N00b question about congregation as turba
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,498
    I had an interaction with a friend who said that their "tradition-hating" priest had forbidden the congregation from speaking the Turba parts in the Passion this year. I'd never heard of such a thing, while he said it's "always been that way" (and he started in the early 70s in Karachi). I'm used to the "3 people chanting" model. So... is it a common thing, when the Passion is spoken instead of chanted, for the congregation to speak the parts of the people? And is that good practice, a liturgical abuse, or neither (it just is)?
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,757
    It's was long promoted, it seems, by missallete makers. However, in the OF, in 1988, the circular letter Paschale Solemnitatis foreclosed the option of the people reading part of the passion (at most, you can have lay readers, but a reader is not the congregation as a whole):

    33. The passion narrative occupies a special place. It should be sung or read in the traditional way, that is, by three persons who take the parts of Christ, the narrator and the people. The passion is proclaimed by deacons or priests, or by lay readers. In the latter case, the part of Christ should be reserved to the priest.

    * * *
    It's important to remember that the Holy Week liturgies are *not* re-enactments. They are not passion plays. Even the Eucharistic liturgy in general is not merely a re-presentation of Calvary, but an anamnesis of the Paschal mystery, as well as Pentecost, and a foretaste of the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb.
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    People are so weird.

    A demon behind every bush and "tradition-hating" because someone does anything different than the norm. The paranoia would be amusing if not sad.

    I do believe - though can't document - that this WAS the invention of missalette publishers - you know, "everyone HAS to have one to be able to do this." Don't take that to the bank, though, since as I said, I can't document that.
  • I'm not so sure that Paschale Solemnitaties #33 is a definitive statement against the congregational turbae. Couldn't the same text be used to suppress a choir turbae, as well?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,304
    The argument against a congregational turbae is that it is lame.

    mumblemumblemruciferherm

    mumblemumblenokringbertsersers


    just sayin'
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    Bob Batastini (from GIA) wrote eloquently about it some years ago.

    He cited Adam's argument, as well as the fact that it is counter intuitive and possibly even offensive to ask the congregation to say, with enthusiasm, "Let his blood be on us and our children!"
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,757
    Andrew

    Only if readers could not be singers chanting the Passion. As we know, the GIRM envisions singing as included in speaking/reading, and the Passions can be chanted. Therefore, you could have readers singing the turbae...which is also a time-honored practice going back for many centuries before missalettes were an idea.

  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,304
    and possibly even offensive to ask the congregation to say, with enthusiasm, "Let his blood be on us and our children!"


    Oddly, I think this is fine.

    Given the issue about whether this line (and others) is antisemitic, the act of having the congregation speak it does reinforce the right interpretation of who exactly "us and our children" are.

    Not to mention the fascinating theological irony of the phrase - much like Caiaphas speaking of "One man should die to save the whole people" - since the blood of Christ does not bring guilt, but rather redemption.

    Still, though-

    mumblemublesbloodonsonercherdrenmhmhm

    Not a fan.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,006
    I'm still contemplating the first reading from last Sunday. "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were Nekkid." And that's the way it was. LOL.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,757
    Better than "they realized they were nekking".
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,498
    "Progressive is defined as absolutely anti-traditionalist. I tell you, they are against anything that we did in the old days. Latin is evil. Polyphony is evil. Anything that does not involve congregational singing (tantamount to pedestrian music) is evil... it is sickening. The model is the Diocese of San Jose... the most hippie, guitar strumming, tambourine thumping diocese in the US." What's odd is that he found the congregational turba "traditional"... sort of like some people's "traditional Catholic music" like All are Welcome. Which is why I asked... because being a convert I really don't know what the norm is.
  • because being a convert I really don't know what the norm is.

    The Norm
    image
  • The tradition is for three voices to read/chant the Passion Gospel, with a priest taking the "part" of the Lord. Isn't it? No choral reading or singing. Or am I wrong?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,113
    I have chanted the Dominican setting of the Passion Gospel on Good Friday, as the Narrator, the Priest as Christ, and as many as three people on the Turba, which was chanted using organum whenever it was actually a group of people speaking in the Gospel, and with individual voices from the Turba choir taking parts spoken by individuals (such as Peter, Pilate, or Servants). This was back in the mid-1980s. Even without multiple voices for the Turba (and hence no organum), the Dominican setting is very good.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,757
    Well, I would normally qualify as a liturgical progressive, and I don't find Latin or polyphony evil, et cet.

