Could the Church's understanding of the primacy of Gregorian chant ever change?--Pray Tell
  • Heath
    Posts: 897
    I would love to have a discussion Fr. Ruff's recent article over at Pray Tell.

    I doubt many of my CMAA confreres would agree with the above, but I think engaging the thrust of his argument is important. Thoughts?
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Could it change? Absolutely.

    Will it? As much as the PTers want it to, NO.
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • Agreed, Gavin.
  • Heath
    Posts: 897
    I think the main question that he proposes (despite the title of the post) is more so SHOULD it change . . .
  • The "primacy" of chant already takes a back seat to preferences, modern tastes, and user market research, as Fr Ruff's article shows.

    The only purpose of "changing the understanding" would be to silence those who now appeal to the "primacy" from the documents.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,977
    The only purpose of "changing the understanding" would be to silence those who now appeal to the "primacy" from the documents.
    Thanked by 2BruceL Ben Yanke
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,141
    Its the same argument used with children.
    A conversation with one of my children when he was 5.

    "I don't like broccoli, so I don't want to eat it."
    "How much broccoli have you tried"
    'Not much."
    "Keep trying..."

    5 years later:
    "Broccoli is my favorite vegetable."

    Enough said....
  • He is saying in the last paragraphs, "We'll use chant if you think it will float your boat; otherwise, not".

    If you apply this way of thinking to other areas of church teaching, you end up as the so-called "cafeteria catholic", or you leave the church.

    To avoid the reader's making this leap in reasoning, Fr. Ruff admits of a hierarchy within church teachings: "There are core dogmatic teachings, and then there are moral teachings, within which teachings on sexual ethics have greater stability than those on social and economic issues, and then, much further down the line, are statements about the nature of worship, including those about the primacy of Gregorian chant". He concludes the paragraph that "statements of musical and artistic ideals are necessarily contingent and changeable".

    I don't think I buy this. For one thing, his list does not seem to consist of like items; the reason social and economic issues are "farther down the line" of changeability is because they have to do with the suggested application of general principles to real life scenarios, rather than the general principles themselves. And isn't that what the recommendation of chant is - a general principle?

    Furthermore, although I am not familiar with the document Musicam sacram referenced in the next paragraph, I do not find that Fr. Ruff proves it to be saying that a level of a piece of music's fulfillment of its liturgical function should be judged by what the congregation thinks of it.

    Sure, we can all agree that "the purpose of music in worship is functional". But isn't this what Dr. Mahrt is always saying - that an introit is stylistically different from a gradual, such that each is very subtly suited to the particular liturgical action of which it is a part? Furthermore, that chant possesses this subtle suitabilility to a degree which is not attainable by other forms of music? Thus, objectively, other forms of music simply do not function as well as Gregorian chant. Use the Graduale Romanum, folks.

    Finally, regarding our subjective opinions:

    It is the job of the church to form our conscience; Fr. Ruff admits this. May not the church be allowed also to form our musical conscience?

    Vale in Domino,

    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • May not the church be allowed also to form our musical conscience?

    This is, actually, a profound interrogation, which, of course, suggests the correct answer, which is an emphatic 'yes'. Anyone who maintains that different genres of music do not, in fact, inform the conscience in various ways does so against all demonstrable reality. Our prisons are full of unfortunate people, men and women, whose minds have become inured to trashy, hellish music; whose consciences have been deformed by it. It is a rare stimulus that has a morally benign effect on human sensibilities. And music is one of the most potent of morally charged stimuli, affecting conscience and behaviour profoundly. Plato, et al., knew this, as have moralists throughout the ages. Monteverdi or Vaughan Williams or Poulenc and chant reveal our worship to be something totally different from what sacro-pop and faux folk music would make it out to be. The consciences and religious formation of the respective participants is likely quite distinctly different, if not opposed. These forms of secularly inspired music have arisen, not as a result of anything the Vatican II fathers ever dreamed of, but in an atmosphere of utter rebellion against the deep and profound respect for both the object of worship and worship itself. The mind that is put off by truly sacred music is the mind that is rebellious against the truly sacred which it announces and reveals. Sacred music is like an icon written in sound: of realms invisible it offers a glimpse, while those visible it casts in a light more profound. It is such holiness and such vision which irritates the mind that is offended by the genuinely artful and beautiful. Only the facetious would maintain seriously that music is morally neutral. Just as there is detrimental junk food, there is junk art, junk literature, and junk music, all of which have a negative effect on the human soul and psyche.

