No more Agnus Dei tropes

USCCB Administrative Committee Approves Change to Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship

In response to a request from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the USCCB Administrative Committee adopted a change on September 12, 2012 to the U.S. Bishops’ 2007 guidelines on liturgical music, Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship. Number 188 of the document has been altered to remove any further permission for the use of Christological tropes or other adaptations to the text of the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God).

H/T Gotta Sing, Gotta Pray

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97 comments

    1. @Fr. Jim Blue – comment #3:
      Well, it’s not like we’re talking about the “source & summit of the Church’s action” when we discuss the Eucharistic celebration. We are really only considering the “meeting point between earth and heaven,” the “dwelling of God with men”. The Gospel account of Mary and Martha should correct any misunderstanding here – the social Gospel must come first.
      It is true that the Holy See has repeated to composers what V2 taught, that the sacred liturgy is not there to “express one’s creativity” but perhaps they meant something different. After the council, and looking back at the conciliar texts, the world’s bishops have written that “the Eucharist … should not be altered in any way, from either a so-called “liturgical creativity” or from a critical spirit of what has been legitimately decreed” but they may have really meant something different (all references to XI Synod of Bishops “The Eucharist: source and summit …etc…” 2005.

  1. No one has yet raised the question as to whether the Congregation has any right in law to insist on changes by an episcopal conference to what is an internal document for that territory, and one which, furthermore, was not submitted to Rome precisely because the conference thought Rome might try to change it out of ignorance of the situation on the ground in the U.S. It appears USCCB has simply rolled over and sought to comply, rather than requesting a rationale for the request.

    The USCCB statement reads “any further permission”, indicating a grandfathering clause whereby those published settings which already contain tropes may continue (as one would expect, given the previous legislation in Sing to the Lord and the practice of the past 40 years), but no new ones will be approved. In other words, the existence of published tropes is not going to vanish overnight.

    Other questions that have not yet been raised or answered include:

    Does the Congregation have a historical perspective on the question? Why attempt to eliminate the reintroduction of a well-establish mediaeval practice, which is now also a well-established 20th-21st century practice (and not only in the English-speaking world: tropes are in use in a number of European countries and seem set to continue — a new German hymnal currently in preparation will contain several examples of troped Agnus Dei settings) ?

    Where does all this leave the Congregation’s evident desire for unification around the world? In other English-speaking territories, tropes are still currently permitted for use, and they will of course continue to be used in the U.S. as long as published settings containing them still exist in parishes.

    1. @Paul Inwood – comment #4:
      Paul,

      The wording is “use” not approval for publication. I would not feel at all confident in adopting your interpretation on that point; given the language, I think one would need to get a response to a dubium to proceed with that interpretation.

      Also, the modern practice of troping has not typically followed the form of the medieval practice of troping, so it’s not the revival of an old practice.

      As a practical matter, people have learned that they didn’t need the tropes anyway, as there are other ways to handle the practical issue for which they were developed (figuring out to signal the final iteration if the litany is prolonged for the fraction). Even Haugen appeared to have understood this when he eliminated the tropes from his revision of the Mass of Creation last year.

    2. @Paul Inwood – comment #4:
      When bishop’s liturgical committees do what we like we often see legitimate collaboration or even collegiality (“Celebrating the Mass” CTM 2005) but when bishop’s conferences do something we don’t like “(i)t appears (they’ve) simply rolled over and sought to comply…” that is, we sometimes presume to see something different than collegiality and collaboration.

    3. @Paul Inwood – comment #4:

      Paul: Does the Congregation have a historical perspective on the question? Why attempt to eliminate the reintroduction of a well-establish mediaeval practice, which is now also a well-established 20th-21st century practice (and not only in the English-speaking world: tropes are in use in a number of European countries and seem set to continue […] [my ellipsis]

      Thank you for bringing this up Paul. I fully agree that tropes are a historic and valuable part of the western Christian liturgical tradition. One might even say that Trent artificially limited the Mass by eliminating tropes in the Agnus Dei, save for the slight difference in the Requiem Mass. The elimination of tropes at Trent mirrors similar impoverishments in the liturgical books of the Tridentine “family” such as the severe restriction of the great variety of medieval prefaces. The reformed missal has restored some of the diversity of the pre-Tridentine liturgy. Tropes would be a welcome further move in the direction of renewal.

