theology of liturgical dialogues
  • I was at NPM 2007 where Ed Schaefer, in his address on Musicam sacram, made reference to a theological understanding of the congregation in dialogue with the “persona Christi” when the dialogues of the liturgy are sung.

    It was thus that he contended, and I believe he made reference to Schuler (but I can’t find anything from the Msgr. on it...?), that it is justified not just pragmatically, but also liturgically, to give priority to the clerical/congregational dialogues etc. for singing over the Ordinary and Proper.

    Does anyone recall anything of this?
  • G
    Posts: 1,389
    I wasn't there, but it sounds similar to something Fr Samuel Weber said at a musicians' retreat, IIRC.
    Does NPM not have the texts of major addresses at their national convention somewhere online?

    (Save the Liturgy,Save the World)
  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,193
    If Schaefer was a "keynote" speaker then a transcript would have appeared in the fall '07 issue of "Pastoral Music" Magazine.

    It appears that he was not (I was at that convention but don't recall attending this session). I suspect this was a "breakout" session, in which case a recording company was contracted to record all of the sessions. You could call national hq of NPM and find if it was recorded and if any copies are still available.
  • mahrt
    Posts: 512
    Paragraphs 28 and following of Musicam Sacram give three stages for the incorporation of singing into the Mass; the first stage includes the dialogues with the priest, the collects, the preface and the Sanctus, and the Lord's Prayer; the second stage includes the rest of the Ordinary. In that sense the clerical-congregational dialogues have a priority, since the document specifies that the first stage must precede the second.
  • Right, but I think Schaefer’s point had more to do with a theological explanation than a simple appeal to rubrics.

    He seemed to be starting down the path that leads one to conclude, “it’s not just the law; it’s a good idea.”
  • See if you can get your hands on a copy of W.C. Van Unnik, “Dominus Vobiscum: the Background of a Liturgical Formula,” in New Testament Essays: Studies in Memory of T.W. Mansen 1893–1958, edited by A. J. B. Higgins (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1959), pp. 270–305.

    I first heard of this essay in Yves Congar, I Believe in the Holy Spirit (New York: Crossroads, 1983), especially VOLUME III: The River of Life Flows East and West—PART TWO, “THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE SACRAMENTS,” pp. 217–274.

    “The Lord be with you”—“And also with you” is more than a nice greeting. Congar tells us that this greeting is actually a prayer which means “The Lord who is the Spirit be with you, the baptized and confirmed, as you pray”—“And may the Spirit be also with you as you lead us in prayer.” This prayer was considered so sacred that it was used only once during the Mass, at the beginning of the eucharistic prayer, when the presider asked the assembly to pray that he be inspired to improvise well the Eucharistic Prayer (it was not written down in this era). After much overuse at Mass, it has been reserved for the beginning of Mass, the beginning of the gospel, at the beginning of the eucharistic prayer, before the sign of peace, and the dismissal rite.

    Why it is so sacred is because it is a prayer to the Holy Spirit poised, so to speak, between the presider and the assembly for the rekindling of the gift given all in baptism/confirmation and the gift given the presider in ordination in order that what was about to be done could be done and could be fruitful. This awareness recalls the warning Pope St. Gregory the Great gave many times: The ministers of the Church cannot legitimately consecrate the Eucharist without a People who offer it with them. And ministers and people can accomplish nothing without the Trinity, especially the Holy Spirit, not to mention the assistance of all the angels and saints.

    So our inadequate translation of the reply, “Et cum spiritu tuo” as “And also with you” and the deterioration of the invitation into forms like “The Lord is with you” or worse are symptoms of a larger lack of recognition of the work of the Holy Spirit in the liturgy and the sacraments.

  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Anyone ever hear this?

    "The Lord be with you" "And also with you" "Thank you!"
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,331
    Yes. Is there a better example of how to "break the ritual"?

    By the way, if that happens again and you're in the congregation, I advocate responding with "You're welcome."
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,031
    V: "The peace of the Lord be with you" R: "And also with you" (V: THANK YOU!) Not a big fan of that "dialogue".
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    Yoda: May the force be with you.
    Hans Solo: Yea, right.

    (and we wonder why our liturgy AND our theology smells bad?)