Which Bishops, where?
  • I'm dovetailing from Jeffrey's post at NLM regarding the intent of reforms regarding music coming out of VCII. Fr. Michael Houser brought up a point about generations of bishops then, during the pontificate of John Paul II, and those serving now who've, in some way, shape or form, weighed in on these issues over the decades since.

    Okay, let's name names. Have you personally witnessed any serious, official proclamation or document promulagation from your own or any other bishops in neighboring sees/metropolitan regions that directly concern musical matters routinely discussed here?

    In Fresno, no. Previous bishop? No. He even held a diocesan-wide plenum convention inwhich the document of resolutions and statements did not even contain the word "liturgy" once, not to mention "music."

    I did see Allen Vigneron of Oakland try to make a motion to study the implementation of the Proper Antiphons/psalm verses at the USCCB conference in Philly (?) a couple of years ago. He was tabled and ignored, pretty much.
    Your turn.
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    I can't think of any, but the annual LA Conference speaks louder than any document.
  • Can't argue with the import of that, Greg.
    The point of the thread, which appears to be not all that attractive, is that there are so many clarion calls for episcopal accountability, from the Holy Father to the blogosphere, that I thought it would be interesting to know if we practicioners actually could recall and report that a bishop actually exercized pastoral initiative with liturgy/music.
    I understand reluctance in responding. It's not fantasy to imagine such responses being routed to chanceries. I'm fairly sure that if either of the ordinaries I mentioned wanted to triangulate "Charles in CenCA" it would take them less than a second on Google. But, I've always taken every job (including this one in its 15th year) knowing I could be terminated in a moment. I have to be okay with that on many levels, including fealty. But I also have gone into each job with a sense of purpose that coincides with the "progressive solemnity" ideal in real time. More or less, I have to impress upon all parties, musicians, PIPs, clergy, support ministries that everyone has to buy into that philosophy if our worship quality is to rise above "missalette liturgy." So far, so good, but it can get bogged down in all areas due to extenuating circumstances- namely, personal preferences of people persons.;-)
    So, if this thread needs retirement, I'm okay with that.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,084
    No, it's a good thread and doesn't need retirement. I have stated, time and again, that the U.S. bishops came home from Vatican II and totally abdicated their responsibilities for liturgy, and much of anything else. The ones I am familiar with were too busy trying to be a "buddy" to everyone. That could be a damnable offense for a bishop. Our last bishop here was doctrinally orthodox. I don't know if he had any formal music training, although he did sing quite well. However, I have never seen any instructions or documents from the chancery related to music. About all I have ever seen in print locally was along the lines of "thank you to Dolores Fermatalingeron for her guitar presentation of "Eternally about Me." I think it's long overdue for some guidelines from the bishops with teeth in them.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 986
    A couple of years ago, our bishop sent out (via the diocesan priest-director of liturgy) a one-paragraph letter informing everyone that "Gather Us In" was not to be programmed at any liturgy at which he was present or presiding. End of letter. No explanation. Go figure.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I am loathe to mention names, out of fear of either a) having myself be viewed as against certain bishops or b) causing offense to a well-meaning bishop (or a supporter thereof). That said, a prominent newly-appointed bishop who celebrates the EF (you may know the one I mean) had many diocesan vespers services on his installation. I am told by those who attended them that they were musically abominable, notably with responsorial psalms substituted for the psalms of Vespers. A few weeks after, I played for his pontifical vespers with the deacons of a region in the diocese. The psalm was recited. Take that as you will.
  • OlbashOlbash
    Posts: 310
    Cardinal Mahoney's regrettable "Gather Faithfully Together" (http://www.archdiocese.la/archbishop/letters/liturgy/) comes to mind.
  • I once had to put together an Evening Prayer soon after I was hired somewhere. The previous DM told me just to use Responsorial Psalms that were close. I smiled and thanked her and pointed the texts in the LOH. The folks in the pews figured it out in about 5 minutes.
  • Jan
    Posts: 242
    I've pointed the LOH for parish folks who said they didn't like anything chant-like. And...it was no problem & they liked it.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,084
    We do Vespers several times a year, and no one seems to have any problems with it. We divide the church into two groups and they each chant in turn. It seems to work and no one has complained - always a good sign.
  • G
    Posts: 1,387
    I realize I am contributing to thread-drift by going off on the Vespers tangent, but our parish does a service they CALL "Vespers" once a year, (it's a completely made up ceremony,) and do somebody's two favorite responsorial "psalms" Let my prayer rise like incense, (Joncas,) and Shepherd Me O God, (Haugen,) the Magnificat set to New Britain and, I think, Let There Be Peace On Earth.

    And to get back on topic, I would prefer our bishop not make any pronouncements on liturgical music, his favorite song is Halle-Halle-Halle, usually as gospel acclamation, but really anywhere it can be squeezed in..

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • G,
    Ladies and gentlemen, the prosecution rests.