Pope St. Whirligig the Great and the CMAA Illuminati
  • E_A_FulhorstE_A_Fulhorst
    Posts: 381
    One fine man on this discussion board mentioned how tiresome it is to hear parishoners quote at him from the corpus of Pope St. Whirligig the Great.

    The Very Rev. Gig, as you may know, frequently commented against the appropriateness of Communion in the Hand and in favor of Liturgical East, but the intervening centuries have not been kind to his memory. Now, even though his papal pronouncements are known only to an esoteric few, these few are sure to share their knowledge with whoever will listen. Lacking these, they will find someone who doesn't want to or won't.

    Now, the selfsame man who brought up His Holiness made a very good point about where lies the authority to interpret current liturgical norms. It lies not with some dead Metropolitan of Rome but principally the living local bishop of Schenectady-on-the-Pond. But who does the very busy bishop defer to?

    This is where the CMAA Illuminati comes in, a power behind the throne. Whether at the parish or diocesan level, Church musicians have unique opportunities, privileges and burdens. Frequently, being close to the priest or pastor or bishop, our say can positively influence the true, legitimate voice when deciding matters of liturgy.

    This is relevant on a number of levels:

    1. Arguing finer points of liturgy, even if completely inappropriate for angry ladies with pointing fingers --- which is not necessarily true --- must be fair game on this forum. This is true because
    2. If we are really going to participate in the grand mission of the Reform of the Reform, we must be bathed in the hermeneutic of continuity. It follows that
    3. Becoming knowledgeable about even Pope St. Whirligig the Great is essential if our liturgical say is going to mean anything. Finally and therefore,
    4. We shouldn't visibly roll our eyes at scolding nags. Maybe the scolding nag has something new to say. Even better, maybe he has something true to say.

    Most importantly, henceforward let nobody here accuse a fellow musician of "pulling a Whirligig," (at least on this forum.)
    Thanked by 1Ruth Lapeyre
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    We should never forget that despite the best of intentions, CMAA is tiny when compared to NPM. We are a minor player, and our influence is not as great as we sometimes think. But we try, and that's the important thing to remember. Bringing those bishops on board with what we are trying to accomplish is essential to our success. Like it or not, they do have authority over liturgy in the United States. The current bishops are on average, better than what we had to work with twenty years ago.

    Dear old Pope St. Whirligig may have been a splendid fellow, but he's no longer relevant. It's difficult to get across to some who delight in quoting old documents on Church music, that most clergy and laity don't really give a mouse's behind what some ancient pope or musician thought at another time and place. Relevance is the key. If what we do is not relevant to the culture and the situations in which we work, there will be little success for us.

    Trying to impose older liturgical practices on today's congregations simply will not work. We are working from the assumption that because we find the older liturgy superior, and the music sits better on our ears, others will see it the same. They don't. The mass itself has been revised. We could argue for years as to whether or not it is the same or a different mass. However, it has been revised enough that some parts of the older mass simply will not fit into it, nor should they.

    As to our role in improving sacred music, it has seemed to me that we could easily isolate ourselves into a pre-conciliar corner and become totally irrelevant. I hope we don't do that, if for no other reason than it will not change much in the average parish. With our congregation, we have identified the things that can change and be improved. There are also those things which can not change, and some items are simply gone forever and will not be restored to the liturgy.

    The ICEL chant mass has been a success. The Latin chant mass works well for us during Lent and Advent. Communion antiphons were easy to restore and now the congregation notices and comments if they are not sung. Graduals are gone forever. I wouldn't even try to impose them on a mass structure where they simply don't fit or belong anymore. We can use introits, but only as preludes, not as replacements for the entrance hymn. As you can see we don't have everything desirable, but have worked with what we could realistically implement and achieve.

