"On this day O Beautiful Mother" ... analysis by Fr. Brunner = "unfit"
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    -Does "mother" rhyme with "hover"?
    -Do humans hover?
    -Does "love" rhyme with "prove"?

    And it goes downhill from there...
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    "Why do conservative/traditional musicians not blanch at advancing such a fanciful fatwa at modernism like that, but then persist in arguing over the liturgical equivilent of "The Hawaiian Wedding Song" in this thread. Logical inconsistency."

    Amen, Charles!! This is what disturbs me about this thread. People are enthusiastically defending this hymn, based on the merit of its supposed popularity, but I have not seen any of these same commenters defending the hymnody popular today on similar grounds. I have another word for it: hypocrisy.

    "My coda and coup de grace, one of the more regretable moments in RofR movement was the ersatz formation of the "Society for a Moratorium on Haas/Haugen" group online."

    This is a bold statement. And, I think, a true one. I was exposed to the SMHH by an early mentor, who found it hilarious. I chuckled a bit, then found it sad and petty. I think it set back the cause of reform by a decade or two.
    Thanked by 1SanAntonioCath
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,451
    I hope I don't regret admitting this ... but I actually really like "On This Day, O Beautiful Mother."

    However, when it comes to the public worship of Almighty God, there are other aspects the Church asks us to take into consideration. Is the melody of a high enough dignity to be sung during Mass? Is the quality of the poetry "lofty" (to use the word of the saintly Pope Pius XII)?


    Particularly heartened when someone, especially someone I recognize as having "good taste," points out that "taste" is not enough.

    The question isn't whether someone likes it, or whether the right sort of someone likes it, or even whether it is good.

    When seeking a treatment for a disease, you don't look for the "good" medicine, you look for the "right" medicine. Innate quality is important, but only secondarily to appropriateness.
    Thanked by 2Scott_W Gavin
  • Re: Bring Flowers of the Rarest

    The year is 1960. St. Angela's, Mattapan, Massachusetts. The annual May procession. The Sisters of St. Joseph directed the first graders to wear short red capes. The 2nd graders wore their First Communion whites. The upper grades in mufti, except for the altar boys, and except for the May queen, an eighth grade girl, my friend's sister, who wore her mother's wedding dress. Procession from the school in bright sun. Entering the dark nave, seeing in the distance the Mary altar, shining with candles and flowers, as we sang, "Bring flowers of the rarest. . . ." Discontinued a couple of years later. The vividness of this memory chokes my heart. A stratum of faith's bedrock, upon which all apologetics are superstructure. I resent that my culture was taken away from me, in the name of inculturation. I fear the Last Judgement, when a recording angel will disentangle the haughtiness that kept this moment of transcendence from other youngsters.

    So, perhaps another song would have been a better choice, and may have been just as memorable. But I pray God, that if it is ever in my power to maintain or even to restore a tradition that can lift up children in the same way, that He will give me wisdom and courage.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    As a young child, one of my happiest memories at liturgy was singing "Let it Be".

    Doesn't make it good for public worship.
    Thanked by 2SanAntonioCath Jenny
  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 468
    As a young child, one of my happiest memories at liturgy was singing "Let it Be".


    At least it wasn't "Imagine". :D
  • As a young child, one of my happiest memories at liturgy was singing "Let it Be".
    Doesn't make it good for public worship.

    Precisely! And stated with great clarity.
    Thanked by 2francis Scott_W
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,943
    My only experiences with "On This Day..." and "Bring Flowers..." has been at either devotionals, or May crownings. I have not encountered these at a mass, ever. While they may not be appropriate for mass - as if anyone can tell the distinction any more - they seem harmless for devotions.
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 224
    Scott--I actually taught in a Catholic high school in the early 70s when a nun used "Imagine" with her senior religion class--at Mass! She thought it was "cool" and the "in thing" to do at the time. Really!
  • It is very helpful to think about popularity vs. suitability for the liturgical action ... sentimentality vs. reverence and prayer. Many already bring up excellent points making the distinction between these elements. Musicians deal with this regularly with weddings and funerals especially, trying to put reasonable limits on planning liturgy based on sentiment and popularity.

    I could go on and on and I won't....