    Liturgical progressives are not monolithic. And not necessarily tradition-hating for that matter. We just don't think saying something is traditional is *conclusively* dispositive. And there's an important difference between tradition and traditionalism.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I actually have never heard the congregational turba done badly as Adam suggests, at least growing up in Michigan. I certainly don't see any good reason not to do it in the absence of a sung passion, though if the norms forbid it, he they should be obeyed.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,764
    it is counter intuitive and possibly even offensive to ask the congregation to say, with enthusiasm, "Let his blood be on us and our children!"

    After all, it might lead to shocking talk about eating Someone's flesh and drinking His blood: that could really offend people. And (as Adam indicated) it would imply something about us and our children being in need of His blood, and (in some sense) responsible for its shedding in the first place.
  • G
    Posts: 1,387
    Liturgical progressives are not monolithic.


    Strangely, neither are Liturgical Trads.

    (save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • CGM
    Posts: 442
    I once did a sung passion with narrator (me), Christ (celebrant), and speaker (a female choir member). When we got to the people's parts, the people just spoke them aloud.

    I thought that it was doubly effective, (a) simply because the congregation was reading those horrendous lines (which, when I was a kid, made me start to consider my role in Jesus' passion), and (b) when the beautiful sung music was replaced by the somewhat guttural sound of hundreds of people speaking, it made the ugliness of the people's role (our role) that much more apparent.

    * * *

    On another note, the Roman Missal, 3rd Edition, states in its Palm Sunday instructions (which also hold for Good Friday) that the Passion narrative "may also be read by readers, with the part of Christ, if possible, reserved to a Priest." Thus the part of Christ may be read by a non-priest, if it is not "possible" for a priest to do it. This seems exceedingly unlikely for a spoken passion. However, at our Good Friday Passion this year, which is typically sung, the role of Christ might end up being sung by a choir member if none of the priests opts to do it (even though probably all of our priests actually could do it). I suppose that a priest's willingness has a direct bearing on the "possible-ness" of his doing it...
  • aria
    Posts: 85
    when I was a kid, made me start to consider my role in Jesus' passion


    I kind of miss reading the People's part, but if it's not licit, I accept it. That being said, I agree w/ CGM's comment (above). As a kid, I was always uncomfortable during the Passion reading when it came time for me to shout, "Crucify him!", etc. And at the same time I did have this sense that it was good for me to feel uncomfortable b/c it made me think more deeply about how I contributed to Christ's Passion by my sins.
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 464
    I'm not so sure that Paschale Solemnitaties #33 is a definitive statement against the congregational turbae. Couldn't the same text be used to suppress a choir turbae, as well?

    No, because there's a decision of the Sacred Congregation of Rites that allows the choir turbae as part of the "traditional way".

    S.R.C. 4044: The deacon who represents the Synagoga may sing the sentences of
    single individuals and the part of the turba may be taken by a lay
    choir July 7 1899
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 464
    On the other hand, if you can get the people to SING the crowd parts, I'm not sure that would be prohibited. I wouldn't encourage it though.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,325
    Sam, I would be hesitant about using an SRC ruling from 1899 as justifying or prohibiting anything. The present-day CDWDS does not reach back to old SRC rulings when they are asked to address various dubia which arise these days. I don't think we should either.

    Why? Just as general laws of the Church have been codified twice during the past 100 years and it is no longer necessary for people wanting to know what the law is to have to search Gratian, the decrees and decretals, and various papal bulls, so, IMO, liturgical law similarly has been fairly "codified" in the praenotanda of the revised liturgical books.

    And saying something is not prohibited in the liturgy when it is not specifically mentioned in the liturgical books does not seem to be sufficient either. In fact, many people who contribute to this forum would take great exception to that understanding, as it opens the liturgy to all kinds of abuses which are not specifically prohibited by law.