  • E_A_FulhorstE_A_Fulhorst
    Posts: 381
    Here are further illustrative points:

    1. There is no pre-concilar/post-conciliar. This means that when discussing what the liturgy should be, rather than what it can be, we must recognize that

    2. Even certain pronouncements of Pope St. Whirligig continue to hold effect until abrogated. His relevance may still be paramount on this forum at least because

    3. It is our duty to discern what the liturgy should be. Furthermore

    4. Only if we have a clear idea of what the liturgy should be can we meaningfully work toward that.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    These are opinions, nothing more, and reflect a legalistic view of liturgy. I find that I have to make a case for sacred music at least weekly to someone. Were I to go with the Gather top 40, I might not be challenged as often. Eighty years ago, what you are proposing would not have been questioned because it operated from a base of commonly held assumptions. Those assumptions are no longer widely held and have been replaced with individual preference, and I think, individual confusion. I may not like that, but it is the way it is. Next time I am challenged, I think I will say, "But E.A. Fulhorst says..." How far do you think that will get me?
    Thanked by 2ContraBombarde Gavin
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,016
    Actually, we've had great success using the Gradual instead of the Responsorial Psalm. We also sing an entrance hymn and then begin the Introit as the Priest ascends the altar. It can be done (at least here at my parish).
    Thanked by 2miacoyne CHGiffen
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,392
    Musicians should not try to play lawyers explaining the regulations, as it were; it's a lose-lose proposition. (Because, btw, in our culture, that puts the listeners in the role of clients who get to choose which regulations to obey and which ones to ignore - in our culture, it's the clients who decide, not the lawyers (and the clients live with the results of their choices) and the clients just think you are condescending to them.) You can explain vision, but strain to avoid the energy/tone of an ideologue, because that energy/tone will tend to alienate a good chunk of the listening audience (a truism that applies across the spectrum of ideology).
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    ClemensRomanus, I am glad that has worked for you, but I have no desire or intent to bring back Graduals. In my situation, there is no valid reason for bringing them back. They are like the sequences removed since Trent and have been replaced by the psalm. I am fine with that replacement and with the move to the vernacular liturgy. My congregation knows enough Latin to sing the Ordinary during Lent and Advent. That's enough. We have an EF mass every Sunday for those desiring more Latin and the older form of the mass. It seems our greatest challenge is finding good sacred music for the vernacular OF.

    I will add that I draw heavily on Anglican and Anglican Use Catholic sources for music. Those folks seem to have mastered the art of English liturgy a long time ago.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Though the Gradual DOES shave a few minutes off the liturgy.... I used it once, from Chants Abreges, and it actually flowed quite nicely. It provided a good break between long readings (it was Pentecost), and made the Liturgy of the Word seem like less of a chore.

    Personally, I think the Reform did away with the Gradual justly, so I too have no desire to see the R. Psalm go anywhere. HOWEVER, I think it'd make a good choice for summer Masses. Do that, and replace the "closing hymn" with a postlude, and you've just significantly cut down on the time of Mass. Not that it should be a concern, but if it is... I think it'd make a lot of PiPs happy.
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,016
    I completely agree with you that there is a scarcity of good sacred music for the vernacular OF, and I wish our parish had an EF Sunday Mass!

    I must add, though (at the risk of sounding "legalistic"), that the graduals are still in the Graduale Romanum, and were not removed. Yes, the GIRM gives preference to the Responsorial Psalm, but it also allows the gradual to be sung since the gradual is the music provided in the "Church's official Mass proper/music book" (and yes I know that's a rather crass way of naming the Graduale Romanum). I wish the entire GR was translated and set to music similar to the ICEL chants. We're trying to make do with the SEP, Fr. Weber's contributions, By Flowing Waters, the American Gradual, and my own setting of the official gradual/alleluia translations from the 1965 Roman Missal.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Thank you ClemensRomanus for your effort to help the OF congregation to experience the authentic liturgical music which cannot be forgotten even in OF Masses. Your effort count more than anything.
    Thanked by 1ClemensRomanus
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 468
    Trying to impose older liturgical practices on today's congregations simply will not work. We are working from the assumption that because we find the older liturgy superior, and the music sits better on our ears, others will see it the same. They don't.

    Most congregations don't have "proper" liturgical practices of any sort. A corrective program of whatever orientation, reform of the reform or traditionalist or progressive, will most likely be "imposing" foreign liturgical practices regardless.

    The mass itself has been revised. We could argue for years as to whether or not it is the same or a different mass. However, it has been revised enough that some parts of the older mass simply will not fit into it, nor should they.

    These are relatively few comparatively. One of the cited examples (the gradual) is in fact not gone at all and wasn't intended to be gone. (Our parish uses the gradual, though in a simplified version, not the Gregorian graduals.)
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen benedictgal
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    I could use the gradual, but not in the place where it was originally. That doesn't mean, of course, that it couldn't be sung elsewhere. I do get the sense that the gradual was intended to be gone and replaced with the Responsorial Psalm.