    I recommend the following, which is germane to our topic:
    Music and Morals: a Theological Appraisal of the Moral and Psychological Effects of Music, by Basil Cole, OP (Alba House, Society of St Paul, 1993)
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen dad29
  • I posted a long response at the site where the article appeared.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 842
    In other words, he's saying that the monastery is doing what the people want. Ah, democracy! That only has a small chance of being successful if the people who are voicing their opinions have a good, solid knowledge of liturgical music. Unfortunately, the average person in the pew doesn't have that knowledge, so it becomes like relying on a person who can't read and has never looked at a map to give driving directions.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Xpost from response at PTB:

    As much as I appreciate and am yet able and prepared to lead musical prayer and praise in a multiplicity of genres, I find the reductio ad absurdam (not sure if that's correct Latin) rationale of what's "popular" according to polls or anecdotal argument very disabling to fruitful deliberation of "authenticity" as regards the Roman Rite.
    To paraphrase, has "The mandate of Tra le sollecitudini been tried and found wanting, or is still wanting as it has not yet been tried?"
    Locally, I submit to the sensibilities of my pastor who is ostensibly representing those of my bishop. But philosophically, I stand with Dr. Kwasniewski and Prof. Bruce Ford. As long as "de gustibus" factor supplants the called-for and time-tested disciplines, we will never know the fullness of the sacral tongue's efficacy (as opposed to living or dead languages.)
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • This seems to be a frequent theme of Fr. Ruff. If his articles over the last few decades are any indication, he seems incapable of mentioning Gregorian chant without making all kinds of excuses, caveats, etc. for its use.

    His current argument seems to be: "If the people want X, give them X." Many people would agree with such an argument. I've found it difficult to deal with the whole notion of "Give the people what they want."
    Thanked by 1Ben Yanke
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,428
    If give the people what is a worthwhile rule, what about those who legitimately want chant? Why is there room in the big tent for every secular and popular adaptation, but those who desire the traditional forms of worship are banished to cemeteries, forced to fast until oddly scheduled afternoon Masses, made to commute hours each weekend, driven from their communities by capricious shuttering...?

  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,935
    The fast before communion is one hour, regardless of which Mass people attend.
    Thanked by 2Adam Wood Gavin
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    Hymni_Veri_Valoris, on top of that, the overuse of worship aids is an annoying thing too. Are they a good thing? Yes. Can they be useful for the congregation? Yes. But if you are in a situation where you use the jubilate deo ordinary an cantor/choir propers, I've heard some say that it'd be better not to have these things sung if there isn't a worship aid. Wshat ever happened to prayerfull, active listening and meditation? You don't need to have everyt everything in front of you at every moment to participate in a Mass.
  • "If the people want X, give them X."

    Ps 81:12?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,428
    The fast before communion is one hour, regardless of which Mass people attend.


    I was under the impression that adherents of the EF abide by stricter fasting rules.

    But the rest of my point, of course, is valid: In many quarters of the Church, pastoral considerations only apply to some groups and not to others. Or to put it another way: Liberality is in short supply among liberals.
    Thanked by 2Salieri CHGiffen
  • Some of these comments need to be posted on the PT website. It is important for them (and us) to see that we can have an intelligent conversation about this issue.
    Thanked by 2BruceL Gavin
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,133
    I was under the impression that adherents of the EF abide by stricter fasting rules.

