Is Worship IV a Catholic Hymnal?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    Our forum has been honored to have the participation of two of the editors of Worship IV, including the chair of the final reviewing committee for hymn texts, Fr. Ron Krisman.

    These discussions have been enlightening. Besides the serious theological problem that has been pointed out, the following things also seem true about the adoption of texts into this hymnal.

    1) The sources for revisions to texts are earlier editions of Worship, and Lutheran and Episcopal hymnals.
    2) Office hymns were not considered models of what the hymnal should be striving for.
    3) New texts for hymns of the day were largely the work of Protestant hymn writers, generally actiive in the liberal Protestant Hymn Society of the United States and Canada. One well-represented exception to the non-Catholic norm is Fr. Ronald Krisman. Another exception is Sr. Delores Dufner, OSB, who wrote 33 texts included in Worship IV, one of which is her famous Sing a New Church into Being, n. 727.
    Thomas Troeger is ordained in and "dually aligned" with both the Episcopal and Presbyterian denominations. 12 texts.
    Adam Tice is a Mennonite minister. 14 texts.
    Ruth Duck is a professor at a United Methodist-related seminary and a former pastor in the United Church of Christ. 13 texts.
    Mary Louise Bringle is Presbyterian. 21 texts.
    The late Herman Stuempfle was a Lutheran pastor and seminary professor. 44 texts.
    John Bell is a Church of Scotland minister. 19 texts.
    The late Fred Pratt Green was Methodist. 12 texts.
    The late Sylvia Dunstan was ordained by the United Church of Canada. 13 texts.
    Carl Daw is an ordained Episcopalian and the former Executive Director of the Hymn Society and a member of the 1982 committee. 17 texts.
    Marty Haugen was raised Lutheran and is now a member of the United Church of Christ. 50 texts and/or settings.

    All of the above leads me to ask: is this really a Catholic hymnal? If so, in what sense?

    Or maybe this question could be asked the other way: Is Worship IV consciously ecumenical?
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Wow.
    I'm dumbfounded and speechless (almost.) You have tapped into the central nervous system with both alacrity and charity. And either question's version begs thousands of other questions.
    For me, the first question has to be: why are catholics resistant to being and appearing to be Catholics?
    Brava, Kathy, in all senses of that word.
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    I will be following this discussion eagerly. You bring up some very solid points that I have wondered about but never had the actual data for, as you present here.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    For me, the first question has to be: why are catholics resistant to being and appearing to be Catholics?


    THIS.

    I wonder how many protestant hymns have large numbers of texts from Catholic authors. If you ask me, to call it a Catholic hymnal begins step closely to the idea that all faiths are equal...
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Ben, could you amplify, clarify?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    That's young adult for "I agree with you wholeheartedly, Charles."
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Dagnabit, this almost instantaeous transition to real geezerhood is a bear! Thanks, Kathy.
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Charles. :D
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Charles. :D


    THIS.
    Thanked by 1melofluent
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,138
    Perhaps what you are asking is: can non-Catholic writers of texts contribute to a hymnal such as Worship IV. That is a question that the committee overseeing it said emphatically yes. But, does that mean that there is a dearth of Catholic hymn-writers? Hmmm...good question. I am not sure.

    As for me, with increasing concern for this very question and looking at Worship IV, I have said no and ruled it out of my fast-approaching hymn purchase. The model of a "hymn of the day" is not within the purview of the tradition, as it applies to the mass as I understand it. And the question of non-Catholic hymn writers has bothered me since my time with Worship III. I lived with that book for close to 10 years and I became more and more nervous with it. It has since been removed at the parish where I worked for some of these very reasons.

    Yes, the committee for Worship IV sought doctrinal approval for it. But truthfully, as one who is attempting to steer the parish toward toward propers, chant and a concern for doctrine, the book fell short for me in those areas. I think it represents a model very favorable in the 1980s and 1990s. But the times have changed. Again, I am appreciative of the committee's work on it and I know that when W3 came out, it was a welcome breather from Glory and Praise, OCP and their cousins. But this is now and the re-connection with tradition in its fullest life (chant, Catholic texts rooted in the tradition, composers who are/were Catholic) matters to me now.

