Pastoral Musician - Gregorian Chant Today
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    Yes, a special section with articles by Ruff, Tortolano, Funk and Ford was in my mailbox today. The shock almost caused me to faint in the post office.

    Is NPM jumping on a bandwagon? Of course, they are. And it's about time. Will folks do chant just the way we think they should? I doubt it, but then many people don't like my style either because I'm not a "Solesmes-ian" and we still work together. CMAA is always generous with its knowledge - and we know the music itself will be the most persuasive voice.

    Also in this issue is a full listing of the music for the three papal Masses.
  • JDE
    Posts: 584
    I say to you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven upon one sinner that doth penance, more than upon ninety-nine just who need not penance.

    (Lk. 15:7, Douay-Rheims)

    And that is why we should not gloat. Yes, bandwagon, definitely. But I don't care why they're doing it -- I DO care that they are doing it at all. Eventually denial gives way to acceptance, right?
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    It's all to the good, of course. The chant is no one's proprietary interest. He who serves the chant serves the music of the faith and the faith itself. There are so many struggles ahead, massive lengths to go in education and in overcoming entrenched interest groups, and overcoming bias as well. I hope this issue of PM opens some hearts.

    One worry I've long had about nearly all the material in core liturgical publications: writers work to make the chant forbidding to non-experts. Anything that can be done to encourage people to approach this music without fear is a great step.
  • My only real concern is that NPM would promote chant as just "one of many possibilities" in a try-to-please-everyone (but please no one) attitude. The IDEAL is not tossing in a couple of chants along with conga drums and screaching guitars. No thank you!
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    This is the real issue: what is the ideal? This is the issue that people tend to avoid.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Times are changing. I just played Vespers for a new bishop, and was told by the parish priest afterwards, "No guitars. Just as it should be."

    5 years ago NPM would never publish an article on chant and priests would never dare to say such a thing to musicians. Things are good and only getting better!
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    I appreciate Michael's concern about the "one of many possibilities" approach to chant. And I think there are many who will initially take that approach. The "something for everyone" has been the guiding doctrine for years. At the same time, chant wasn't even on the list of "somethings." Now it is. And for those who know that chant can do much more, the legitimacy conferred by widely-known publications such as Pastoral Musician will open doors (and maybe a few minds).
  • Jscola30
    Posts: 116
    I have a Music Issue from 1998, there's hardly any chant in there, I think maybe the In Paradisum, Salve Regina, Ave Maria, O Radiant Light, and a few parts of the Jubliate Deo (I think for that year, Gloria VIII and the Mortem Tuam were new). Now you can find Adoro Te/God Head hear in Hiding, Ave Verum, Jesu Dulcis Memoria, the Word of God was from the start (same tune), and other chants in Today's Missal you would have NEVER seen (Veni Sancte/Victimae Paschali, Regina Caeli), and a much better selection of traditional hymns (not that all here view that as a positive).
  • Jscola30
    Posts: 116
    I also should add the "chant mass" now includes the Vidi Aquam and Asperges Me, the resp. to the General Intercessions and Pater Noster. Also forgot Ubi Caritas from the first list. Also, how can we forget the collection, Laus Tibi Christe.
  • Chris
    Posts: 80
    I agree. OPC seems to be making at least some small effort. I hope it's for the right reasons and not just to appease a certain minority (us!). Either way, at least it's something, and definitely much better than 10 years ago.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,037
    As I have been told many times before, "even the devil can quote scripture." I wonder if NPM is just throwing the minority a bone, or if a real change is underway. My pastor recently decided that our parish has moved musically far beyond NPM and has cancelled all the staff memberships. I wonder if others may be doing the same.
  • Chris
    Posts: 80
    I've been tempted, in recent months, to do the very same thing. NPM has slowly and subtly (and sometimes not so subtly) been steering the American Church away from good, solid, correct liturgy over the past 30+ years, and has been making our liturgies more and more egocentric instead of Theo-centric, and I for one have had enough.