    I know many people who, even when regularly attending the N.O., still, for reasons of personal devotion, follow earlier pre-Mass fasting regulations, whether it be the 3-hour Fast or the earlier one, from Midnight. I can't blame them -- I find the hour before communion to simply not be long enough to be of much use as 'fasting'.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,115
    I was under the impression that adherents of the EF abide by stricter fasting rules.

    Some may, but it's a matter of personal devotion, not law.
    Thanked by 2chonak Gavin
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,133
    But the rest of my point, of course, is valid: In many quarters of the Church, pastoral considerations only apply to some groups and not to others. Or to put it another way: Liberality is in short supply among liberals.

    My major beef with the list of "observers" for October's Family Synod is the conspicuous presence of Orthodox Patriarchs and Protestant theologians and representatives and the equally conspicuous absence of Bishop Fellay, with whom we are supposed to be "dialoguing". But I guess in intrests of ecumenism, we need to exclude those who hold Catholic Doctrine...
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,935
    I don't think Bp. Fellay would want to be an observer to the Synod on par with the Orthodox or Protestant representatives; that would seem to state that he is definitely not in the Catholic Church.
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,715
    Could the Church's understanding of the primacy of Gregorian chant ever change?--Pray Tell

    Ask the people who said in the very early sixties that the Church would never stop using Latin in the mass. Stranger things have happened.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,646
    Not providing texts/translations of propers is one good way to miss an opportunity to cultivate an appreciation of them. It would strike me, if a chronic rather than inadvertent thing, as undesirable.

    One happy consequence of the ubiquity of vernacular ordinaries is that the people don't need translations of them the same way they can profit from those of the propers.

  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,133
    True, R.C. But why not include him, even with the other catholic observers/non voting members?

    Why the superior of the Jesuits, and not of the F.S.S.P.? Why not Mons. Burnham, he might n't be a bishop, but he is an Ordinary? It just seems to me that certain groups were specifically left out of the equation.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • He tells the truth when he writes that the church's position on chant is not understood. My question would be, How could we argue against a position that we do not understand? And, How can the people reject something that is unknown or, at best, unfamiliar? Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, in many ways, argues that music must be taken out of the subjective realm (Spirit of the Liturgy) Music education, Conservatories and the so called music "industry" show that music is largely subjective and individualistic. Once we take music out of that very confusing subjective universe of contradictions, we can begin arguing the case for chant. In the same way many have begun arguing the case for philosophy, which has virtually disappeared from our society. The fact that people could not understand Aquinas' quince viae does not mean that we will begin long tedious debates about it. How could we, if we do not understand it in the first place? How could we reject it, when in most cases we never even heard about it? And, Would that vast ignorance precludes that the Holy Mother Church will replace it?
    Thanked by 1Andrew_Malton
  • It's worth noting that this "give the people what they want" proposal is nothing new. It's been around a long time.

    As a former Theology professor used to scoff: "Nothing new, nothing profound!"
  • Given that the primacy of chant is honored more in the breach than the observance, I'm thinking we should be more concerned about chant actually being sung than about the principle. After all, if it was given primacy of place in practice, there would be little need to insist on the principle.
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,576
    JonathanKK: not familiar with the document Musicam sacram referenced has the document.
    Unfortunately the redecorated webpages disappeared the link.
    So, Google to the rescue ...

    The timeline ...
    1963-dec-04 Sacrosanctum Concilium ("SC")
    1964-sep-26 Inter Oecumenici (SC Instruction 1)
    1967-mar-05 Musicam Sacram (SC Instruction "continuation and complement of preceding")
    1967-may-04 Tres abhinc annos (SC Instruction 2)
    1970-sep-05 Liturgiae Instaurationes (SC Instruction 3)
    1994-jan-25 Varietates Legitimae (SC Instruction 4)
    2001-mar-28 Liturgiam Authenticam (SC Instruction 5)

    Given 5 March, 1967
    3. [...] the present Instruction. This does not, however, gather together all the legislation on sacred music; it only establishes the principal norms which seem to be more necessary for our own day. It is, as it were, a continuation and complement of the preceding Instruction of this Sacred Congregation, prepared by this same Consilium on 26 September 1964, for the correct implementation of the Liturgy Constitution

    The failure to call Musicam Sacram what it really was, the SECOND Instruction, allows it to disappear from lists of "Instructions for the correct implementation of the Liturgy Constitution".
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,169
    we can all agree that "the purpose of music in worship is functional".