    I myself am a proponent of the chanted Passion, at least at the Good Friday liturgy: 3 chanters and no choral turba parts (which usually don't match the chant anyway). And no spoken turba parts by the congregation, for no more reason necessary than the fact that our Lectionary for Mass does not envision that practice. If I were to want something "more fancy" than a simply chanted Passion, I'd repair to my living room for an evening with Pärt, Bach, Schütz, Penderecki, or another.
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 464
    The present-day CDWDS does not reach back to old SRC statements when they are asked to rule on various dubia which arise these days.

    The decisions of the CDWDS are law. As such, they don't need to cite old laws to make their point unless they chose to. That they don't doesn't mean those laws are not in force.

    Just as general laws of the Church have been codified twice during the past 100 years and it is no longer necessary for people wanting to know what the law is to have to search Gratian, the decrees and decretals, and various papal bulls, so, IMO, liturgical law similarly has been fairly "codified" in the praenotanda of the revised liturgical books.

    Part of what has been codified in the current canon and liturgical law is the method of interpretation of the law that says that old laws are not automatically overturned by the fact that there are new laws (Canon 20). In this case, the new law particularly invokes the fact of a tradition that is being upheld. It therefore makes eminent good sense to look at the rules that governed that tradition to try to figure out what that tradition was.

    Just as general laws of the Church have been codified twice during the past 100 years

    If you look at the liturgical commentaries of the 1960's you'll find that the authors still relied on the decisions of the S.C.R. then, despite the fact that those decisions had also been codified at least twice in, for example, "Additiones et variationes in rubricis generalibus breviarii et missalis romani ad normam bullae "Divino afflatu" et subsequentium S.R.C. decretorum" and in the norms promulgated by "Rubricarum Instructum". This was in accordance with the policy of "Rubricarum Instructum" which abrogated only "any decrees and replies on doubtful points issued by the [S.C.R.] which do not agree with this new form of rubrics."

    Missale Romanum similarly abrogates the previous law "to the extent necessary," not generally.

    And saying something is not prohibited in the liturgy when it is not specifically mentioned in the liturgical books does not seem to be sufficient either. In fact, many people who contribute to this forum would take great exception to that understanding, as it opens the liturgy to all kinds of abuses which are not specifically prohibited by law.

    This is a completely underwhelming understanding of this point. (Which you probably realize, since you don't endorse it, but hand it off to "many people who contribute to this forum"). While it's true that the liturgical law is a positive law for the most part, telling you what to do and not what not to do, it can't be understood in an entirely positivistic way. Here we're talking about something with an extensive tradition behind it. Those things aren't banned just because there is a silence about them.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,325
    So until this Forum thread appeared, no one in the Church during the past 50 years ever questioned whether or not choral turba parts were OK in the chanted Passion on Passion/Palm Sunday and/or Good Friday? Or if some folks did question it, none of them referred the dubium to the CDWDS? Or if someone did submit the question to the CDWDS, the congregation chose not to answer it, on the grounds that the SRC had already addressed the issue in 1899? Incredible that this should have happened!
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 464
    So until this Forum thread appeared, no one in the Church during the past 50 years ever questioned whether or not choral turba parts were OK in the chanted Passion on Passion/Palm Sunday and/or Good Friday?

    A complete non sequitur.

    Or if some folks did question it, none of them referred the dubium to the CDWDS?

    I'm not aware of any decision of the CDWDS addressing this question. I assume you aren't either, since you have not mentioned it.

    Or if someone did submit the question to the CDWDS, the congregation chose not to answer it, on the grounds that the SRC had already addressed the issue in 1899?

    That seems to be a misunderstanding of what I wrote above. My point was a general one. That the SCR hasn't cited a particular body of law in making decisions since the Council doesn't mean that body of law is no longer in force. But even aside from the question of whether the law is in force, the document from the CDWDS refers explicitly to a tradition and it's reasonable for us to look at old legislation, even if it's not in force in trying to figure out what the tradition is. The revised Ceremonial of Bishops, for example, does this in the rules for incensation, citing the old Ceremonial of Bishops regarding incensation.

    Incredible that this should have happened!

    I'm not sure why we can't discuss this without resorting to hyperbole.