    When I mentioned this to a local friend and colleague, who also happens to be another semi-former NPMer, she pointed out that sometimes its better and easier to affect change from within rather than from the outside. Also, the current Chapter Director of my diocese's NPM chapter is a like-minded friend of mine, and he and I have had a number of discussions on this very subject. Torn though I am between retaining my membership and ditching it, if I am to be successful in promoting the good works and mission of CMAA here in central NJ, NPM needs to keeps receiving my dues check. At least for the time being...
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,191
    I have for the last 2 years been "preaching" the damage that NPM and the "liturgical/industrial complex" have done to music in the church. By controlling the how's and why's of liturgical music and more importantly the philosophies, interpretations of documents and indeed the very flow of materials available not just from the music publishers but even general publishers like Liturgy Training Publications, NPM has effectively kept those who are otherwise not broadly or properly trained as church musicians under their thumb, all in the name of "teaching lay people to be leaders of sung prayer and pastoral musicians." (I seem to recall that sometime in the past Jeffrey Tucker wrote a brilliant piece on just how this connection works).

    One only need look as far as the names of those appointed to the advisory committee on music under the Committee for Divine Worship of the USCCB to see how far this deck-stacking has gone. Apart from Dr. Leo Nestor, there's not a one who doesn't have some involvement with NPM or the publishing houses.

    I've met and chatted with Fr. Ruff, and I don't doubt his sincerity in what he's doing. What I fear is that he and others like him are being brought into the fold of the NPM and its accomplice publishers so as to continue to control the dialogue and the flow of information. This may seem harsh, but there is a saying that reads, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." In the long run, and one only need go as far back as the Oct/Nov 2007 issue of Pastoral Music Magazine to see this, NPM fosters a highly conflicted and ambiguous relationship between those who favor the music of the tradition as against the stuff they sell by the crate-fulls at their conventions. And, when you consider that their 2007 awards went to Joncas "for crafting the song of God's people, teaching with wisdom and insight, and empowering the ministry of pastoral musicians," and Haugen, who is not even Catholic (was Lutheran, is now UCC) for "songs of the love and faithfulness of God and of the praise, lament and prayer of God's people," it becomes even more frightening just how inbred and insidious this "liturgical/industrial complex" truly is.

    The unfortunate reality is I must remain a member out of necessity until such time as I can convince my pastor that this is a waste of money. But I also just received my Spring '08 issue of Sacred Music after officially becoming a member (with a donation slightly more than the recommended $36.00).
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    OCP does have more traditional music (including "On This Day, O Beautiful Mother") than I've found in the GIA's publications. I actually let my membership in NPM lapse. (I pay all my dues myself - AGO, CMAA, ISFHC.) Maybe they think the current issue will lure me back. Hmmm.

    At the same time, I think we'll just to wait and see with NPM. It is so tied into a complex network (what we used to call "interlocking directorates" in my radical political days) of composers, publishers, record labels, and confusing rights organizations and software. This is one big marketing machine - and it doesn't want the cash flow disrupted. My other concern is that many of the "chant" related materials they publish aren't very usable.
  • David,
    While I concur with your analysis and sentiments generally, I do not "blame" NPM (of which I lapsed my membership in '99 after 20 years) nor OCP and the rest of the "industrial/liturgical" complex (thanks Ike!) for the breadth and severity of the damage done to the sacred liturgy. One should remember this is not an American phenomenon only; this breach was manifested world-wide.
    While I don't think it benefits us to assign "blame" in stead of careful analysis of what went wrong (see Dobszay), if someone is to blame, that someone is clearly the bishops and cardinal bishops who abrogated their responsibilities in the most necessary and critical area of their vocation: the holy and sacred worship of God and its handmaiden, the arts.
    One could reasonably conclude from last November's USCCB that our American bishops, save for a handful such as Burke, Bruskewitz and Vigneron, still shy away from liturgical issues of import because they essentially demurred their white list project to the bishoprics of Portland and Chicago, who have imprimatur/nihil obstat duties for OCP/GIA. That's not action, that's a safe reaction.
    MJB, there isn't a team of horses or gun to my head that would coerce me to rejoining NPM. There is more discourse and collaborative sharing in CMAA (for this country) and other international groups, as well as the font of blessing that the internet can provide us to help rebuilidng brick by brick.
  • I've always wondered why so many advocate working from within NPM. It's not an official arm of the Church, so if it does not meet the needs of church musicians, let it die in the market place that has become its god.

    Feeling feisty today!
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,191
    Charles,

    Perhaps I was a bit ham-handed in my indictment of the "liturgical/industrial complex," and will read Dobszay this summer to get a clearer perspective.

    I will say that in reading Msgr. Schuller's work (a link to which appears on the main page) it is clear that there was from the outset a distinct and identifiable group of guilty players in the drama. Blame-putting, in my opinion, should not be mistaken for an intellectually honest call to accountability, which is what I've attempted to do. Perhaps I'm more hard-bitten about this than others, but it seems to me that we mustn't shrink away from the responsibility (in fact, our Catholic Christian duty as enumerated in the cardinal virtues) to inform and educate the ignorant.