      Instead of outright banning tropes, perhaps it would be a better idea to introduce some of the tropes preserved from medieval liturgies into modern liturgy. These reintroduced medieval compositions could co-exist alongside modern compositions. I do not know if many of the Latin compositions and corresponding tunes can be translated into vernaculars and adapted. I would say that the adaptation of medieval tropes to vernacular liturgy would be a worthy project indeed!

  2. I note that GIRM 83 states, ” The supplication Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) … accompanies the fraction of the bread and, for this reason, may be repeated as many times as necessary until the rite has been completed. The final time it concludes with the words grant us peace.”

    So the prayer is intended to accompany a liturgical action; but that action can vary significantly in length from one instance to the next; and now it’s clarified that the text of the prayer may not be embellished or added to.

    So it seems the two possibilities would be: Repeat “Lamb of God … Have mercy on us” over and over again, until the fraction is complete; or sing the threefold text given in the book, with instrumental prelude, interlude and/or postlude to underscore the action as necessary.

    1. @Jim Pauwels – comment #6:
      One can also repeat it many times and offer a distinctive pause and cadence before the final iteration. Seen it done well many a time. Works best when one does not slavishly follow a setting by a composer who did not have the foresight to think of that practical consideration.

      1. But what is the reason for the change? Is “Bread of Life” or “Saving Cup” somehow out of character for this supplicatory prayer?

      2. @Jeffrey Pinyan – comment #15:
        Presumably, the addition of other tropes is driven by the desire to embellish what developed into a lengthier prayer. The prayer became longer because it is required to accompany the liturgical action. The liturgical action is relatively long out of deference to the principle that, when possible, the hosts to be used at a mass should be consecrated at that mass. Our Sunday morning masses have 800+ people. The fraction takes a while.

        At any rate, it seems the likeliest set of explanations to me.

    2. @Jim Pauwels – comment #6:
      Jim
      A third possibility is surely to allow the Agnus Dei to finish first. The phrase “may be repreated” does not imply that it must be repeated or other wise lengthened.
      Presumably some settings, polyphonic in particular, might last longer than the fraction.

  3. I started my MSM at Notre Dame in January of 2008, when STTL was the big new document in town. I attended several talks on the document, including talks by contributors AWR and Leo Nestor. I am STILL confused because everyone seems to have a different take on the nature of the document. Is is a legislative document, or mere guidelines? Is it rendered non-binding by the fact that it was not submitted to Rome?

    STTL seems to be relegated to the dust heap due to confusion, if nothing else. Whenever one ‘side’ sees something it likes (“more chant!”) the document is the “will of the US bishops.” When it’s something less useful (yet another list of prioritized musical categories for congregational singing – different from MCW and different from Musicam Sacram), the document is “suggestions, non-binding because never approved by Rome.” Perhaps because of the confusion, I have yet to find a pastor who is taking the document as foundational to music ministry in the states.

    To get back to the topic at hand, I wonder if the CDW was concerned because STTL somehow proposed or implied a territorial legislative norm (Agnus tropes in the states), or concerned merely because the non-binding suggestions of STTL are confusing.

  4. Yawn. The CDWDS is behind the times again. With abbreviated/anticipated procedures for the Fraction Rite, this has been a non-starter for eight years. In those years, I’m happy to report that people sing the Communion song far more frequently while the clergy and Communion ministers get ready for the procession. And if Rome wants to change the Agnus Dei from a litany and confirm it as a song or acclamation, I don’t see the problem. The music accompanies the rite. The form is not as important as the action.

  5. The bigger issue has been sidetracked once again. Far too many parishes regularly retrieve viaticum to use for Communion at Mass, thus ignoring GIRM 85. Too many of the faithful miss the sacramental action of the consecration and reception of THAT Communion because too many parishes won’t take the time and care to make it happen.

    If we are to only sing “Lamb of God” over and over, how will the congregation know we’ve gotten to the last trope (given most settings currently in use)? I’ll probably get to this latest instruction after I get to the other instructions ahead of it in line.

    We should all be rejoicing: given that this has come out, I’m SO happy that all the major problems have been finally solved!

    1. @Rick Reed – comment #11:
      “how will the congregation know we’ve gotten to the last trope?”

      There’s any number of ways, especially if the music is accompanied. You could use any sort of musical cue, including a short interlude or key change, or even a change in harmony just before the words “grant us peace.”

      Or you could just sing it 3 times and be done with it. The GIRM does not say we must repeat it, it only says we may.

  6. Peter Haydon : @Jim Pauwels – comment #6: Jim A third possibility is surely to allow the Agnus Dei to finish first. The phrase “may be repreated” does not imply that it must be repeated or other wise lengthened. Presumably some settings, polyphonic in particular, might last longer than the fraction.