    Lastly, as one of my girls in choir said to me after singing the Regina Caeli, "Gee I just really want more of this truly Catholic stuff." Enough said.....
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Earl_Grey
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    I'm doing an index of hymn authors in worship 4, and the results are not pretty. So far, I've found that less than 1/3 of the hymns with "Newer sources" from are written by Catholics.

    I will post full results with stats when I'm finished.
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,678
    It could be that there are just few Catholics working in new hymn texts and regularly submitting them to GIA. As far as I know there is no Catholic Hymn Society - most guilds that promote the writing of new hymn texts are non-Catholic.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,367
    Why of course Worship IV is a service book and hymnal intended for Roman Catholic worship! With 385 items of Catholic ritual texts and service music before the “Hymns and Songs” section begins at no. 386, and then with 230 items (nos. 1000-1229) from the Roman Catholic Lectionary for Mass following the final hymn in the book, it’s thoroughly Roman Catholic. I can’t imagine many congregations that are not Roman Catholic using the hymnal (although I understand that some Episcopalian churches in the USA purchased GIA hymnals in the past).

    As to the 620+ hymns and songs in Worship IV, I’ve never made a count of what is written by a Catholic and what is written by a non-Catholic. I look forward to seeing Ben Yanke’s statistics. (Will you list Martin Luther as "Catholic," "non-Catholic" or "Both"?) However, I do not think the question is framed correctly for this time in Church history when all Christians should be praying and striving for greater unity. The only pertinent question is this: what text in Worship IV is not in conformity with Catholic doctrine? Francis Cardinal George and the Archdiocese of Chicago have answered: “None.” And, Kevin in Kentucky, you should not think that you must 1) be the true Catholic magisterium because 2) you do not trust Cardinal George, because 1) you are not, and 2) you should.

    The majority of present-day Christian writers of metrical hymnody are not in the full communion of the Catholic Church. That’s clear, and it’s been that way since the Lutheran reformation! And yet, how much of what has been written in the past and is being written today does not reflect our denominational differences, but rather the one true faith we share in common! We should celebrate that!

    I put out a challenge of sorts in one of my previous comments. What is the justification for saying that a Catholic hymnal must be, first and foremost, a collection of office hymns? What is the record for this happening in, say, the past 100 years? Let's see some hard statistics to back up or disprove that viewpoint.

    By the way, as a statement of fact, please do not include me, Kathy, among the serious hymn writers represented in Worship IV. I have but three short original texts in the book: two Taizé-style ostinati refrains, and one verse in a hymn honoring St. Joseph. I have no desire to be a modern-day troubadour, writing both texts and tunes. Yes, I’ve done lots of translating between English and Spanish for GIA’s soon to be in print (May 30!) bilingual hymnal and service book, Oramos Cantando / We Pray in Song, but my joy is composition.

    Another correction of fact: Marty Haugen composed 50 items in Worship IV, but this number includes only 13 hymn texts and 12 psalm paraphrases in the “Psalms and Canticles” section.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    However, I do not think the question is framed correctly for this time in Church history when all Christians should be praying and striving for greater unity.


    And greater unity is achieved by those outside the church coming to Her, not by writing hymns of questionable theology so other Christians can interpret them in their own way, and have a false sense of unity around a hymn with unclear or even incorrect theology.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    I should have been very clear about this in this thread--and perhaps I have led Ben astray. I am not in any way saying by the above that I consider any text in the hymnal to be heterodox or heretical or anything like that. I reserve the right to say it later about individual texts, but that is not my point here.

    I do not see any such accusation in Kevin's comment above, either.

