"Pride of place"
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,848
    This discussion was created from comments split from: Pentecost and Corpus Christi Sequences - rhythmic.
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  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    the church has said in every document on music that chant has pride of place (also translated as first place) in the liturgy.


    @Ben: That's what I thought, too...and that's why I was so surprised when I read the CHIROGRAPH OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF JOHN PAUL II FOR THE CENTENARY OF THE MOTU PROPRIO "TRA LE SOLLECITUDINI' ON SACRED MUSIC and saw that #7 says:

    7. Among the musical expressions that correspond best with the qualities demanded by the notion of sacred music, especially liturgical music, Gregorian chant has a special place. The Second Vatican Council recognized that "being specially suited to the Roman Liturgy"[17] it should be given, other things being equal, pride of place in liturgical services sung in Latin[18].


    I wonder...what is the significance of Blessed John Paul II specifying that Gregorian chant should be given pride of place in liturgical services sung in Latin?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,848
    The Council text (Sacrosanctum Concilium 116) states:

    116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.

    But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30.


    whereas the Sacred Congregation of Rites wrote (Musicam Sacram 50):
    50. In sung liturgical services celebrated in Latin:

    (a) Gregorian chant, as proper to the Roman liturgy, should be given pride of place, other things being equal.[34] Its melodies, contained in the "typical" editions, should be used, to the extent that this is possible.

    (b) "It is also desirable that an edition be prepared containing simpler melodies, for use in smaller churches."[36]

    (c) Other musical settings, written for one or more voices, be they taken from the traditional heritage or from new works, should be held in honor, encouraged and used as the occasion demands.[36]


    So the council called for the chant to have the principem locum in the liturgy (without any restriction on the statement), whereas the S.C.R. added the qualifier about "services celebrated in Latin". And the latter qualifier found its way into the text of Pope John Paul II.
  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    Thanks for clarifying that, Chonak--that helps!

    When I look at Musicam Sacram, I also see #51 underneath the part you excerpted:

    51. Pastors of souls, having taken into consideration pastoral usefulness and the character of their own language, should see whether parts of the heritage of sacred music, written in previous centuries for Latin texts, could also be conveniently used, not only in liturgical celebrations in Latin but also in those performed in the vernacular. There is nothing to prevent different parts in one and the same celebration being sung in different languages.


    Do you know how the
    pride of place (also translated as first place)
    idea came about? I understand the "pride of place" but haven't been able to find any documentation about the "First Place." When I look at #51, it seems to say that the Latin texts "could" be used in vernacular celebrations. To me, that sounds more like cherishing and honoring our chant heritage (pride of place). I guess I just don't understand what "first place" means as opposed to "pride of place."

    Also, the Chirograph cites AAS 59 (1967), 314. I'm interested in knowing what that says, since JPII cited it...but all I have found is the original. Does anyone know if the Acta Apostolicae Sedis has been translated into English?
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,463
    The Latin text is principem locum - principal place or first place. This is much more emphatic than the phrase 'pride of place'. As Dr. Mahrt very accurately and humorously put it: 'giving chant pride of place is like giving an old uncle the seat of honor at Thanksgiving, but not letting him say anything.'
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,848
    Ignoto, "AAS 59 (1967), 314" is just a reference to the published text of Musicam Sacram 50.
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  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    Thank you! I see now that AAS 59 (1967) 300-320 is Musicam Sacram in its entirety.
  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    So the council called for the chant to have the principem locum in the liturgy (without any restriction on the statement)

    The above quote was an explanatory statement regarding the phrasing in SC 116, which simply says that Gregorian chant "should be given pride of place in liturgical services."

    I thought it might be important to note that on page 907 of Annibale Bugnini's The Reform of the Liturgy, 1948-1975, there is a commentary about the "treasure of sacred music" mentioned in SC 114 (and the subsequent relevant numbers, such as SC 116):

    In this part of the text, the instruction intends to make it clear that just as there are two forms of celebration, one in Latin, the other in the vernacular, in accordance with the norms established by competent authority, so the use of the musical repertory that is connected with the Latin text is for celebrations in Latin, although it is possible to use some parts of it even in celebrations in the vernacular.

    That quote seems to indicate that there is no discrepancy between Musicam Sacram and Sacrosanctum Concilium regarding the idea that Gregorian chant is specifically intended for use in services sung in Latin (and likewise that there is no prohibition against using some parts of Gregorian chant in Masses sung in the vernacular).

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  • AP23AP23
    Posts: 119
    Yes, chants do have a pride of place, the antiphons.