    Although not a fan of the EF mass, I do envy the old days when everything wasn't up for grabs. It must have been nice to go into the organ loft and never have to think about what would come next. I do, however, think the GIRM is a good step in the right direction.
  • E_A_FulhorstE_A_Fulhorst
    Posts: 381
    Charles: You know that point is precisely that musicians on this forum should become familiar with the arguments to make them themselves, right?

    This is not a legalistic view of liturgy. This is only a legalistic view of law. It is something to start from. What else could the Holy Father mean by the "hermeneutic of continuity," paired with "the reform of the reform," in the light of our depraved sense of worship? It means we need to rebuild. We rebuild the skeleton to better house the beating heart.

    Legalism is not every instance of adherence to law. Legalism is the instances which are only adherence to law. Adherence to Whirligig the Great where St. Gig has authority is legalism only if you make it legalism. It is only legalism if you stop right there and go no further.

    Again, again, again: We are supposed to be more righteous than the scribes and Pharisees!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    I have the most problem with folks who want to follow the "law," but mean the law of their own choosing or that suits their views. By this I mean, some do want to restore the liturgy. The liturgy they want to restore, however, is not the NO, but the EF. Many have never forgiven the "law," in this case, Paul VI, for creating the NO and are intent on trying to turn it back into the EF. The EF seriously needed reforming, and the Council realized it. Granted, the reforms were poorly managed and implemented, but reforms were needed.

    As to dear Whiligig, yes he could make liturgical law, but he had no authority to bind his successors in matters liturgical. If a future pope, as happened, gives authority over the liturgy to the bishops of a country, then Whirligig's edicts are no longer binding.

    Yes, we need to make a case for restoring the sacred to the liturgy. That case can not be made by document chucking and anathema hurling.
    Thanked by 2ContraBombarde ryand
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 340
    Awww, The Graduals are beautiful and really not that difficult to sing, you just have to get used to them and then a whole world of gorgeous sound opens up. Since the ladies schola has been singing them at Mass we have had great response from the congregation.

    However, if I went to my local parish and asked if the Gradual could be part of the liturgy the organist/choir director would definitely see lobsters crawling out of my ears. That is one reason why I don't go to my local parish, I go to St. Whirligig! : )
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    I agree the Graduals are beautiful. But they are like the sequences of old. They were also beautiful, but no longer a part of the revised liturgy. I wouldn't criticize anyone for using Graduals, but no one is required to use them.
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 340
    Exactly Charles
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 340
    However there is a difference to the Propers and the Sequences. The Propers are the texts of the Mass.
    Thanked by 1benedictgal
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Sequences were texts of the Mass, too, before they were excised.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    Charles,

    if I'm not mistaken, aren't the graduals still part of the OF? The sequences were specifically abrogated, and consequently not included in the current liturgical books (ie, the 1974 Graduale Romanum).

    However, the graduals are in there, and also mentioned in the GIRM as licit. I'm not following how they are like the "sequences of old".
  • ClemensRomanusClemensRomanus
    Posts: 1,016
    Sequences were not abrogated. Since they're in the GR and specifically referred to in the GIRM as mandatory for Pascha and Pentecost.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    I think he's not talking about the 4 sequences in the current GR. I think he's referring to the other sequences beyond those that were suppressed by Trent.
    Thanked by 1ClemensRomanus
  • E_A_FulhorstE_A_Fulhorst
    Posts: 381
    If a future pope, as happened, gives authority over the liturgy to the bishops of a country, then Whirligig's edicts are no longer binding.


    Betraying my ignorance for a moment, I would sincerely appreciate a link. Vatican II, certainly, but in which documents? To what extent? Certainly not absolutely, &c.

    Scooting the discussion back to "current law says" says absolutely nothing about what "current law should be." I have no interest in reinventing the Extraordinary Form. I have every interest in a true liturgy of continuity. But a true continuity requires full immersion in and admiration of the Missal of 1962. Only a man who loves the Extraordinary Form can properly leave it, or properly want to.

    Yes, we need to make a case for restoring the sacred to the liturgy. That case can not be made by document chucking and anathema hurling.


    If Whirligig's laws are no longer binding, what of the principles behind those laws? Can't they inform what direction restoration should take? Because we have lost the sense of the sacred, the sense of worship, why reinvent the wheel when we can get an idea of how things should have been and then use that to inform what the Novus Ordo should be?

