Different degrees of participation?
  • Reading through Musicam Sacram 28-31:

    (28.) However, for the sung Mass (Missa cantata), different degrees of participation are put forward here for reasons of pastoral usefulness, so that it may become easier to make the celebration of Mass more beautiful by singing, according to the capabilities of each congregation.
    These degrees are so arranged that the first may be used even by itself, but the second and third, wholly or partially, may never be used without the first. In this way the faithful will be continually led towards an ever greater participation in the singing.
    29. The following belong to the first degree:
    (a) In the entrance rites: the greeting of the priest together with the reply of the people; the prayer.
    (b) In the Liturgy of the Word: the acclamations at the Gospel.
    (c) In the Eucharistic Liturgy: the prayer over the offerings; the preface with its dialogue and the Sanctus; the final doxology of the Canon, the Lord's prayer with its introduction and embolism; the Pax Domini; the prayer after the Communion; the formulas of dismissal.
    30. The following belong to the second degree:
    (a) the Kyrie, Gloria and Agnus Dei;
    (b) the Creed;
    (c) the prayer of the faithful.
    31. The following belong to the third degree:
    (a) the songs at the Entrance and Communion processions;
    (b) the songs after the Lesson or Epistle;
    (c) the Alleluia before the Gospel;
    (d) the song at the Offertory;
    (e) the readings of Sacred Scripture, unless it seems more suitable to proclaim them without singing.

    Obviously this is exactly the reverse of what usually happens in Catholic parishes, though it makes logical sense.

    Is this meant to be taken seriously in 2019, and does it have any actual legislative weight in the NO? (Relative to the limited respect afforded to many conciliar documents on sacred music, of course)
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,843
    With the proviso that it applied to the EF in it's then transition towards the vernacular and simplification, it is still the latest general word on the matter. And the rigidity of the passage you have emphasised belongs to the old rubricism, not the current attitude that these are ideals to be worked towards. One or two items have been moved in priority, notably the Alleluia. It is however high time that we had further advice. Due weight must also be given to the guidance issued by dioceses and national conferences. So yes, I believe it should be taken seriously but not inflexibly.
    One also needs to act prudently when the celebrant is unable to chant even recto tono.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,669

    It is however high time that we had further advice. Due weight must also be given to the guidance issued by dioceses and national conferences.

    Be careful what you ask for.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,451
    I have said it before, MS has no relevance to the current missal and liturgy of the church. You may want to argue it for the EF, but it is an obsolete and superseded document as far as the NO is concerned. Since the authority has been given to the conferences of bishops, look to GIRM for guidance if you are working with the NO.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 664
    Re: guidelines, I don't wonder if the best place to work on these things is in the seminaries. If priests spend nearly a decade learning and practicing good liturgy, good spirituality and good sacred music, they will desire it, continue it and support it in the parishes. Though that requires the good will of the bishops, doesn't it... and they've been disobedient and naughty since the beginning, so I'd say we're probably stuck with a bunch of mess til Jesus returns to sort it all out.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,843
    CharlesW - Look to GIRM first, but GIRM still cites MS.
    STTL in its section on progressive solemnity, cites GIRM six times, and MS three times. MS remains a foundational statement of the move away from rubricism, although it relapses into it frequently.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,451
    Agree, but MS is not the definitive legal statement it once was. Isn't STTL another of those statements not approved by Rome? I think we are all going to suffer from document poisoning if we get any more of them.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,436
    MS was promulgated before the first edition of the current Roman Missal was published, and while there are concepts that can be transferred from it, it's not a hand in bespoke glove thing. In big concept, it was really a major movement to modulate longstanding barriers in the preconciliar Missals between types of sung or recited Masses, barriers that were washed away with the subsequent postconciliar Missal. It's not irrelevant, but how to apply it to the postconciliar Missal has been addressed in bits and pieces by indirection. I am not sure it's particularly wise to expect another piece of legislation would suffice as a cure-all; almost all the papal legislation on sacred music going back to Pope St Pius X was to some degree indulted or modified in some way (directly or indirectly) relatively quickly after issuance.
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,124
    Common sense tells us to take the good from MS (and Pius X's writings, and Pius XII's) and apply them today. As I recall, the 10 Commandments were not abrogated by the announcement of Christ's "Big Two."
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 251
    Just as a comment, in my parish I used MS to support the idea that the celebrant ought to sing the dialogues and orations on Sundays, especially if the choir is singing the propers and ordinaries. It helped my pastor realize that the idea had some concrete legitimacy, and now a few years later we have sung Mass (OF English) every Sunday/feast. I think that MS is a helpful tool to demonstrate the general importance of sung Mass, but obviously not an absolute legal document to which we are beholden on pain of sin.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,654
    David Andrew once stated this astute observation:

    also think it's worth mentioning that the whole concept of "progressive solemnity" is a very odd concept indeed. In practice it seems that it is the attitude of the "gathered community" and their view of the importance of the celebration at hand that dictates how solemn the occasion is going to be, rather than the dictates of the calendar. With that idea in mind, it then becomes necessary for whoever is in charge of the selection and execution of the music to impose this sense of solemnity upon the liturgy by artificially beefing up the music in ways that were never really intended, by selecting music (including the scoring and use of instruments) that doesn't relate to the liturgy, but rather relates to the grandness of the scale of the celebration as perceived by the congregation. What you end up with is a "mix and match" approach to music that serves the people, not the liturgy. So, while the idea of "progressive solemnity" looks good in print, in practice it seems to be ignored, or worse, a dismal failure.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 394
    Isn't STTL another of those statements not approved by Rome? I think we are all going to suffer from document poisoning if we get any more of them.
    It depends. In our country a translation of STTL together with na number of elaborating texts by several scholars is used as a (very much welcomed) guideline for 'good practice' in liturgical music. Our bishops' conference never published (nor had published) anything beyond MS, and I doubt that they ever will in my lifetime.