Video about Church documents on Sacred music [Sacred vs. secular music at Mass]
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    -=+=- |=- VIDEO -=| Sacred vs. Secular: can you tell the difference? -=+=-
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    -=+=- |=- VIDEO -=| Sacred vs. Secular: can you tell the difference? -=+=-

    -=+=- YouTube Version -=+=- Gloria TV Version -=+=-
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    Featured in this video is footage from the CMAA Colloquium, and mention is made of several Sacred music composers who are familiar to readers of this forum.

    As always, I would be interested in any comments. Even the nasty ones! :-)
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    Gilbert, are you in that video? I thought I saw you in the schola.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    Fantastic, Jeffrey. Of course, you're preaching to the choir here in terms of the overall message. A couple of gently critical comments here:

    * The transitions in the opening section (circular swipes, cubes, etc.) seem a bit too varied and too frequent.
    * The inset video of the dancing soloist as an 'inappropriate' example was great… but I'm wondering if the point may have been even more powerfully made if the example was instead a groovy folk guitarist.

    Just some thoughts. Love it, all-in-all! Congrats.
  • Jeff,

    I really like the focus and intent of the video, but as Mark M. seems to suggest it might be envisioned with a less sympathetic, more confrontational audience in mind; in other words, the sort of people so many music directors have to face each day in their parishes. For example, there is no mention of "inculturation" in the video, a concept on which most detractors will base their arguments against a Western chant based repertoire. You will be accused of being too selective with your Vatican II and papal encyclical quotes.

    I applaud you for creating a video that most of us would gladly show at a parish staff or council meeting. There is a real need for such a resource. At this stage, however, you need - in my opinion- to anticipate better the opposition such a showing inevitably will incur.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Thanks, Jeff O. This is wonderful.
    The Liturgy trascends the time and space, so does the sacred music. Focusing on different ethnic groups, does it really help poeple sense this Spirit of the Liturgy, trascending, not linmited to worldly and temporal things? Many social and political gruops with good intentions already do that. Don't we need to go beyond that in the Church and in the Liturgy? When we pass the door to the domus Dei, the porta caeli, people want to be reminded of Heavenly things and be in Heaven on earth when we recieve Christ, and the sacred music has power to bring us to experience that in the Liturgy.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Thanks, everybody, for your comments!

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------

    @Randolph,

    1. I don't believe that SacroSanctum Concilium mentioned the word "inculturation" (unless I am wrong...)

    2. I once had an opportunity to ask a high-ranking Prelate (who worked closely with no fewer than three Popes in the field of Sacred music) what inculturation was all about. His answer was that inculturation can be very useful for Mission countries.

    3. I've seen some official Church documents that actually do mention inculturation (for missionary countries) but they always stress that EXTREME caution by Ordinaries and supervision by Church officials must accompany efforts in this area.

    4. I'm not convinced that "inculturation" (whether or not it is stressed in the Church docs at all) can ever 'trump,' overpower, or override the major emphases of Papal documents, or contradict the statements quoted in that video.

    5. Most importantly of all, Randolph, I would love to hear others' opinions about this subject. Who knows? Perhaps the video (above) can be a starting point for discussion.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,900
    @Jeff: Sacrosanctum Concilium has a section on "Norms for adapting the Liturgy to the culture and traditions of peoples", starting at paragraph 37.

    The question of adaptations to local culture may be worth treating somewhere in the series of videos, at least to place it in the missiological context, as Jeff indicates.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    you guys. Inculturation is supposed to be like what happened in Alaska with St. Herman of Alaska... what happened with the Slavs when Sts. Cyril and Methodius went out to evangelize them... Inculturation is why we have a Greek church, a Coptic church, an Arabic church, a Latin church, a Russian church, a Serbian church, a Polish church, and so forth and so on...

    inculturation is a baptism of the culture. it is not a defection to the culture like it seems to be with rock music at Mass, etc.
  • Pes
    Posts: 623
    At this point, Europe itself is arguably mission territory.

    That aside, this business of "inculturation" often misses the point. The point of inculturation is pedagogical. The idea is to find, carefully, some cultural correlatives that will bring people into closer contact with Christ in the liturgy. These correlatives are not ends in themselves and should not become the focus of attention. Ideally, they fade in significance and visibility. Aspects which remain are, however, happy accents: the chant in Milan is not the chant of Graz, for example. Spanish polyphony is not Nigerian polyphony. But this a matter of accent, not syntax, and certainly not a difference of identity.

    inculturation is a baptism of the culture. it is not a defection to the culture

    Well said. We know what happens when salt loses its savor ...
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Thanks, Chonak! OK, cool. That's the one to which I was referring.