    I've just been writing about this for my own personal exercise, and in my writing I state that we're called to be counter-cultural in matters of moral teaching and yet we seem quick to demure on issues of music and liturgy for the purposes of not being accused of "mud-slinging." I live in the Midwest (Minnesota) as a transplant from further east. One thing I've noticed around here, which may explain why I've become so hard-bitten, is that while it is frowned upon to display emotions such as temper, passion, indignation or umbrage, it is perfectly acceptable to provoke these displays. What then gets focused upon is the response, not the provocation. I think it's important to keep people focused on not just the response, but the provocation as well, if not more so.

    It's my humble opinion that we must, with all intellectual honesty and candor, and with charity, not be afraid to step up and hold everyone who has played a role in these matters to account, so that it can be corrected, and the bricklaying can proceed.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,191
    But Michael, but Michael . . .

    NPM is by extension an official arm of the Church. It was founded by the same folks who belonged to Universa Laus, the group that elbowed it's way into recognition by the Holy See not long after the Consociatio (from which CMAA grew) became the first organization to receive papal approbation to examine and explore the expanding liturgical and musical universe after the Second Vatican Council.

    There are several letters in that weighty volume Documents of the Church (Liturgical Press) that clearly present the debate. In fact, IIRC, Universa Laus was given equal footing with the Consociatio and instructions were given by the Holy See to work in collaboration.

    I've been remarking about this on and off ever since I stumbled across this interesting dynamic, and nobody has responded to the question: What ever happened to the Consociatio and why has Universa Laus and it's red-headed stepchild the NPM gained so much credibility?
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    It's true that NPM is an official branch of nothing. However, it has tremendous name recognition with the run-of-the-mill clergy. Jeffrey pointed out once that large organizations can do big mailings - and do them repeatedly. I should know - AARP reminds me that I'm over 50 on a regular basis, notwithstanding my lack of any response. When the paper keeps coming - and when the organization has the funds and staff (probably in collaboration with the Big 3 of lit music publishing in the USA) to establish a presence at every pastoral conference or shindig, a level of name recognition sets in, regardless of your accomplishments. And the willingness of pastors to cover that membership keeps the money and the numbers up. It's similar to the way in which library administrators will cover dues for the American Library Association (a highly political behemoth that never advocates for its members) but not for the specialty organizations that provide useful materials and meetings.

    I'd rather buy a really nice dinner.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    AARP mails to anyone over 50? That's disgusting!
  • And Martin Sheen is this month's AARP mag coverboy! Last month, Jamie Lee Curtis!
    I expect Susan Sarandon for the next issue, ensconsed in her Italian villa dissing Il Papa with faux Italian impunity and a Stockholm martini in one hand, a chihuahua in the other.
    I think that was civil. Not particularly intelligent, though.
    You've got decades still, Jeffrey, relax. Your time will come.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,191
    LOL Charles!
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Hmm, to work in NPM or outside it, that is the question! I would knee-jerk say "inside", BUT some things are just so "poisoned" (for lack of a better word) that we just can't do as much in them as outside. I'd hate to see it turn into a "membership battle" between NPM and CMAA, but in a way that's what we need. We need to recruit everyone we can when we can, that's the only way to make a difference.

    Here's the truth: no one KNOWS that Mass isn't about 4 hymns/songs in a row. No one KNOWS that Gregorian chant is just as important today as 100 years ago. No one KNOWS that Latin is essential to the Latin Rite liturgy (or even WHAT the Latin rite is!) This mighty bit of ignorance is what we're facing, and NPM has never lifted a finger to alleviate any of it. Basically what needs to happen is on an individual level to say to our colleagues (as respectfully as we can!) "You know, the Church says that Mass has nothing to do with singing 4 songs from Gather with an overamplified cantor." But we have to go farther than that. People knowing what the Church wants is the first step, but nothing will happen until they are EDUCATED, and that is the CMAA's main benefit! What I'd like to see is a "Church Music Primer for Musicians" with the very basics of how to do the music of the Mass that we could give EITHER those proliferating the liturgical-industrial complex or new musicians - formation, there's an idea!
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    In this new trend toward the "mainstreaming" of chant--ok not a good choice of words--Michael O'Connor is really right here. The line is that chant is possible, nice, desirable, fine, tolerable, praiseworthy in many ways, notable, venerable, pretty, etc. etc., but it is a mistake to hold it up as the ideal, goal, model, archetype of Catholic music -- no no no, it is, we are told, one of many options, not necessarily more suitable than any other style or approach. It has its time and place, perhaps not in parish life, but it deserves a hearing so we should not necessarily eschew it forever.