    Actually, we cannot. Pragmatism cannot bear beauty.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,935
    why not include him [Fellay], even with the other catholic observers/non voting members?

    Pope Francis can nominate whoever he likes. But doing so would present a number of difficult questions about whether Monseigneur Fellay should accept such an invitation, and about how he should be treated and how he should act. Fellay is currently not in full communion with the Church -- so it is not possible to say that he's a Catholic in good standing. He is a member and is the head of an unrecognized religious order, and was unlawfully ordained a priest, and was unlawfully consecrated a bishop, and is under suspension from exercising priestly ministry and is prohibited from exercising the ministry of bishop.

    Yesterday Fellay met with the new head of the CDF, Cdl. Müller, for the first time, and they resolved to continue the course of theological discussions to gradually resolve the difficulties between the Society and the Church.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,368
    The failure to call Musicam Sacram what it really was, the SECOND Instruction, allows it to disappear from lists of "Instructions for the correct implementation of the Liturgy Constitution."

    It is the Vatican's own congregation for the liturgy (whether under the name of "SC Rites (Consilium)," "SC Divine Worship," or "SC Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments") that gave the special designation to five general instructions as "instructions on the orderly carrying out (or: correct implementation) of the Constitution on the Liturgy." That same congregation (again, under the various names) promulgated ten special instructions between 1964 and 1979, Musicam sacram being one of them.
  • Every ritual tradition has its own proper language and its own proper style of chant. For the Roman Rite, that’s Latin and Gregorian chant. For Catholics of other liturgical rites, it’s different: Coptic Catholics, for example, have no expectation that Latin or Gregorian chant be part of their spirituality.

    The same might be said for those in the Anglican Ordinariate, though the Anglicans’ surge in interest in “things Roman” over the past 150 years or so, as well as the Roman origin of Anglican worship itself, makes that demarcation “blurrier”.

    I think the West does suffer, though, from a “one-size-fits-all” application of Roman liturgy. The idea of “the liturgy is the same everywhere” is hogwash: the Church (in and out of union with Rome) has always had a plethora of liturgical traditions, even into the 19th century, and even in Europe. Around that time was when most of the last pre-Tridentine regional variants of the Roman Rite were abandoned; today only a handful of such remain in use. It goes without saying, too that Catholics in uniate Churches experience Catholic liturgy in a very different sense than even these.

    (One of Liturgiam Authenticam’s most misunderstood phrases, I think, was the “essential unity of the Roman Rite”. I think that was in reference to precisely the history of those regional variations that died out fairly recently: the idea being to avoid going back to that state of affairs.)

    In terms of cultural trappings, what most in the U.S. conceive of as “Catholic worship” is closer to a high-church Protestant worship service than what we would properly term “culturally Roman” worship—a testament to which being the low number of Catholics who know how to sing even the “Jubilate Deo” chants or who hear Gregorian chant or Latin in the liturgy on a regular basis.

    On the one hand, the reasons for the abandonment of Gregorian chant are clear: ordinary folks never really “lived” it as our tradition, and we still don’t. The emphasis on physical action from the congregation in the XXc liturgical reforms was, in some ways, like an armor-piercing bullet fired straight at traditions like Gregorian chant, or almost any such tradition that we might consider even remotely esoteric. These really do exist in tension: Protestants had their hymns as a tradition that was “their own”, but it’s a relatively simple one and so one that John Q. Protestant could “own” with relative ease, even notwithstanding some funny turns of phrase in some more archaic texts. By contrast, Gregorian chant is far more esoteric and requires much more practice to sing confidently and with understanding.

