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A humble suggestion regarding music and the new Mass translation August 27, 2010

Posted by Tantumblogo in Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, North Deanery.
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I have read that many musicians in the Church, especially “music ministers,” are concerned that the new Mass translation approved for use starting November 27, 2011, will make much of the current worship music obsolete.  I believe this is true. Many of the all too commonly used, and often protestant-inspired, worship songs in seemingly unceasing use since the early 70’s will not fit the language of the new translation (praise be to God).  And so, the Catholic music industry, and make no mistake, it is that, is trying to rapidly gear up to provide updated versions of hymnals like “Rise Up and Praise,” “Glory and Praise,” and (uff da) “Journeysongs”. 

I know I am well known throughout North Texas for my mild ways and very meek suggestions.  If I may make one more humble suggestion, it would be this – for the love of God and for the sake of the cause of salvation for us all, let us please stop purchasing ANY hymnals from Oregon Catholic Publishing (OCP)!  This new Mass translation provides a truly glorious opportunity – a God given opportunity – to reinvigorate our Catholic identity, refamiliarize ourselves with our great patrimony in the Church, and to return to a practice of music that is far more distinctively Catholic, centered on Christ, and infinitely more transcendant and uplifting than much of what we have seen in the Church over the last several decades. 

Why do we not take advantage of the remaining 16 months until the introduction of the new Mass to try, very hard, to develop scholas in our parishes to sing Gregorian Chant from the St. Gregory Hymnal?  I know we have priests and others in this diocese, in the north deanery, who could lead a schola and provide training and practice sessions.  Gregorian Chant is challenging (at least at first), but it is such an august form of worship and so universally popular that any priest implementing this form of music in his parish would, I think, be extremely gratified with the results. OK, that might be hard – let us let that be a stretch goal.  For a reasonable goal of something that should be quite easy to implement by November 2011, how about the Adoremus Hymnal?  The Adoremus Hymnal is competitively priced with the hymnals available from OCP.  And it contains a treasure trove of traditional Catholic hymns that can be sung by all.  Another alternative is the New St. Basil Hymnal, also very competitively priced. 

My point is not so  much to pump for a given hymnal, as to encourage pastors and music ministers to think beyond the normal Haugen/OCP offerings.  Let us take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to not only renew the formal Liturgy of the Mass, but also the music!  This is such a glorious time, a time of true, authentic renewal – I pray that all my readers may consider passing this request along to their pastor or music minister at their local parish, if they, too, would like to see more transcendent, more beautiful, more timeless and glorious music in celebrations of the Mass.  And please pray that we may truly worship God and sing His praises with music that is both distinctively Catholic and centered entirely on rendering all glory and honor to God.

Some selections from the Adoremus Hymnal below:

Comments

1. Colleen Hammond - August 27, 2010

Not really related to music exactly, but…

From SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM (1963):

113. Liturgical worship is given a more noble form when the divine offices are celebrated solemnly in song, with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people.

As regards the language to be used, the provisions of Art. 36 are to be observed (36. Particular law remaining in force, **the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.**); for the Mass, Art. 54 (steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.
And wherever a more extended use of the mother tongue within the Mass appears desirable, the regulation laid down in Art. 40 of this Constitution is to be observed.); for the sacraments, Art. 63 (The vernacular language may be used in administering the sacraments and sacramentals, according to the norm of Art. 36.); for the divine office. Art. 101 (In accordance with the centuries-old tradition of the Latin rite, the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the divine office.).

tantamergo - August 27, 2010

I just added videos to this post! I’m a terrible poster, I always update at least a couple of times right after I post!

2. Colleen Hammond - August 27, 2010

Oops, typo.

Not JUST related to music exactly, but…

“…the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.”

I don’t think Kumbaya is Latin, is it? 😉

From SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM (1963) under CHAPTER VI: SACRED MUSIC:

113. Liturgical worship is given a more noble form when the divine offices are celebrated solemnly in song, with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people.

As regards the language to be used, the provisions of Art. 36 are to be observed (36. Particular law remaining in force, **the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites.**); for the Mass, Art. 54 (steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.
And wherever a more extended use of the mother tongue within the Mass appears desirable, the regulation laid down in Art. 40 of this Constitution is to be observed.); for the sacraments, Art. 63 (The vernacular language may be used in administering the sacraments and sacramentals, according to the norm of Art. 36.); for the divine office. Art. 101 (In accordance with the centuries-old tradition of the Latin rite, the Latin language is to be retained by clerics in the divine office.).

3. Chris Baker - August 28, 2010

Just a note, I’ve started a schola in Plano called the Plano Schola Gregoriana. All of us are Setonites, but we aren’t affiliated with Seton (or any other parish, for that matter). We’ve only begun just over a month ago, and we’re using The Parish Book of Chant, which is filled with chants in Latin using neumes. Contact me for more info, and please pray for us.

tantamergo - August 28, 2010

I’ll be in touch. Thanks!

Chris Baker - August 28, 2010

Look forward to hearing from you!

4. Colleen Hammond - August 28, 2010

Tremendous, Chris!!! Prayers for your worthwhile endeavor.

Chris Baker - August 28, 2010

Thank you, Colleen.

5. Cori - August 29, 2010

Hey, we really are Setonites in Plano. We should join you!

Chris Baker - August 29, 2010

Cori, you can contact me at clbakersdozen@yahoo.com

tantamergo - August 29, 2010

Is the baker’s dozen because you have 13 kids?

6. Cori - August 29, 2010

Thanks, Chris!

7. Chris Baker - August 30, 2010

13 kids?! LOL! I’m a convert. Perhaps if I were a cradle Catholic. 😉

8. Doc - August 30, 2010

Would love to hear more of the schola, pun intended. Would give my right arm for chant in Collin County, so I wouldn’t have to drive to St Thomas in Dallas all the time.

Chris Baker - August 30, 2010

Doc, we are working on it! I just found out that St Anthony in Wylie has a schola, and it appears they chant at the Sat Vigil Mass. I’ve yet to speak with the schola director (just left a message earlier today), but I plan on attending a Mass there as soon as possible. I’m very pleased to hear about this in a parish with Fr Andrew. He was the parochial vicar at Seton when I went through RCIA.

Another note, I’ve also heard that the Cisterians have a First Friday Mass at 7:30pm with their schola (and iirc they have one every Sunday). I’ve never been. Has anyone else?

Also … the Dallas Cathedral has a schola that chants one Sat Vigil Mass a month. The next one is Sept 18. The Cathedral’s music director is planning on adding polyphony soon.


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