    Working theory: Priests who love the Extraordinary Form and are ready to leave it because they recognize its faults are those who can best celebrate the Novus Ordo. Priests who hate the Extraordinary Form cannot celebrate with a hermeneutic of continuity, and the extrinsic merits of the Mass --- as opposed to the infinite intrinsic merits --- will therefore suffer, as these priests are divorced from any liturgy but a modern liturgy with the trappings of reconstructed primitive Christian liturgy. The Novus Ordo breathes better when allied to centuries of development.
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 340
    The Sequences are poems added into the propers, specifically after the Alleluia (at the jubilus), starting perhaps as early as the 8th century but more likely the 9th. The propers themselves, especially the Gradual are from the Psalms so they are Biblical. Some of the texts are from the New Testament, but the vast majority of the texts of the Propers are from the Psalms.

    Just as the Council of Trent purged the Mass of hundreds of Prefaces (some very local and specific to the locality), it also removed all but 5 of the Sequences. Those that were left, I assume, were considered to be the most beautiful and worthy. The texts of the Graduals have been a part of the Mass as early perhaps as the 2nd century, at least in the case of the Haec Dies. The texts of the Propers were not removed at Vatican II, they were rearranged and expanded because of the 3 year cycle, but never removed.

    I must say I am truly impressed that there would be little old ladies hurling anathemas because the choir isn't singing the Graduals. My experience is that only a very few musical members of the Congregation would even know what a Gradual is much less want to chuck a Papal Bull at anyone for not singing them.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    I think the Extraordinary Form is extraordinary. It isn't the norm anymore, and it does have its differences unique to itself. My parish offers the EF every Sunday for those who want it. Most do not. I see a few people at the EF who actually understand and appreciate it. The rest are the folks who live in the past and gripe about every trivial external that gets modified or changed. They are obsessed with externals, don't really understand the EF to begin with, and wouldn't be happy in Heaven. The attendance numbers at the EF are not growing, and likely will not increase.

    Again, I have no interest in following the EF, since my work is exclusively with the OF. I follow the current GIRM and do the best I can to implement it. The EF is historically interesting, but not particularly relevant to the OF. Granted, the OF in many places does not follow GIRM, but that's another issue. I am fortunate to work for a pastor who wants GIRM followed. I see a true restoration as following the current laws, and restoring sacred music to the liturgy, but not trying to recreate the past. That was another time and place in a different culture. The 1962 missal is the 1962 missal. If it floats your boat, then attend and support the EF mass. If it isn't for you, then don't.

    Ruth, the hurlers and chuckers are generally on this forum, not in the real world. You are correct that most in the congregations don't know or care.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    However, the graduals are in there, and also mentioned in the GIRM as licit. I'm not following how they are like the "sequences of old".

    They were not supressed by a Council, that is true. For any practical purpose, they have been replaced by the Responsorial Psalm.
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 340
    Part of the problem, I have noticed, is that when we say the Mass on this board we are sometimes speaking of the OF or EF without a clarification. I do think the Ordinary form should use the texts of the Mass, whether in English or in Latin, but it is of course up to the priest if this is done with the Propers which are meant to be sung by a schola. At the EF the priest must read these texts if they are not sung just as the priest must read the prayers proper to the Sunday if he does not chant them in the Ordinary Form.

    I do believe that the Church considers the texts of the what are commonly spoken of as Proper Chants, to be as important as the Proper prayers the priest chants to a prayer tone or simply reads on a particular Sunday in the Ordinary Form. The Church never intended for the people to be "robbed" of their Mass, but because of circumstances beyond their control, they allow options. The Responsorial Psalm is now placed as the first option. If this is the option your pastor wishes then it is of course the option you use. Anyone on this board who would argue that fact is just wrong, simple.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    I use Richard Rice's excellent propers where I can. The communion proper is always sung, the introit is sometimes sung, and the offertory never used. Granted, if I can find a hymn or anthem that comes pretty close to the offertory text, then that works. The choir sings propers at the Sunday choir mass. The cantors seem to have no problems with singing them at the other masses. All in all, somehow it works.
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 340
    Oh Charles, I want to talk about the word "suppressed" because I found out it has a very specific meaning in the Church. It most certainly does not mean forbidden as I am sure you are aware. However, one of the Sequences required by the EF is suppressed in the OF, I am of course speaking of the Dies Irae. So, about 7 years ago, before Pope Benedict allowed the broad application of the Tridentine Mass, it was sung at my parish at a Mass. I was a little concerned because I knew that some of my seminarians would take issue, seminarians just love to hurl documents around! It was explained to me by my pastor (I merely asked the question I didn't brow beat him), and his response was, "Suppressed doesn't mean forbidden."