    This is not to say that I favor abandoning Gregorian chant or relegating it to the status of “one tradition among many”. It is, and should remain, like Latin, inextricably part of the Roman Rite. The bigger question, I think, is: what purpose does the “essential unity of the Roman Rite” serve today?
    Thanked by 2Gavin CHGiffen
  • … continuing on my post above:

    I do have one idea as to the purpose that that “essential unity” may serve.

    I believe that Christianity faces an ideological challenge the likes of which we have not known for centuries, perhaps ever. The big problem is not how to “baptize all nations”: now, the problem is *retaining* those who are already baptized. I believe that many Christians’ abandonment of long-held moral codes has a great deal to do with this.

    Those older than I have seen most mainline Christians embrace contraception and, increasingly, extramarital sex and cohabitation as normal and acceptable. These views would have shocked people of an earlier age—“sola Scriptura” Christians because of several Bible verses that condemn fornication, and Catholics because of that as well as received Tradition.

    On the extreme end are groups, like the United Methodist Church, who condone abortion. There is increasing social and legal pressure, moreover, for marriage itself to be reduced to a kind of generic “agreement” among “interested parties”, regardless of gender makeup or (inevitably) number.

    (One might also include female ordination in this “laundry list” … but I suspect that, theologically, that’s a tougher sell, so I’ll leave that where it is.)

    Against all of these, however, the Church of Rome has stood firm. And while we certainly have serious problems that we absolutely must address—scandals, clergy shortages, etc.—we are not in so dire a position in terms of numbers as many of our more “doctrinally malleable” brethren.

    Does our liturgy have anything to do with this? The ideological pressures that Christianity faces seem (?) to come largely from the West. These pressures have made inroads on the liturgy as well, well-known examples of which being gender-neutered, doctrinally “whitewashed” hymn/song texts like (IMO) “You Are Mine”. If you’re familiar with the “aborted” U.S. 1998 Sacramentary, you know how close we came to having the likes of such become our official prayer texts. If you’re around NPM for very long, you know that the people who advocate for such have clear ideological agendas that the Church cannot accept. And they continue to push that agenda as far as they are able.

    Diversity, in my opinion, has a time and place, but that place is not the present age. Too many would abuse it (even in good faith) to “water down” or to change our message altogether.
  • I can't say I liked that article. He misses what to me is the key point. Chant has primacy of place because it is the chanting of Scripture. All other forms of music emphasise the music over the words, chant emphasises the words by means of the music.
    In the context of liturgy, all other words, no matter how ancient, venerable or sublimely penned take second place to the Word of God, which chant serves to highlight.

    For this and no other reason, chant has primacy of place - not cultural, or artistic or any other values.

    Other hymns and hymn styles do use scripture as a reference point too, and these are to be preferred to treacly hymns without reference to scripture of course, but even so, and I include ancient hymns here, where the text has taken a secondary role to the music, it should not serve as the model, as chant does , being Scripture first, served by the music.

    (And yes I know not all chant is direct scriptural quotation, but even among chants there is a hierarchy, surely).

    It is interesting to observe the evolution of prayer and music at IHOP, an evangelical church in Kansas which has for some time been practicing 24/7 prayer in their prayer, which is streamed live online.
    Listening to their regular services, you see they are coming out of the usual familiar pop music type of worship style, done rather well with guitars, percussion etc.
    But as their prayer room style evolved a new style is emerging, While still using the same instruments the following things are observable:
    They sing more and more from scripture, quoting and repeating lines antiphonally.
    The musical accompaniment has got sparser and simpler, tending more and more to a simplified melodic style, which if it was stripped of the modern sounding instruments would be increasingly chant-like.
    Now I am not arguing that they will end up singing Gregorian chant, what I am suggesting is that, even when coming from a musical style we would often think of as far away from Gregorian chant, once you start to do two things - focus on scripture and sing and pray a lot - something of the principles encapsulated in Gregorian chant start to emerge.
    This is the context, in the temple worship of David that formed the psalms, and in the early church, from which chant emerged - simple, suited to much meditative repetition, focussed on scripture.
    To argue that chant should not be the model, one would, IMHO have to abandon one or both of these two things - leave off singing scripture, or leave off singing frequently.
    One hopes a Benedictine monastery would not be going in that direction.

