Parish Pastoral Council
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 467
    This is sort of off topic, but I find Adore te devote pretty irritating at this point. I would have serious issues with listening to it at Communion every single Sunday. (My usual Latin Rite Masses are in the 1962 Rite, so it's not the Latin that's the issue.)

    Lots of people are on board with this do one thing over and over way of introducing music, but I think it provides a little relief for not much loss of learning to do at least 2 things over and over.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,069
    I might do something two weeks in a row, and then set it aside, bring it in the next month once or twice, then the next month maybe.
  • That is one of the most SINGABLE and balanced programs I've ever seen.


    ....and the other various positive comments on the music: Thank you! I am actually shocked to hear such a positive response. But I'm glad that, at least among musicians, what I am trying to do is clear.

    I would have serious issues with listening to it at Communion every single Sunday.

    And I as well. Which is why, although it is scheduled as the Post-Communion every week, we don't always get to it. It is only there when necessary. I recently found out that Adoro te was singled out as a hymn that they don't know and can't sing.... As far as I can tell, no one complained about the Latin. The just feel like they don't know it... even after two months.

    Overall, as much as I am frustrated, the main issue is quite simple: Find out what the congregation knows. I thought I knew based on a few people that had carried over from the old DM, but apparently that was wrong. I am frustrated because of how blown out of proportion this is.... Latin was NOT the issue.

    I found out today from another member that the Latin was brought up within the context of our "Family Mass" and that the children should not be singing in languages that are foreign to them and that they can't comprehend. 1) We haven't used Latin since Lent at the family Mass. 2) Here we go making assumptions about what the "youth" want. If they came to a rehearsal, they would see us painstakingly going through translation and pronunciation. They would also see the kids ASKING for the Latin. Since they returned in September, they have been begging for the Agnus Dei XVIII to come back because "Lent music is our favorite." They have even been chanting the Holy, Holy, Mystery of Faith, and amen (complete with the entire Doxology from memory.)

    I have to remember that the Pastor went to bat for me at the meeting, for the most part, and that really, the situation has a fairly simple solution which I am more than willing to explore. But I can't get past this nagging feeling that I no longer report to the Pastor.
  • Why are they discussing the music without you there? Did you know this happens? Is this encouraged by the Pastor?

    Yes. This HAS happened before and I only found out once the minutes were published to the congregation saying that "the amount of Latin chant at some Masses during Lent" was called into question. I promptly wrote the Pastor and explained why it was inappropriate for something like that to be published to the congregation without my knowing first. I was invited to, and attended, the next meeting and explained the Propers which was very well received.

    The discussion about music was not on the agenda. They had a "go-around" at the beginning of the meeting (which I'm told is standard practice) during which everyone can voice anything. Hence: music.

    You'd better read the book "When Sheep Attack" *now*

    It's in the mail. It'll be here Tuesday.
    Thanked by 1canadash
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,307
    the children should not be singing in languages that are foreign to them and that they can't comprehend.


    That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard anyone say about anything and it almost makes me sick to my stomach to think about someone actually saying that sort of thing seriously.

    Seriously.
  • YUP.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,822
    Someone (like the pastor) could suggest they read up on how young children tend (tend) to be especially receptive at a cognitive level to learning different languages. Then again, I went entirely through a public school education in a school district that pioneered mandatory foreign language instruction starting in the middle of elementary school and that you couldn't elect out of until the middle of high school, so I was used to dreaming in Spanish by the time I got to high school.
  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 456
    That is the stupidest thing I've ever heard anyone say about anything and it almost makes me sick to my stomach to think about someone actually saying that sort of thing seriously.


    Indeed. Play this for them:

  • BKenney,

    Several thoughts:

    1) While it is true that, immediately, you answer to the Pastor, your boss is God. No Parish (Pastoral) Council can change that reality.

    2) I haven't read "When Sheep Attack", but I suspect I could have written it from personal experience. Accordingly, I urge you not to panic about this over-reach, but calmly proceed.

    3) Ask plenty of questions of the council or the pastor, with both in the room at the same time.

    4) Avoid asking the document-based question, but be ready with answers to the document-based questions of others. Don't play for checkmate. Play for stalemate. If they're really interested in the truth, you'll know soon enough.

    Cheers,

    Chris
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,411
    Ask plenty of questions of the council or the pastor, with both in the room at the same time.


    This is a great strategy.

    "Why?" or "Why not?" are strategic words in a debate.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,907
    When people speak in favor of maintaining ignorance, should we really cater to that wish?
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,411
    Exactly Chonak. So when someone says, "We don't think the kids should learn Latin," one can respond with, "Why?" It makes no sense, says this mother of six young children. It is when they are kids that they should be exposed to other languages. I wonder if anyone would suggest their child shouldn't learn Chinese, Spanish, French or Italian? It is such a bland and dry way to live.
    Thanked by 3Jani Ben Yanke Salieri
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I will X post at the other "Sheep Attack" thread.
    I did create PPT overview for general (lay) consideration.
    Let me know privately, via messaging on this forum if you're interested in reviewing it.
    I'm showing it to our PPC/Strategic Planning people in the morning. Prayers invited.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303
    CharlesW said

    For a musician, the primary objective is music that is sacred and beautiful. It's not about Latin. Some folks get sidetracked on the language issue. What Kathy says above is good advice. Use English music.

    This simply is not accurate and could be misleading. The church upholds and promotes Gregorian Chant and Latin is the basis of that music. There are levels of sacred in sacred
    Music... That which is intricately tied to the words is more pure in its sacred nature. Gregorian Chant IS the mother tongue of the Roman Rite and hence why it attains pride of place.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    Gregorian chant has pride of place - not the only place. In a parish where the pastor has instructed the musician to not use Latin, use English chant and polyphony. Don't junk good sacred music because of language. While Latin may be ideal, it could result in a musician being unemployed if using Latin violates the pastor's orders.
  • Gregorian chant has pride of place

    Precisely, and to ask the musician to not use Latin denies Gregorian Chant its proper place. Therefore, to ask a musician not to use Latin is in direct contradiction to the GIRM and other binding documents. Charles, I'm not saying you said this, but to be clear, I have hardly given it PRIDE of place, let alone the ONLY place so that is a large part of why I am frustrated and baffled that Latin has been targeted.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    Bkenney27, if I were reading this situation from outside, which I am, I would say Latin is the thing setting complainers off and what is getting the pastor's attention. If that is accurate, the best way for him to defuse the complaints is to tell you not to do Latin. So lay low and do something else for a while. Six months from now, conditions may have changed.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,069
    While I agree with the Academic Decathlon evaluation, totally, the pastor has more responsibilities than music directors. He's got the bigger picture, not to mention jurisdiction. Do the thing he says.

    Artists tend to be idealists, so compromise can be really difficult, particular when we're well aware of the ideal.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303
    Yes. A few years ago I was told Latin was to no more be done at my parish. I simply acknowledged the command, took out my guitar and strummed the best G&P you could imagine. Obedience is always better than sacrifice, and God will reward you for your obedience in due time. But it does not change the ideal, which will never disappear from our hearts or our minds, and we can always hold up the ideal for the education of the ignorant or hard of heart.
    Thanked by 3Jani bkenney27 canadash
  • Jani
    Posts: 386
    That's beautiful Francis.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,108
    The most I have ever been told on this subject, was to not do so much Latin for a while. That was around the time of the new missal implementation. The pastor wanted the congregation to learn the new English translations. I understood his point and had no problems with it.
  • Francis, God bless you for your dedication! What you describe sounds like a tremendous sacrifice for a classically-trained musician. Your pastor, or whoever issued the no Latin directive, was disobedient to the Catholic Church's official documents and liturgical books. I'm sure I'm not telling you anything new.

    As others have said, you keep the pastor happy if you value your job. If a pastor is truly happy with his staff, he will support them even against the parish council, which is strictly advisory. I can't pass judgment on anyone who sacrifices fidelity to liturgical principles in order to maintain gainful employment. I've been there myself.

    The situation may be different for volunteers or part-time church musicians with other full-time jobs. I've also been in that situation before and had a much different approach than in full-time church work. But a musician who is earning a living doesn't have the luxury of saying no to the pastor, at least not too often.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Spriggo

  • Bkenney27, if I were reading this situation from outside, which I am, I would say Latin is the thing setting complainers off and what is getting the pastor's attention. If that is accurate, the best way for him to defuse the complaints is to tell you not to do Latin. So lay low and do something else for a while. Six months from now, conditions may have changed.


    Completely agree.

    I love Latin, and have not wanted to return to Englsh attempts after being immersed in Gregorian chant. You are correct that the Church officially upholds the use of Latin and Gr chant has pride of place.

    That being said, your situation seems to involve a real threat and a gradual approach is needed. If in a year or two the ban on Latin is still an issue, then I might start looking for a new job. But I suspect your pastor is closer to you in spirit. You're probably dealing with a personality that is good natured, wants to please most everyone, and is practical. And he has 8,421 things on his to do list.

    If nothing changes after a good amount of time, perhaps a choir season or two, remind yourself you are not trapped. Take this to prayer and do not become discouraged as you work at laying a modest foundation of good, more sacred sounding music in English. You can find another job and exit this one with charity and grace if needed, but I would show humility and wisdom in all your dealings. I know because I've been in this situation.

    It's psychologically difficult when you want to do what the Church is asking you to do and you feel those in immediate authority aren't letting you. The enemy often works on pride in this way, in an attempt to distance you from God (as always). Don't give him a foothold. Serve in charity, lead your choirs with enthusiasm and care and at the same time know you will have other employment options.
    FWIW, you have my prayers.
    Thanked by 1irishtenor
  • FWIW, I was ordered not to use any Latin at two previous jobs. So I didn't - for a while. There is a ton of excellent English repertoire out there, and as long as I did that there were no complaints.

    However, I did slowly bring Latin back in by way of beloved and popular pieces - almost part of pop culture now days. Such as Mozart Ave Verum and Franck Panis Angelicus, and Mozart Laudate Dominum. Then when I did the Mozart Ave Verum and everyone loved it, I introduced the Elgar and Gounod Ave Verums - also lyrical, gorgeous pieces. And find a good soprano soloist and no one will even think to complain about Laudate Dominum. Probably when they say they don't like Latin, they actually mean that they don't like chant.

    So throw the bone - do good English rep for a while, and then come back to Latin via a circuitous route.
  • Rant alert! Bkenney, others, skip over this bit of negativity as needed.

    Something that was said really gets up my Irish.
    The b.s. about not teaching children Latin. It's dumb, but I think it's naive of me to think its only dumb. It's subversive. The reason why some (most? most all?) people who'd make such a lame claim is that they don't want the old traditions to continue. Teach children Latin songs- they'll know them for life and that threatens their desire to sing a new Church into being. And we mustn't have that!!

    Sorry to rant, but as one who is of an age where no one taught Latin or chant to Catholic school kids, that specific issue ticks me off no end. It's an issue of justice, at least in part.

    What fond memories of sacred music do I have from my Catholic youth? Zilch. Instead I hear, "peace is flowing like a river". I think I should sing chant hymns to myself ten times a day in an attempt to bury such awful music.
  • canadashcanadash
    Posts: 1,411
    What fond memories of sacred music do I have from my Catholic youth? Zilch. Instead I hear, "peace is flowing like a river". I think I should sing chant hymns to myself ten times a day in an attempt to bury such awful music.


    Amen.
  • BKenney,

    If you can do this with a completely straight face, intending not to be snarky about it, ask this question: Does the ban on Latin mean that other languages, like Spanish (or whatever ethnic language you have in your parish) are similarly banned because they are not English?

    When you get the answer, ask "Why is it that only Latin is banned?"

    Cheers,

    Chris
  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 456
    Yes. A few years ago I was told Latin was to no more be done at my parish. I simply acknowledged the command, took out my guitar and strummed the best G&P you could imagine.


    While the obedience is praiseworthy, I can't help but think that there is an acceptable and within the bounds of obedience middle ground between traditional Latin hymns/chant and G&P strummed on a guitar.
    Thanked by 1bkenney27
  • I had intended to delete this thread as a precautionary measure, but the feedback is so valuable that I don't want to take the discussion away from people that may need it in the future.

    One of the PPC members took me out for coffee between Masses on Sunday and confirmed my suspicions that this was instigated by one member and at the wrong time in the meeting. Essentially, the meeting was hijacked. Either way, I know there are at least a few people on the PPC that sat there and silently rolled their eyes through this. I have requested that the Pastor facilitate meetings with me, him, and each member individually as suggested earlier. That way, they won't be able to feed off of each other's negativity. I was told I'd probably be lucky to get more than one person to sign up to which I responded that the important thing is that they know the opportunity is there to discuss this and that they are CHOOSING to not take part.

    I also found out that some of the frustration stemmed from the presentation I gave in June about the propers and the GIRM/Roman Missal. There seems to be a feeling that I presented and left, leaving no room for a Q & A session. Except that the person who told me this specifically said he remembers me asking for questions at the end and having no one raise any. Then I even stuck around during their coffee break and fielded many compliments to the presentation including one gentleman who expressed that his preference was not chant, but acknowledged that my presentation left him wondering why we aren't singing the Propers more frequently! He then indicated he wanted to purchase the GIRM and read it.

    ....Sooooooo there's something else going on here. When Sheep Attack arrived early so that will be bedtime reading this evening.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303
    Scott

    I was also told that beginning the next sunday I was to use a new hymnal which was handed to me at that moment and that I was to only play the 80 selections that had been circled in the hymnal.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,907
    For the sake of perspective, Francis, in what year did that happen?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303
    Chonak

    That all occurred in 2010.
  • Ouch.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    With gratitude, I've never been ordered not to employ Latin by any pastor over 43+, and with utmost gratitude to my current pastor for keeping that intact.
    Francis, bring yer Telecaster to Indy, Bartlett and I are forming a power garage schola. Don't need a drummer, we'll use a digital version of Ginger Baker and play the greats: '
    Crossroads, In Gadda da Vida (that's in Latin, right?), Sunshine of Your Love, Find Somebody to Love and Whte Rabbit (in honor of HHF) and Kyrie Eleison and G-L-0-R-I-A by the Yardbirds. Encore (to be de rigeur or go figure) will be Byrd's famous motet: Turn, Turn, Turn (tho' Seegar is now attributed as author.)
    Thanked by 2francis Chris Allen
  • doneill
    Posts: 180
    Going back to the comment from the deacon about the youth going to Mass "under duress," I thought I might relate a recent experience. In my current position at a Catholic high school, the student body attended a Youth Rosary Rally. Among the guests was a dynamic young man who has travelled around to such attends giving speeches to Catholic youth - pretty much reflecting the Life Teen movement. I was frankly fearing the worst, and then he related some of his conversations with young people who complained that Mass was boring, and that proceedings should be more lively like his presentations (he included a little music too). He actually said that it was not the business of the liturgy to entertain them - that they actually had much responsibility for becoming engaged in the Mass themselves. He managed to say this in a way that didn't sound like they were being lectured either. I was delightfully shocked. As much as we like to disavow it sometimes, there is still an obligation, and even duress, and that's not bad. I took piano lessons for a while out of duress from my parents, and I'm eternally grateful for it.
    Also, in my experience, young people can seriously get into Latin chant when presented in an engaging way. They are looking for alternatives to the common practice of U.S. Catholic churches, and there is no denying that chant is no longer part of the mainstream. We can use that as an advantage.
    Thanked by 1bkenney27
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,307
    Bartlett and I are forming a power garage schola


    One of my secret dreams in life is to form a group of skilled pop-acapella singers and then teach them chant and polyphony, and then perform fusion arrangements of Gregorian chant with hip-hop vocal percussion.
    Thanked by 1bkenney27
  • donr
    Posts: 942
    It's not a secret any more.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,307
    TELL NO ONE
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,615
    JOB.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Hey, Mat-eiux, can you play HOUSE OF THE RISING SON on the organ?
    Trying to regain sense of humor in mid-attack sheep mode.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,303
    Melo

    I'm game. I play a mean B3 (which is also cycling back around as a great rig). Am seriously considering a Roland Integra as my synth mod.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    You goin to Indy?
  • See if you can make an exception for this.



    If you can do this with a completely straight face, intending not to be snarky about it, ask this question: Does the ban on Latin mean that other languages, like Spanish (or whatever ethnic language you have in your parish) are similarly banned because they are not English?

    When you get the answer, ask "Why is it that only Latin is banned?"


    When the pastor says No Latin, it may seem impossible to believe for some that he means it. He does, otherwise he would not have said it.

    Asking for an exception in this case is professional suicide. (priest thinks: "Here I am trying to save this guy's job so he can feed his family and he thinks he should still sing latin? What was I thinking when I hired this one?")

    Jesu Rex will be here for centuries, that job may be lost over asking to sing it. Worth it?

    I'm not criticizing Adam's comment but he's working in an Episcopal Church where it is hard to get fired...in fact, I know of an Episcopal church in which the organist's lover was transferred, he resigned to go along and be with him and they could not sell their house so he stayed and lover is returning...sounds like something not worth discussing here, except now that he's truly demonstrated his deep and abiding loyalty to the job, he's asking the church to spend a million dollars to improve the pipe organ...and they are working to do it even though the interim pastor has brought up the fact the Christian Education is less that 1% of the church budget...and the church is still actively working to do this.

    Latin, unfortunately, is the mark of ashes on the forehead that indicates to many that this a person who wants to change my mass because they think that they are better than I and think that they know more than I do and I do not want any change - next thing, I won't be able to eat meat on Friday. Been there, done that, laughed at by my friends. Not going back there.
    Thanked by 2chonak CHGiffen
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,907
    So let's get thinking about Christmas: which carols will be excluded because of the "no Latin" rule?

    Adeste fideles
    Angels we have heard on high
    Puer natus in Bethlehem

    Any others?
  • For Immaculate Conception:

    No Immaculate Mary
    No Hail, Holy Queen

    No Ave Maria when requested for funerals/Weddings
    No Panis Angelicus " " " "

    O_O
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,307
    I'm not criticizing Adam's comment but he's working in an Episcopal Church where it is hard to get fired..


    ACCURATE.

    Although if my boss told me no Latin, I wouldn't do Latin either.
    The people who pay you get to tell you what to do, period.

    And, just to contrast how this works in an Episcopal Church:
    I don't do A LOT of Latin- maybe a dozen pieces over the course of the year.
    To my knowledge, I have only had one complaint, which came to me directly, in the following manner:
    "Adam- I really like you, and all the music you do. But I just don't like it when the choir sings in Latin."
    "Oh- I'm sorry. Well- we don't do it that often."
    "I know."
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • Noel,

    I suggested the course of action of asking if other languages are also prohibited because

    1) Asking questions does not imply disobedience (insubordination).
    2) If Latin is forbidden, despite the fact that Holy Mother Church says it shall have pride of place, there is clearly a need to get exact information about what is allowed. Sure, the pastor forbids Latin, but unless the employee understands something of why, he's going to upset the pastor repeatedly, for doing things like singing music which is in conformity with Catholic doctrine, and other crimes. Perhaps certain instruments will be forbidden, or others required?


    Since you raise the question, it seems fair to ask why "No Latin" doesn't mean all the other things I've suggested.

  • We sing quite a bit of easy chants, the Creed, the ordinary and the congregation often chants the propers right out of the Missalette. But this is only at one Mass, and with a small schola leading . At offertory and duing the recessional we always sing popular favorite hymns, like "Be Not afraid," or "Christ Be Our Light." This disarms those with objections and it helps me focus on the content of the prayer of the Mass 'cause I could easily become obsessed with a historical music ideal.
    Got some support like this: irate parishioner demanding chant!
    Recently as I arrived at church to substitute an another Mass when a parishioner approached me pointing to the ICEL Gloria, inquiring why this is never sung. I really expected to hear quite the opposite. I was glad to tell him that this chant is routine fare at his parish , -but at another Mass, and that the schola would be here shortly to sing this chant.
  • Since you raise the question, it seems fair to ask why "No Latin" doesn't mean all the other things I've suggested.


    It does usually mean all those things. You have, as we say in the US, struck the nail on the head.

    Possibly the problem is that Catholic Priests are not required to be fair (maybe they take a secret oath not to be?) and most would find this question to be the highest form of insubordination.

    The most often heard sentence from rock guitarists seems to be "do you want fries with that?" and with Catholic musicians from ask the questions that you list, "what do you mean, I'm fired?"

    Today you have to have a guitarist/keyboard player/pianist/organist and a vocalist to say Mass on the weekends. We are seen as a necessary evil and treated as such.
  • Recently as I arrived at church to substitute an another Mass when a parishioner approached me pointing to the ICEL Gloria, inquiring why this is never sung.


    Ironically, I proposed chanting this during Ordinary Time with the Orbis Factor Kyrie shortly before this meeting happened. Before the Pastor had the chance to respond, he was inundated with the complaints that sparked this thread. So, naturally, I was told no. The positive in all of this is that he essentially said, "No. For now." Which is respectable. Just exceedingly frustrating.

    The thing with the Latin/English Traditional/English Contemporary is that some people are always going to like the music and some are always going to complain. One parishioner who also happens to be on the PPC said to me, "I LIKE the Latin. I can pray more EASILY to the Latin." I had another after Mass come up to me saying, "I REALLY appreciated the Latin after communion." It is rare that you hear the positive, so the fact that these people are speaking up means they were truly moved spiritually.

    Again, the Pastor is honestly doing what he thinks is best.

    Unfortunately, he is asking me to use more contemporary music and no Latin based on a few voices. (Our PPC consists of no more than 15 of the 1000+ people that come through the doors every weekend, and I know there were people in support of the music at the meeting, even if they didn't speak up.) Why? What about the few voices that are speaking up saying they LIKE what is happening? Why must we change the direction because of the few complainers rather than encourage and foster our direction because of the few who are happy? *sigh*

    I do want everyone to understand that I do not intend to fight him on this, but I do intend to initiate thoughtful discussion about it so that he and I can be sure together that this is the best option. We have a very good working relationship and this is the very first time in 2.5 years that I can remember disagreeing this strongly with something he has said about music.