    I directly addressed the points that you made in your response to my comment. You seem to not be addressing mine except to ridicule them.
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 464
    The present-day CDWDS does not reach back to old SRC rulings when they are asked to address various dubia which arise these days. I don't think we should either.

    This happens to be false. The document under discussion in this very thread, 1988's "Paschale Solemnitatis" itself cites a document composed as a response to dubia by the S.R.C.

    Footnote 61 refers to: "SRC, Declaratio March 15, 1956, n. 3, AAS 48 (1956), p. 153"

    Which is a reply to questions about the carrying out of the Holy Week ceremonies before Vatican II, being cited for its continued ability to inform our practice despite the fact that "liturgical law ... has been fairly 'codified' in the praenotanda of the revised liturgical books." Apparently they wanted citation for a prohibition on carrying out the Holy Thursday rite of transfer in a Church where the rite of Good Friday would not be celebrated and didn't find it in the praenotanda of the revised books.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,325
    Sam, please believe me when I say that I am not ridiculing anything you wrote. I have a very high regard for your scholarship.

    You described my second posting as a non sequitur. And it was. I was not addressing (or "ridiculing") the points in your posting, simply wondering "out loud" how a question about choral turba parts, certainly a matter of some importance to more than a few people in the Church, was never addressed to the CDWDS after the liturgical reforms. I still find it incredible, and I don't know if my thinking such is hyperbolic or not.
  • JahazaJahaza
    Posts: 464
    Sorry, I apologize for misreading sarcasm into your post that wasn't intended. Thanks for your kind words.
  • CGM
    Posts: 442
    So can the 1899 allowance for a "lay choir" be somehow expanded to mean "all the laypeople in the pews" ? Or is it really the case that the people in the pews never participated (verbally) in either of the Holy Week Passions until the innovations of the Missalette-makers in the 1970's? Just because I can't imagine Holy Week passions without the crowd being spoken by, well, the crowd within that given church building... doesn't mean that the crowd SHOULD BE speaking the crowd's words. And I guess that was the question that started this thread in the first place:

    - What's the preferred Passion practice?
    - What's not preferred, but allowed as the situation warrants?
    - What's not allowed at all?
    Thanked by 1Jeffrey Quick
  • One of the strengths of Theodore Marier's "Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Canticles" was the inclusion of the four chanted Passions in the choir edition. In the pew edition, the people could read all the text, and the music to sing the turba. This was the unvarying practice at St. Paul's, Cambridge, starting no later than 1974, for thirty years, and may still be. Msgr. Fred McManus, who was a liturgical peritus at Vatican II, was usually in attendance until his old age, and I never heard a hint of objection to the popular turba.

    I think it was 2009 when Rosalind Mohnsen introduced the chanted passion on Good Friday at Immaculate Conception, Malden, using Samuel Weber's setting. The congregation wasn't given any music, and was expected to read along silently from WLP's Word & Song. By the end of the Passion, enough of them had figured out the formula to start singing the turba. As if we could rebuke them, and tell them to be silent! Why, the very stones would ring out.

    Liam's reference to "Paschalis Sollemnitatis" (note spelling) is pertinent; but I think the paragraph's phrasing is not strong enough to construe a prohibition of what had traditionally been allowed to choirs, and, by extension, the assembly.

    Contention in this rubrical neighborhood is precedented. Mr. Marier told the story that Wm. Cardinal O'Connell was at the Good Friday service when he observed three young clerics in decorous procession to the lecterns to chant the Passion. He asked the functionary at his side "What are they doing?" "They are going to chant the Passion, Your Eminence." "Oh, no, they're not." And just as decorously, the thwarted chanters faced about and returned to their places.



  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,847
    the paragraph's phrasing is not strong enough to construe

    "Should" being one of those 'Roman' words ;-)

    John Bertalot writes in one of his forwards :
    When a congregation is invited to join in the reading of the Passion gospel for Palm Sunday, it is usually given the part of the crowd: those who were against Jesus and called for him to be crucified. This seems unfortunate...in this setting of the Passion of Our Lord According to Luke [1994] the congregation is invited to sing the part of Jesus- to see the story from his viewpoint.