    Peter, I believe that GIRM 83 actually does instruct that the music lasts as long as the action. Seems kinda clear to me… If the Lamb of God “accompanies” the breaking of the bread, they both last the same amount of time, don’t they?

    If I were to accompany you to a function, wouldn’t there be the implication that we arrive and then leave together? Same with the music – it’s, in essence, “cover” music, in that it covers the action.

    1. @Rick Reed – comment #12:
      Thanks Rick.
      I wonder if this precision of guidance is intended. In many cases there is just one host being broken so it should not take long. If the rule were applied as strictly as you suggest then one might have to curtail the Agnus Dei.
      Looking in my older missals it seems that the fraction took place before the Agnus Dei. My July 1965 missal has the breaking of the host, the exchange of peace and then a particle of the host placed in the chalice. “After a pause the people join with the celebrant and say: Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world…” (The “takest” dates it a bit!) The rule might have changed since.
      My iplayer tells me that a Josquin Desprez Agnus Dei, sung by the Medieval Ensemble of London lasts 4 minutes 15 seconds. I suspect it would be hard to drag a fraction out quite that long.
      So your understanding and mine seem to be different but both consistent with GIRM. I doubt that the authors considered the point this carefully.
      Cheers
      Peter

  7. It’s not so much that “Bread of Life” or “Saving Cup” are not valid images for the eucharist, but the rite is very Lamb-focused at that point. We have the Lamb of God, we are told to behold the Lamb of God, are told of our joy at being called to the supper of the Lamb. The point is the image of the Lamb, not other lenses through which the Eucharist is viewed, other seasonal understandings of Christ, and so on.
    As Msgr. Kevin Irwin points out in “Models of the Eucharist” each of the particular lenses through which we view the Eucharist has its own purpose, background, scripture, and so on.
    There’s also the way the litany is structured, with the same title used at the beginning of each invocation. The litanic structure is more like the decades of the rosary than the Litany of the Saints. We wouldn’t pray
    Hail Mary, full of grace …
    Mother of good counsel, full of grace …
    Seat of wisdom, full of grace …
    Mystical rose, full of grace …
    and so on. The insistent repetition of the Christological title “Lamb of God” is how the litany is designed.

    1. @Alan Hommerding – comment #16:
      Alan, I’m sure you’re right about the “Lamb” lens. I’d note that, at least as it’s done around here, that principle is respected, even with additional tropes, because “Lamb of God” is invariably used as the first and the last trope. As Karl Liam Saur noted, we’ll have to figure out a different cuing mechanism now.

  8. Alan Hommerding : It’s not so much that “Bread of Life” or “Saving Cup” are not valid images for the eucharist, but the rite is very Lamb-focused at that point. We have the Lamb of God, we are told to behold the Lamb of God, are told of our joy at being called to the supper of the Lamb. The point is the image of the Lamb, not other lenses through which the Eucharist is viewed, other seasonal understandings of Christ, and so on. As Msgr. Kevin Irwin points out in “Models of the Eucharist” each of the particular lenses through which we view the Eucharist has its own purpose, background, scripture, and so on. There’s also the way the litany is structured, with the same title used at the beginning of each invocation. The litanic structure is more like the decades of the rosary than the Litany of the Saints. We wouldn’t pray Hail Mary, full of grace … Mother of good counsel, full of grace … Seat of wisdom, full of grace … Mystical rose, full of grace … and so on. The insistent repetition of the Christological title “Lamb of God” is how the litany is designed.

    Alan, I’d be interested to hear how this squares with the mediaeval practice of troping as a way of enriching the lens.

    In other words, I’m not sure that saying “this is how the litany is designed” is any more valid than saying, as some do, “This is the liturgy ‘descended from on high’, as presented to us by the Church: all we have to do is submit to it”, which always feels as if the rite is being characterised as an ontological entity all by itself, whose functions and inner workings we may not even question.

    I am quite sure that the use of tropes over the past 40 years has led to an enrichment of the spiritual lives of 20th and 21st century Catholic Christians, as indeed it presumably did for our mediaeval forebears. (I know that Karl [post #5] says our troping is different from that in the Middle Ages; I happen to disagree with him on that.) The bald repetition of one image may produce a different kind of mantra, but not one that is necessarily any more effective than the other.