    I do find one piece of consolation in the article. This:
    Graduate students, whose average age is considerably younger than that of the monks, are much more affirming of the value of Gregorian chant than monks. Graduate students affirm more strongly than monks that it is important for a Benedictine monastery to preserve Latin chant. They are more likely to desire more Latin chant in the liturgy, whereas a very large group of monks, including those who affirm the value of Latin chant, say they would like less Latin chant in the liturgy.

    Not consoling for the future of the monastery, though.
    Thanked by 2dad29 eft94530
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,715
    I think, on a more practical level, one of the reasons Gregorian chant was so easily abandoned was that it stopped being the work of the people centuries ago. If you go to an eastern church their chant is in their common language and they identify it as something they own. The people in the west didn't own chant so it was no real loss to give up something at which they had become spectators or an audience. Chant was something the priest and choir did, so the sense of community ownership was missing. The western church did little or nothing to adapt chant to the people. Chant became the property of specialists with much of it too difficult for congregational singing.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    "The reasons for the abandonment of Gregorian chant are clear: ordinary folks never really “lived” it as our tradition, and we still don’t."

    "One of the reasons Gregorian chant was so easily abandoned was that it stopped being the work of the people centuries ago... Chant was something the priest and choir did, so the sense of community ownership was missing."

    Both excellent points.
  • dad29:

    What I was trying to say is that the music recommended by the church is more truly "functional" than music favored by a some other perception of what is functional. That is, we can tell by looking at the music the church prescribes what sort of function music used for the liturgy is supposed to have.

    Also, for the sake of argument, I was trying to use Fr. Ruff's criteria as a starting point; if he wants music to be functional, let's see how chant actually does this better than anything else.

    By singing the proper chants from the Graduale Romanum, we are having our cake and eating it too.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,169
    Chant has primacy of place because it is the chanting of Scripture. All other forms of music emphasise the music over the words, chant emphasises the words by means of the music.

    Thanked by 2francis bonniebede
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,169
    JohnathanKK: thanks for the clarification. I'd still avoid the word "functional" and substitute something else, maybe 'appropriate.' IOW while your thesis is correct, the wording can be misinterpreted.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Dad, despite the blatant truth of the affirmed statement regarding sung scripture, folks like our brother TF will gleefully point out and hammer that it was the SLJ's/Deiss/et al who brought "scripture" into the OF.

    Regarding the PTB combox, the freelance semantical twists that some employ there can be frustrating. If you want an illustration, read from about comment #37 onward.
    Here's my latest retort:

    Dear Rita,
    Regarding “musicology,” that was “shorthand” for all of the regional/ritual chant forms over early and evolving Christendom. So, most of us do have familiarity with the fact that Ambrosian chant is not Sarum, Gallic, Mozarabic, Corsican, Coptic, Gregorian or other chant in substance. That’s all that meant.

    I also thought you’d get that I was calling into question yours and Anthony’s qualification and specificity regarding only “Gregorian Chant” as the crux of the issue. Yes, the documents specify it so when they call for “it” having primacy of place. But, isn’t “Gregorian Chant” itself a term that describes a genre rather than a specific species of chant. After all, myth or truth of its origins aside, these chants were collected and collated from many monasteries in many regions. “Gregorian Chant” might be more equal to saying “Popular Music Anthology” than a “Strict system of musical composition” such as serialism or species counterpoint.

    So, my point is broader- just calling the question of “chant” having primary place is more honest than the semantic reduction to “Gregorian.” And whether its popular, feasible, desired, despised or rejected is besides that point. It is called for to be “recognized.” It is invited to the table. And there are many, and not all enclaved in CMAA btw, particular PIPs, who want to keep company with it at worship.