    Yes, this confirms what I said (above) --- and emphasizes, once again:

    to specify adaptations, especially in the case of the administration of the sacraments, the sacramentals, processions, liturgical language, sacred music, and the arts, but according to the fundamental norms laid down in this Constitution.

    In other words, 'inculturation' can never contradict the strong traditions and decrees of the Church.

    [ Jam, you're right, as well --- rock music is never mentioned! :-) ]


    D) Norms for adapting the Liturgy to the culture and traditions of peoples

    37. Even in the liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity in matters which do not implicate the faith or the good of the whole community; rather does she respect and foster the genius and talents of the various races and peoples. Anything in these peoples' way of life which is not indissolubly bound up with superstition and error she studies with sympathy and, if possible, preserves intact. Sometimes in fact she admits such things into the liturgy itself, so long as they harmonize with its true and authentic spirit.

    38. Provisions shall also be made, when revising the liturgical books, for legitimate variations and adaptations to different groups, regions, and peoples, especially in mission lands, provided that the substantial unity of the Roman rite is preserved; and this should be borne in mind when drawing up the rites and devising rubrics.

    39. Within the limits set by the typical editions of the liturgical books, it shall be for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, to specify adaptations, especially in the case of the administration of the sacraments, the sacramentals, processions, liturgical language, sacred music, and the arts, but according to the fundamental norms laid down in this Constitution.

    40. In some places and circumstances, however, an even more radical adaptation of the liturgy is needed, and this entails greater difficulties. Wherefore:

    1) The competent territorial ecclesiastical authority mentioned in Art. 22, 2, must, in this matter, carefully and prudently consider which elements from the traditions and culture of individual peoples might appropriately be admitted into divine worship. Adaptations which are judged to be useful or necessary should when be submitted to the Apostolic See, by whose consent they may be introduced.

    2) To ensure that adaptations may be made with all the circumspection which they demand, the Apostolic See will grant power to this same territorial ecclesiastical authority to permit and to direct, as the case requires, the necessary preliminary experiments over a determined period of time among certain groups suited for the purpose.

    3) Because liturgical laws often involve special difficulties with respect to adaptation, particularly in mission lands, men who are experts in these matters must be employed to formulate them.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Although it takes quite a bit of time for some cultures to get mature after the baptism of the culture (like Oriental countries, where some people stil resist Christianity as a Wetern culture, but able to move on), it seems that many of the Western countires perpetuate the baptismal stage. Why is that?
  • This Video works for me....

    And do another....with the music at Mass morphing from secular style to sacred...right in front of our eyes. Multiple examples, no narration required....
  • incantuincantu
    Posts: 989
    I can't help but notice that "inculturation" has the word "culture" in it. One first has to have a culture. David Haas does not represent the culture of American Catholics; he represents David Haas. Likewise, contemporary efforts to produce Spanish / bilingual liturgical music usually result in little more than a pastiche of an authentic cultural tradition. Like it or not, Western culture is our culture, for the most part. The sacred music that was brought to the New World from Spain was... chant and polyphony. For an example of how traditional instruments might be made worthy for sacred use, listen to this recording by the Harp Consort.

    Even contemporary music in Greece, Japan, and India shows the pervasive influence of Western music, which has its roots in Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony. Now, when people from other cultures come to the US, we are supposed to give them a watered down version of their contemporary music (which is already highly influenced by our own culture) in the interest of inculturation?! That is insanity. What has happened in our country is the opposite of what article 37 says above: we have had our culture taken away from us, not by the mission Church, but by the music publishers.

    Back on topic: I agree that the editing in the opening sequence is too abrupt. There might also be objections to quotations to preconciliar documents, unless they are quoted by a post Vatican II authority. I however see no problem in your being selective about which quotations you share -- isn't that what the opposing camp does all the time? And, in case it comes up, I think you are completely justified in using a more accurate third-party translation when it comes to chant having "first place" or "principal place." If someone asked me what the Gloria meant, I would give them a literal translation, even if it not the Church's official text (yet). Why, when quoting a document that is itself an official statement, should you be bound to using someone else's translation?