    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Gavin
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,138
    The majority of present-day Christian writers of metrical hymnody are not in the full communion of the Catholic Church. That’s clear, and it’s been that way since the Lutheran reformation! And yet, how much of what has been written in the past and is being written today does not reflect our denominational differences, but rather the one true faith we share in common! We should celebrate that


    Fr. Krisman et al, I did not mean to imply that I did not trust the Archdiocese of Chicago or that I was the magesterium. But the quote above is enough to give me serious pause. I am uncomfortable with the great number of texts coming from outside the denomination. We as RC's seem to tolerate this borrowing and coming and going from outside the tradition as "de riguer." I do not pretend to write for Orthodox or Anglicans and would not give any thought to an attempt. And the fact that most of the metrical hymnwriters are writing outside the RC tradition frankly bother the hell out of me. I don't pretend to be Anglican or Orthodox or Presbyterian. I am Catholic. But you are suggesting to me that its okay for these people to write texts that may be of no doctrinal harm but DO lack the influence of the Catholic ethos or do not live the rhythm of the Catholic liturgical and/or cultural life. I am just not buying it. Maybe I just live in a Catholic ghetto too much.

    And while I am on my high horse, why is it that we keep tolerating these psalm paraphrases and pass them off as official psalm texts? That alone was enough for me to kindly set this book aside. I have worked too hard to teach folks the value of translations as opposed to "paraphrases." I have spent too much time with the Hebrew texts to swallow these things known as paraphrases passing off as psalms.

    Okay, I am off my high horse. Forgive me all, but this stuff is what sends me over the edge. Veni Sancte Spiritus...
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    On the other hand, I do not believe that this is true:
    The only pertinent question is this: what text in Worship IV is not in conformity with Catholic doctrine?

    There are in fact many pertinent questions:
    1. If the model for a Catholic hymnal for Mass is not the Liber Hymnarius, and it's not the Graduale Romanum, why not?
    2. Mightn't there be a richer "thinking with the Church" among those who receive the Blessed Sacrament?
    3. Are the Scriptures, the Sacraments, Jesus Christ, the Church, and other significant realities testified to by hymns seen in the same way by Catholics and other Christians?
    4. Are hymns a significant aspect of worship? If so, the question isn't a low-bar, "there is no heresy in them." It's a high-bar, "they are in conformity with the liturgical texts, promote a liturgical and mystical ethos, within an atmosphere of visible as well as invisible communion, with the full breadth of the perennial Catholic apostolic teaching."
  • Heath
    Posts: 897
    A few thoughts from a non-expert:

    --Thank you, Fr. Krisman, for participating in this forum!

    --Kathy, I, too, am not sure that the office hymns should be the "model" for a Catholic hymnal, only because I don't know of any church document/authority stating as such. I love the office hymns (and your translations thereof!), but historically, do they have a presence at Mass? I know the last 40-50 years of the church history has been a bit of an anomaly in some ways, but I'm curious to hear you talk more about this topic.

    --Fr. Krisman, I'm definitely with Kathy that Catholic hymnals should not just be aiming for the lowest common denominator. I don't know about the average parish on a Sunday, but at the ones I frequent, about 99 percent of the people in the pews are Catholic, and the one percent understand that they're going to be exposed to explicitly Catholic music/preaching, etc. Not sure why there would be an over-riding emphasis on ecumenism in a Catholic hymnal . . . if GIA would like to publish an "ecumenical" hymnal, I'm sure it would be welcomed in many quarters!
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • 620+ hymns and songs.
    Wow.
    No wonder most musicians know nothing of the propers. There's no time to explore anything else.
    Thanked by 3Gavin CHGiffen gregp
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,099
    I put out a challenge of sorts in one of my previous comments. What is the justification for saying that a Catholic hymnal must be, first and foremost, a collection of office hymns? What is the record for this happening in, say, the past 100 years? Let's see some hard statistics to back up or disprove that viewpoint.


    GIRM 48. ... (4) another liturgical chant that is suited to the sacred action, the day, or the time of year, similarly approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop. (Emphasis added.)


    To me the "em-PHA-sis" is on the word Liturgical; and to me would refer to a text (in the original tongue or translated) from a (Latin or Byzantine Catholic) liturgical book. These would include "Let all mortal flesh" (from Liturgy of St James), "Adoro te"/"Godhead here in hiding", "Ave Maris stella", etc., and probably metrical versions of psalms (provided that they aren't paraphrased so much as to be a completely new text). Most hymn-texts are devotional not liturgical - the present day idea of hymn-singing at Mass is based on the Low Mass, four sentimental devotional songs replacing the propers.

    I think we should start to move away from that, (to my reading it isn't even envisioned in the GIRM,) to a repertory of true liturgical music. The office hymns would fit this bill perfectly, and there are many good translations thereof.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen Earl_Grey
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Is this really a Catholic hymnal?

    Yes.


    If so, in what sense?

    In the sense that it was designed and approved for usage as a supplement to Roman Catholic rites.


    Is Worship IV consciously ecumenical?

    Yes.


    That was easy.
  • Kathy's analysis should give anyone pause.
    An ecumenical hymnal could just be called an "ecumenical effort", and those who wish to use such a book for Catholic sacred liturgy could then choose it with eyes open.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Salieri, you make an excellent point about liturgical chant.
    How many of the 620 hymns actually fall in that category?
    How many chant hymns were considered worthy of inclusion?

    In the "service music" section, where texts are presumably not a question, what percentage of the selections presented are Gregorian chants?
  • MarkThompson
    Posts: 768
    However, I do not think the question is framed correctly for this time in Church history when all Christians should be praying and striving for greater unity. The only pertinent question is this: what text in Worship IV is not in conformity with Catholic doctrine?

    This is right, I think. The old theology was, "No praying with Protestants. Ew, Protestants!" The present thinking of the Church is that ecumenical dialogue and prayer are good things, so long as there is no risk of indifferentism or danger to the faith. (And those things must be determined on the individual merits, not by hewing to a preconceived notion that any praying with Protestants always presents a risk of indifferentism.)

    Francis Cardinal George and the Archdiocese of Chicago have answered: “None.” And, Kevin in Kentucky, you should not think that you must 1) be the true Catholic magisterium because 2) you do not trust Cardinal George, because 1) you are not, and 2) you should.

    This part is not right. I suppose the hierarch-as-unquestionable-arbiter motif might be expected to get better traction on this forum than it would at PrayTell, but even so I think people are entitled to disagree in good faith on issues like this without being accused of setting themselves up as a private magisterium.

    Moreover, and more importantly, it is necessary to separate the question whether a hymn or other text contains theological error from the question whether it is a good, unmisleading statement of Catholic theology. The ecclesiastical approbation granted to the Worship hymnal assures that it does not contain outright theological error, but it provides no further warrant that the texts are theologically good. There are plenty of texts -- one thinks at once of "sing a new church" or "not in some heaven light-years away" -- which, although they can be interpreted in a way that does not make them outright heretical, are nonetheless likely to be gravely misleading. "Well, at least the Church hasn't branded it heresy" is not much of a defense of the quality of anything, let alone a Catholic hymnal.
  • MarkThompson
    Posts: 768
    620+ hymns and songs.
    Wow.
    No wonder most musicians know nothing of the propers. There's no time to explore anything else.

    But then, if you are right that correlation = causation (hint: it doesn't), then equivalently you could say, "Wow. No wonder they need so many hymns and songs. Most musicians have no interest at all in the propers."
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Though I risk to fisk at my own peril, Father (as I am more than pleased you rise to take up the gauntlet), if you'd just called W4 a "service book" in your first sentence I wouldn't be semantically hung up on the term "hymnal." I'm thinking of the fable of the three blind sages, told that the beast before them is an elephant and given the command to define and describe what exactly an elephant is. I don't know if that furthers my support for Kathy's calling the question in the first place, but it is a difficult task to be presented with a Catholic service book, call it generically a hymnal and then deconstruct it to accurately reflect what constitutes it such?
    I must, also from your first sentence, call into question the fact that a book-product's intention alone cannot define what it actually IS. Nor does proportionality of the personal credos of its composers and authors qualify as a definition, Catholic or otherwise. And perhaps most unfortunately, the nihil obstat does not reflect the book's merit, it says that its contents aren't objectionable for use at service. All well and fine, but we still cannot agree on what "is" a truly "Catholic hymnal" save for the portions of the breviary that contain hymns. And I'm not sure that Kathy or anyone else yet has proposed that only office hymns should find their way into hymnals for Mass and other non-office liturgies.
    This reflection doesn't purport to answer Kathy's basic questions. But I can't say that I take any measure of comfort that a part of your defense drifted over and grandfathered in W4 being aligned to this "time in Church history when all Christians should be praying and striving for greater unity." I'm not being snide or snarky but that framework of ecumenism has been in place since the assembling of the council with non-Catholic periti invited and present, and certainly within the context of how the resultant documents were framed under Bp. Bugnini and ultimately received quite chaotically across the hemispheres. "Et unum sint" is a command as well as ideal to strive for. But we don't have differences with denominations; they have differences with the OHCA Church. Our ritual books bear no obligation to be in conformity or attractive to the cause of ecumenism; I believe that's a reasonable statement with which you are fee to disagree.
    I do suspect the Church is in a wonderful period of transitition, and I believe the renewed understanding of an engaged laity in her ancient and venerable cultures will help us, in Mark Searles' words, better "remember into the future." Under Francis, we may be upon the verge of ora et labora meeting and kissing lex orandi, lex credendi.
    What puzzles me is that not one major publisher, including Adoremus/Collegeville/St. Augustine, has seen fit to not to try to engineer a truly Catholic worship vehicle such as CCW's VATICAN II or Adam Bartlett's LUMEN CHRISTI. Maybe that's why every main publisher's modem is the same as for auto sedans these days. Can you tell the difference between a Camry, an Accord, a Malibu, a Sonata, an Altima or a Volvo et al? Well, for my Roman Catholic service book, I'll have a Bugatti, please.
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    So did Cardinal George personally look at all the texts, or was this the recommendation of another committee? Given past performance, is there any reason to trust Chicago, or have things changed there sufficiently to trust it?
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,367
    Kevin in Kentucky, by all means stay on your high horse as long as you wish. You make some good points. But, by the same token let Roman Catholics who are not suspicious of non-Catholic hymn writers relish the beauty and deep spiritual quality of their prayer-creations.

    And, Kathy, I'm concerned about the quality of hymn texts too. What I stated as "the only pertinent question" was in contrast to the underlying current that we're somehow sabotaging the Catholic faith if we sing a hymn written by an non-Catholic. Quality is a BIG concern of mine. I think Steve Angrisano's musical setting of Psalm 63 is a greater threat to the Catholic faith than a text written by Herman Stuempfle, Carl Daw, or Mary Louise Bringle. (And there are similar things published by GIA which I think are similarly bad, but I prefer not to go there!)

    And MaryAnn, I'm not against singing the propers as one of several options permitted. But sing them in Latin, please, with a trained choir. Using a Douay-Rheims translation and singing the texts to psalm tones does nothing to preserve the Church's patrimony. I grew up with the Carlo Rossini propers and thought they were dreadful (I still do). And propers intended for a choir don't belong in an assembly's hymn book.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,931
    As soon as I read the post by Ronkrisman I had numerous checks in my spirit and as I read the following posts they all expressed my thinking clearly and concisely. It is also clear that the time of ecumenical hymnals and the dumbing down of the OTF is coming to an end, well, at least for Catholics who want the best in liturgical music/theology.
  • Heath
    Posts: 897
    And MaryAnn, I'm not against singing the propers as one of several options permitted. But sing them in Latin, please, with a trained choir. Using a Douay-Rheims translation and singing the texts to psalm tones does nothing to preserve the Church's patrimony. I grew up with the Carlo Rossini propers and thought they were dreadful (I still do). And propers intended for a choir don't belong in an assembly's hymn book.


    Hear, hear! Nice to have the text of the propers in their book, though, if the book has the lectionary readings . . .
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    I grew up with the Carlo Rossini propers and thought they were dreadful (I still do). And propers intended for a choir don't belong in an assembly's hymn book.


    I agree. They were awful. Agree on Propers, too.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,367
    I suppose the hierarch-as-unquestionable-arbiter motif might be expected to get better traction on this forum than it would at PrayTell, but even so I think people are entitled to disagree in good faith on issues like this without being accused of setting themselves up as a private magisterium.


    Mark, of course people may question the judgment of the hierarchy. But, at the present time, the system of ecclesiastical approval by the bishop of the place where publication occurs is the only show playing. It's not a perfect system when the Archdiocese of Chicago says something may NOT be included, while the exact same thing appears in an OCP missalette! There is no "heaven light-years away" in Worship IV, only in Breaking Bread.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    And MaryAnn, I'm not against singing the propers as one of several options permitted. But sing them in Latin, please, with a trained choir. Using a Douay-Rheims translation and singing the texts to psalm tones does nothing to preserve the Church's patrimony. ... And propers intended for a choir don't belong in an assembly's hymn book.

    Yeesh, Fr., just when I thought we were making progress (we all like progressiveness, yes?), you toss this IED into the fray. So, you acknowledge options without heirarchies, but imply the heirarchy of let's say Introits only being chanted from Graduale Romanum by (an implied) able, competent schola ONLY. You also counter a implied lay magisterium by a poster by a clerical edict (you, uh, are ordained) that we do so only using the Roman counterpart to the King James as being authentic practice. And you (I have to assume disingenuously) concur with Prof. Mahrt, Dr. Schaefer and the, um, documents that the "propers" (presumably from the GR and not the VII Missal recited ones, or????) do not belong to the assembly, but should be reserved for the quire, thus distancing the PiPs even further from the horizontal duties they are to share in. Sorry, it just sounds like sour grapes.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,367
    Charles, what am I going to do with your comments? You ask more questions than Kathy! And I can't always make out what you are trying to say, as much as I try.

    Help me, I think you're all ganging up on me, like some Lord of the Flies "fresh meat."
    Thanked by 2Gavin marajoy
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,674
    I'm not ganging up on you. I have used GIA hymnals for years and still do - well, except for Gather. Wouldn't touch that one. But I have been through Ritual Song and the Worship series. Worship is pretty good and has some good hymns. I don't care for psalm paraphrases and have never understood GIA's love affair with Marty Haugen, but those are other matters. I have found that my congregation probably never learns or sings more than one third of the hymns in any of those hymnals.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,931
    Ronkishman

    We do not 'gang up' on anyone here. We take your black and white at face value along with every one elses BW. Things are a changing, however, and we of CMAA are definitely a growing voice that has to be reckoned with. The status quo can no longer exist on the ignorance of the masses (pun intended). We are out to restore what the RC church has lost and abandoned in the last fifty years. B16 gave us the mandate and the mission and we are out to change the game. If we have questions, they are serious ones you will have to answer because we are not the ignorant, but the informed and educated, and we want our faith in whole without being more concerned about the unity of Christians than the proper catechesis of our own families and our children.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,367
    Charles, you must bear with me. What is "Yeesh"? What is an "IEP"? I am having a hard time understanding "counter a implied lay magisterium by a poster by a clerical edict."

    "And you (I have to assume disingenuously)" - doesn't this word order mean that you are being disingenuous? Why do either of us have to be disingenuous?

    I meant what I said about propers in English and propers sung to a psalm tone. That's just my preference. I'm not being disingenuous.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,138
    Fr. Krisman,
    A sincere thanks for your presence here. I,for one am glad to see this dialogue. You are a most capable partner in these discussions.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    Help me, I think you're all ganging up on me, like some Lord of the Flies "fresh meat."


    Things are flying thick and fast. I've been away for just a few minutes and the thread has doubled or so in a very brief time. But please consider that rarely do we have a chance to ask hard questions of a priest who not only has recently edited a major hymnal, but who also headed the USCCB liturgy office for quite a few years. You're the kind of guest speaker who makes the whole class raise their hands.

    (This comment has been edited by its writer to correct a rather rude tone.)
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,367
    Goodbye, everyone. I have a number of things I need to do in the next day or two. Hope to pick up on the discussion sometime on Monday.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I think, CW, he was referring to me, meloCharlie, because of my arcane verbosity. Really, don't abandon ship yet Fr. Ron. I as much as anybody here desire rapprochement.
    Unfortunately, the former public school teacher in me typed IEP (which is "individual educational program) instead of IED. An "IED" is unfortunately an anachronism for "improvised explosive device," which seemed an impromptu and somewhat emotion-driven response to MaryAnn. "Implied lay magisterium" refers to allowing Kevin in KY to "remain on his high horse." Insofar as "disingenuous" I was trying to avoid libeling the quoted portion as unabashed sarcasm. And did you mean singing propers in English, because you clearly said "Latin?" Okay, I take your preferences at face value. Will you allow me the same courtesy?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,605
    Classy.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    I wonder whether a diocesan censor is supposed to treat proposed music books with the same standard as prose books.

    For a prose book, it suffices that the book be in conformity with Catholic doctrine; and I would expect censors to be fairly generous: if a text can be interpreted in an orthodox manner, it should be enough.

    But I'd want a censor to hold hymn books to a higher standard, since the texts are to be sung by the faithful during the sacred liturgy, and it's not really desirable that people be singing texts with any substantial doctrinal ambiguity. For one thing, it wouldn't be good for their spiritual/intellectual formation. Also, it would defeat the purpose of sacred music, inasmuch as music cannot foster an attitude of adoration if the faithful are compelled to interrupt their attention while singing, to consider whether the text is even correct!

    Does anyone know of any cases in which diocesan censors have rejected hymns from proposed music books? How have publishers dealt with any such cases?

  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Aw, man! Dammit. Do we always have to shoot the messenger?
    And, for the record, if y'all and Krisman want to trot out my writing style to excoriate my principles or person, just don't bother reading my stuff. Apparently we can only parce down to the phonemes and nuances of words like "native" and "highest."
    Sometimes we can be so much the Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight/Keystone Kops/Three Stooges, except without the humor part!
  • Mark- agreed on your statement-
    "Moreover, and more importantly, it is necessary to separate the question whether a hymn or other text contains theological error from the question whether it is a good, unmisleading statement of Catholic theology. "
    Amen.

    Also, I was not trying to say that correlation = causation, of course. The larger point is the question of distraction to the point of obfuscation.

    Fr. Krisman,
    One major reason the 25+ choristers in the scholae I direct- several are as young as 10- are able to sing the authentic propers (not Rossini, FYI) is because we are pursuing the chant as the first option, giving it the pride of place that the council called for, and decidedly not spending our time on "Sing a new church", etc.
    Thanked by 2Gavin Ben Yanke
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,678
    "Mark, of course people may question the judgment of the hierarchy. But, at the present time, the system of ecclesiastical approval by the bishop of the place where publication occurs is the only show playing. It's not a perfect system when the Archdiocese of Chicago says something may NOT be included, while the exact same thing appears in an OCP missalette! There is no "heaven light-years away" in Worship IV, only in Breaking Bread."

    Does this seem to say that the Archdiocese of Chicago said Gather Us In could not be in Worship IV? But then said it could be in Gather III...? If it was found to not be fit for Worship why would it be found fit to be in Gather?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    Matthew, I think what happened is that Worship IV omitted verse 4, the "light years away" verse. I don't know about Gather.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,921
    Folks, I wish people had dialed back the acrimony in this discussion and taken their time before responding to each other; we don't need to have insinuations of bad faith, heresy, etc. (cf. Forum Etiquette Rules).
  • Getting back to what makes a Catholic hymnal, I want to thank Kathy for her analysis and original questions. I think they're quite valuable.

    Dream Catholic Hymnal/Kyriale
    For this music director in need of a good hymnal/kyriale, I'm looking for ~150-200 liturgically, theologically deep hymns from the Catholic tradition, or have been used in Catholic hymnals for 75yrs or more, 85-90% of which have stood the test of time, say, again, 75yrs and wiser, and all of which are singable and designed to appeal to all generations. For my diocese I would also ask that about 30% of the hymns be in Spanish, so as to be inclusive of both English and Spanish speakers.
    I would ask for 25-50 chant hymns, fondly associated with our diverse liturgical seasons, to be sung by the faithful, using square notation, and including Eng and Sp translations.
    As far as a kyriale goes, I'd want about 7-10 chant ordinaries and 3-4 vernacular, again Spanish and English.

    Total pages: < 400, easily held, and fits in a pew pocket. A hymnal like this would be readily used, and 75% of it actually sung from, by our congregation.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,931
    Chonak

    Can you be specific to the comments?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,431
    I don't think the problem is one of acrimony but of irreconcilable differences. Sad.