    To Todd’s beating of the dead horse of CMAA intransience, that is not my lived experience. I’m the one who’s been to the colloquia. I know the hundreds of DM’s who personally have said in my presence that they’d die happy if chant was provided a real opportunity, a platform if you will, at just one of multitudes of Sunday Masses. And the systemic intolerance for that notion, for whatever cultural reasons, is a repugnant refusal to think with the mind of the Church, which is explicit. Just one Mass. Take my word or not, just because CMAA to Todd seems like an echo chamber of ideologues, doesn’t make it so. And his point likening the suppression of chant to art music in general doesn’t hold water either. You won’t find many priests who out of hand dismiss the occasional singing of a Latin hymn, motet or even ordinary movements within the general construct of the vernacular OF Mass.

    But chant? Good luck. I’ll never forget a powerful Msgr. out here who remarked to me “Why would you choose that? It doesn’t uplift ME?!?” He said it with palpable, vehement disgust.
    Thanked by 2Gavin gregp
  • Kevin, I think you hit the nail on the head.
    The "give them what they want" doesn't mean much, considering how people know what they like because they only like what they know.

    And since most Catholics only hear the tiniest bit of the Gregorian chants of the mass, how can people reject what they don't know- or what they haven't been allowed to know thanks to people who talk in circles about what the plebs want?
    Thanked by 2melofluent CHGiffen
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    On Wendy's birthday this year (won't say which, not that dumb) we hired a personal chef (he's trying to break into the Food Network rotation.) Among the early courses he concocted some version of a dish whose primary element was Brussel Sprouts. I equate those to escargot on my list of things I don't need to taste ever again.
    But he manicured the recipe so artfully that I had to admit, they were freaking GREAT!
    Hence Kevin's Law of Foodie Thermodynamics rules in many disciplines.
    Next time our chef's gonna try his Mexican infused magic upon Haggis! Care to join me, MaryAnn?
  • Rant alert!

    The whole topic is ivory tower fantasy, comedy and distraction.

    Folks at PTB can get back to me when they have been in a parish setting where Gregorian chant is used for music of more than half of the mass for ten years or more.

    That's not happening in at least 95% of our parishes, so there's no chance of Gregorian chant dominating when most of the PTB (here I mean powers that be) won't even try more than the smallest part.

    Take a step back- it's kind of hilarious that certain PTB types talk about the oppressive chant more than they actually sing it. As if they are laboring under a heavy yoke. It's comical at some point. It's whining for the sake of whining- lol!!

    A similar whine is "give us our contraception!"
    Whatever, most Catholics are doing it anyway, so what they're looking for is validation, and change only for the sake of wanting it their way.

    Keep chanting, folks! Do what you can, when you can, and don't waste time worrying about what you can't do yet, or what others won't do. CMAA folks can be edified by the consistent teaching of the Church, and the spiritual fruits that come with drinking deeply from our heritage of sacred music. Just do it.
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen francis gregp
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,715
    A similar whine is "give us our contraception!"
    Whatever, most Catholics are doing it anyway, so what they're looking for is validation, and change only for the sake of wanting it their way.

    I am perfectly happy with them having their contraception. Perhaps they won't produce any more like themselves.
  • Charles, you know I'd share a meal with you any day!
    Thanked by 2CharlesW melofluent
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    She meant me, ya daft Byzantine! ;-)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,715
    I would have lunch with you too, Charles. Christ ate with sinners....

    Better yet, make it a three-some. I think we would all enjoy it.
  • Charles is my dad's name, so I'm open to lunch with both y'all!
    Of course we'd have fun- sangrias or cervezas are a must. :)
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Aye, Lad, 'twould be a grand sinner you'd be splittin the haggis a-wi'. I'll take the low road, yerself the high road, MACW flies first class, and who'll be on Prince's Street afore ye?
    Tho' I'm abstainin' I am, I might have a dram of mead a'wi ya, Queen Mary!