    I short, it was wise not to include this hymn in the St. Edmund Campion Hymnal and Missal.
  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 468
    Scott--I actually taught in a Catholic high school in the early 70s when a nun used "Imagine" with her senior religion class--at Mass! She thought it was "cool" and the "in thing" to do at the time. Really!


    O the days of burlap and butterflies! Perhaps I should consider it a blessing-in-disguise that my Ayn Rand-devoted father kept me out of the Church when I was growing up.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,695
    Kathy

    The one word 'hover' makes me shudder, especially on that tacky chord progression from the diminished to the major.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Changing the tune may make it acceptable for devotionals, but still not for Mass. See attached.

    Criticizing poetry of another time and era, especially when it comes to attacking the pronunciation of ethnic groups, including British, that represent the Faith of our fathers and mothers, people wo talked different and for that reason rhymed different?

    See and listen to Mother and Hover at http://www.macmillandictionary.com American accents do tend to muddle things up.

    These were to be popular songs, written in the poetic and musical style of the day that families could sing at home, while doing laundry, praying in an outside grotto in front of the statue of Mary.

    It was not written by composers the stature of Kevin Allen, composers who examine every note and phrase and judge it against the masters who have gone before us and finding it lacking, destroy it so it never sees the light of day.

    This is the On Eagles Wings, Sons of God and such of the 1800's but it differs in one way. It survived, probably because it filled a need for music outside of Mass. Vatican II brought protestant hymns into the church to inspire Catholics to sing and write hymns.

    That's turned out to have been a worthless move, unfortunately. They should have had a contest, an approval process, something...if the American Catholic church truly respected music, it would have an American Catholic Hymnal.

    ALTERNATE TUNE SETTING ATTACHED

  • francis
    Posts: 10,695
    There is an ACH... I think weakland and friends published it... I have a copy, and it hasn't burst into flames... Yet.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Sorry, I meant a hymnal created for the American Catholic church by the Catholic church, just like the protestants do in their churches. It is interesting to note that the Southern baptists went contemporary and as a result all the traditional hymn writers, including one of my editors, went off and created their own traditional hymnal and have an annual summer week devoted to it.
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 224
    There does exist the AMERICAN CATHOLIC HYMNAL, compiled by the Marist Brothers and published in 1921, 528 pages; but it does not contain "On This Day."
  • Chrism
    Posts: 868
    It is very helpful to think about popularity vs. suitability for the liturgical action ... sentimentality vs. reverence and prayer.


    Yes, it is a helpful distinction, although I think "sentiment" is a bit of a straw man when referring to the opinions expressed here (and in the requests made in the organ loft). Nobody is saying, "we sang the song with gusto and the band played and it was the last time I saw Dad sober *sniff*", but many are saying, "we sang the song with reverence and I entered into a deeper relationship with the Blessed Mother and I knew what she was asking of me and that's why I still go to church." Let's examine this hymn's suitability according to De Musica Sacra.

    If hymns are to attain their purpose, their texts "must conform to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, plainly stating, and explaining it. The vocabulary should be simple, and free of dramatic, and meaningless verbiage. Their tunes, however brief, and easy, should evince a religious dignity and propriety". Local Ordinaries should carefully see that these ideals are observed.


    On the first question we must ask of a hymn, the question of Catholic doctrine, "On this Day" is orthodox, and expressed clearly and succinctly - we pray to Mary, she of her volition answers us by keeping us from going astray, we trust she will answer, she is higher than the angels, we ought to ask and ask humbly for her grace, we have the ability to reject her guidance, devotion to the pure Mary is sweet. All of this is expressed poetically in three short verses.

    My visceral sentiments for the hymn tune are entirely related to experiencing its reverent, prayerful use at a stately and honorable pace by large numbers of children, elderly and other parishioners. Is it dignified and appropriate for the liturgy? Yes, when sung with such reverence, and I have never heard it sung otherwise. I have never seen anyone dance to it (unlike the customary lullaby sway of Tu Scendi), and if I caught anyone waltzing to the hymn I would be tempted to reprimand them for irreverence. Whatever closeness Fr. Lambillotte's initial effort had with secular songs on its first day (in the 19th Century) has long been eradicated by the passage of time. Waltzes are anachronisms while this song endures.