    Overall, very good. And worth it for the dance sequence alone!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,649
    I like the video, and find it well-made. However, once again it is implied that only chant is sacred music, and that to be sacred, the text must be in Latin. I don't accept either position, and believe it marginalizes CMAA as anachronistic and a "fringe" organization. I do like the fact that you mentioned some of our, I think, illustrious modern composers who give their works to the Church for free. I realize, of course, it is hard to present hundreds of years of sacred music development in such a short video. But again, not being chant does not make it secular.
  • A miniscule few pieces of sacred music for the Catholic church are in English compared to the vast number of compositions in Latin by known and unknown composers. Most of the really great english language music was written for the Anglican church, so to have to dip into that well for a Catholic video would seem wrong.

    Kevin Allen could have written his music to "Down In Adoration Falling." but he didn't. More power to him.
  • Nicely done.

    I noticed one thing, and this may be nit-picky. But, when the narrator (I can't tell which twin) has her hands on her hips, her body language "looks" a bit angry. Maybe I see something that isn't there.

    I can't wait to see the next installment. This video is great tool.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I embedded an image (above) --- hurray! Image embed still works great !!!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,649
    Wasn't talking to you, Noel. Merely commenting on a mostly excellent video.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Friends,

    THANKS AGAIN for all the great comments!
  • Jeff,

    As I understand the purpose of this video, it is not directed to the likes of us who visit this forum but to the uninitiated in need of persuasion. (I envision it being shown to typical parishioners not necessarily involved in a music program, but with perhaps the power to influence it.) The presentation must therefore assume a degree of skepticism by the viewer. An opinion such a viewer will probably hold is that liturgical music should employ the cultural language of the marketplace to win folks over. It is a classic misapplication of “inculturation.” Since you don’t have to use that word to address the problem, there may be less revision than I originally suggested. My apologies if I led the discussion off course.

    Another suggestion is that the one example contrasting easy-to-sing versus difficult-to-sing music could be more clearly demonstrated. Remember not all viewers will read music or know what you’re talking about. I think you can do this effectively and without offending.

    Also, the quotation about the supremacy of the organ perhaps needs justification – particularly since the organ’s widespread use was a rather late historical development. This can be tricky since so many parishes have substandard instruments that even organists don’t want to play.

    Keep working on this. You’re on to something with great potential.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Randolph,

    Again, I thank you, from my heart, for sharing these thoughts.

    I think the best part of the video is the quote at the end, because (let's face it): our task is not an easy one.
  • Chrism
    Posts: 830
    This is a wonderful video. I don't think there's much need to change anything in it, though "future installments" answering FAQs (< 5 mins ea.) would be welcome.
  • mahrt
    Posts: 517
    CharlesW:

    I appreciate very much your frequent contributions to the forum, and your valuable view from the point of the Eastern liturgy. But I think that you overdraw the point when you say of the present video "it is implied that only chant is sacred music, and that to be sacred, the text must be in Latin. I don't accept either position, and believe it marginalizes CMAA as anachronistic and a "fringe" organization."

    The video does not say that only chant is sacred; in fact most of the background music used is polyphony or organ music. That Jeff Ostrowski or CMAA think that the text of sacred music must be in Latin is contradicted by the strong support of efforts to provide settings of Gregorian chant in English and by Ostrowski's extensive collection of responsorial psalms (Chabanel Psalms).

    What the CMAA does advocate is simply what the Second Vatican Council mandated: Gregorian chant should have first place in the Roman liturgy, and sacred polyphony and organ music also have a privileged position, but not to the exclusion of other musics, provided that they are suitable to sacred use, and certainly not to the exclusion of other languages. Pope John Paul II's (and Pope Pius X's) endorsement of Gregorian chant is not exclusive, but rather it is a paradigm: Gregorian chant "in its movement, inspiration, and savour" is a model for all liturgical music—especially polyphony and organ music. The video makes it clear enough that these are to be contrasted with the kind of pop music that is the paradigm for so much of the music heard in Catholic churches today.