  9. I am not sure what to make of it. I dislike folks who want to take a document they happen to agree with and use it as a sort of bludgeon with which to smite those they disagree. It seems so Pharisee-like. And arguments about authority of the USCCB? Why wouldn’t they have some reasonable authority? After all, we practice a universal religion that has always had regional differences. The Church in Africa is the same as the Church in Europe, North America, South America and Asia, but there are clearly regional differences, and there always have been. For that matter, the Church has historically been adaptive: I believe the Druids celebrated a fall ‘holiday’ that the Church managed to adapt to as All Hallows’ Eve – but that didn’t come from Rome, it came from Ireland and realizing it probably couldn’t be quashed altogether the Church co-opted it.

    But all that said, I never liked the tropes, and I won’t miss them. I find them annoying. There is very little chance that Lamb of God can be improved upon (I haven’t seen it yet) and arbitrary alterations are not more interesting – they are distractions, IMO. Good riddance. I don’t see variation as inherently enriching.

  10. At least at a parish like mine, where bread baked by parishioners that actually needs to be broken is used, the “troping” has a primarily practical function of signaling when the Agnus Dei is concluding. I realize that we are a distinct minority. We’ll have to 1) figure out something else or 2) keep troping, knowing that the bishop has other worries.

    I suspect that when chalices were filled at this point, the need for a longer Agnus Dei gave a utilitarian purpose to the tropes at other places as well. For good or ill, this is no longer the case.

    1. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #22:
      Fritz

      The cueing involves adopting a pause and/or distinctive shift in cadence (it may be that the earlier cadence is what needs to be shifted). Or a descant. Et cet. It’s not too difficult, just some thought. (The extreme example from a while ago would be Peloquin’s Lyric Liturgy.) It may been that certain settings are better for this than others, and that would be a factor in choice of setting.

    2. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #22:
      This has always been my understanding. With respect, I believe Paul Inwood’s waxing spiritual on the reasons for the tropes ignores the fact that these started with a utilitarian concern in mind.

      You might say, “Well, that’s fine, but it’s not the beginning that matters.” However, this could be extended ad absurdum to many of the arguments on here about the pre-1969 Mass, etc.

      This also highlights another issue: there is nothing wrong with “troping” in the right context. But why the Mass? Why can’t we use the Hours or a prayer service for this? Do we need a Mass for everything? We have Masses here for “class rings”, for almost anything. This is surely a product of the same outlook, in my mind.

  11. Having said this is a non-starter issue for me, I’m also disinclined to level criticism at the practice of troping. I don’t quite agree with Alan’s commentary above. I appreciate Paul’s approach.

    Don Reagan, in his 1985 Mass in a Jazz Style, utilized a different form, “Lamb of God, you xxx xxx xxx,” invoking different “actions” of the Lord. The people retained “have mercy on us” and “grant us peace.”

    For the time and fraction practice of the day (1970’s to 2004), troping, especially with a more focused Eucharistic theme (as opposed to a broadly christological) was a good and accessible solution to the challenge of accompanying a full rite. It’s easier to adapt text to some published pieces than it is to adapt an arrangement given to provide a musical cue for an extension.

    “I dislike folks who want to take a document they happen to agree with and use it as a sort of bludgeon …”

    Exactly. The worst of this will be those folks who will tell us David Clark Isele and Marty Haugen were liturgical jerks all along for starting the mess in the first place. Meh on that too.

  12. I’ve read what others have contended, but I insist that no more than 3 billion angels can dance on the head of a pin–excluding the archangels, of course. Many of you seem unaware of the continuing practice of priests consecrating the bread of life in multiple ciboria while using one of those 2 inch hosts for their personal communion. This minimalistic breaking of the bread doesn’t require tropes. Slam bam, thank you lamb. As Fritz said, one obvious option is to continue what has become customary over many years until the bishop might find time to take note and send out a memo.
    In case anyone has wondered how the mass devolved to the point of requiring the reform mandated by SC, surely minutiae like this shed some light.

    1. @Jack Feehily – comment #28:
      Jack
      I agree with you that breaking a single host should not take long. Is that not universal practice? Yet Jim Pauwels, in comment 18 above, says: “Our Sunday morning masses have 800+ people. The fraction takes a while.” I suppose it does if 400 hosts are to be broken into 800 pieces one at a time. Is that normal practice in some places? My GIRM says (83) “The Fraction …. should not be unnecessarily prolonged ….”
      A puzzled Peter here!