    Now that is my musical opinion, but I fail to see how it can be anything other than a matter of opinion. Theories regarding the suitability of tunes, meters and even instrumentation have failed to produce definitive statements from the Universal Church. While general agreement regarding death metal's unsuitability may approach 100% of CMAA members, and "Grosser Gott"'s suitability may again approach 100%, there will be examples where opinion is more evenly divided. I appreciate that some people would include this hymn in their hymnal, and that others would not include it. It is the discretion and duty given to them as compilers.

    But dogmatizing and anathematizing in matters of opinion (and from here on I am addressing others on the thread, not yourself, Dr. Clark) is a sin against unity. The best and frankly most professional way to deal with such opinions is to promote the music you like as an example, rather than tear down what you don't. And yes, I apply that as well to Haas and Haugen. The stated reason for the famous call for a moratorium was because nothing else was being sung. Gillebrand considered their repertoire "banal" but never condemned it with the certain vitriol of Brunner against "On This Day", and the comments of those who did condemn it focused as much on its lack of doctrinal clarity as on the music.

    Some people on this forum seem to believe that popular hymns must follow either the Gregorian or the Protestant type and that anything else is ipso facto deficient. This is neither the letter nor the spirit of the teachings of the Church.

    Thanked by 1Chris Hebard
  • Chrism
    Posts: 868
    The one word 'hover' makes me shudder, especially on that tacky chord progression from the diminished to the major.


    Which appears to be a very sentimental judgment. Just saying.
  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 468
    But dogmatizing and anathematizing in matters of opinion (and from here on I am addressing others on the thread, not yourself, Dr. Clark) is a sin against unity.

    I'm missing the part where this happened. Please cite.
  • Chrism
    Posts: 868
    If it didn't happen or has been corrected, then thank God!
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    @Chrism- I very much appreciate your thoughts in your longer post, and have a long record of public utterances advocating specific analysis rather than broad-based castigation. I have one observation over this statement:
    The stated reason for the famous call for a moratorium was because nothing else was being sung.

    Firstly, there could have never been any empirical evidence of that and should have prima facie been rejected on the moral grounds you acknowledge promoting unity. Secondly, contrary to what many here may yet and still believe, the ripples from that self righteous display persist here and elsewhere and have cost us dearly in that the shrill and self-righteous condemnations alienated and, I believe, have created a permanent detente between "the encampments." There are no more conversations with Haas, no more with Cooney, no more with Joncas to be had here or elsewhere. That is tragedy as I see it. In this sad history, nary a word was said about the actual aspects of the music being championed; no, only recriminations and resignation and eventual entrenchment.
    In the meantime, voices of moderation continue to drift away from both sides, exemplified by those voices who set up shop here, and no longer at PTB.
    I hope that none of us separate our shoulders as we pat ourselves on the back because we think that at this moment, in this game, "we" have finally the upper hand.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,695
    Chrism:

    I am attached to no music except that which promotes the beauty of the liturgy. Not even my own. I was at one time an ignorant and a foolish promoter of the same in my youth. I used to compose 'theatre' music and use it at the liturgy. I travelled internationally to share, promote and sell it with Servant Publications. I have fully renounced that practice, and that music, because now I understand the definition of sacred music as it is put forth by the Church.

    It is of my opinion that OTDOBM is OK for personal devotion and other times and places (the home or the grotto), but not the liturgy. Schmaltzy music has not place at Mass. There are theoretical rules for composing schmaltz just as there are rules for composing any other style. I simply pointed out one of the worst, tell tale theoretical practices used in schmaltz as you have highlighted above, a theoretical device that somehow calls upon eros, which is the driving force in theatre, opera and stage music. (I did not mention that it often is accompanied by a rising half step in contrary motion resolving to the I(6) in the bass.)

    I am curious from where do you promote the concept of "sin against unity?" We cannot put the "cause of unity" (at all costs) above what is right and good and beautiful and true. What is truly a sin (usually of pride) is when we do not hear God and do those things that the Church espouses, and I at one time was the worst offender. I told people that the Catholic Church was dead, and that the music I composed was "where it was at today". God forgive my ignorance and pride.