    I do enjoy these discussions and I pray we all attempt to keep them light hearted and full of God's love and respect. And I still just love the name St. Whirligig the Great, I don't even think dear St. Gregory the Great would mind, just an opinion though. : )
    Thanked by 1chonak
  • E_A_FulhorstE_A_Fulhorst
    Posts: 381
    The EF is historically interesting, but not particularly relevant to the OF.


    When there is a broken sense of worship in the OF, and when the Holy Father talks again and again about "hermeneutic of continuity" and "reform of the reform" the EF, and the principles of worship elucidated over centuries, is of course relevant.

    How is this possibly untrue?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    I know about suppressed. I don't use the Dies Irae, either. I do give the family the option of hearing the In Paradisum, English text. No one has refused it, and they seem comforted by the words. Funerals are the worst time to argue with grieving relatives, so I am more open to things I wouldn't do any other time. The pastor feels the same.

    We only do the required sequences, while the congregation looks at the ceiling and hopes they will soon be over. LOL.

    Propers again. Mine is likely the only parish in the region that sings them. I haven't heard them anywhere else. The response to the communion antiphons has been positive.

    I take none of the forum discussions very seriously, and they are often interesting. I do think the forum often holds much more conservative views than the general CMAA membership.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    "When there is a broken sense of worship in the OF, and when the Holy Father talks again and again about "hermeneutic of continuity" and "reform of the reform" the EF, and the principles of worship elucidated over centuries, is of course relevant.

    How is this possibly untrue? "


    It isn't necessarily untrue, but I think we are interpreting it differently. I don't want to put words into your mouth, but I sense the "reform of the reform" means to you the bringing back of the 1962 missal. It doesn't mean that to me. Yes, there are parts of the Tridentine mass that still exist in the NO, chiefly the Ordinary. The canon could be the same, and is at my parish. But that's not true in many places, since others are used. There are other differences, which we all know. The NO is not the same as the EF.
  • E_A_FulhorstE_A_Fulhorst
    Posts: 381
    You are right: Reform of the reform does not mean "going back to the Missal of 1962," complete with graduals or what have you. This is the conception I have of what we need to go back to:

    Because we have lost the sense of the sacred, the sense of worship, why reinvent the wheel when we can get an idea of how things should have been and then use that to inform what the Novus Ordo should be?


    Inform, mind.

    This is not some external practice but some living, interior, maybe better said as "underlying" principles of worship. There should be continuity between the two forms, and Vatican II should be shown as development from one to the other. The EF can inform the OF in this sense. Again: Not in merely some external practice but in the sense of what it is we're even doing here at Mass. Once we restore this sense of underlying principles of the EF, we can take these unspoken, underlying principles to the shiny new OF and celebrate it correctly.

    In the sense that there is a shared kind of reverence and worship between the East and the Romans, or should be, there should be even firmer ground between Romans of different liturgical persuasions. Between the two Churches sui iuris there is one sense of worship, expressed different ways, (or there should be.) Similarly, there is one Roman Rite with two liturgies.

    Put it this way: If we are really going to winnow out all the errors since Vatican II not called for by Vatican II, we must have an appreciation for the things left unsaid. Some of these things were replaced by distortions which are today taken for granted. This does not need to be the case.

    It is eminently possible --- and necessary to fixing the errors of the OF as practiced --- to carry over a better sense of worship than would have been carried over if Vatican II hadn't been hijacked by ... whoever it was hijacked by. How easy must it be to see the EF celebrated better than it ever has been, to talk with priests more knowledgeable or passionate about the liturgy on average than the priests of the EF ever were?

    If we restore the sense of worship, at least some folks will realize why all these abuses today are abuses, why they don't fit. Other problems will crop up, to be sure, and this is by far not a cure-all, but let's worry about that when we come to it.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,392
    The current optional sequences are Lauda Sion, Stabat Mater and Dies Irae. They are retained in current liturgical books (the Dies Irae is not specifically included in the Order of Christian Funerals but is included in one of the other approved chant books, IIRC) and may be used in their proper place as sequences. Aside from the Dominican (or perhaps some other conventual rites and uses) Rite, however, the sequences that were suppressed at Trent may not be used, so far as I am aware, as sequences properly speaking (in the OF, I suppose they might be alius aptus cantus at another point in the liturgy).
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    I don't know how the Sequences being added to the Mass after some of the other Propers somehow makes them extrinsic to the medieval Mass. They were there for nearly eight hundred years. That counts as "part of the Mass" in my book.