    The problem here of course is that unless you believe that Gregorian chant is special in some way, there is no good reason to bother with its difficulties. Why take a hard road (Graduale) when you can get where you want to be with an easy road (OCP/GIA)?
  • David Andrew, I didn't know that. I wonder that it is really official, though, rather than, as you say, a byproduct of something more official. I'm not experienced enough with canon law to make the distinction. The empirical evidence tells me that, since no official of the Church holds a directing position of NPM -- to my knowledge -- its "officiality" is questionable or at least on very ill-defined grounds. In any case, I stand by my call to let it die if it will not address the real needs of the Church. It is a very savvy organization in that it seems to see a challenge, not so much from CMAA but from all those who have seen the light. If it only postures and throws bones, it will not survive. It has been IMHO corrupted by the marketplace and is not a place where I chose to work from within. IIRC a year or two ago the chant session at the national meeting was canceled last minute.
  • Regarding your comment that "mainstreaming" chant into the collective consciousness and lifeblood of the faithful as integral, Jeffrey-
    1. I defer to the wonderful little tract you published earlier here by Prof. Dobszay about such a reimplementation; replete with both with strategies founded upon sound principles. It's sitting on my desk awaiting my scalpel (hi-liter pen) so that when I return from my vacation (NOT at Colloquium, dagnabit!) I can advance the most salient points that apply to our parishes' (we are now a conglomerate of 4 parishes, 30K souls!) circumstances to A. very reluctant priests; and B. our musical and liturgical staff members.
    2. These efforts must be accompanied by a reasonable, measured and charitable approach toward consensus that FCAP is actually quite a well-articulated ideal in the conciliar documents themselves, and that those ideals have the benefit of very serious scholarship and commentary from the Holy Father all the way down to FSSP and lay organizations such as CMAA. The consensus, like all politics, must exist first at the local level. That's why I harp about the bishops so freaking much! In that scenario, whether NPM or CMAA or anybody else's "guild" is perceived as an official "organ" of the Church is really a non-issue or moot.
    3. There needs to be some immediate pressure and action brought to bear (from ______?) upon our seminaries to revamp not only the content and curricula of liturgical instruction, but to revive the importance and awareness among faculties and seminarians that first comes "lex orandi, lex credenti." Our young men ARE the Church's future; they must be prepared for all aspects of their pastoral and sacramental duties, but at the same time understand that all attendant duties have their source at the altar and ambo at Eucharist on the Lord's Day. (And their own faithfulness to the Holy Office daily.)
    4. As these men (such as those who attend colloquium, from Fr. Skeris's generation thru Fr. Keyes to the Fr. Youngbloods) assume pastorates, they will articulate a vision that is clear for worship that is both informed and authentic (read "not founded upon personal preference.")
    5. Beginning now, those of us fortunate to teach our young children either in parochial schools or in RE programs as well as lead musical leadership should start mapping out strategies to gradually move the little ones (and their parents) away from Carey Landry to Justine Ward, so to speak. The recent revelations (to me) of those primary children's hymnals are just the ticket! They can and will ('cause I have the proof on my hard drive) that they'll be singing in Latin by the 3rd grade and loving it!

    So, the hard road isn't really the "Graduale versus OCP" decision, or whether NPM/Anaheim RE Congress mentalities will hold sway among the influential populace; it's the brick by brick, grunt-hard perseverence that we here are called to maintain and preach and model at every opportunity we have.

    Thus endeth the rant.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    Jeffrey said, "The problem here of course is that unless you believe that Gregorian chant is special in some way, there is no good reason to bother with its difficulties."

    Of course, that's true with just about everything valuable. Excellently prepared food rather than Hot Pockets, (brief interruption while I remove horrid bit of extremely modern music from CD player), a real birthday card rather than an email, etc.