    These prescriptions are explicitly made for the "Roman," i.e., Western, liturgy, and do not apply to the great traditions of the East. But the problem of sacred vs. secular in liturgical music is peculiar to the West; the East, at least up until now, does not need the remedy of such distinctions, since it maintains its own vigorous traditions of authentically sacred music.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,649
    I essentially agree with you on most points. In my own musical work with a Catholic parish, I tend to seek the middle. I am leery of extremes because I have seen the damage they can do. I certainly think there is more to CMAA than just being the anti-NPM. We have, or should have, a broader base than that - again, avoiding extremes.

    It's always a good thing to be aware of the situation you are currently working in, which is usually not ideal. A finger on the congregation's pules is also helpful. A music director who doesn't bother to keep up with what the congregation is thinking is usually headed for real trouble. Even in my "ultra-conservative" parish - which is how it is viewed in this diocese - I still have to use a hymnal with Haugen/Haas psalms and avoid a few hymns with heretical texts.

    I am all for chant having first place, and find it especially suited for the ordinary parts of the mass. But I think one could read many posts on this forum, and hear mostly the words, chant, chant, chant, ... I am just pointing out that there is good sacred music that is neither chant nor polyphony. Although some of my favorite English and French sacred music does have its roots in chant and polyphony.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    One of the reason why my schola sing Gregorian chant is because most parishes in this area don't know what Gregorian chant is, and don't place it in the first place in the Liturgy as the Church says. Our schola still have to sing with Haas' and Haugen music once in a while, like last Good Friday, but I see changes in parishes where we sing, although it's slow.
    Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Fathers have been saying "chant , chant , chant..." in Church documents and their numerous writings, a lot more than CMAA does. Whether one likes it or not, people will be asking questions in CMAA forum about chants and discuss them whether they do all chants or not, because this is the place you can get answers. So I think there will continually be lots of post on chants.

    "I am all for chant having first place," CharlesW.
    I'm so glad to hear you agree on that. Thank you.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    CharlesW,

    I am curious if you noticed the part about Kevin Allen? That part speaks to some of your comments. It is towards the very end of the video.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,900
    Can we talk a little about the closing quotation from St. Jean de Brebeuf? To the music director, it seems to say: you may get fired if you adopt sound sacred music. It may not be intended that way, but people understand what they hear according to their own concerns.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,649
    I did notice that, and checked out his website since I am unfamiliar with him. It seemed to me that much of his church music, at a glance, is in Latin. I am going to look and listen to more of his compositions before making any comments. He definitely seems to be very talented.
  • Steve CollinsSteve Collins
    Posts: 1,021
    I hesitated to post anything, but:

    Noel said: "Most of the really great English language music was written for the Anglican church, so to have to dip into that well for a Catholic video would seem wrong."

    I would not say "wrong". Certain composers and preachers throughout the history of the Church of England have been very "Catholic". And they have been producing good music in the English language, much of which includes sound theology, and is very much usable in any Catholic Mass. When we first sang the Ordinary in English, it was basically the English on the right-hand page of our Missals, and was almost verbatim what the Anglicans had been singing for centuries. But that wasn't good enough for us modern Americans! ICEL had to "modernize" it all! But then so did the Anglicans, again almost verbatim what we were singing from the 1974 Sacramentary compared to Rite II.

    As far as I'm concerned, we should have been dipping into that well immediately in 1965! It was only politically incorrect back then - before political correctness was in, much less mandatory!

    So - if not now, when?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,649
    What he said!
  • Nitpickers hearing "Thou Knowest Lord" in such a video may question why one needs to dip into the Anglican music well.

    Of course, the reason is that, as Steve says, it should have been done in 1965. I firmly support and program music of the Anglican church at Catholic Mass.

    The EF Masses are taking pressure off parishes to reform their liturgy as some of the strongest proponents attend EF Masses.

    The emergence of Anglican Use Parishes, which I support and welcome, will take away those who love good music and good English.

    And the NO masses sink into more and more mediocrity.

    No one can come up with ONE great liturgical piece in English that has come out of Vatican II. And survived.

    I can. The Snow Our Father. And note that he did not copyright it.

