Nothing will stop it.

    And if I have to gather together with those who will stand for the real thing, then I certainly will, and I will lead the charge if I must. Because what I stand for is clear, concise and has nothing to do with the lovey-dovey wishy-washy mishy-mashy fruitcake Catholicsm that everyone is now running from. I am looking for those who want to play hardball with the big boys. I am going for the pennant, baby! The Motu Proprio isn't a dream, it's right there in black and white... no, red and black... You in?
  • Dear Francis,
    I'm still here. Can't foresee not being here.
    I dunno, maybe we're talking passed each other and need some sort of arbiter, as I've read my responses time and time again, and (for me) I was as clear and explicit as I could be. I could recall the specifics of conversations heard and held with M, R and S, public and private, but asking me to quote verbatim: 1. is subject to my recollection; 2. asks me to speak "for them." I don't own that right.
    I thought I had made it clear that, philosophically, we are very much on the same page. As you say, "it's right there in black and white...red and black." But, as I again was reminded in a very friendly conference with my pastor/boss yesterday, people behave in a myriad number of shades of grey.
    Regarding your son's anecdotal experience, very sad. But with some seminaries bursting at the seams (Nebraska comes to mind) and the appointment of folks like Dr. Paul Ford at Camarillo (after Chris Walker, whom I am NOT desparaging) I, too, see "true progress."
    Let me offer this comparison for your consideration. I manage the music ministry for a four parish mega-merged church. This merger isn't but three years into its existence. It is clerically staffed with two diocesan priests, two ordered priests from outside the USA, and two retirees, diocesan (one "Anglo," one "Latino.") I have played hardball with these fine men for a long time, and their predecessors, over such issues as you trumpet. I have come so close to the fire so many times, it's a minor miracle that I have two decades in this, my beloved home parish. What I hear you saying can and must be done is that what should be effected ASAP is to transform these parishes and 20 weekend Masses into a "St. John Cantius." Well, Francis, all I can say is "Praise God that Bernardin/George heard the wisdom of Christ in seeding the old, but still enriched soil of that failing inner city parish with the seeds of FSSP." We've been without a bishop for nearly a year, not all that uncommon a situation, apparently. I pray that the Holy Spirit will provide us a new shepherd who will place "the source and summit of our being" at the top of his "to do list."
    Peace, out,
    C
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,656
    C

    I am trying to get the drift of M, R and S... just the drift. Is it something along the lines of what I am saying about the English chant delaying the inevitable?

    Gray is the problem all right. I lost too many years to gray and I went black and white years ago, starting with the very roots of my Catholic faith, and then everything else spun off of that... music, philosophy, social issues, life, etc. It is all very black and white... no gray anymore. As a result, people can get the dander up over things I do and say. But Jesus had the same problem, so I just say what I believe is true and right and keep on moving. People either run away or jump on.

    utinam frigidus esses, aut calidus

    As per what you hear me saying, no, nothing is going to change overnight UNLESS we implement the Motu... for those that have the opportunity, they truly ought to take it. We gotta go brick by brick like we all espouse. I am just trying to get an assembly line going instead of us each picking up individual bricks all the time, IYKWIM.
  • My two cents, regarding black and white vs. grey:

    I'm reminded of a quote from our former bishop, a man that some called a progressive and unfaithful to the Church and all sorts of things, but whom I believe is a deeply holy man and, yes, faithful to the true Church: "When I was first ordained, I knew a lot of things; I had a lot of answers. Now, after so many years, I find that I don't have as many answers. I have a lot more questions."
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,656
    Interesting... Just read Father Z's perspective... kinda similar to what I am trying to say:

    There can be no renewal or effective “new re-evangelization” until our liturgical worship is revitalized. Worship is the key. I believe that Summorum Pontificum must play an important role in this revitalization. At the same time, a concerted effort must be made at every level to make sure that our liturgical books are being followed.


    As long as we keep puttzin around with new innovations and knockoffs, we will only delay what needs to be done. English Propers are great efforts, and well worth our time, but we need to promote GC and Latin polyphony at the same time with just as much vigor IN CONJUNCTION with the Latin Mass.
  • The Latin Mass should be celebrated as often as the NO Mass.

    It's that simple. Give people a choice....but not by making them choose between Sunday morning NO and an inconveniently-times EF Mass.

    Taking away the NO would create another 50 years of travail.

    Letting them both ride along together will make the change possible for many.

    What's better, having a tiny percentage (but growing) churches singing liturgical music or having HALF the churches doing this.

    Modifying the music at the NO opens doors as does English chant. Once the doors are open and people have the opportunity to drop into a convenient EF Mass to fill their Sunday obligation great things can happen.