    It's my opinion that we may better be able to build demand for chant within the liturgy from the outside. The week-in, week-out folks will (and have) put up with anything. Draw people to the True by means of the Beautiful (in our case, great chant and polyphony, modern or old) and when those folks come into the Church, they won't settle for dreck.
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    Charles. Recently I heard a theologian-priest (a university prof for many years, now retired) in a formal discussion used the phrase 'lex orandi, lex credenti' to oppose the EF Mass in the post-V2 world. He, on the other hand said that Gregorian Chant was ok. (I didn't want to ask
    him anything at the time since I really had no background on this & really wanted to stay out of his cross-hairs.)

    Question: What exactly is the significance of 'lex orandi, lex credenti' to Catholic theology? Where is it's origins? Is it only a Catholic thing?
    Can they use this argument to cause division with Gregorian Chant as well?

    (I hope I'm not stepping out of the topic here but I think this is very important since Gregorian Chant is an essential element in the EF.)
  • Jan, I'm just a working schmoe, but I'll give it the old college try. There are lotsa folks here with serious academic/theological street cred who'll likely provide a more thorough response.

    Short answer to the "rule of worship determines rule of belief" argues against worship in the EF: doesn't make sense if our worship is believed to be literally a communion between heaven and earth. I can't fathom his principle premise because if his contention is that worship is mitigated by language concerns, then why is he okay with Latin chant in the OF? If he's saying that the form of the EF is insufficient, uh, he's contradicting 1500+ years of organic development of that particular rite, the current Holy Father's apostolic letter, and empirical evidence to the contrary. I can't be sure, didn't hear his thesis- seems he's saying that our worship needs to be not just "in the world, but _of_ the world as well." I'm not down with that.
    If it's an FCAP thing; he's simply not up to speed on current events.
    I'm happy he expressed some sort of appreciation and/or tolerance for the use of Gregorian chant in the OF at least. But maybe he ought to spend 20 minutes reading the Dobzsay paper I mentioned earlier, "A living Gregorian chant," for a more thorough understanding of the union between that musical form and the ritual tradition and canon from which it was spawned.
    I'll leave the historical origin of the maxim to others' commentaries.
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,191
    Not to change the subject, but I just took a quick peek at the USCCB webpage for the Committee on Divine Worship, and they don't disclose who is on the music advisory committee. In fact, it doesn't appear that this information is readily available anywhere on the internet, except a quick mention of the list of names in a November '07 Adoremus Newsletter article by Helen Hull Hitchcock. I wonder where she got her information? Still, the list of people named as advisors to the American bishops is both telling and troubling: Father John Foley, SJ (St. Louis Jesuits, Composers’ Forum), Robert Batastini (vice-president of GIA Publications) and J. Michael McMahon (president of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians).

    Father Anthony Ruff, OSB (Liturgical Press), Dr. Leo Nestor (Catholic University of America, former music director at the National Shrine) are also on the list, and these are the only two that I would "trust" with respect to what kind of agenda they may try to advance.

    I still have to wonder what the CMAA needs to do to gain appropriate and balanced recognition. I realize that our public image will mean a lot, that we must work very hard to develop and maintain a professional, educated, charitable and respectable reputation. I also realize that snarking and other kinds of posts won't do the job. Fisking is another story.

    Nevertheless, as it would appear that the philosophies, opinions and activities of CMAA are becoming more well-known, we need to be on our best behavior. We should also, as I've said before, not shrink from our obligations to constantly educate and promote all that is beautiful, true and good.

    BTW, at least as recently as October of 2007, the Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae was still a going concern, and was mentioned by name as being in attendance by His Holiness during his address to the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music; there is nary a mention of Universa Laus. He also mentions Justine Ward's organ, given to Pius XII in 1932, now totally restored and in the Aula Magna in the Palazzo dell'Apollinare.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    I've posted a review of this issue here.
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    Jeffrey is very generous when he comments NPM for the current issue of Pastoral Music devoted to Gregorian Chant Today. I expected
    much more leadership from the authors of these articles as J. Michael McMahon referred to in his editorial '...drawing on the insights of leaders who bring sound scholarship, long experience, and pastoral wisdom to the discussion.'