  13. No, Peter. We divide the hosts, which were consecrated in a single vessel, into the requisite number of ciboria.

    1. @Jim Pauwels – comment #30:
      Thanks Jim.
      That seems to differ from the practice as described by Jack Feehily. But, if I understand correctly, it is not the breaking of the hosts but the redistribution that takes the time. I expect that the reason for this is to avoid the altar being covered with too many ciboria. This is not done in the Saint-Pie X (underground) basilica in Lourdes which regularly has 20,000. You can see how that number requires an approach to be efficient.
      Cheers
      Peter

      1. @Peter Haydon – comment #31:
        Yes, I’m referring to the distribution of hundreds of hosts from one vessel to many, but I’m also speaking about the one large host that can be broken into 24 pieces, distributed among the vessels as well. It is referred to in the GIRM but ignored by the minimalists who love to consume the 2 inch host themselves.

      2. @Jack Feehily – comment #32:
        Thank you Jack
        There seem to be strong views on this one in the comments after yours.
        Curiously in the church I went to today the fraction started roughly at the same time as the first note of the Lamb of God and finished before the first word was sung. It was only because of this discussion that I thought about it.
        All the best
        Peter

  14. Or those who reserve a separate chalice and the 2 inch host to themselves – why? because they are ontologically different and their separate communion is required so that the eucharistic sacrifice is both valid and licit? Or the demands and arguments that the priest must receive first or else – what? the sacrament is nullified? We seem to continue the fifty year old debate between clerical order first and people of God second – or did VII change that order?

    Agree, Jack, nothing like spinning the old how many angels can sit on the head of a pin? Would much rather focus on SC and GIRM principles such that real bread that can be broken is the action versus the utilitarian small little plastic hosts routine. Really do like the organic development in which every trope starts – Lamb of God, and then there is a Christological action that is sung.

  15. The angst this seems to be causing some seems rather silly. So what if added Christological titles can no longer be sung during the Agnus Dei? Will this hasten the Second Coming, Final Judgement and Resurrection of the Dead? At our clergy conference in April at my parish, we sang Schubert’s Mass in G’s Agnus Dei and it lasted about 4 minutes enabling the Hosts to be distributed to about 60 concelebrating priests during its singing. Why add even more “Lamb of God’s?” Just pick Agnus Dei’s that are longer. This seems much to do about nothing. And really, apart from this thread, when is the last time anyone in the pew in a normal parish has ever complained about how many pieces of Bread were broken from a humongous Host to be sent to the congregation and how many have complained about the priest completing the Sacrifice (by mandate of theology, doctrine and GIRM/rubrics) by consuming first? No wonder so many are fed up, so to speak, with this kind of angel counting on the head of an altar.

    1. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #34:

      Why add even more “Lamb of God’s?” Just pick Agnus Dei’s that are longer.

      Allan,

      I think the point is about selecting settings that are adaptable to the rite, given that it is often difficult to know exactly how long the fraction may take, or how long it may take to distribute consecrated hosts to concelebrants.

      A setting that is too short “maroons” the liturgical action and results in an embarrassed silence. A setting that is too long keeps everyone waiting, and can be equally embarrassing. A troped setting offers the opportunity for the music to fit the ritual action like a glove. You simply add as many tropes as necessary (but no more) to accompany what is going on.

      1. @Paul Inwood – comment #35:

        Tropes have nothing to do with the length. Just keep singing “Lamb of God” if you want it to be longer. Tropes are really a separate issue.

        The point of the matter is that there is no allowance to change the text of the lamb of God (other than repeating the invocations as written). Therefore, we should not be changing it.

        I am glad that the CDW interviened, because as Redemptonis Sacramentum spoke clearly, the USCCB did not have authority to allow tropes to the Agnus Dei.

        “27. As early as the year 1970, the Apostolic See announced the cessation of all experimentation as regards the celebration of Holy Mass and reiterated the same in 1988. Accordingly, individual Bishops and their Conferences do not have the faculty to permit experimentation with liturgical texts or the other matters that are prescribed in the liturgical books.”

      2. @Ben Yanke – comment #38:
        Ben, the “tropes” (I still think that’s the wrong term for this…) do have something to do with the length of the Agnus Dei.

        If everyone knows that the last invocation will be “Lamb of God”, then they will know when to sing “grant us peace” and thus end the Agnus Dei. Thus, any number of invocations can be used, to prolong the Agnus Dei as much as necessary. Thus, the Agnus Dei can cover the liturgical action of the fraction, no matter how long it takes.