    Robert Snow's bio....http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/SS/fsn14.html
  • mahrt
    Posts: 517
    I cannot agree that Snow's Lord's Prayer is a great piece; in fact, I have long considered it to have been based upon a mistake. It is an adaptation of the Latin tone for the Pater noster, but the English has fewer syllables, and the adaptation most often keeps the cadential formulae, omitting the initial formulae. Thus when the Latin version rises (on Pater noster) the English descends (Our Father who art in heaven); similarly, the accented syllables of adveniat and voluntas and panem nostrum are on rising motion, while in English, they are on descending motion. The architypal motion of Gregorian melody is a rising motion followed by descent--some say it represents the ascent of prayer followed by an answer--but in the English Lord's prayer, descending motion prevails, it is a downer melodically. It has always seemed to me to be melodically upside down. I knew Robert Snow; he was a distinguished scholar of Spanish and Spanish-American polyphony. But this adaptation, in my opinion, was based upon a mistake.
  • I knew that I was digging deep, I would have been more accurate to say the ONLY work in English that has taken root and not been learned, sung and discarded along the way is the Snow.

    I see that it is, indeed, upside down. Hundreds of years from now scholars will scratch their heads, trying to figure out why Vatican II failed to spark composers to exploit the market with music of potential greatness, and that only the Snow took hold.

    Why? Is it the expense of buying music, the perceived need to make the congregation happy? A pastor who wants an excellent liturgy must have a thick skin and not waver from his goal. People in the congregation, cantors and lazy church musicians will always try to get their way.

    Rarely is a church musician fired by a priest because the priest is not happy, as Jeffrey writes in Sing Like A Catholic, Father Scorched Earth is to blame...for being swayed by parishioners.

    Pastors in search for great music are as challenged as we are in trying to create it.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    @chonak:

    I would suggest that, no matter what circumstance the Catholic finds himself in, ultimately, we have to be associated with the Cross in some way if we want to make it to Heaven and be with our Savior.

    With regard to Church music, I would say that these days there are many difficulties to overcome, and it is not an easy path.

    Also, I know for a fact that some people HAVE been fired from their job because they tried to do real Church music, instead of emotional, off-Broadway, jazzy, "Sacro-Pop" at Mass.
  • I think the video is a very welcome tool for catechesis of both lay and clergy. It marches when on the turf of the solid documentation, doesn't falter a step when identifying "types" of music that ought not be employed, and treads softly by avoiding wholesale dismissal of stereotypes for critical analysis and usage.
    As usual, the thread has unraveled here and there into a melange of argument versus contradiction.
    For example, there's always so much discussion about the worthiness of the "music." Hardly a mention of the worthiness of the texts of the last forty years. So, it is convenient to categorically dismiss someone like M.D. Ridge because she's a guitar strummin' grandma who penned "Parable" whilst forgetting she also set a powerful text to THAXTED (Three Days, OCP.) Conversely, it's easy to likewise dismiss Chris Walker for a basketful of cheese music, but forget that his LAUDATE DOMINUM is worthy of consideration and use.

    My point is always the same, and I believe in concert with the video:

    *Try to help the Faithful stay as close to our "native" Catholic cultural heritages as possible, enouraged by both the documents and a healthy knowledge that the forms of chant and polyphony are not just libraries but templates.
    *Acknowledge there are other libraries (from the singmesse, the villancicos, hymnody borrowed or otherwise etc.) that contribute to the treasury, and see if they apply to your home situation.
    *Avoid using wholesale stereotyping of everything post VII based upon taste or personal preference. Do your homework. If you're in a place where you have newsprint missals, go through each piece as if you were its composer or lyricist and apply an objective AND subjective judgment upon each.

    I've been in the same parish for now over 17 years (19 if you count that we merged with my former) and have had other long tenures. I'm not singing my praises, I'm saying that if you are intractable about negotiating with your boss, constituents and clientele, you will always be looking for greener pastures, and every time you move after two or three years, two parishes will have to re-invent the wheel.
    The grass may be greener and purer over the fence, but you still will have to mow and nurture it.
  • BachLover2BachLover2
    Posts: 330
    i think the video was good. possibly a little on the long side. i like the quotes that are included. i know some people who would benefit from viewing this film. i think the tone is pleasant.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I feel compelled to mention that I attempted to use a screen-shot of the dancing section (from the video) as my profile picture, but the forum administrator removed it ....

    I knew it was bad....but not that bad !

    :-D

    :-)
  • I would have blurred the face of the dancer....to protect the guilty....
  • Jeff. Beautiful
    I hope we are all doing our part presenting the message in this video to everyone. The abstract content of aesthetics, spirituality, and objective principles of beauty penetrating our moral sense is not easy to communicate and therefore we often avoid it. But Jeff as distilled his message into a wonderfully understandable and joyful message!
    Write to your newspapers, post updates in your church bulletins, and create publicity pamphlets. Do not assume that your choir, your parish or even your pastor is on board. So continually sharpen your skills and continually supply your parish and the surrounding parishes with a steady supply of copy. like this
    http://gregorianchant.weebly.com/why-we-sing-chants.html
  • BachLover2BachLover2
    Posts: 330
    that's a nice site, ralph. have u gotten good response?
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Thanks so much, Ralph !!!!
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    Trouble is, I know EXACTLY what certain folks around here would say: "You are talking about regulations, documents, and rules, we are talking about our SOULS and what feeds and moves them."

    These people always take it right to the emotional, right down to how they can't hear "On Eagle's Wings" played without balling because it was played at their grandma's funeral and that is the power of liturgical music, etc et al. Then they point out that chant just doesn't have that power for them.

    They will ALWAYS make it a preference issue and take the whole discussion back to square one.

    Great video though.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    I have hard time, as a convert, understanding Catholics who don't think Church's regulations and documents are for our Souls. Who actually feed us?
  • artdob
    Posts: 24
    Thought this was a great video. Circulated it to everyone involved in music ministry at my Parish. Since the firing of our music director nearly 1.5 years ago (and still no replacement), we have no formation within music ministry to speak of, so having this video provided a useful vehicle to get out an important message. Disappointed, but not surprised, that the only employee of the parish with music responsibilities (running the P&W Lifeteen program), well ... reacted strongly.

    My daughter shared his new Facebook posting where he posted the video with quite the rant regarding the "horrendous" misuse of church documents by the uneducated who are causing damage to the "spirit" of Vatican II. In a word, sad.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,649
    I am not trying to offend anyone, but I think one of our problems can be converts who are musicians. While their zeal is admirable, they can be more Catholic than the rest of the congregation and offend many by fanatical adherence to regulations. Sometimes those regulations are out of date, and not binding on anyone today. At times, the convert is correct and the regulations are binding, but it's all gone about in a way that the congregation resents. It can be a case of the congregation thinking, "Who is the newbie or wannabe telling us what to do?" People skills are critical, and if they are lacking, it can be a real source of friction between musicians and the congregation. Then there is the other extreme. Converts sometimes bring musical ideas and practices from Protestant churches that were never part of Catholicism and which don't belong in Catholic liturgy. If the musician doesn't know what's appropriate, it is likely the congregation won't either. It amazes me that people often think church music is an easy job.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    Friends: as always, THANKS for the comments.

    @CharlesW: I think the main thing is to try and start the discussion. After all, we don't play Gregorian chant at a Wedding reception. We don't play Verdi's Requiem in a coffee lounge. We don't play a slow folk tune at an exciting part of a movie. Etc. etc.

    In other words, WHY is it that music ALWAYS has its proper place . . . except when it comes to Mass?

    Like it or not, whether or not we hurt people's feelings, we eventually have to start asking the question: "Are all styles of music allowed at Mass? Yes or no?"

    The current situation in many parishes is that ANY type of music, ANY style, played by ANY instruments are acceptable.
  • RagueneauRagueneau
    Posts: 2,592
    I forgot to say: @ artdob --- yes, isn't it crazy? Nothing causes as much damage to the "spirit of Vatican II" as . . . the documents of Vatican II !!!

    We should make another video, quoting only Pope Benedict XVI, who was an actual Peritus at Vatican II, I think.

    In the video (above) we intentionally did not quote Pope Benedict XVI --- after all, everyone already knows where the current Pontiff stands on Gregorian chant at Mass, right?
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    "In the video (above) we intentionally did not quote Pope Benedict XVI --- after all, everyone already knows where the current Pontiff stands on Gregorian chant at Mass, right?"

    Well, even if everyone agrees, I think it's good to be reminded :-) I'd love to hear him again and again, and the Church's instructions, especially when I feel the big rock ahead of me and our schola. (The video is really good one for that.)

    Your video helps many people even if some might not happy at first, it will make them think after the initial negative feelings. Truth remains.

    This video will also help those who haven't heard of the Church's instructions, (I wish someone, like the music director, had told me about them when I started to do music in a local parish.)and those who are on the way to do more than just doing a job (a Job of hard work and low pay), and find the joyful vocation with sufferings and sacrifices.
    Thanks Jeff O. for all your hard work and being persisitent. All the criticisms you get pave a path to our journey to Heaven.