    Man is constantly inventing and promoting aberrations and foisting them upon the liturgy, and we must be careful, discerning and pray that God gives us clarity in thought, mind and heart on what is good and right and to reject those things that are not.

    "Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's enemies shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not up his cross, and followeth me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it. Matthew 10:34-38
  • If the church banned hymns and required chant at Mass some will ignore the ruling and others will welcome it.

    That'd be a strong brick in Melofluent's wall.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR5ApYxkU-U
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Hey, FNJ, I'd do the happy dance if anyone over at the CDW had the ganas to make that call!
    And I have always gotten Francis' noble and heart-felt exhortations toward fraternal corrections being a Christian duty. It's just that we can't ignore the past reality that in some of those past corrections the maxim "and in all things, charity" was barely given lip service towards some of our loyal opposition confreres.
    Thanked by 1Wendi
  • francis
    Posts: 10,695
    melofluent (charles of cenca)

    Said:

    And I have always gotten Francis' noble and heart-felt exhortations toward fraternal corrections being a Christian duty. It's just that we can't ignore the past reality that in some of those past corrections the maxim "and in all things, charity" was barely given lip service towards some of our loyal opposition confreres.


    Charles:

    Can you please cite thread/post where you believe charity was not shown.

    Thank you.

    fk
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Francis, going even back before my time here, I have to accept the word of a brother liturgist Todd Flowerday that discourse he engaged in here degraded quite negatively. Since then, there have been a couple of continued thread instances involving David Haas and Vince Ambrosetti inwhich the rhetoric harshness exceeded prudence quite noticeably. Fr. Chepponis, Ken Macek and Bari Columbari have also experienced it here. We all know this has been the case; you and I were there for these latter citations. I'm gonna leave it at that. And for the record, the quote you include was not directed at you or anyone else in particular, okay?
    Thanked by 1Fr. Jim Chepponis
  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 468
    If it didn't happen or has been corrected, then thank God!


    I'll take that as a retraction and concession that there is zero basis for saying anyone here committed a sin against unity.

    Thanked by 2francis Gavin
  • francis
    Posts: 10,695
    Welcome again, Fr. Chepponis:

    I simply asked in another thread on this forum:

    Fr Jim:

    Then you are clear about the status of STTL. It is simply a recommendation and nothing more. The GIRM states the rule succinctly:

    "Songs or hymns may not be used in place of the Responsorial Psalm."

    Can you provide us with documentation that allows a metrical hymn or paraphrase to replace the approved Lectionary versions?


    To which no evidence was ever given in reply. How can this question be taken as uncharitable? I am seeking simple authoritative proof to justify present practices.

    Vince and I are good friends. Ask him yourself. We have had hour long conversations recently. (Charles) you are now posting conjectures on a public forum to discredit my good name. You are also making subjective generalizations to discredit the people on this forum. Please retract.

    If someone has an issue with anything I have said, please contact me in private and we will clear the air privately which is the respectful and charitable way to do so.

    I am not familiar with conversations with Ken Macek and Bari Columbari.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Francis, I clearly said I was not leveling a charge of inhospitality or lack of charity at you, period. You linked two sentences, the first of which was a compliment to you (!), and the second a general recollection about engagements with these folks mentioned, and you misconstrued them as being connected and therefore a conjectured indictment of you. Really? None of this was about you. Sorry about that for you, but it's not on me. Do you really have time to burn on this? Unbelievable.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,695
    I repeat:

    melofluent (charles of cenca)

    Said:

    And I have always gotten Francis' noble and heart-felt exhortations toward fraternal corrections being a Christian duty. It's just that we can't ignore the past reality that in some of those past corrections the maxim "and in all things, charity" was barely given lip service towards some of our loyal opposition confreres.