    In this issue, NPM should have focused more on the positive aspects of the chant in liturgy, concrete ways of implementation with case studies of parishes where Gregorian chant has been successfully implemented, instead of highlighting obstacles.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    there is an element of unreality about the whole issue. It would be like arriving in a famine stricken country and lecturing about the dangers of fast food and obesity, alternating with lectures about proper food preparation technique.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    That's Pastoral Musician in a nutshell. The articles rarely offer anything of practical value. For Heaven's sake, they could run a series on how to coordinate the mish-mash of musicians that many parishes have flailing around on their instruments. Or how to tune guitars properly. Nah, a feature on inclusive worship seating is probably more likely.
  • JT and MJB, spot on per usual. Those, IMO, are not characterizations of PM's lack of useful content for DECADES, you picked the miscreant suspects out of the lineup in less than a second. One could search PM for years without finding one featured article actually discussing anything remotely close to "music" per se. I came to think they wanted to "be" an easier-to-read version of "Worship." What resulted was a not-worth-reading version of no qualitative value to musicians of all stripes and calibres. Shame, really.
    I still think Joncas could have brought NPM into relevance from blatant mediocrity. But, and this may sound odd to many here, he was too smart to take the gig that McMahon inherited.
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    Anyone want to reduce-reuse-recycle their copy to me? I let my membership lapse a long time ago, but I would love to include this in a presentation that I will give to our liturgy committee in the fall on recent publications on sacred chant.

    It is just stunning to me to consider that PBC, BFW, TAG, AUG, and OCP's Laus Tibi have all been published in the past few years, not to mention online resources like Fr. Weber's work on English propers, the Chabanel Psalm project, and Communio. NPM has a new section on chant with its own newsletter, and now this issue of Pastoral Musician as well? Voix Nouvelle, one of the newer French editions of very so-so liturgical music has even recently released a volume called "Chefs d'oeuvre gregoriens" containing 23 selections from the Gradual in chant notation. It will be hard to argue that there is not a huge, forward-looking chant revival going on right now.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Wow, excellent round up.
  • G
    Posts: 1,387
    "Anyone want to reduce-reuse-recycle their copy to me? "
    If anyone had this in any e-mailable form and was willing to share, I too would be grateful for a look.

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • Sadly, Pastoral Music follows up their chant issue with an distorted printing of carefully selected excerpts from Mediator. Commentary here.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    There will be a push to establish "chant" as a niche category in an environment of enforced relativism. Just one more "market." Watch for emerging "chant stars" (Ruff?) to be brought forward, very congenial ones, who will not, however, challenge the enforced relativism.
  • Well, the Mass is a variety show after all. I know that I don't feel welcome at all because I don't hear traditional Irish music (Celtic Mass does not count).
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    Excellent, Jeffrey. Thank you for sharing.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Indeed, Michael. And I'm alienated by the absence of traditional religious English language!
  • Things like this remind me of Dr. Mahrt's (and others') observation that, regarding Sacrosanctum Concilium 116 - the paragraph concerning Gregorian chant - the Latin "principem locum obtineat" is better rendered "should maintain/occupy the principal/first place" instead of the overly-mushy "should be given pride of place" as found in most translations.

    Maybe when Vox Clara is done with the Missal translation, they can get to work on the Vatican II Council documents?
  • paul
    Posts: 60
    Now where did "pride of place" come from. When I see the latin original, (first time) it's pretty obvious what is meant. Pride of place, on the other hand, has always been a kind of suspect phrase to me, kind of a license to "reserve" chant for rare occasions. Talk about assigning blame! It's hard to believe that whoever translated that phrase wasn't working hard to fulfill and agenda. THIS is the value of the CMAA
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Since we're on the topic, I've wondered just what the phrase that precedes "pride of place," namely "All other things being equal," really means in this context.

    Is it a "quality" sort of thing, as in, "as long as chant isn't sung poorly, that's what we prefer" -- ?
    Is it a "reverence" sort of thing, as in, "as long as the people are equally reverent with any sort of music, we prefer chant" -- ?
    Is it an "understanding" sort of thing, as in, "provided that everyone understands the words they're singing, and understands their meaning, we prefer chant" -- ?

    "All other things" -- what other things?

    EDIT: I saw a brief commentary about this here, in response to Jeffrey's recent NLM posting about NPM selectively quoting Pius XII.
  • Fr. Ruff says nothing about this, which surprises me. It could mean that no matter what circumstances might prevent its being sung--no resources, no singers, etc.--it still remains the primary. Or it could be just a phrase thrown in by the opponents of chant to introduce a bit of static.
  • Mark M: There is a forum discussion thread that addresses the "ceteris paribus" phrase of this paragraph. My observations from 2002 on this question (that take the "pride of place" mistranslation as given) may be found in this thread as well as on my blog.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Ah, yes. I remember that discussion now. Thanks.
  • More thoughts on that paragraph here. It seems like the question of translating proprium as "specially suited" is also fair game.