    Deo Gratias
  • My friend Charles W wrote,
    "I am not trying to offend anyone, but I think one of our problems can be converts who are musicians. While their zeal is admirable, they can be more Catholic than the rest of the congregation and offend many by fanatical adherence to regulations."

    In addition to my sommelier duties, I apparently have become the Neighborhood Watch Guy for stereotyping.
    CtB,
    Where did that come from? You got some empirical data? Does it matter if the convert crossed the Tiber 40 years ago (ala moi), or two weekends ago? You're sure that after 9 months of RCIA, the ex-Assembly of God convert has totally renounced Hillsong and Awesome God for "Gustate et videte?"
    And more to the point, how does it injure the Body of Christ to "be more Catholic?" And, lastly, if some of the congregation are offended by "adherence" to church canons, could it be that it is the congregant(s) who need(s) to find and gaze into their own Catholic mirror?
    I'm an old (convert) dog. I don't particularly enjoy sitting in a staff meeting with priest/celebrants biting my tongue most of the time, and occasionally reminding folks that, indeed, there are regulations, and that "we" are neither a Walmart nor a Home-Style Buffet cafeteria, but witnesses to truths gathered around an altar of sacrifice daily and mark the hours given us by God.
    I know I've used this word this week elsewhere here, but I'll take zeal over lukewarm 24/7/365.
    Cheerio,
    CtL
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,649
    No, lukewarm isn't so great either. My point is that working with congregations takes a great deal of tact and people skills. Sometimes well-intentioned musicians can do harm and set their objectives back years without realizing it, all because of their approach. Converts can be a mixed blessing. I have encountered convert musicians who have in their heads a romantic idealization of what they think the Church was like in some past, glory days. The Church doesn't stand still, it moves on, and probably wasn't at all like it is being imagined. The other extreme is the convert who has no understanding at all of what they Church does or is supposed to do musically. That usually creates a musical disaster.

    I will enclose something Alexandr the good Russian sent to me some time ago, that will be familiar to any easterner. It's called the "convert disease."


    "Evidently you have never met a true Mnogopravoslavnie convert. It goes like this: You are standing in the back of the Church, assisting the babyshki with their coats and filling the candle boxes. In walks in a young family. The father figure is in his early 30's, with hair in a pony tail and a beard that has not seen scissors in years. As he takes off his fur coat, he is wearing a rybashka with a belt, cossack pants and high boots (or if is really up there, oonychi- bast sandals!). Mama is next with not 1, but 3 scarves wrapped tightly around her head and wearing a hand stiched festival dress from Tula province. The children are all lined up, military fashion in maching rybashki and boots. They proceed to enter the Church, and fling themselves in full prostrations 3 times each as they light approx. 150 candles! As I approach them to let them know that they don't have to prostate for each candle, naturally I speak in Russian, assuming that they are straight off the boat from Dzedyshkagorod in the Northern Theibad. Much to my surprise, none of them speak Russian! It turns out that Barsenuphius Theophylact used to be Harry Smith, and is a convert from the Episcopal Church. Ok, all well and good. But during the service, one notices Barsenuphius becoming agitated. It appears that Father is not doing the full Monastic service. He has omitted several irmoi and polielai has been shortened to only 1/2 hour. Barsenuphius grabs his children in disgust and goes looking for a "True" Church that doesn't cater to people who are not willing to stand for 12 hour Saturday Vigil services. He has heard of a church only 300 miles away, under Archbishop Epitikimaximus, the last "true" bishop on earth, who does full Athonite style services everyday. There he is happy wearing his hair shirt, with 70 pounds of chains hanging around his neck, kneeling on bricks at home because his "starets", Bishop Epitikimaximus, has told him to mortify the flesh. But the telling this is, in 2 years, Barsenuphius Theophylact and his family are nowhere to be seen. He has decided that all Christians are heretics, and he and his family are now living in Tibet, practicing tantric Buddhism. Oh and Barsenuphius Theophylact is now called "OM".

    This is what used to be known as the "Convert Disease"


    Alexandr"
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,649
    Jeff. I am in agreement with you on starting the discussion. Also that just any musical style is not allowed at Mass. A video quoting Pope Benedict would be wonderful.