    Anyway, this conversation turned away from that minor point long ago.
    Thanked by 1IanW
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 340
    Doug I thought E A Fulhorst began this discussion with the point about the pastor or bishop who may not be interested in making decisions about the musical liturgy or not having the time to, often defers to his director of music, i.e. the power behind the "throne". I don't think that is a minor point at all. So, no matter how minor you or I or anyone else may think the topic, nothing about the musical liturgy of the Mass is minor.

    "Arguing finer points of liturgy, even if completely inappropriate for angry ladies with pointing fingers --- which is not necessarily true --- must be fair game on this forum."

    Now what I try to do with the seminarians I teach is to show them that when they become pastors they will be in charge and should know and care why the liturgy is important or as so well said by E A Fulhorst

    "If we are really going to participate in the grand mission of the Reform of the Reform, we must be bathed in the hermeneutic of continuity. It follows that
    3. Becoming knowledgeable about even Pope St. Whirligig the Great is essential if our liturgical say is going to mean anything. Finally and therefore,
    4. We shouldn't visibly roll our eyes at scolding nags. Maybe the scolding nag has something new to say. Even better, maybe he has something true to say."

    The vast majority of these young men very much want to be involved in the "grand mission".
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    Ruth, I think we are talking past each other. By "minor point," I meant the question of whether or not Sequences are rightly considered part of the Proper of the Mass in the context of the pre-Tridentine Mass. For me, the answer is a distinct "yes."

    For those days that require a Sequence in the post-Tridentine liturgy, I would still consider the Sequence part of the Proper, since the Proper by definition is the part of the Mass specific to a particular feast, Solemnity, etc.

    So if Charles believes that the Gradual is going to go the way of the Sequence, at least there is some historical precedent for dumping a part of the Mass that had been present for centuries. But no one gets up in arms over a "hermeneutic of continuity" when thinking about the Council of Trent.
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 340
    Doug I would agree that the sequence is part of the Proper but an addition to the Alleluia Propers that were already in place by the 8th century. My minor point has been that the Gradual and the Alleluia, indeed all of the sung propers are biblical, while the Sequences were poems written at the time. I was under the impression that the Sequences were not seen by the Council of Trent as being on the same level as the Proper texts of the Mass, am I wrong? I am not familiar with Sequences other than the ones we still have in the Mass, but if you know where I can find a recording of any that may have been reconstructed I would really be interested. Just got my copy of Decadent Enchantments in the mail.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    If we restore the sense of worship, at least some folks will realize why all these abuses today are abuses, why they don't fit.

    I suspect - rather, know - that the EF is better celebrated today than when I witnessed it up to the age of 15 or 16. The Ordinary was often a florid, melismatic piece too difficult for the congregation to sing. Propers and Graduals were never sung by congregations, either. In many ways, the congregation was a bunch of Catholic zombies. They had to be there, didn't understand much of the Latin, couldn't sing the parts that belonged to them, and looked at the walls while fingering rosaries. That's a generalization, of course, and didn't apply to everyone. But yes, the EF is much improved over those days. The people who are there today, at least want to be there and understand what is going on.

    I would like to see a sense of reverence, dignity and awe become common in the OF. My own parish is pretty good at that, but I have been places that were chaotic. Much of this has to be laid at the feet of the priests. They, more than anyone, set the tone for the liturgy. Musicians are second in importance, because they can make or break the tone set by the priests, even when it's a good tone.

  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    That's a great question, Ruth, and I don't really know the answer. It's not something I've done much research on, but maybe I should!
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    They, more than anyone, set the tone for the liturgy. Musicians are second in importance, because they can make or break the tone set by the priests, even when it's a good tone.


    This is a great point, Charles. Along the same lines, there is a huge and disturbing disconnect when goofy music is played in a beautiful church building.
    Thanked by 1IanW
  • E_A_FulhorstE_A_Fulhorst
    Posts: 381
    I suspect - rather, know - that the EF is better celebrated today than when I witnessed it up to the age of 15 or 16.