        That being said, this scenario assumes a leader of song (or the choir in general) who sings the invocation apart from the congregation. This means that this solution (which is no longer permitted) doesn’t have any technical advantage over other licit solutions which use some other musical cue to make their point.

      3. @Paul Inwood – comment #35:
        Hasn’t there been a call for more prayerful silence in the Liturgy? Why be embarrassed about some silence if the Agnus Dei finished before the entire preparation rite is done? Wouldn’t it be welcome and allow the congregation to prepare themselves more fully in peace to receive the Sacrament? But then again, we’re constantly be bombarded with “singing is only good as long as it’s covering, but no longer than: the entrance procession, the ‘walk’ to the pulpit, the offertory, the preparation for Communion…” take your pick. It’s silly, IMHO.

      4. @John Kohanski – comment #42:

        we’re constantly be bombarded with “singing is only good as long as it’s covering, but no longer than: the entrance procession, the ‘walk’ to the pulpit, the offertory, the preparation for Communion…” take your pick. It’s silly, IMHO.

        That is certainly not true for the entrance procession. For years liturgists have been trying to get priests not to use it as “travelling music” but to allow the entrance song to take its full course, so that the four purposes of the entrance song as outlined in GIRM 47 may be fulfilled, not just the last of them.

        I don’t know of a single parish that has used music to accompany “the ‘walk’ to the pulpit” (except in the EF), but then I don’t know of a single parish that uses a pulpit any longer. Some pulpits have been converted into ambones, yes, but the majority have disappeared.

        What happens during the presentation of the gifts ought to be a piece reflecting back on the Liturgy of the Word that has now been concluded. No sign of the stopping-as-soon-as-the-job-is-done mentality that you seem to have experienced.

        In fact only the preparation for Communion appears to come under the heading of tailoring the music to fit the rite.

      1. @John Kohanski – comment #42:
        The point of your citations is less clear than Dcn. Fritz’s.

        Matt. 19:21 — since we don’t all abide by this challenge to the rich young man, we need not strive for the strong sign value of the “one loaf”?

        Mark 9:47 — since we interpret Jesus spiritually / metaphorically here, we should interpret Paul likewise here, despite the ability to interpret him both literally and spiritually? In other words, since we’re not walking around with missing limbs or organs (for the most part), we needn’t worry about having the sign value of “one loaf”?

        Mark 10:11 — don’t know what this brings to the table. Many people pay no attention to this command, so there’s no shame in paying no attention to 1 Cor 10:17?

        1 Tim 3:2 — our bishops often don’t stack up against this criteria, so why should our liturgy be expected to stack up to 1 Cor 10:17?

        I don’t buy any of those arguments.

      2. @Ben Yanke – comment #39:
        GIRM 321 (in the older translation): “… The eucharistic bread [should] be made in such a way that the priest at Mass with a congregation is able in practice to break it into parts for distribution to at least some of the faithful. … The action of the fraction or breaking of bread, which gave its name to the Eucharist in apostolic times, will bring out more clearly the force and importance of the sign of unity of all in the one bread, and of the sign of charity by the fact that the one bread is distributed among the brothers and sisters.”

        The theology of the communion of the Body of Christ (the Church) in the Body of Christ (the Eucharist) is very important and should certainly have precedence in the planning of the Mass.

  16. “And really, apart from this thread, when is the last time anyone in the pew in a normal parish has ever complained about how many pieces of Bread were broken from a humongous Host to be sent to the congregation and how many have complained about the priest completing the Sacrifice (by mandate of theology, doctrine and GIRM/rubrics) by consuming first?”

    That is the point – SC and Consilium set up a liturgical principle that the breaking of the bread (that used in the same celebration – failed to mention earlier the consistent dependence upon the hosts in the tabernacle but nary a squawk from the powers to be? Why skip over this but focus on the language of the musical choices?) be one of the primary communal actions of the liturgy of the eucharist. Instead, all kinds of *practical* justifications, etc. are used to ignore this direction. Instead, communities continue with a *minimalist* approach to the fractioning rite/action. Very few parishes ever really attempted to do something other than continuing the pre-made hosts; very few parishes did any type of education around the fractioning rite/action, its theology, ecclesiology, etc. It continues to be a minor part of the eucharist that, in many ways, is merely the action of the presider and/or deacon.
    So, again, if you take the scriptural image of Emmaus and focus on sharing the word, taking the bread, breaking, and sharing – you have the eucharistic sacramental action. And yet, we live with a diminished understanding.
    Yes, have heard many complaints about this – but, like many things, the people in the pew; liturgy directors, parish liturgy/DMs are ignored or pacified – it really is summed up by both the tone and language of that comment (yes, – “priest completing the Sacrifice (by mandate of theology, doctrine and GIRM/rubrics) by consuming first?* Hard to discuss when one uses words such as *mandate*; *doctrine* – next, any consideration of something differrent will become a *liturgical intrinsic evil*. (doctrine? really?)