    Charles:

    These are your words and directed to me. I have all the time in the world to burn to protect my good name and my reputation. (and you can quote me on that one)

    "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything." --Mark Twain

    Charles, I did not link the two sentences together... you did.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I am telling the truth. You're missing the point.
    But you remain a noble, heart-felt, true Christian in my eyes, Francis, and free to believe whatever you want. And a better man than I.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,695
    As good Catholics we should only feel free to believe the truth; nothing more and nothing less. I hope I have always been charitable, for I have always believed that. However, sometimes the truth is painful, and I do not deny that truth can sometimes "appear" to be uncharitable; especially when we cling to those things that are not true and we have to surgically remove ourselves from them.
  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 468
    I second Ben Yanke's suggestion of a thread lock.
  • Wow, there sure seems to be a lot of frustration caused by a little hymn to the Blessed Mother. We all have our likes and dislikes when it comes to music. I've always liked OTDOBM, it's okay as a hymn. I prefer the Salve Regina or Ave Marie chants but that is my preference and I acknowledge that these chants are most appropriate to the Office. Indeed hymns are more appropriate to the Office but that doesn't mean they cannot be sung before or after Mass and if they must be sung at Mass, OTDOBM is a lot better than some, in my opinion. What is best to do is to sing the Mass not sing at Mass, but this is not always possible.

    I was raised a Southern Baptist and grew up singing those old traditional baptist hymns but truly I don't miss them now that I go to a Mass where the Propers are chanted and the congregation can chant their parts of the Ordinary. The texts chosen by the Church for the Propers are wonderful, and yes I prefer the EF and the Latin and reading the English translations for the Mass but it did take awhile to get used to it. Most Catholics are never given the opportunity I was to sing the Mass and I really think that is what Paul is trying to achieve and many many others on this forum. It isn't that they dislike a hymn (although they may), it is about doing what is best at Mass.

    Chrism has a point about Fr. Brunner, he does sound a little snide, like a few of the Jesuits I studied with in the 70's who made fun of the little old ladies who clicked their rosary beads and wore head coverings. And they didn't like Latin chant either.

    Bring back the Propers. These texts have been a part of the Mass for over a 1000 years and whether they are sung by a schola in solemn Gregorian Chant or sung by the choir and congregation in simple musical settings, they are worth doing. We do the best music we can and if OTDOBM is the best and most appropriate for your parish, sing it with the reverence Chrism speaks of. Whether we think the music and lyrics are deserving or not we certainly know the Blessed Mother is.
    Thanked by 1Chrism
  • Why lock the thread? I think it is a good thread I think we need to speak to each other. So a few egos are bruised a bit, we will survive and maybe grow in some understanding of each other. If it gets nasty and we start calling each other Music Nazis then by all means, stop the thread!
  • francis
    Posts: 10,695
    I agree with Ruth. I believe we are honest and respectful here in every attempt. We do try to forgive us our failings whenever possible or they become known.

    (What is a thread lock?)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,943
    It comes in a small bottle. ;-)
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    I think it would take a large bottle to rescue this thread.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Dusting my sandals, moving on. I am no surgeon, I am no sage, and whatever good I've tried to do has been hijacked or ignored in this thread. If this humble, bathetic hymn causes this train for glory to derail, I choose not to be on it.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,695
    Large Bottle of Thread Lock:

    A woman was gossiping with her friend about a man whom they hardly knew - I know none of you have ever done this. That night, she had a dream: a great hand appeared over her and pointed down on her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O' Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. 'Is gossiping a sin?' she asked the old man. 'Was that God All Mighty's hand pointing down at me? Should I ask for your absolution? Father, have I done something wrong?' 'Yes,' Father O' Rourke answered her. 'Yes, you ignorant, badly-brought-up female. You have blamed false witness on your neighbor. You played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed.' So, the woman said she was sorry, and asked for forgiveness. 'Not so fast,' says O' Rourke. 'I want you to go home, take a pillow upon your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me.' So, the woman went home: took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed. 'Did you gut the pillow with a knife?' he says. 'Yes, Father.' 'And what were the results?' 'Feathers,' she said. 'Feathers?' he repeated. 'Feathers; everywhere, Father.' 'Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out onto the wind,' 'Well,' she said, 'it can't be done. I don't know where they went. The wind took them all over.' 'And that,' said Father O' Rourke, 'is gossip!'
  • Chrism
    Posts: 868
    francis, I see you're rapidly becoming drawn into other conversations, and I do want to respond more fully to your post when time allows. But for now, if we can simply discuss this:

    (I did not mention that it often is accompanied by a rising half step in contrary motion resolving to the I(6) in the bass.)


    To be honest, I had never considered anything other than the melody and text when thinking about its suitability for liturgical use. And, after reviewing the common accompaniment settings, I agree that they need modification. I am used to singing On This Day either a capella or in strong unison, and the organ accompaniment if any is usually significantly modified, even to the point of sounding like a drone. I reviewed a recording and the movement under "hover" had been removed completely.

    Not sure if these thoughts would change your mind, but at least I think I understand your point of view better.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,695
    Chrism:

    Sometimes, music theory can be painful too.

    (I once was on the proverbial horse, and God struck me down. Now I am bound to tell only the truth.)
  • Chrism
    Posts: 868
    I was once on a proverbial high horse myself, francis, and God struck me down as well. A few years later, I learned an even more valuable life lesson: there's more than one horse.

    To the mention of music theory, I would respond that the Church expects people of differing levels of musical sophistication to apply the law on "religious dignity and propriety" of tunes, bishops of all people being the final arbiters. Schmaltz is a good Yiddish word, and (according to Wiki) it apparently started being applied to music in the 1930's, about a century after Fr. Lambillotte lived and worked. To my knowledge, the Church has not determined that all that is schmaltzy is incapable of "religious dignity and propriety", although I am not conceding that the melody line of On This Day is objectively schmaltzy.

    As far as "a device that somehow calls upon eros", I can agree that On This Day is clearly the love of ascent, and I think Benedict's exposition on Christian eros is worth reading (emphasis added in bold):
    In philosophical and theological debate, these distinctions have often been radicalized to the point of establishing a clear antithesis between them: descending, oblative love—agape—would be typically Christian, while on the other hand ascending, possessive or covetous love —eros—would be typical of non-Christian, and particularly Greek culture. Were this antithesis to be taken to extremes, the essence of Christianity would be detached from the vital relations fundamental to human existence, and would become a world apart, admirable perhaps, but decisively cut off from the complex fabric of human life. Yet eros and agape—ascending love and descending love—can never be completely separated. The more the two, in their different aspects, find a proper unity in the one reality of love, the more the true nature of love in general is realized. Even if eros is at first mainly covetous and ascending, a fascination for the great promise of happiness, in drawing near to the other, it is less and less concerned with itself, increasingly seeks the happiness of the other, is concerned more and more with the beloved, bestows itself and wants to “be there for” the other. The element of agape thus enters into this love, for otherwise eros is impoverished and even loses its own nature. On the other hand, man cannot live by oblative, descending love alone. He cannot always give, he must also receive. Anyone who wishes to give love must also receive love as a gift. Certainly, as the Lord tells us, one can become a source from which rivers of living water flow (cf. Jn 7:37-38). Yet to become such a source, one must constantly drink anew from the original source, which is Jesus Christ, from whose pierced heart flows the love of God (cf. Jn 19:34).


    As someone who goes to the EF, I have to say that this cutting off from the complex fabric of human life seems to be a particular temptation for people who are zealous for liturgical or theological purity, myself especially.

    And this is a good place to bring up again the question of unity. Unity is to be found in Christ by abiding in the Catholic Church, in confessing her creeds, in obeying her laws. Wounds against unity are caused both by those who separate themselves from Catholic discipline, and also by those who distort Catholic discipline to make it seem more rigorous than it is.
  • I had the good fortune to study with a liturgical expert & reformer of approximately the same era as good Fr. Brunner. Msgr. Martin B. Hellriegel labored all his life on behalf of a renewed and revitalized liturgy. One of the concerns at the time was that entertainment-style music, regardless of it's musical quality, was "trivializing" to the sacred liturgy, especially where children were involved. Some twenty years later I heard Dr. Leo Nestor, in discussing sacred music for children, warn against the "kiddy litter, that would rot their teeth and destroy their faith." In much more elevated language, this is what Pope Benedict was saying in his wonderfully erudite writings on sacred music. A book that made a huge impression on me was Dr. Marva Dawn's "Reaching Out, Without Dumbing Down."
  • Chrism
    Posts: 868
    It's hard to see how this hymn could be justly considered "dumbed down", either in vocabulary or melody.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,695
    Chrism:

    I think we all agree with the validity of music such as this hymn, however, the appropriate place for this type of music is not the liturgy, and that is the real dispute.
  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 468
    I think we all agree with the validity of music such as this hymn, however, the appropriate place for this type of music is not the liturgy, and that is the real dispute
    .