    Sequences may be rhythmic.
  • Paul_D
    Posts: 133
    Could this be another perspective?:

    Gregorian chant had been eclipsed by polyphonic settings of ordinary and propers (to varying degrees at various times). At the time of the Council, even the Caecilian reformers were not giving “pride of place” to Gregorian chant. They were having a ball writing polyphonic propers (not necessarily all that well.) I have heard from a musician of the day that even the graduates of the Pontifical Institute were promoting their own polyphonic propers rather than Gregorian chant in some places (imagine!)

    Musicam Sacram 50, then, sounds like an admonition to musicians who were not giving pride of place to Gregorian chant even in the liturgy celebrated in Latin. It is not an attempt to restrict Gregorian chant to Latin celebrations, or to discourage Gregorian chant when the vernacular is used; it is saying that it is all the more important that when the liturgy is celebrated in Latin, Gregorian chant be given pride of place and not be treated like a poor second cousin of polyphonic / orchestral settings. (“Liturgical services” refers to Mass, the Divine Office and other rites.)

    The argument for the appropriateness of Gregorian chant in all forms of celebration (Latin, vernacular, mixed) could not be more clearly stated when Gregorian chant is called “Proper to the Roman Liturgy.” Is it really the intent of this MS 50 that Gregorian chant’s “properness” to the Roman liturgy depend on the language in which the liturgy is celebrated? I think that such would be an incorrect reading of MS 50, or at least reading far more into it than this brief passage intends. The Roman liturgy has a music which is proper to it, and is the model for all other forms. Could we possibly designate any other form of music as “proper” to the Roman liturgy? Hence the proper music of the rite is accorded pride of place, though how that is accomplished is going to vary with factors such as the language of celebration, the abilities of the choir, the degree of festivity or solemnity, common sense, etc.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,848
    The former nuncio to Teheran wrote:
    there are two forms of celebration, one in Latin, the other in the vernacular,

    While this no doubt expresses the sincere view of the Archbishop, I don't believe that the mind of the Church intends a split of the modern Roman Rite into two forms with differing principles based on the language of the celebration.
  • Agreed, Chonak. It is hard to agree with Bugnini's view after reading the sections of SC pertaining to the implementation of some or even many vernacular prayers in the Roman Rite. (I don't even recall SC explicitly calling for all prayers to be in the vernacular, but I know that is not the topic of this discussion.)
  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    I don't believe that the mind of the Church intends a split of the modern Roman Rite into two forms with differing principles based on the language of the celebration.

    I agree with that statement, especially in light of Pope Benedict XVI's Summorum Pontificum.

    It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were “two Rites”. Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite....the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching....There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal.

    And...
    What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place.

    {{i.e. Gregorian chant!}}
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  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    Yes, chants do have a pride of place, the antiphons.

    I think it is important to clarify that unless antiphons in the vernacular use the Roman Missal text (as specified in GIRM 87 1a), they fall under option 3.

    Some people think that they are following option 1 when singing English antiphons using unofficial texts (such as the Solesmes translations). It's still important to sing the proper antiphons in order to "Sing the Mass," but I think it is necessary to have a unification of understanding that option 1 is only fulfilled when singing the exact text of the antiphons as found in either the Roman Missal (English text) or the Latin text in the GR (not the English text in the GM).

    The Graduale Romanum is given pride of place, not the Gregorian Missal.
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,848
    Sure, there's a difference between a translation of the GR approved for liturgical use, and a translation of the GR which is merely approved for publication. On the other hand, sometimes the former doesn't exist. And in a comparison between something good and something non-existent, the something is better than the nothing.

    I hope people think of using the Solesmes translations as a transitional step in a process of bringing the propers into use.
  • Ignoto
    Posts: 126
    I hope people think of using the Solesmes translations as a transitional step in a process of bringing the propers into use.

    Yes, I agree--I also hope that people do not think of those translations as the ultimate goal (the ultimate goal should be option 1a or 1b). That said, how great it is that such progress has been made so far!
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 853
    Sure, there's a difference between a translation of the GR approved for liturgical use, and a translation of the GR which is merely approved for publication. On the other hand, sometimes the former doesn't exist. And in a comparison between something good and something non-existent, the something is better than the nothing.


    First, a great number of the antiphons of the GR are represented in those found in the Missal, so if doing a setting oneself, there you go. At the time SEP was being created, the most recent English translation of the Roman Missal was still not finalized.

    For the rest of the antiphons, the majority come from the Psalms (which have an official liturgical translation in the Revised Grail Psalms) and the Gospels (of which the Lectionary provides an official liturgical translation). I wish more recourse had been made to these, although there are also other issues here, where the GR antiphons alter a text slightly here or there from the neo-Vulgate or even the Vulgate.