    IMO, this follows along with other recent decisions e.g. only an ordained minister can purify the vessels. Why? Or some diocesan restatements about EM practices.
    Roll back pattern or clarifing a reform abuse? Can guess how this will turn out.

  17. Fritz Bauerschmidt :1 Corinthians 10:17.

    I can understand it if everyone could receive from the large host, but as it is, nearly everyone still will not receive from it. It seems to be a mute point, unless there’s less than 24 people in the congregation.

  18. Picked up Lit Press’s book of Liturgical Essays of Yves Congar (which were written before Vatican II) at their table at this weekend’s conference at JCU on Vatican II

    Unfortunately his first essay on “Real” liturgy is still applicable

    Sacraments are for people not only with respect to their purpose…but also with respect to their reality with respect to the true efficacy of the spiritual action which they are intended to bring about.

    A liturgy that can only succeed in becoming “real” for a chapel of “oblates” this is for those who have undertaken a long and sophisticated special education in liturgical expression, is not what we are after.

    The essential objective here…is to discover a liturgy that can be readily be received in the hearts of the faithful.

    Sometimes I get the impression that liturgists are working for the liturgy itself rather than for the people.

    I go to several different parishes in the area, and rarely notice the fraction, so much so that I have very little idea of how it is done, how long it takes, etc. If it was omitted I would probably not notice. So the fraction as a symbolic act really does not work, it is not “real” since I don’t pay attention to it. It is just something the priest does, like cleaning up the vessels after communion.

    Generally after the sign of peace, I look for the hymnal to find the place for the communion hymn.

    What I do notice is “empty waiting” time, sometimes filled by a piano player while people get organized for distributing communion.

    Since the Lamb of God does not require a hymnal, it easily fills up “waiting” time until the communion hymn begins. That is its “real” purpose as far as I am concerned.

    Personally I think the Gloria and Agnus Dei should be sung completely by the people. I don’t like the idea of alternation with the choir for either.

  19. It does strike me that adding trophes or more “Lamb of God’s” is what SC would classify as useless repetition . The “Breaking of the Bread” is intrinsic to the Rite of Holy Communion regardless of the size of the host at the fraction rite. Is it really necessary to see this and prolong it?
    And yes, with hoards of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, it takes quite a bit of time to get the hosts and chalice to each one and for them then to go to their stations. At two of our principle Sunday Masses we have a total of 9 to 10 extraordinary Ministers, six chalice stations and four Host stations. At the other Masses we offer “intinction.” This only requires two EM’s and if there is no deacon, three. It truly fits the definition of noble simplicity and at the intinction Masses, we find that the majority of the congregation actually receive Holy Communion under both forms of Bread and Wine. Whereas at the Chalice Masses, the majority of communicants simply walk past the chalice unwilling to drink from the same chalice that a dozen or more have already done so. The simplicity of breaking a small host and dividing the others into additional cibori does not draw undue attention to this particular ritual action by making it a liturgy unto itself, similar to what was often done with the Sign of Peace up until about 20 years ago and choirs singing “Peace is Flowing like a River” to cover that unnecessary literalism of greeting everyone in this ritual action. These are examples of post Vatican II misunderstandings of “big signs” running a muck!

      1. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #47:
        I really don’t advocate minimalism or maximilism but doing what is prescribe and basically I like the notion of noble simplicity and the Latin Rite’s intrinsic sobriety. But I have been to United Methodist baptism in Georgia and the minister barely gets his hand wet and places his hand on the head of the infant saying the proper words. It does the job.

      2. @Father Allan J. McDonald – comment #48:
        I’m not impressed with the conflation of simplicity and personal convenience.

        As for the excuse “It does the job,” there is an easy “taste test” to apply. Is Christianity in a situation where “the job” is nearly complete? The world is nearly complete with those persons who have heard the Gospel and embraced the life of a disciple? Or do we live in an age where seekers and non-believers have yet to be convinced of the beauty, generosity, and love of God?

        The kind of simplicity that will inspire the world is more likely to be found in such things like plainsong or Shaker furniture. Not dips of wafers into wine or two verses on each hymn.