    I'll stipulate.
  • Chrism
    Posts: 868
    There is no objective standard by which anyone is making the distinction between "validity" and "appropriateness for liturgy". The arguments made here essentially boil down to derision, bandwagon (the number of people voting thumbs down), bandwagon derision, theoretical constructions with big words like treacle and schmaltz which are ultimately not sourced in Church documents (or, occasionally, with lip service paid to penumbras of emanations), false accusations like "dumbing down", etc. A parade of fallacies does not make a proof.

    I understand that many things can condemn a piece of music to exclusion from the sacred liturgy: worldliness, frivolity, heterodoxy, unclarity, vernacular language (during High Mass), length. Perhaps the Holy See has proposed other criteria, but if so let it be stated and shown.

    On the other hand, there is also a positive requirement to seek music of the highest quality for the Divine Liturgy. This does not definitively exclude lower quality music, but rather imposes a burden on musicians and parishes to do their own personal or corporate best. My contention is that condemning music as unsuitable merely because it falls below one's own personal or local standard of quality is a harmful and untruthful lack of distinction.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,695
    I, personally, am not "condemning" this piece, or any other piece of music. I don't hear anyone else condemning it. I also think that if a piece is excluded from the liturgy, it does not fall into the category of "condemned". That seems harsh to me. I still play the pieces of music I composed for guitar back in the 70's, however not at the liturgy, but I do not consider those pieces 'condemned', just not holy enough for the liturgy.

    Somewhere it says that when music that is more appropriate and more sacred is admitted to the liturgy, then the level of the liturgy is also exalted. I guess you could say that there are 'levels of exalted' liturgy. By admitting 'lesser' music, the liturgy is not able to express the more exalted state. Why would we want less?

    I DO hear that we are trying to recognize what is appropriate for the liturgy in terms of this style, type, genre of music (religious) as opposed to sacred. This particular piece was used for devotions in the past, not for liturgy. Now, more and more of these pieces are used in the Mass. (ie., Let there be Peace on Earth, On Eagles Wings, etc.)

    The objective standard that I use in short, are the official musical books of the Church. Graduale, Simplex, Gregorian Missal, and now (finally) the 3rd Edition of the Roman Missal is full of music that is appropriate to each liturgy. I don't feel that OTDOBM would ever be a better selection for a Marian liturgy than the great hymns we already have.

    I just don't see how OTDOBM is better, or should replace these, and most of them are translated to English too.

    21. Salve Regina, Simple Tone ........................................ 116
    22. Salve Regina, Solemn Tone ....................................... 117
    23. Salve Regina, Monastic Use ...................................... 118
    24. Alma Redemptoris Mater, Simple Tone.................... 119
    25. Alma Redemptoris Mater, Solemn Tone ................... 119
    26. Ave Regina cælorum, Simple Tone............................ 120
    27. Ave Regina cælorum, Solemn Tone ........................... 121
    28. Regina cæli, Simple Tone .......................................... 121
    29. Regina cæli, Solemn Tone.......................................... 122
    30. Ave Maria................................................................ 122
    31. Ave maris stella ....................................................... 123
    32. Inviolata .................................................................. 124
    33. Maria Mater gratiæ................................................. 125
    34. O Sanctissima ......................................................... 125
    35. Salve Mater ............................................................. 126
    36. Sub tuum præsidium............................................... 127
    37. Tota pulchra es........................................................ 127
    Thanked by 1Chrism
  • Forgive me for repeating what has already been elaborated on in several of my articles. Those who have read my hymn articles for the Campion Hymnal know I looked through quite a lot of old Catholic hymnals (esp. fin de siècle ones). I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. For years, I'd heard about how bad it was from many people (including many on this forum) but nothing had prepared me for what I discovered, looking over those old hymnals.

    Finding quotes like the one by Fr. Brunner, Fr. Fortescue, and others helps me realize that voices back then also realized the situation. I've seen articles that seem to imply it took the coming of the Second Vatican Council for us to realize this, but that just isn't the case.