    Exactly! So we, today, have the opportunity that our forefathers didn't. Vatican II could be implemented today better than it ever could have been if there hadn't been a rupture.

    (Funny thing that the terrible implementation of Vatican II could eventually if indirectly lead to the best possible implementation of Vatican II, but that's the way God works with grave evil --- it always leads to an even greater good.)

    The EF is not superior in and of itself. It's just in practice superior. Where it's rare today to see a poorly celebrated EF, it's just as rare if not rarer to see a well-celebrated NO. This might be hyperbole, and I do not mean to denigrate the efforts of faithful Catholic liturgists unenamored with the self-worship of the 1970s, but this is certainly broadly true. Thanks to the efforts of certain members on the board and others elsewhere, and definitely thanks to the new translation of the Missal, we are on a different, better trajectory than we were years ago.

    I would humbly propose these points:

    1. St. Whirligig may be not be invoked for the sake of law; he must be invoked when discussing sacred principles. This is important because

    2. Re-engaging these principles will help us implement the Novus Ordo well and widely, better than it ever could have been. Also,

    3. That these principles are still valid must be assumed if we would read Vatican II with a hermeneutic of continuity, as the Holy Father wants.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,100
    I will say, "But E.A. Fulhorst says..." How far do you think that will get me?

    Irrelevant and immaterial.

    What's true/good/beautiful never changes, Chas. It doesn't "improve." It IS.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    What is true/good/beautiful may never change, but the culture and the context do change. If the context changes enough, then the definitions of true/good/beautiful are no longer understood or relevant.

    There is a divide on this forum between those who hold the EF as an ideal, and those of us who are glad the Council and Paul VI made needed changes to the liturgy. That doesn't mean anything goes. It means taking the current missal and rubrics and implementing them as faithfully as possible. I don't look to the EF for guidance. It was the product of another time and place. Granted, some parts of the EF continue into the current missal. Others don't, and probably shouldn't.
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 340
    Actually quite a bit of the EF continues into the OF, if it didn't I don't think Paul VI would have approved. He also wanted his Mass to be in Latin with the vernacular as the exception.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    In practice, and I am old enough to remember, beginning with the missal of 1965 the canon was in Latin and the rest of the mass vernacular in my parish. Of course, there was only one canon at that time. I don't recall the canon variety and disappearance of the Latin canon until 1970 or so, locally. Although I use settings of the Latin Ordinary during Advent and Lent, my parish is stricly English the rest of the liturgical year. I am fine with that, as is the majority of our congregations. The exceptions being a mass in Spanish once per week, and the Latin EF on Sunday afternoons.

    I think it is clear that few developments after the Council actually happened as intended. However, they are what they are, and I have to live with them. And, I would add, make the most of them. Well, we could call the 1st Council of Ruth and Charles and set things right. ;-) I don't think it would be considered ecumenical.
  • Ruth Lapeyre
    Posts: 340
    I am not talking about setting things right Charles, that is not my job. I am just saying if you read the Mass of Paul VI next to the Tridentine Mass and read them (using of course the Canon only), they are very similar. It is always an eye-opening experience to my seminarians when we do this. It was the re-ordering and the rubrics which were interpreted in various and sundry ways which caused so much frustration and hurt. Speaking the Canon, having the congregation say some of the dialogues which the servers had said previously, having the congregation say the Our Father was not bad, I think it was an attempt to have the congregation be more connected to the Mass.

    The look and feel of the Mass changed more than the content. In general having the congregation say or sing the Our Father with the Celebrant is a good thing that happened in the Mass of Paul VI. I even like the clarity of the epiclesis in Eucharistic Prayer III of the Ordinary Form, ssshhh don't tell anyone I said that. :) Some of what happened in implementation of the OF is not so good, but it has become "traditional" in its own right, at least in this country. I do not propose that "fixing" those things in the Mass that may need to be fixed should be done over night. The new translation is a good start but people need to be given time to adjust. I think initially that was the plan in the mid-1960s, much as your memory suggests, but what happened as you know in the 1970s was very jarring and caused no end of scandal. We are still witnessing the frustrations of those who loved the Tridentine Mass and watched it crumble before their eyes.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    I often say that fixing things will take another 40 to 50 years, if the will is there. Pope Benedict - I believe God's gift to the Church in our time - is not a young man. Who knows whether or not his successor will find any of this a priority? I would agree that the changes you have found positive are also changes I agree with.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst