Not funny, Mr. Drake

This is bad – and if things like this spread, as I fear they are, we’ll all be the worse for it.

OK, so Tim Drake at the National Catholic Register is trying to be funny. Great. I’ve never been accused of lacking in good humor. Too much Catholic worship today is trendy and tacky – no argument from me. Poke fun at it rather than a frontal attack. Could be a diplomatic strategy.

But.

Mr. Drake is swinging way too widely, and throwing a grab bag of things together that don’t belong together. Readers – and this NCR has a lot of them – will get the idea that all 14 of his satirical “steps to a more self-centered church” without distinction are part of the Liberal Conspiracy To Destroy the Church.

For example:

“9. Scrap the kneelers.” –  Respect for Eastern Orthodoxy, anyone? Or for the ancient traditions of Western Catholicism?

“6. Better bread.” So no. 321 of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal is trying to take the focus off God when it emphasizes the “meaning of the sign” and the importance of the “true appearance of food”??  See also the comment on no. 9 supra.

“1. Move the tabernacle.” Why do you suppose 314b of the General Instruction allows for side chapels for eucharistic reservation? Why do you suppose they have one at St. Peter’s Basilica?

OK, so there are plenty of problems with postconciliar Catholic worship. The problem with people like Tim Drake is that they can’t distinguish the problems from the well-founded reforms. They pretty much don’t like any of it.

Not helpful.

awr

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141 comments

  1. “They pretty much don’t like any of it.”

    And when it comes right down to it, this is the only method employed in their evaluation of liturgical practice. Am I naïve in thinking it’s an inadequate one?

    1. Chris, it’s patently not true that personal preference is the only method employed in Tim Drake’s article (as I point out in my general comment below there is no “they” to have a “their only method”, unless you seek to define one, which you haven’t done. The very premise of Drake’s piece is that there “has been exaggerated attention on the human aspect of the sacred liturgy”. At least implicitly, this gives a method of “avoiding exaggerated attention on the human aspect” as a “method [for] evaluation of liturgical practice” as you put it. Such a method, whether you agree with it or not, is not reducible to personal preference.

      1. For clarity, the pronoun “they” was in a quotation; its referent was in the posting itself. Although I would admit that “people like Tim Drake” was perhaps a little open-ended, I was taking it as “anyone who would put forth the kind of argument Tim Drake does here.”

        You’re right that there is more involved than personal preference here; point taken and duly noted. I would stand by the claim, however, that this article does display woefully inadequate methodology. O.K., you want to say there’s too much emphasis on the human aspect. Fair enough, and I’d probably agree. But how do you know it’s too much? How much is too much, and why? More to the point, the suggestion that all of these practices produce that emphasis is entirely unproven. It amounts to nothing but bald-faced assertion.

        Let me be fair here: this piece is supposed to be a humour piece, not a scholarly article. But there are a lot of deadly-serious arguments out there that suffer from the same problem. To say that a liturgical action or symbol means X or Y is not a simple matter, but it has to go beyond an implicit “here’s what it looks like it means to me.” Even more problematically, to say that liturgical practice *should* or should not signify something (or not “too much”) requires serious historical and theological analysis, and can’t be left to an implicit appeal to some sort of instinctual common-sense piety.

    2. I don’t think it was intended to be funny. Those types of changes have been made by the thousands since 1970 and it is good to have a list of them so that corrections can continue to be made as the old priests retire. Better late than never.

  2. Thanks for saying this so well. For some of these folks, who occasionally engage in discussion on the blogs, Facebook and the com boxes, any celebration in the vernacular is bad and Marty Haugen single-handedly destroyed the Catholic Church! The blanket-indictment approach appears to them to have no inconsistencies.

  3. This is a short term ‘traditionalism’ that is nostalgic for ‘the way it was in grandpa and grandma’s day’. Too much has changed since that day — and not just Vatican II. The growth of the modern means of communication and the questioning and better understanding of ‘form and function’ and the manipulation of sensibility in architecture, and in all the theatrical places — movies, TV, Reality shows, and the theatre itself — make the worship forms needful of ‘consulting their sources’ to find the best means for modern humanity to best enter into God’s Presence. Perhaps the answer of St. Vladimir’s ambassadors after their visits to both Constantinople and Rome is still relevant!

  4. 9. Scrap the kneelers.” – Respect for Eastern Orthodoxy, anyone?

    The article’s not about Eastern Orthodoxy. It would be self-centered to kneel (inappropriately, there are some occasions when they do kneel) in an Eastern Orthodox Church, just like it’s self-centered to stand (when the rubrics call for kneeling and you are able to kneel) in a Roman Catholic Church.

    Or for the ancient traditions of Western Catholicism?

    Archeologism, anyone? Last time I checked, we followed the current liturgical practice of the Roman Catholic Church, not the “ancient traditions of Western Catholicism”.

    “1. Move the tabernacle.” Why do you suppose 314b of the General Instruction allows for side chapels for eucharistic reservation? Why do you suppose they have one at St. Peter’s Basilica?

    Umm… why do you suppose he wrote “move” instead of “keep”. Moving the tabernacle has the potential to send a radically different message than having the tabernacle in a side chapel.

    The problem with people like Tim Drake is that they can’t distinguish the problems from the well-founded reforms. They pretty much don’t like any of it.

    This is pretty much ridiculous. Respectful dialogue about the issues that matter to our Church is focused on actual positions not “people like X” and what “they” think.

    Furthermore, you have presented no evidence that Tim Drake, nevermind “people like Tim Drake” “pretty much don’t like any of it”. If you actually talk respectfully with them, you’ll find that most people do like much of it. That, afterall, is part of why my parish’s main novus ordo Mass has more than twice the attendence as our 1962 Mass.

    Fr. Ruff is swinging too widely. Readers – and PrayTell has a lot of them – will get the idea that there’s a Conservative Conspiracy To Destroy the Church. This is bad – and if things like this spread, we’ll all be the worse for it.

    1. Apparently when discussing kneelers it is appropriate to compare Western and Eastern practice. When discussing other matters such as language or method of reception of Communion they are never to be compared.

    2. PrayTell has a lot of them – will get the idea that there’s a Conservative Conspiracy To Destroy the Church.
      —————————————–
      SH, perhaps not destroy the Church, but the NO? You bet there’s a conspiracy.

  5. I actually emailed Tim… his response was, let’s put it this way: fortunately, we have a Pope who is steering us BACK in the right direction. (I didn’t put quotes, because I don’t have the actual email reply in front of me)…

    While I laughed at the presentation itself, Fr. Anthony’s take is right on…

  6. “Fr. Ruff is swinging too widely. Readers – and PrayTell has a lot of them – will get the idea that there’s a Conservative Conspiracy To Destroy the Church. This is bad – and if things like this spread, we’ll all be the worse for it.”

    Unfortunately, some of us who have been long time members of the NPMusers group found that just such a conspiracy does indeed exist. It’s impossible to say they are united or quite how sizable they are, but there are indeed bands out there who seek to “destroy” (their exact word) what they consider the liberal wing of the Catholic Church. I wish it weren’t so, and I wish respectful dialogue was an option. But any member of the list group from a few years ago can attest that respectful dialogue was tried. It is precisely because of those attacks that many of us flinch at ” the 14 ways…”

  7. Edwina, Mr. Drake, SLH won’t like this but from Eugene Kennedy’s article today: http://www.ncronline.org/blogs/bulletins-human-side/set-decorator-catholicism-clericalism-thrives-new-phase-sex-abuse-crisis

    Highlights which connect to Drake’s comments:
    – “Set-decorating (read from Drake – move the tabernacle; kneelers; etc.) provides these priests with a justifying vehicle for their triumphalist style and a pious filter through which they express their own uncertain personal development. The elaborate re-creation of the surfaces and practices of a by-gone age provides a massive and complex defense for the manipulation of the spiritual and psychological lives of others by clerics who either do not understand or cannot admit the secret agenda beneath their unhealthy exercise of power over their people.”
    – “One can also observe the exaggerated, not to say operatic, gestures that these supercilious clergy employ in celebrating Mass. Descending beneath the altar for several seconds before elevating the Host, for example, is one of their embarrassingly histrionic ways of making themselves rather than the sacrament the center of attention, Look at me, I am the celebrant here. Members of the congregation are not so much swept up in this faux piety as they are put off by its studied, staged, and ready-for-my-close-up character.”
    – “The examined life is not, however, the focus of set-decorators who promote an unexamined return to Flapper-era Faith (read Drake). Nothing better symbolizes these efforts than their fussy revival of that liturgical species once thought extinct, the Solemn High Mass that keeps lay people well away from the altar as, by deploying a deacon and sub-deacon to assist the priest celebrant, reinforces the concept of the hierarchically layered priesthood and church. In short, the church before, as one set-decorator said in my hearing, the “morally evil” Vatican II occurred.”

    1. Kennedy remarks on “the danger in condescending to (lay) men and women whose maturity and theological sophistication regularly equal and many times surpass their own. ” I guess that means they’ll handle “consubstantial” and “with your spirit” OK.

    2. That article didn’t seem helpful or informative at all – except it reveals the bizarre mentality of those who dislike people who are either “reform of the reform” or “traditionalist.” It demonstrates the obsession some people have with trying to figure out what is wrong with people they disagree with by reading negative things into everything they do.

  8. SH is back at his usual approach of changing the subject and stating irrelevancies.

    Pews — not in St. Peter’s or most of the Roman Basilicae nor in any church until long after Trent. Kneelers come later still for the assembly.

    Move the tabernacle — so that people at Mass will focus on the sacramental action not their devotion to the continuing Real Presence. Moving the tabernacle is actually in opposition to such “me and Jesus” self-centeredness.

    These have nothing to do with self-centeredness or destroying the church. If SH can defend stating that they do so, then he would be back on topic.

    From “This is pretty much ridiculous” on, SH is pretty much irrelevant to any serious discussion and back to his practice of scoring any rhetorical point possible without contributing anything useful.

    OTOH, I do enjoy the final turning the table demonstration even though it contributes nothing positive to the conversation nor in any way justifies Drake.

  9. Drake’s satire is too heavy-handed to be really funny. The rapier is usually more effective than the blunderbuss.

    1. Claire,

      Thank you! I was afraid I was alone in thinking this. The only way that this article is satire is if it is taking Cardinal Burke’s idea to an absurd extreme. Sort of like Stephen Colbert or Mallard Fillmore, regurgitating conservative positions in a manner that is patently ridiculous.

    2. If it’s intent was to be funny, it failed. The reason is because everything is too true and accruate to actually be funny. I found myself agreeing more than laughing.

      1. Well, that’s the problem – he’s throwing so many things together, some true and some not true. Uninformed people come away thinking that everything is true in it. Such misinformation is not helpful.
        awr

  10. “Good humor”, “Poke fun” are easier said than done. How do you point out excesses in a humorous manner while avoiding disrespect, not offending those who are attached to this or that ridiculous-looking (to you) ritual, and not giving fodder to critics of Catholicism? I don’t know if that is possible.

    In the days of monarchies humor used to be the weapon of the powerless. Kings arrested song-writers because their pointed, humorous, subversive songs weakened the monarchy by pointing out its flaws and excesses. I don’t know if there is a way to make fun of some liturgical excesses without weakening liturgy in general, even when those excesses would deserve ridicule.

  11. Kennedy’s analysis is stunning!
    We must learn to read, compassionately, the displayed pathologies of the restorationists.
    Rita’s brilliant article at Commonweal makes me anticipate seeing how these operatic clerics will “sing” the new translations.

    1. ‘Pathologies of the restorationists’. ‘Operatic clerics’. Intemperate language, hardly likely to win you any converts.

  12. Kennedy’s article is a good polemic, but it is hardly a balanced contribution to the debate. I don’t like the way both extremes in the so-called liturgy wars try to pin the blame for clerical sex abuse on their opponents. And ‘clericalism’ can mean what you want it to mean, depending on your liturgical preference. For some it is a priest in a Roman chasuble celebrating Mass in Latin ad orientem; for others it is the priest-performer imposing his own personality on the liturgy. There is a decided lack of charity on both sides, and I’m as guilty as the next man.

    1. “I don’t like the way both extremes in the so-called liturgy wars try to pin the blame for clerical sex abuse on their opponents. …
      For some [clericalism] is a priest in a Roman chasuble celebrating Mass in Latin ad orientem; for others it is the priest-performer imposing his own personality on the liturgy.”

      I take this opportunity to express some agreement with JN.

      I also object to the insertion of pedophilia accusations into liturgical discussions. There may or may not be pre- or post- Vatican II ecclesiological issues which are relevant to pedophilia, but liturgical theology and the differences between Pian and Pauline liturgy are not relevant to the pedophilia issues, in my opinion. Raising such issues diverts the liturgical discussion.

      A “priest-performer imposing his own personality on the liturgy” is certainly clericalism, and it can be done by a liturgical progressive or by a traditionalist, as I have seen Fr. Scalia do in Arlington diocese.

      I think that there is clericalism in the form of the MR frozen in place by Trent and often in how it was performed in my presence in the 1950s and 60s, but I hope that no one would accuse an individual priest of clericalism based on being
      “in a Roman chasuble celebrating Mass in Latin ad orientem.”

      Aside, I do not think that there is such a thing as a “Roman” chasuble. Was this intended to reference a “Gothic” chasuble?

      1. A Roman chasuble is cut away at the sides. It is sometimes called a ‘fiddleback’ although it is actually the front of the garment that resembles a violin. The Gothic style is much fuller.

      2. I also object to the insertion of pedophilia accusations into liturgical discussions. […] not relevant to the pedophilia issues,

        Yes and no. Any argument that appeals to blind authority (“We must do it because Father said so”, “Bishop said so”, “Canon law said so”) must be rejected. Any argument that appeals to fear of public scandal (“Even though it is the right thing to do, we should not do it because it would look bad for the church”) must be rejected. The sexual abuse scandal illustrates the dangers of such attitudes.

  13. We need a better standard of debate on the Catholic internet, period. (or ‘full stop’ for those of us on the other side of the Atlantic!)

    There is so much on ‘Catholic’ sites that is just simply nastiness. It gets us absolutely nowhere whatsoever!

  14. The far left NCR and certainly Kennedy would be on the far left of things longing for the days when he thought there would be a triumph of a particular post-Vatican II theology that has actually fizzled, and the article above that is slightly right of center in “other” NCR as well as articles and comments on this blog all show that there is anecdotal evidence to support what ever perceived rot there is in the Church and her liturgy but tremendous disagreement as to what that rot actually is.
    Evidently, in many places there is now quite a lack of unity in terms of what the liturgy is and should be and how it should look and sound as well as the devotional accoutrements of such. “Houston we do have a problem!”
    What is lacking in the debate is a sound comparison of the various “models” of liturgy and its expressions as it impacts the spirituality, faith, morals and good works of rank and file clergy and laity as well as its impact on solidifying a strong Catholic identity in a world that is at best ambivalent toward Christianity and even belief in God and at worst downright anti-Catholic. The uncharitable comments on both sides of whatever way one perceives things liturgical are or should be going, just mirrors the nastiness of the culture and is uninformed by Judeo-Christian ethics and urgently in need of a loving transformation.

    1. Couldn’t agree more. In today’s Catholic Herald a London priest who uses the byline of Pastor Iuventus wrote of the Corpus Christi Mass at St-Pierre de Solesmes: “Everything about the liturgy as celebrated here is the opposite of the cult of personality and narrow self-expression which still bedevils many liturgical celebrations. It is a turning away from myself and my littleness to celebrate the enormity of God; his holiness, which does not obliterate self, but elevates it and draws it upwards and allows me to see myself and my context refracted through his eyes”.

      As a teacher I sat with adolescent children around a small altar, with guitars and ‘folk’ hymns, and prayers written by the children themselves. I don’t pretend to like this liturgical style, but in its context it was prayerful and completely focused on the mystery that was being celebrated. When the priest asked me “would you administer the Sacred Chalice?” I was happy to do so, and I am regarded as a die-hard traditionalist!

      1. Perhaps this is a good place to repeat,
        “There is no single right way to do liturgy.”

        As JN illustrates, the size of the assembly and space, the demographics and the occasion and even time of day need to be taken into account.

        In teaching presiding, I extend the comment, “… no single right way … not even my ways.” I discovered I was repeatedly making this disclaimer, followed by a description of the multiple possibilities available for the point under discussion, they saying that it was not as important that a presider do one thing or another as it was that the presider made conscious decisions as to what would be done and that those decisions were consistent with each other. To preside well, one needs to decide well on the basis of liturgical principles and not just personal taste or what one has seen done.

        Please note, however, that I have seen young priests,in particular, follow the rubrics of the EF in such a way and in such an inappropriate time and place as to draw attention to themselves and the strangeness of what they were doing. These congregations get imposed on them the idiosyncratic approach and self-righteousness of priests who have not looked at all of the elements involved and made a good liturgical position but have chosen to preside in such a way as to focus on the action of the ordained instead of the assembly.

        I do not doubt that such a critique is not applicable at Solesmes not in St. Peter’s, but the qualities demonstrated in those places with there particular architectures and many visitors does not justify the clerical focused imposition of EF rubrics on OF celebrations or the arbitrary imposition of the EF on a parish satisfied with the traditions of the OF. If Fr. Whippershapper wants to recruit an EF congregation and celebrate the Eucharist with them, that is a fine, extraordinary, thing to do.

    2. “rot” in the liturgy? or in the institutions of the church and individual clerics [not denying other kinds of rot among Christians] which we are unaccustomed to addressing in public?

      “What is lacking in the debate is a sound comparison of the various “models” of liturgy and its expressions as it impacts the spirituality, faith, morals and good works of rank and file clergy and laity ”

      Do you think my earlier survey here on different desiderata among those favoring wondrous or communal worship was a useful step in this direction?

      Have you seen my blog on “latria” and “dulia”

      http://practical-liturgist.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html

      which developed from that survey. It is an attempt to make a non-prejudicial approach to evaluating liturgical preferences.

      I do not understand the oft expressed need of some to establish a “strong Catholic identity” rather than liturgy simply nurturing Christian living.

      Such desires seem to me to be attempts to prevent Christians from identifying with each other despite differences.

      1. Thanks for asking Bill, I appreciate your inquisitiveness. No I wasn’t interviewed by Kennedy. In my previous parish we didn’t celebrate the EF Mass but my parochial vicar was bi-ritual and he celebrated the Greek Catholic Mass, Divine Liturgy I should say (Byzantine, Melkite Rite) every Sunday! We had different “models” of Liturgy there too not to mention a Gospel Mass each Sunday! We were a post-Vatican II parish with two lungs! And no one suffered for it.

  15. While I agree that Drake’s screed is unnecessary, overwraught and heavy handed, I think it’s fairly hypocritical to cry “foul” here at PTB. When there’s a designation to posts of the editor labeled under the heading of “humor,” that results in equally overwraught criticism in the comboxes, we’re all quickly reminded “It was meant to be humor. Get over it.”
    These boxes also tolerate the “humor” of folks like our confrere Mr. Grady, whose repeated use of terms like “Princess” when addressing other persons isn’t likely to be received as funny by others, as is his most recent avatar of Cdl. Burke, which I find actually clever, but could evoke the ire of others which could be justified.
    Bit of a double standard, as I see it. YMMV.

  16. Kennedy’s article is the most incisive I’ve seen on the new clericalists. Nearly all of us priests have either enjoyed or mocked one or another characteristic of clericalism. Either we enjoy our positions at the tail end of the processions or we mock the guys prancing around in cassocks at clergy gatherings. I, for one, do believe in any project which aims at true conversion but beginning with my own. I’ll admit I’ve brought up a time or two the old canard that Judas is the patron saint of those who feel compelled to leave mass early but I am doing penance for it. Drakes article dripped of the we’re superior to you motif in which they seem to look forward to having the last laugh. Reminds me of some younger priests who like to think of priests in my generation as the ones who ruined the church that they must now restore. I’ve made more than my share of missteps but at least I’ve made my amends and have moved on to truly do my best.

    1. So would you rather see young priests “prancing around” in Hawaiian shirts at clergy gatherings?

      (PS No relation to the amusing Tim Drake,)

  17. No, but a finely draped conical or Dutch style with collar are what represents for me “noble simplicity”. And no lace on the alb, please. I’m thinking of writing a book called “manly servant leaders don’t wear lace”.

  18. “There has been exaggerated attention on the human aspect of the sacred liturgy…” This seems to me to be the real crux of the issue over the reform of the liturgy and the reform of the reform. Are we Catholic Christians who believe in the Incarnation or not? And if we do, can you actually attend too much to the “human aspect”? When I read Drake, and many commentators who are a lot more serious than him, I get the impression that there is an underlying suspicion of human nature, human communities, the People of God … the Body of Christ. As if they can’t quite believe in the reality of the Incarnation, which is after all at the heart of Christian belief. In the end, this leads to a view of the Real Presence which actually isn’t very real, inspite of all the pious proclamations.

  19. .

    John Nolan :

    A Roman chasuble is cut away at the sides. It is sometimes called a ‘fiddleback’ although it is actually the front of the garment that resembles a violin. The Gothic style is much fuller.

    You are correct. I don’t know how I got it flat backwards.

    I took the opportunity to confirm this in J. G. Davies Dictionary of Liturgy and Worship [1972, London: SCM Press, Ltd. pp372-3]. I love this book with its clearly ecumenical and academic approach. Over 37 years, I must still refer to it twice a year, minimum.

    See Davies’ two-page Figure 25: “History of the Chasuble by the Monuments.” There are 57 chasuble styles illustrated. I wish this set of illustrations was available on line.

    If priests used a chasuble more like the one labeled
    XI Roma Minerva, Pontificale,
    then it would make more sense to wear chasuble over stole over alb, because the stole would be visible below the shorter conic section of the front, while the conic section of the rear still covers completely to the ankles.

  20. Actually a conical chasuble is difficult to wear. Most Gothic styles allow a certain arm movement. The strange modern habit of wearing the stole over the chasuble was described by a young priest of my acquaintance as ‘putting authority over charity’.

    1. The “minerva” gets around this by being shorter in front than back.

      It looks to me like it would only come down to mid-forearm. Would not doubt that it was created to allow easier arm movement.

      Presumably it is only an accident that it shows more of the stole and alb, but that happens to be why I like it.

    2. The stole is the symbol of priestly authority, not the chasuble, not the alb, not the birreta. It was simply a development of liturgical custom that the practice of wearing chasubles with exterior stoles emerged. They were used licitly and were really very beautiful and manly. I have no idea what your young priest is talking about.

      1. He was referring to the fact that the chasuble symbolizes charity. Originally the vestments wouldn’t have had any symbolism, being merely the formal dress of the late Roman Empire.

  21. I see where Tom Poelker is coming from. Young priests who celebrate in the EF do so in a different way from their predecessors 50 years ago. This is partly because they want to get away from the ‘rushed Low Mass’ culture, but also because adherence to fairly complicated rubrics and Latin does not come naturally to them. I am surprised that there are parishes in the USA which have imposed the EF without offering the alternative which is after all the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite. But if you sing Mass in Latin according to the GIRM and the Graduale Romanum it’s going to look a lot like the Tridentine Mass and what’s the harm in that?

    1. The problem is when they take the rubical minutiae from the EF and apply it to the OF and use fiddlebacks and birettas, especially those stiff gestures which are so restricted, robotic, lacking in human communication.

      This all becomes very distracting and priest centered.

      Why would one want to sing a vernacular Mass in Latin? Or am I misunderstanding you?

  22. Owning and using conical chasubles myself I find they are ‘formal clothes’ and not any more constricting when used for their proper purpose than wearing a ‘smoking/tuxedo’ for its proper time and place. They can be treated and worn as ‘clothes’; they do not get in the way of the proper dignified celebration of the Holy Liturgy/Mass. They are certainly more ‘traditional’ than the Baroque, or Gothic, or ‘fiddleback’ vestments — and they do not require the addition of ‘lace’ or other distractions for solemnity, ‘noble simplicity’, and quiet dignity.

  23. But if you sing Mass in Latin according to the GIRM and the Graduale Romanum it’s going to look a lot like the Tridentine Mass and what’s the harm in that?

    Might you have missed John’s clearly stated point, Tom, that the OF is not exclusively a “vernacular” Mass?
    In either form, at an ontological level, doesn’t one have to acknowledge that “it all” must be “very priest centered”?
    Anyway, having heard/sung the Latin OF with the ritual affectations mentioned over the last five summers at CMAA colloquia, I attest to a very profound effectiveness that edifies this soul to “go forth” and witness after “ite Miss a est.” YMMV

    1. No, it most certainly does not have to be priest centered.
      In fact this is contrary to the clear teaching of an ecumenical council in agreement with the pope that the liturgy is people centered and that the priest is the servant of the people, a minister to them.

      OTOH, if John’s point was that the OF exists in Latin as well as vernacular, perhaps that is so obviously true that I could not believe it was his point.

      John, was that your point or were you suggesting using Latin song over the vernacular OF?

      The mentioned things are affectations and distracting when an individual priest inserts them into parish Masses where people have not sought to regress to the old ways he wants to go. It makes it “father’s Mass” again. The same practices for a community which seeks them out and practices FCAP in Latin are a very different matter, as you seem to attest.

      Even though for seven years I was the poorest Latin student in the “A” track, I have retained enough vocabulary and familiarity with the pre-1962 MR that I can get a good deal out of an EF Mass, if well done. I still need to go to the kingly priests guys that Burke brought in, but to date I have not found the EF well done in my presence. On line, from Rome, yes, but not by EWTN and not in StL.

      1. You can certainly use Latin settings of the Common (and Gregorian Propers from the GR) and have the rest of the Mass in the vernacular; I have often come across this in Germany and Austria where they have good choirs and even orchestras. But I was thinking of a sung OF Mass that is entirely in Latin apart from the Scripture readings. Not to mention the sung Latin Office according to the revised books – the new Antiphonale came out only recently.

  24. The principal Sunday Mass at the London Oratory and several other London churches has long been Solemn Latin, Novus Ordo. Modern vestments would look out of place in a church deliberately modelled on the Italian renaissance style, whereas fiddlebacks (of which the church has plenty) match that style. Regarding rubrics, the OF leaves a lot of scope. When the instruction says ‘manibus extensis’ it doesn’t specify how far. The fact that most priests who celebrate in the vernacular versus populum (which was never mandatory) extend their arms wide and eyeball the congregation is fine; but those whose gestures are more restrained are also acting according to the GIRM. These ritualized gestures (and don’t forget that GIRM 42 authorizes what is ‘traditional to the Roman Rite’) may appear ‘robotic’ to those used to a more ‘in your face’ style of celebration but they don’t ‘own’ the liturgy. Any Mass celebrated according to the texts and rubrics of the current MR, whether in Latin or the vernacular, versus populum or ad orientem, or according to the Missal of 1962, is of equal value.

    1. “Equal value” is not the issue. Mumbled, rushed, minimalist celebrations are sacramentally valid, ex opere operato, but on this list we need not discuss theological minima but are more interested in achieving the liturgical maximum.

      “Ritualized gestures” is also misleading. All ritual involves gestures, so the question is the effectiveness of the gestures in conveying the content of the ritual to those present. The rubrically mechanical gestures fail by this standard. At least the parallel hands gesture has some faint resemblance to orans.

      “Restrained” is an inaccurate way to describe these postures. “Constrained” might be closer, but “artificial” and “contrived” or “cryptic” come to mind. There is no room in those forms for either restraint or expansiveness, just legality within a narrow range. They are near-perfect examples of clericalism because they are gestures only used by the priestly class, the meaning of which must be explained to the initiates.

      However, any presider who “extend their arms wide and eyeball the congregation” with palms toward the assembly has missed the entire point. The eye contact thing also indicates that they do not understand what they are pronouncing, because the prayers are clearly addressed to the Father, not the assembly.

      I think it would help if the entire congregation prayed in orans posture whenever the presider did.

      Finally, I would say that “in your face” more accurately describes the young priests who force their EF rubrical, rather than communicative, style on congregations rather than attempting to preside so as to convey clearly the content of the vernacular which they pronounce.

  25. So much cyber ink spent on the merits of ‘modern’ i.e. Roman vestments, over and against fiddlesticks is rather pathetic. Does God care? It sounds more like the inane, self-indulgent chatter of a group of sterile dilettantes.

    ‘Versus populum’ is an unfortunate and inappropriate phrase. Even though one could be forgiven for thinking otherwise, especially on the Tridentine stage, the priest is a member of the People of God.

    1. Exactly. Which is why he should orientate himself with the people of God, ad orientem (liturgical east, that is). Except for the Roman basilicas where the main altar faces (geographical) west. And even in these churches altars in side chapels are not usually versus populum.

    2. Of course, God does not care about our vestments or burnt offerings or sacrifices. However, to call the discussion of vestments self-indulgent is to display a lack of understanding of liturgy. OTOH, it could lead to a very interesting discussion if you were to call clerical use of vestments “self-indulgent”.

      The Church cares. SC is the church teaching that it cares about the manner in which liturgy is celebrated, not just matter and form.

      The exact problem of clericalist priests is that they choose to act as if they are somehow separate from and above the rest of the assembly.

      The problem of the Tridentine liturgical culture is well described in your phrase “on the Tridentine stage”. The EF puts the priest and clergy and clergy mimicking servers up on a stage instead of gathering the people around the table of the Lord

      1. Perhaps you could go into how the EF puts them on a stage in a way the OF does not. I could see how this could be considered true in a huge Solemn High Mass in a vast sanctuary celebrated by a bishop with lots of clergy and servers – but I’ve never been to one (and have been repeatedly told that your average Catholic before the council never got to see one either), though I have been to big OF Masses with dozens of concelebrating priests gathered around the altar – blocking the view because they are all standing and the congregation is not.

        I fail to see how the EF is radically different or worse than how the OF usually treats the clergy in relation to the laity – the people are no more “gathered around” the altar in any OF celebration I have ever been to – they sit like 15 feet away and at least one step lower unless they are part of the special group of volunteers that do the readings and distribute communion. Most of the old churches I have been to do not have vast, long, deep sanctuaries, so the priest was maybe four or five feet farther away from the congregation before the freestanding altar was built.

        Something funny I have observed around here is that the liturgical action of the EF usually has to spill out into the congregation a little because the freestanding altars do not have enough room in front of them for all the servers and ritual gestures. The people end up being closer during the EF than they are during the OF.

  26. We could do with fewer shoulds here.

    Versus populum is an inappropriate expression, not because ad orientem is the appropriate formation for the liturgical assembly to adopt. It is unfortunate and inappropriate because it seeks to establish a dichotomy between the people of God and the presider at the assembly of the people of God. The subtext is that God is somewhere out in the middle distance, rather than in the middle of the assembly.

    As other commentators have eloquently expressed here, liturgy is the action of God’s people, not something that the priest holds between his forefingers and his thumbs, and which is later placed in ‘cold storage.’

      1. JN.

        Is this the dignified British manner of debate you were urging on the colonials earlier?

        Can you not make a case without name-calling?

        Please take your heresy hunting and personal accusations elsewhere.

        Express and defend your positions as positions without implying you are orthodox and others are not.

      2. Funny, but I really don’t see any Calvin in there.

        Perhaps you could cross-reference Gerard’s post with something from the Institutes?

        Good luck with it.

  27. Charles;

    So true, or maybe to state it precisely…there is no such thing as “the vernacular Mass”, but only the Latin Rite Mass (OF) celebrated in various languages as an option. It is a Latin Mass however.

    1. Please study the correct use of modifiers.

      There is a difference in meaning between a Mass of the Latin Rite and a Latin Mass.

      One is a matter of authorization, the other of language.

  28. I do not care which way the presider faces, so long as the presider is in the midst of the assembly and not up against a wall.

    I have followed an idea offered on the Yahoo! list Liturgy-l regarding the contrast between <versus populum and <ad orientum and asked, “Why not both?”

    If
    – a third of the assembly [at the west end] faces east, and

    – the presider is close to them but between them and the altar, and

    – there is a center aisle before the altar and presider,

    – with members of the assembly able to face east yet see the action around the altar,

    would this not discourage presiders from “playing to the crowd”,

    put all in the same eastward facing direction for the Liturgy of the Eucharist,

    while avoiding the impression of clerical secrecy of the priest/altar/reredos Tridentine norm?

    BTW, in this arrangement, I would want the main entrance to the building and the parking lot to be to the west so that people would have to go to some effort not to sit near the front.

    Finally, given our urban, separated from nature culture, all the directions can be notional. The compass directions are a lot less important than the relative positions.

    OK, that was not finally.

    I think that it would be important in this arrangement not to have any representational or symbolic art on the eastern wall. We are to raise our hearts, minds, and eyes to God, not to some devotional object or human work of art. Personally, I think curtains in the solid color of the season might be good. I could see having a field stone wall, too.

    A large but simple ambo could be at the foot of this wall, allowing the Word of God to be proclaimed toward the assembly facing east. The ambo could also take the form of a very wide reading desk so that there is room for multiple readers for the Passion.

  29. Tom Poelker :

    No, it most certainly does not have to be priest centered.
    In fact this is contrary to the clear teaching of an ecumenical council in agreement with the pope that the liturgy is people centered and that the priest is the servant of the people, a minister to them.

    Tom,
    Are you -A. Stating that the Eucharist can be confected without the ritual participation of an ordained priest; B. A celebrant cannot adequately and completely effect a Mass in the absence of a quorum of the faithful; or the alter Christus being offered in the bloodless sacrifice of the Eucharistic Liturgy is first “the people” as enacted by convention through the ritual words and actions of the celebrant?
    I’m sorry, I don’t quite get your assertion’s totality in your second paragraph.

    1. I cannot explain to you the entire thrust of SC in a 2000 character post if you have not yet read it, or have read it seeking to find support for your own position instead of seeking to understand what it is teaching about needed change in our liturgical practices as of the middle of the twentieth century.

      If you would like to hire me to teach an entire semester on this matter, I am available.

      Meanwhile, your questions are diversionary and irrelevant to anything I have written.

      The Mass can be called God-centered or people-centered, since it is in some ways both. It is not, never has been, and should not be priest-centered. That is the mistake of clericalism.

      Are you sure you want to refer to the priest as the alter christus being offered? Is the presiding priest also the sacrifice? Perhaps, you would like to rephrase that sentence?

  30. Tom, the priest does have a distinct role from the rest of the assembly. I think your habitual use of the term ‘liturgical presider’ might induce you to overlook this, and whether you like it or not it sounds, well, protestant.

    Oh, and lay off the ‘colonial’ bit. After 235 years you Yanks should have lost your inferiority complex. You are as imperialist as the Brits ever were; you colonized an entire continent, to the disadvantage of the indigenous population, but called it ‘manifest destiny’.

    1. If presider sounds Protestant to you, I wonder why you have that problem. Presiding, being president of the assembly is exactly how the RC documents describe the “distinct role” of the priest at Mass. I do not call the priests by the Protestant term “minister” although each is meant to minister to the community.

      I do not overlook this distinct role of the priest. I emphasize it. I do so intentionally to avoid the implications of calling any priest “the” celebrant. All the baptized present are celebrants of the Eucharist, something which people tend to “overlook” when the priest is called “the” celebrant. I know that the Missal uses that term for the priest, so it is not incorrect, just unfortunate in its implications.

      I think the curial agenda includes reversing ecumenical convergence and enhancing the status of the clergy. I also think that both of these are mistakes and in opposition to the clear intentions of Vatican II.

      These two issues are close to the crux of the ecclesiological wars which make liturgy their battlefield.

      I am committed to supporting the historical vision and the theology of the liturgy expressed in SC. To the best of my efforts, I stay within the teachings of SC and the liturgical laws. I try to reference the logical or historical or documentary basis for my position without getting into footnotes and citations out of context.

      I try to be clear when I am expressing what is merely my taste or opinion in a matter. I expect others to address the consistency and logic of my positions or clearly state when they are merely expressing their tastes.

      For them and myself, we can only explain our tastes, not justify them to another who has different tastes.

      That is what I do in using the term “presider”. It is a legitimate term used in full knowledge of alternatives. As a matter of taste, I think it is to be preferred.

    2. JN, in the second or third time you posted on these pages, you suggested British debate standards were higher, which I took as a condescending remark to those you considered inferior colonists. When you stop being condescending and insulting, I will stop such references.

      I think you should apologize for implying someone is a Calvinist because you do not like their approach to Catholic liturgy, especially because you did not explain why it was more Calvinist than RC.

  31. Goodness, Tom, in all honesty, both post’s inquiries were genuinely asked for my clarification, and definitely not as diversionary or to provoke your consternation with my ignorance. Yes, of course I’ve read SC, but more so as a primer, if you will, than a liturgical philosohical treatise. My bad.
    And I sure didn’t intend to irritate you towards condescension.
    As regards the central purpose of Mass, could you simply answer my questions as to the specific role of the priest-presider-celebrant, thanks?

    1. Please state a simple question if you want a simple answer.
      Do you want to know about the purpose of the Mass or about the priest?
      Or you could just read the GIRM regarding the role of the ordained as presider. I do not see why you are making an issue over something which is so clear.
      If you can not tell, I read your comment as sarcastic and a further diversion. You avoid stating a case and try to get me to say something you can target.

      Purpose of the Mass
      Nourish the People of God with Scripture and participation in the Eucharistic feast.

      Now I expect you to bring up a lot of other cliches and mention a lot of other true things which can be said about the Mass, but that is the clear and essential purpose and has been since the days of Paul by his description. Lots of other stuff has accumulated and lots of it is peripheral. The purpose is to nourish the baptized so that they are strengthened in their motivation and mutual support to live as followers of Jesus.

      Role of the priest at Mass
      The priest leads the assembly in its communal prayer.

      Now I expect you to bring up a lot of other cliches and mention a lot of other true things which can be said about priests, but there is nothing which is more essential than this.

  32. Dear Tom,
    I should have done my homework. I was able to find this exegesis online:

    5. The EP is built around the Institution Narrative. I would like the presider to effectively proclaim the narrative and not presume to partially reenact it. I think it is a mistake to emphasize the presbyter as alter christus over the fact that we are a priestly people and all called to be other Christs. The action of God in transforming the mere bread and wine into the Body and Bloodof the Messiah is the mystery to be emphasized, not the instrumentality of the ordained on behalf of the assembly.

    That’s pretty clear. Are you still quite comfortable with the portion, “I would like…”?

    1. Please provide some context here.
      Who are you quoting, on what occasion?
      I do not think I have any problem with this.
      Why would you ask me if I am comfortable with it?

      Do you think this in some way contradicts what I have said about the purpose of the Mass or the role of the priest?

  33. CC:
    Just to check signals here, are we still pursuing the same point?

    where you said
    “In either form, at an ontological level, doesn’t one have to acknowledge that “it all” must be “very priest centered”?”

    and I responded
    “No, it most certainly does not have to be priest centered.”

    If not, please clarify where our disagreement begins.

  34. Tom at #74: I do not overlook this distinct role of the priest. I emphasize it. I do so intentionally to avoid the implications of calling any priest “the” celebrant. All the baptized present are celebrants of the Eucharist, something which people tend to “overlook” when the priest is called “the” celebrant. I know that the Missal uses that term for the priest, so it is not incorrect, just unfortunate in its implications.

    I pose two questions. After reading your many posts I am unsure where you stand on these issues, although I now think I have a better idea.

    1) Do you accept or reject the dogma of the propitiatory sacrifice of the Mass? In particular, do you accept the orthodox definition of the priest as an icon of and the person of Christ in his holy sacrifice? (CCC 1141 — 1142) The privilege of the the common priesthood is not understood to be the unique privilege of the priest or bishop in Mass. To conflate the sacerdotal privilege with the common priesthood, or to privilege the common priesthood over the ordained priesthood, does not, in my understanding, reflect the orthodoxy outlined in the Catechism.

    2) If you do reject the propitiatory sacrifice, how do you reconcile your beliefs with Catholic orthodoxy? Are you willing to live in cognitive dissonance, or would you be better off in a Christian church (such as Lutheranism), which rejects the notion of alter Christus as understood by Rome?

    1. In terms of this discussion the dogma on sacrifice is irrelevant and I refuse to allow you to divert the discussion into a heresy hunt on this topic. Note clearly that I have said this is irrelevant to the discussion at hand and not stated anything in response to this irrelevant question. I do not think that anything I have posted here is in contradiction to defined doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.

      1. Tom, I do think this is quite relevant. For the sake of the forum I think you should define your understanding of eucharistic propitiation. That way, at least I can understand where you’re coming from when you talk of “meal”, “memorial”, and the like.

        If you indeed reject Aquinan-Tridentine dogma, please be more explicit about your reasons for denying dogma. If you choose to instruct others in teachings not consonant with the historical apostolic understanding of the Eucharist, you should make this clear not only here on PTB but also in your instruction.

        I will not “heresy hunt”. If you are convinced in your beliefs, you are entitled to believe in them. I am not the Holy Office. I just think that your expositions on the Mass would benefit from a doctrinal and dogmatic resolution.

        If those who instruct the faithful do not at least mention orthodoxy and then refute it, our faith will wither and become irrelevant. I do wonder if the irrelevancy has already set in. I hold to a Mass that has been drained of its doctrinal vigor. If indeed the Mass is not offered for sin, and is merely for commonweal, then I have no reason to warm a pew on Sunday.

    2. Maybe I am too dense, but I do not see the relevance of propitiatory theology to this discussion either. Tom has been proposing the teaching in CCC 1140: “It is the whole community, the Body of Christ united with its Head, that celebrates.” This is the context for 1141-2, which you cite, so there should not be much problem reconciling them.

      We could start by quoting a little more fully: “to act in the person of Christ the head” and “an “icon” of Christ the priest.” The priest is not alone in celebrating, but acts as Christ the head with respect to those who are members of the Body of Christ celebrating with him. The ordained are icons of Christ the priest, who alone offers the sacrifice in union with the whole Church. So the ordained image Christ in a particular time and place to facilitate the union of all with the one true priest, Christ.

      So every eucharist is offered
      a> by Christ alone;
      b> joined with His Body the Church;
      c> through the ministry of the ordained who image the one Sacrifice of Christ.

      At least, that is how I understand the CCC. So Tom is completely correct in saying that all participate in celebrating the Eucharist, and that does not take anything away from the distinct participation by the ordained in Christ’s sacrifice. Rather, it is the reason for the priest’s unique role.

  35. The pope, to my great surprise, seems to have provided some convenient support to my description as to the purpose of Mass.

    http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/homepage/blog-sacri-palazzi-en/detail/articolo/4155/

    In a culture that is ever more individualistic like that in which Western societies are immersed and which is spreading throughout the world, the Eucharist constitutes a kind of “antidote”, which operates in the minds and hearts of believers and continually sows in them the logic of communion, of service, of sharing, in a word, the logic of the Gospel. The first Christians, in Jerusalem, were an evident sign of this new way of life because they lived in fraternity and held all of their goods in common so that no one should be indigent (cf. Acts 2:42-47). Where did all of this come from? From the Eucharist, that is, the risen Christ, really present with his disciples and working with the power of the Holy Spirit. And in the succeeding generations, through the centuries, the Church, despite human limits and errors, continued to be a force for communion in the world. We think especially of the most difficult periods, the periods of trial: What did it mean, for example, for countries that were under the heal of totalitarian regimes to have the possibility to gather for Sunday Mass! As the ancient martyrs of Abitene proclaimed: “Sine Dominico non possumus” – without the “Dominicum,” that is, the Sunday Eucharist, we cannot live.


    Please note the focus on community rather than on sacrifice or priests.

    1. J.Z. “I am not the Holy Office.”

      The term ‘Holy Office’ was abolished as a result of the reform of the Second Vatican Council.

      Perhaps your retention of the term situates your position, consciously or otherwise.

      1. “The Vatican” (its constituent clergy) still calls the CDF “il Sant’Uffizio”. Why shouldn’t I as well?

        When I make arguments on PTB, I make a point to include hyperlinks and quotations to relevant Vatican documents, canon law, the Catechisms, scripture, etc. My liturgical and theological biases are well known. I am often wrong or full of shoddy argument. I try to gladly take correction. Yet, the effort is shown in the attention to the argument.

        Tridentine “ecclesiastical culture”, rubrics, and theology stifled intellectual innovation, I agree. Nevertheless the Tridentine period is the immediate predecessor era. Current developments in liturgy cannot pretend that the preceding 400 years or so never occurred. Current liturgical science cannot pretend that there is Catholic-verse wormhole to the apostolic or patristic period. In my view, a defense of a liturgical concept must support or contest a Tridentine concept before a return to an earlier era. Arguments for innovation must also contend with the past, even if the past is inconvenient.

  36. John Nolan :

    You can certainly use Latin settings of the Common (and Gregorian Propers from the GR) and have the rest of the Mass in the vernacular; I have often come across this in Germany and Austria where they have good choirs and even orchestras. But I was thinking of a sung OF Mass that is entirely in Latin apart from the Scripture readings. Not to mention the sung Latin Office according to the revised books – the new Antiphonale came out only recently.

    Yes, you can do this, but if the vast majority of the assembly is familiar with one vernacular language, why would you want to do so?

    I have seen some musicians argue for such a thing, but a close reading usually shows that what they want to do is perform some music they like, not nourish people with good liturgy. You are not going that way, are you?

    1. “a close reading usually shows that what they want to do is perform some music they like, not nourish people with good liturgy.”

      To be fair, Tom, this seems a highly speculative ascription of motives. There can be a lot of motivations beyond “performing music they like,” and many of them would be in no way contrary to “nourish people with good liturgy,” unless one operates with a very limited definition of what qualifies as “good.”

      1. These are not the result of speculation on my part. It is a deduction from several decades of parish and diocesan liturgy committee work, In many cases after following long discussions, this is exactly what musicians are proposing. What percentage of musicians think in terms of music first and then of fitting it into the liturgy has not been studied, but judging from participation in lengthy discussions on several lists and from discussions with students pursuing liturgy degrees in order to advance their church music careers, I suspect the percentage is high. I also have observed that much of this is not conscious. Musicians who take a course or two on liturgy then call themselves liturgical musicians but still can not discuss the liturgical role of musical pieces in the Mass. There is a frequent confusion between providing good liturgical music and providing good liturgy or serving the liturgical needs of the assembly. Those with the limited definition of what is good liturgy are often musicians and pastors who seem to think that the only things in liturgy subject to improvement or deterioration is the music. In parishes with such people, the only liturgical ministers who get rehearsal and training are the singers. The meetings of the church musicians and the publications for them are almost the only continuing education in liturgy. Musicians are hired by such pastors as parish liturgical directors but cannot find their way through the books of Rites or Blessings.

        I am sorry I introduced this thread inadvertantly. It deserves its own thread and to be introduced more carefully, preferably by a musician who can also see the problem I may not have described well. It is not really relevant to this discussion.

  37. Tom, I’m not playing gotcha, for my part. I’m really not a cliche-dependent sort of interloctor! 😉 I think our point of departure began here

    The problem is when they take the rubical minutiae from the EF and apply it to the OF and use fiddlebacks and birettas, especially those stiff gestures which are so restricted, robotic, lacking in human communication. It all becomes distracting and very priest centered.

    Very clearly we have divergent views regarding the objective of the Mass and the role of the priest/celebrant. Mine you might call naive: “What You have hidden from the wise You have revealed to little ones (anawim.) So, I am very edified by both what I comprehend and what appears as a mystery, however arcane it appears to others.
    The subsequent quote I found on the net was yours from some forum. It explained to me your liturgical understanding of the role of the presider fairly directly.
    Please forgive the “repeat” below. Darn tablet won’t let me edit it out!

    This all becomes very distracting and priest centered.

    1. CC,
      Glad to see we both think we are still discussing the same thing.

      I have copied some questions I asked when you posted my statement.

      Why would you ask me if I am comfortable with it?

      Do you think this in some way contradicts what I have said about the purpose of the Mass or the role of the priest?

      In addition, I ask if you have any problem with my answer
      “Role of the priest at Mass
      The priest leads the assembly in its communal prayer”

  38. PS, Tom, I have been genuine in my dialogue with you. I know from sarcasm, and it is worthless here. I am, in a word, seeking.

  39. @ Tom Poelker #85

    You might want to use Latin because you think it doesn’t make sense to discard all liturgical music written before the 1960s, including Gregorian Chant which developed with the liturgy in the first millennium and is the music proper to the Roman Rite. You might want to stress the catholicity of the church in space and time. You might want to reach out to those who have a different vernacular.

    I can’t help coming to the conclusion that your liturgical model is a rather dated one. You came across it quite a lot in the three decades after the Council, but the Church has moved on since then. I, and most Catholics of my acquaintance would be unhappy with some of the doctrinal aspects of it, aesthetic arguments aside.

    The essence of debate is to listen to your opponent’s arguments, and if necessary refute them with arguments of your own. If someone disagrees with you, you can’t simply shut him up by declaring loftily that what he has to say has no relevance to your argument, or worse, that he lacks the intelligence and erudition to understand what you’re saying. [Grammatical note: I’m using the impersonal second person singular.]

    I also understand that there is a distinction, albeit a subtle one, between sarcasm and irony.

    1. JN
      “You might want to use Latin because you think it doesn’t make sense to discard all liturgical music written before the 1960s, ”

      This seems to be an example of being more concerned with music than with ministering to the liturgical needs of the assembly.

      To preserve music, give a concert.

      1. Absolutely false, Tom. Those who wish to preserve Latin chant do so because it is explicitly mandated in Vatican II documents. To claim otherwise is to push a liturgical model based on nothing more than your personal tastes.

        Liturgical musicians are not only concerned with the liturgical needs of the assembly, but they are also required to adhere to what the church wishes. This is a balancing act, and to claim that programming Latin shows a lack of concern for the assembly proves that you care soley about the assembly and not at all about what is required by the Church.

      2. It is not absolutely false. Absolute means admitting of no exception. How do you know what the motives of those who wish to preserve chant in Latin are? One thing you may be sure of is, that there is no uniformity of motives.

        When you talk about ‘what the church wishes,’ do you ever stop to think what you mean? We are the church.

        The most that may be said is that the administrative wing of the church has expressed a preference. Some people share that preference, and not necessarily for that reason.

      1. Who are you to decide what other people’s liturgical needs are? And chant if it is syllabic can be adapted to the vernacular without too much difficulty. Try singing Gloria XV in the new ICEL version and and then in the original Latin. Liturgical music belongs in the liturgy; you can sing the Victoria Improperia in the concert hall but their place is in the Good Friday liturgy. I was replying to your no doubt sincere puzzlement that anyone would want to sing anything in Latin.

    2. Will you please get over judging my liturgical model as you reconstruct it from limited evidence. and respond to or make specific suggestions of your own. Why are you wasting everyone’s time trying to figure me out instead of dealing with the specific suggestions I make?

      If you want to figure me out, you might have a better chance by reading what I claim are liturgical principles on my own blog page. I specifically invite you, JN, to examine that list and comment on or offer counter suggestions item by item.

      http://practical-liturgist.blogspot.com/2011/06/specifically-liturgical-values.html

      On PTB, I often attempt to deal with specific issues as they are raised and wish to avoid getting diverted into discussing assumptions. On the other hand, you may want to go back to an earlier attempt I made here to draw out all on the list in an attempt to find common denominators. The results and and further speculation are found here.

      http://practical-liturgist.blogspot.com/2011/04/liturgy-wish-list.html

      I can’t help coming to the conclusion that you are recreating arguments which you have had before even though I do not fit into the patterns you are expecting.

  40. Oh, and Happy Independence Day! Had you stayed loyal to the Crown you would have got self-government anyway – Canada got it in 1867, despite the fact that most Canadians didn’t want it, and since slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire in 1833 you might have spared yourself the Civil War. Which would be tough on all those re-enactment societies.

    1. Such sentiments, given your quintessentially British patronymic, are admirable. And your insight from hindsight, very perceptive.

      1. Thank you, Mr Flynn. Such compliments, especially from fellow-Irishmen, are most welcome. ‘What if’ reconstructions are always fascinating to historians. Suppose Pius XII had not denied Montini a red hat. He would almost certainly have been elected at the 1958 conclave. Would he have instigated reform? Certainly. Would he have summoned a
        General Council? Almost certainly not. John XXIII’s calling of the Council is somewhat analogous to Louis XVI’s summoning the Estates-General in 1789.

      2. Your speculations are precisely that, for what they’re worth, mere speculations.

        We have no way of knowing whether they are correct.

        However, we can credit you with the ability to see with hindsight.

        Happy Independence Day to all in the U.S.!

  41. Jordan Zarembo :

    Tom, I do think this is quite relevant. For the sake of the forum I think you should define your understanding of eucharistic propitiation. That way, at least I can understand where you’re coming from when you talk of “meal”, “memorial”, and the like.
    If you indeed reject Aquinan-Tridentine dogma, please be more explicit about your reasons for denying dogma. If you choose to instruct others in teachings not consonant with the historical apostolic understanding of the Eucharist, you should make this clear not only here on PTB but also in your instruction.

    I will discuss liturgy on its own terms.
    I do not think that following SC and the GIRM leads to any doctrinal errors.
    If you can cite anything I write to be explicitly in conflict with RCC teaching, I will reconsider it. However, please do not clutter the list with
    your deductions from
    what you think
    might be leading
    in the direction of
    possible heresy
    as you personally define it.

  42. John Nolan :

    Who are you to decide what other people’s liturgical needs are?
    And chant if it is syllabic can be adapted to the vernacular without too much difficulty.

    Liturgical music belongs in the liturgy; you can sing the Victoria Improperia in the concert hall but their place is in the Good Friday liturgy. I was replying to your no doubt sincere puzzlement that anyone would want to sing anything in Latin.

    JN
    You have overlooked the context.
    I asked why one would want to sing in Latin when offering the OF in the vernacular for a vernacular speaking congregation. Vernacular chant is actually ideal, in my opinion.

    Not all music once used in a liturgical setting belongs in the liturgy as described and encouraged by SC.

    Why assume and attack me as if I had said that I was deciding what are the liturgical needs of someone in some other time, place, and culture when what I actually said was that the decision makers need to consider the liturgical needs of the assembly and not be concerned with preserving music?

  43. Tom, earlier you asked me to clarify what the point of discussion was, which I presumed was necessary to sort out my concerns from yours and likely others. I think I’ve satisfied your question. For my part, I neither require nor expect it necessary that you respond. I am truly sorry if you have mistakenly included my portion of the discussion as intentionally purposed to “call you out.”
    I don’t know what to say except I wonder when did all of this become “the Spanish Inquisition” (despite the weird truth of the Monty Python maxim “no one expects…)?
    OTOH, I don’t understand the need to deride musicians at service (some among for nearly the sum total of post-conciliar decades) as incompetent to negotiate “liturgy” by and large. Not a good strategy to win friends and influence people.
    Your shots across that bow, concerts and museum liturgy “mentality” stand in contrast with the late Prof. Searle’s admonition to simply “remember into the future.” As per your preference I won’t troupe out cliches which are actually instructions from SC/GIRM that provide liturgists/musicians/celebrants/faithful the mandate and means to actually enact Dr. Searle’s marvelous notion.
    The fact that this thread has careened off the road should serve as a warning, a lighthouse if you will, that misappropriation of another person’s essay in order to decry its meaning and intent (other than as known by its author) leads to disease among a self-declared body of believers.
    I again state my respect for the integrity of your faith, Tom, and my brotherhood with you in that respect. I regret the turn this thread has taken.

  44. Tom Poelker :

    CC,
    Glad to see we both think we are still discussing the same thing.
    I have copied some questions I asked when you posted my statement.
    Why would you ask me if I am comfortable with it?
    Do you think this in some way contradicts what I have said about the purpose of the Mass or the role of the priest?
    In addition, I ask if you have any problem with my answer
    “Role of the priest at Mass
    The priest leads the assembly in its communal prayer”

    Sorry, Tom, didn’t see this before my post at 10:44.
    My question about your comfort with your quotation standing as is referred to the qualification of “I would like…” That was a rhetorical observation and could be regarded as a “gotcha.” That qualification, understandable as it is, exacerbated to me the profoundly horizontal emphasis within the quote itself.
    To answer your question as stated, no, I have no problem with that.
    Peace and out.

  45. Fortunately for those of who respect continuity and tradition, and do not have a tin ear, the decision makers are in Rome, where liturgical and musical standards have improved to an extent unthinkable only ten years ago. Vernacular chant has its place, but it can’t replace Gregorian chant, which was also encouraged by SC. By all means use your particular liturgical model in your own parish, if they are OK with it, and if they can’t see the point of singing anything pre-1965 or in Latin then they don’t have to.

    1. Does this strike anyone else as an elitist and self-referential justification of a position through taking elements of SC out of context?

      I enjoy Gregorian Chant. I cannot cite a vernacular chant of equally high achievement. However, do not suppress vernacular chant in its relative infancy.

      I also think that there are a dozen or so pre-1965 church songs, hymns, carols, refrains, or whatchcallems, which actually have appropriate texts for use during Mass. I would not think of making the sort of blanket condemnations of any era some have offered here. Please see my earlier screeds blaming publishers and their profit motives for much unfortunate music and too many changes in music which replaces true development of the genre with marketing. Please note earlier judgmental comments about US bishops making things worse instead of better, choosing to condemn as individuals instead of selecting and encouraging the better results. Your other assumptions about the positions people take in general when they disagree with you on a particular might need similar work.

      I do not think that I stated a model of liturgy, so you should not be free to denigrate it. It is the classic straw man argument to posit what you think I might think in order to condemn it.

      The moderators seem to need to clear my earlier posting with its multiple references to my own blog for you to examine. Watch here tomorrow for those links to appear.

      We can then continue this discussion of models on that blog.

      1. I also think that there are a dozen or so pre-1965 church songs, hymns, carols, refrains, or whatchcallems, which actually have appropriate texts for use during Mass.

        A dozen or so???

  46. John, what you describe above has been a major issue among the CMAA membership for quite some time, most obviously and notably at this last month’s colloquium. There are, for lack of a better term, factions among CMAA that line up at various points of the spectrum regarding the efficacy and future of both forms of chant. Suffice it to say, the point of agreement is the medium of “chant” itself as a pre-eminently qualified form of expression for musical worship. But practical and philosophical differences among chant proponents remain as fluid and sometimes heated just as those that exist between folks like David H. and Todd F. and my CMAA buddies.
    Your point that Gregorian chant can’t be replaced is true in all respects save for perhaps one. I, like you, believe its use will survive into the future for time immemorial. But to what extent? We cannot foresee that. I pray for the greater. On the other hand, the need for the truly burgeoning emergence of English vernacular chant at this very moment in time (refer to musicasacra.com…-chant books-command/window) as well as in the past (Rossini, Burgess Palmer etc.) attests to the viability and need for vernacular set to chant, inauthentic as some may regard that.
    (to be cont.)

  47. (cont)
    I happened to ask Msgr. Andrew Wadsworth (ICEL chair, USA) whether he believed a revision of the GIRM, particularly as regards the processional options, and as a whole will become a necessity. He immediately responded that such a revision was unlikely. However he could envision the remediation of specific portions that many see as inarticulate through the emergence of a unified Roman Rite of the Mass. I believe he meant (tho’ I don’t speak for him) that meant a sort of cumulative outcome from Summorum Pontificum. I suppose we could ponder that ‘til the cows jump the moon and hell has igloos, but I think he’s onto something that speaks to a longing within a “catholic” heart, namely a sacral language that we all can employ that is consistent with the undisputed reality that you advance: you can’t replace (Gregorian) chant.
    Personally, I-
    1. Believe in the efficacy of the Usus Antiquor universally in Latin.
    2. Believe that the fulcrum of its recovery universally has tipped over and cannot be recovered. Hence
    3. Vernacular chant is the future. Th-th-th-that’s all folks.

  48. Thanks for that, Charles. I believe one thrust of the liturgical reform post V2 was to get away from the low Mass culture and move towards a sung Mass being the norm, as it is in the Eastern Rite. That and the option of the vernacular makes vernacular chant a priority and Mgr Wadsworth and co. have tackled this with the new translation. Sadly Bishops’ conferences e.g. Canada are already pushing settings in the modern i.e. pop idiom with guitar and keyboard accompaniment which apart from being saccharine and repetitive are not necessarily easy to sing.

    On the other hand I recently ran through Gloria XV in English and Latin with a small group who are new to chant and don’t read music (which is why I insist on square notation) and they picked it up quickly, likewise with Credo I.

    1. It appears that ‘pushing’ is the appropriate word when you disagree with the action. (And ‘promoting’ when you agree.)

      You appear to be pushing your subjective tastes here.

      De gustibus non disputandum.

  49. JN
    Can you provide a link which explains why it is harder to read music as is modernly printed than it is to read square chant notation?

    Modern notation seems to me to be entirely oriented to instrumentalists. The way notes are linked are often misleading regarding the syllabification singers must use.

  50. I continue to be amazed at the fervor, passion, and downright fever around the issue of preserving chant, and the related obsession with “propers only”….
    in the meantime, the people in our parish communities are looking to pray, and their paths to that end will be very diverse…

    Why, O why.. does there have to be only one way? This is not any sort of position against chant, or even against the propers.. because I love chant and encourage its use.. and I can understand the pain that many have felt because many on “the other side” have attacked it, and sadly, abandoned it altogether from their screen. But to push for its renewal through anger, attacks, and bashing of every other approach alas, does not serve any of us in any way worthy of our vocation. And its renewal, does not have exclude other genres and pastoral approaches (which by the way, may I remind us all, lies specifically in the GIRM itself, as well as other documents, including “Sing to the Lord.”) from accomplishing the same goals.

    I continue to be mystified by much of this, especially when there seems to be for me, so many other things that should be arousing our passions and concern.

    1. I prefer vernacular chant as a path to FCAP most accessible to Americans, most of us being nearly musical illiterates.

      Regarding Propers, I would rather have congregations sing complete Psalms, appropriately translated from the original into correct, inclusive, and formal American English with a promise that the translation will remain legal for liturgical use for fifty years. One translation, many composers, a chant minimum.

      I think the arbitrary rejection of the ICEL Psalter was a major crime and imposition of the personal tastes of a few when so much work had gone into something long needed for the good of the many.

    2. What I find even more amazing is that we are talking about high and low masses. Those who do so quote Musicam Sacram, which can be found throughout STTL. MS when using the terminology was talking about the principle of progressive solemnity. I think like any musical form chant can serve the liturgy well. I also think like all other musical forms its use should pass the musical, pastoral, and liturgical criteria.

  51. David, whose post provoked your confusion? I hope not mine, as then you would have greatly misinterpreted its intent and thrust.
    Just for a clarifying example, then I’ll leave it alone-
    When I wrote “vernacular chant is the future,” that was within the context of in what form would chant most likely thrive, not some Orwellian prediction of imposed uniformity.
    In past encounters it seems, to me, that you feel folks like me are “pushing” (thanks, Mr. Flynn) a one rite fits all agenda. Well, that indeed may be the case, but not with me and others I know in “our camp.”
    If anything, my agenda is more akin to AWR’s, that is to say that as I do have personal preferences of how I would benefit best from a certain mode of worship, I do not choose to impose that taste in my official capacity at our parishes.
    This is all documented here and elsewhere that I frequent online. Your own MASS OF A NEW WORLD is among my choices for use here, alongside settings by Bolduc, Warner and Walker, as well as Proulx, Ostrowski and Mueller.
    Should you like to explore this further, I’m not difficult to find online.
    If I misread your objective, mea culpa. But I didn’t see anyone’s post advocating the scenario you fretted over in this thread.

  52. “the people in our parish communities are looking to pray, and their paths to that end will be very diverse…Why, O why.. does there have to be only one way”

    I agree very much with David Haas. The extensive collection of CDs that supports my daily praise of God is about evenly divided among Latin chant and polyphony, Eastern chant and polyphony, Anglican chant and polyphony, and contemporary music (e.g. Haas, Haugen, etc.). While the last my not endure as long as the rest, it is what most of my brothers and sisters in the USA sing.

    The essential problem is that we have only the Mass and not a Divine Office, and we have a Mass that is only an hour long. So everybody fights so that they get to sing and hear only what they want to sing and hear.

    The discovery of the Divine Office at an early age basically freed me from clerical domination. (If a plague wiped them out tomorrow, I would not be concerned).

    It also has given me a center of peace in my pursuit of a weekly Mass that will truly be the psychological apex and not the nadir of my liturgical week. While I feel very blessed with many beautiful Eucharists, they are very much out numbered by the many dull and boring ones. But that is life in community, and change is not easy.

    The Divine Office in all the traditions has always been more flexible and able to meet a great diversity of prayer needs. The Mass is never going to be able to meet that need for flexibility and diversity inherent in contemporary life.

    The Mass is only a hour a week. The Divine Office can be any where from fifteen minutes to a couple of hours a day. It can be done one day a week, many days or every day.

    The Divine Office can be done anywhere, any time with any one. No church building or clergy needed.

    Even if you limit yourself to the current Roman LOH you still have a lot of flexibility. If you are willing to use of the many past and present versions across traditions to build a future Office it will be very flexible indeed.

  53. Tom on July 4, 2011 – 9:07 am requested textual proof for my concerns about his writings on the nature of the Eucharist. I return Tradition And Paying Attention to Basics” and Tom’s post at June 29, 2011 – 4:48 pm:

    Does only apply to that strange form of communion bread called “hosts”? How much more accurate to refer to the Eucharistic bread or the Body of Jesus!

    The question what to call the Eucharist is, I suspect, at the heart of the scuffles between traditional and progressive Catholics. Jim McKay’s not-dense observation (July 4, 2011 – 10:44 am) amply explains orthodox teaching that the priest-celebrant-presider is the head of the assembly-congregation. This does not explain what to call the Eucharist. Those who call It the Hostia, or Victim, might cite:

    Decrees of the Council of Trent Session 13, Chapter 8, Canons 1 and 3 (Dogmatic Councils and Decrees. New York: Devin-Adair Company, 1912.) cf. CCC 1376, 1413.

    I respect a liturgist’s or theologian’s acceptance or rejection of dogma within the free discourse of the academy. Yet, calling the Eucharist “Eucharistic bread” or the “Body of Jesus” within the context of worship appears to serve no other purpose than the denial of eucharistic dogma. A rejection of dogma through an erroneous relabeling does not effect a democratization or equalization of the assembly and presider. Rejection of dogma is not equality, but rather a denigration of Mass itself. I only fear that, in a rush to bring the priest-celebrant-presider and the assembly-congregation together, doctrinal orthodoxy will part ways. I do wonder if this has already come to pass in some respects.

    1. JZ,
      Are you denying that your host is a Eucharistic bread or that other forms of bread can be used for the Eucharist other than pre-cut and ultra thin and purely white hosts? It seems you are denying the definitions of the matter of the sacrament.

      If you want to refer to the victim, why not say victim instead of the anglicized Latin word for victim?

      By insisting on referring to hosts, are you intending to denigrate the Eucharistic Banquet? Is it heresy to insist on only the sacrifice and its terminology instead of referring correctly to the fact that the Eucharist is both a banquet and a sacrifice?

      You seem intent on drawing the worst possible and most accusatory conclusions about others instead of seeking to understand or discuss the content of liturgical matters on this list.

      You posit that something “could” imply another another thing, then attack others as if they actually held the possibility you imagined.

      It reminds me of Erik von Daniken, writing of ETs and UFOs and pyramids. In his first two chapters he argues for the possibility of such things. In the rest of the book he speaks of them as if they were proven facts because the possibilities are discussed by himself earlier in the book. The lacunae are big enough for transporting multi-genrational, cryogenic, colony vessels.

      Discussing A does not prove A. Until A is proven, it may not be used as an argument in any other deduction without specifying that it is mere speculation. Until A is proven to be what another holds, drawing conclusions about what such holdings may imply is wildly inappropriate and uncharitable.

      I guess you think you cover that by using “it appears that”, but you certainly give the impression that your speculations are fair accusations against the orthodoxy of others.

      Perhaps these fixations, compulsions, and scrupulosities would best be discussed with a close friend rather than aired on this public list.

      1. Any material made of pure wheat and pure water can be consecrated. Hosts are especially handy because they are pre-scored and do not flake much when broken.

        The word “Host” has been used in the English language for centuries to refer to what is sometimes called the “Eucharistic bread” (the accidents of the Eucharist). The Eucharist is never, however, the “body of Jesus” only, although that is an important part of the Eucharist. The Eucharist has a substance and not only an accident; It is not only the Body but the Blood, Soul, and Divinity as well.

        What I have done is unwise. I haven’t any ability to pronounce heresy or heterodoxy, on you or others. In that way I have been quite wrong, full-stop.

        I have also not provided ample justification for my arguments (quotations from a poor translation of the Tridentine Canons is not sufficient justification.)

        What I have feared for many years is that both the traditional and progressive sides of Catholicism have moved to polar opposites when defining what Mass is and who does what. The Mass is sacrifice and banquet, even if the two are often divorced in polemic. The descent into ad homines only highlights the way in which certain definitions of the Mass have been completely divorced and distorted from their earlier compatibility.

        So yes. I should take my fixations my own way. Pardon my offenses, even if these offenses betray grave disunity.

      2. The Eucharist is never, however, the “body of Jesus” only,

        Amen. This is certainly true.

        But the bread and wine become only the body and blood of Christ. They do not become His Soul and certainly not His Eternal Divinity. All are present, because body does not exist without soul, and the divine and human are inseparably united in the person of Jesus. The Body of Christ is related to the Soul of Christ in the same way that my body is related to my soul, ie inseparable but distinct. But my body is not my soul.

        So there may be reason to refer to the Body of Jesus alone, and not the whole Christ. This does not imply the whole Christ is not present, only that there sometimes is reason to discuss just one aspect. I can’t imagine why, but I am sure it must happen.

        (not that I want to ruffle any more feathers or stir up a dying conversation. Just offering my perspective on what seems to be a point of concern.)

  54. Charles Culbreth :

    Tom Poelker :
    Modern notation seems to me to be entirely oriented to instrumentalists. The way notes are linked are often misleading regarding the syllabification singers must use.

    Here ya go, Tom-
    Square notes and round notes

    This was a discussion of using square or round notation for chant. Much of it too narrowly focused and too full of chant jargon for my interests.
    Here and there, though, I found support for my thought that modern notation is based on the needs of instrumentalists and that singers just have to go along.

    Why do hymnals, specifically for the use of non-musician singers, have to use this notation? No matter what forms or translations we use, it seems liturgists are agreed on the desirability of congregational singing. Could not some publisher, instead of constantly buying and pushing new materials, find a niche in publishing established church music in a user-friendly format? Let’s get rid of the slurs and bars which do not match syllabification, for starters.

    How about setting all congregational music to include middle C, more in the range of the average person than the treble clef?

    Lets have the verses either all set below the music or all set as poetry, not switch in the middle of a song.

  55. Tom, just tried to help you with the link to a convenient discussion.
    What you describe toward the end of your post I believe is found in Bruce Ford’s American Gradual no slurs, proximate note head clusters for rhythmic “interpretation,” no barlines, etc.

    Mr. Flynn, could you clarify or specify your last post in this thread, please?
    David H., hope you also chime in with more reflections.Peace.

    1. Sorry, Charles, if I came across as complaining when I meant to be descriptive. I am very glad you posted that link. I just want to extend the discussion in another direction. You seem to have contributed to that nicely.

      I’ll have to poke around to see if anybody in town, maybe the seminaries, have a copy of Ford I can examine.

      Can his style of notation be applied to hymnody as well as chant?
      I would guess on would have to keep the bar lines.

  56. JZ’s gracious note includes this.
    ‘The word “Host” has been used in the English language for centuries to refer to what is sometimes called the “Eucharistic bread” (the accidents of the Eucharist). The Eucharist is never, however, the “body of Jesus” only, although that is an important part of the Eucharist. The Eucharist has a substance and not only an accident; It is not only the Body but the Blood, Soul, and Divinity as well.’

    Quickly, I point out that I do not take exception to JZ’s point here. However, I do not think that anybody else used the word “only” to describe any words used for what JZ prefers to call the host.

    It seems to me, that many arguments here on PTB occur when one person reacts as if words are present or implied that were not present.

  57. Only comments with a full name will be approved.

    Jeffrey Pinyan :

    If we must stop using the word “host”, can we please also stop using words like “eucharist”, “anaphora”, “anamnesis”, etc.?

    It is not that we need to stop using the word “host”, it is that certain persons need to stop insisting that we only use the word host or that other common phrases should not be used and imply heresy.

    1. This seems very practical.
      Thanks for the link.

      The dark bar on the D line of the treble clef, does it indicate the top of the Gregorian staff? It is shown but not mentioned on the notation intro page.

  58. In my sacristy there are boxes of altar breads. They are not “victims”, so I never call them hosts. Portions of that bread are brought to and placed on the altar for consecration. Having been consecrated, I hold before the people not a host but the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of The Risen Lord. Since the Body and Blood of Christ could neither be held before or given to the people without the accidents of bread and wine, they are aptly referred to (especially musically) as the Bread of Life and the Wine of Salvation without risk of heresy. Can we get real.

  59. To Charles Culbreth (and whomever) –
    Charles, it was NOTHING you said, just to be clear… I guess I was just reacting to an overall situation that is on so many of the threads regarding this whole battle over the propers, and what I also perceive to be, a a real passionate need to “knock” anything that is not chant. I really do not believe that I am being “personally” defensive, as folks have attacked my stuff specifically for years, and even more recently on some of the other blogs out there. But I do have a sense, that there are so many who really see this new translation, as a an opportunity to usher in a new “era” in which all of the music that does not fit into some people’s narrow view of what is appropriate can now be finally purged from our liturgical life. I am tired of the snobbery that comes from every corner of liturgical music these days – I am equally exasperated with the “folkies” and “pop” folks who cannot see past their particular narrow musical language – who refuse to move beyond what they “like” as well.

    I am a classically trained musician, who sang musical theatre and opera in college, did my score of piano and voice recitals… the Bach B Minor mass still makes we weep.. In my liturgical pastoral work I have utlized chant, hymnody, choral classics, Richard Proulx, and so many others…but I also love the popular and cultural styles that have entered into the tapestry of Catholic Worship – going back to the times of Joe Wise, St. Louis Jesuits – I have used the gospel settings of Clarence Rivers, Leon Roberts and others; I treasure the music of our Latino brothers and sisters; the music of Iona and Taize’ are staples of the repertoire; some of the contemporary styles of so many composers like Lori True, Tony Alonso, Bob Moore, Rory Cooney, and Fran O’Brien I see the place for all of this.. am I totally misguided? Can liturgical musicians allow for chant, Palestrina, Haugen/Joncas, hymnody all having its place… as the…

  60. song goes, “All God’s Critters God a Place in the Choir..” I believe we make God so small when we insist on one genre or form to contain what is appropriate for worship.

    I am venting here – not at you, Charles (we do need to meet and chat sometime – I think it would be a very interesting conversation).. I am just venting.

    Basta!

  61. Thanks for the clarification, David. Venting is therapeutic, though when I do it, it often leads to catharsis! 😉
    I recommend getting a scooter with 250cc engine, does wonders!
    Cheers, and we’ll gather at the river ASAP.

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