      3. @Father Allan J. McDonald – comment #49:
        Actually, in the case you mention, I’m not entirely sure that “it does the job.” As I understand it, water is supposed to flow across the head of the person being baptized, and a damp hand is at best the far extreme of “flowing water” (thank God we can fall back on a capacious understanding of God’s mercy).

        Such things are not simply nit-picking. St. Thomas says that sacraments cause by signifying. If the sign is not clear, there is no sacrament. “Getting the job done” — the opus operatumis doing the signifying act. Would it not follow that doing the act well — in a way that clearly conveys what is being signified — contributes to the opus operantis, and thus to the fruitfulness of the sacrament?

        The approach you seem to be espousing here seems more akin to the 12th-century notion of sacraments as “containers” of grace, such that the signifying act itself is not so important. Call me a modernist, but I’m going with the 13th century view of St. Thomas.

      4. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #53:
        I use the example of the Methodists in our area as an ecumenical corrective and from what I can tell they are exemplary Christians in their tradition with a strong outreach to the poor and the “seeker” despite their sacramental minimalism. As far as our liturgical and sacramental tradition I would take exception that the full array of possible options for the amount of sign value i.e. water, oil, bread and wine, in the Latin rite don’t all follow Aquinas’ views when we follow the GIRM and Rubrics and the spirit of the liturgy.

      5. @Fritz Bauerschmidt – comment #57:
        I responded on my iPhone and thus the convoluted language. I intended to write that the modern options for the various ways that the Church allows for Baptism and communion are far from minimalist and far from 12th century theology. Certainly these are post Vatican II practices when we follow the options of the GIRM and the rubrics, not that there isn’t a bit of 12th century theology present or some of Aquinas’ theology present too. But I certainly espouse the hermeneutic of continuity and would not reject 12th century sentiments about the sacraments or Aquinas but would also embrace what has followed for the last 8 centuries too. 🙂

    1. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #47:

      It does strike me that adding trophes or more “Lamb of God’s” is what SC would classify as useless repetition .

      This is not what SC was referring to at all. It was referring to repetitions of prayers and actions, many of which were eliminated in the 1969 Order of Mass, but some of which still remain. For example, we still have an overloaded rite of preparation of the gifts in which three texts, one after the other, basically ask the same thing (“Please bless these gifts”) in different ways. Once would be enough, and it was expected that MR3 would have done something about this oversight.

      There’s a difference between repetition and extension.

      1. @Paul Inwood – comment #65:
        Isn’t that the main problem with SC, that anyone can put forward what SC was referring to when it says, “noble simplicity,” “useless repetition,” and “some vernacular.” These three are loaded terms that are so general and in no way actually point out what is meant, so that immediately following the Council those who revised the Mass used the weakness of SC, its non specific nature, to do as they pleased and under the so called “spirit” of things.
        You seem to be rather dogmatic about what “useless repetition” means but I can’t recall any dogmatic declaration on this after the council.
        But yes, those who wanted to “deconstruct” the Mass even after the 1969 Order of Mass came about did do and illicitly what you suggest and I am a eye-witness to it–the total elimination of the Sign of the Cross at the beginning of Mass, with the Greeting only and then directly to the Collect skipping the Penitential Act. And yes, one combined prayer for the bread and wine at the Preparation of Gifts. The elimination of the washing of the hands, along with its brief accompanying prayer. And of course ad libs for almost every other part, including the Eucharistic prayer and the Ecce Agnus Dei. At my seminary we even eliminated at some Masses the Great Amen and sang “Yes, Lord…” in its place. And of course the official Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons were ditched in favor of generic hymns, some of Dutch origin that were so secular in style and words that there wasn’t even a mention of God or Christ, what I would call the proliferation of useless, banal hymns in place of the rich Biblical antiphons that sadly became optional.
        The extension of the Lamb of God with trophes and additional titles in place of “Lamb of God” as well as singing a happy song during the Sign of Peace is part of this corrupt reform that many of us experienced and implemented in the 1970’s and early ’80’s. I’m glad these have and are failing officially. Hopefully rank and file parishes will implement the reform of the reform, for God knows, we need it.

      2. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #66:
        “These three are loaded terms that are so general and in no way actually point out what is meant …”

        What is meant is that these terms guided post-conciliar bishops to propose future reforms. Only problem in the intervening years is that a recentralized curia has usurped the role of the local ordinary. Remember that Vatican II was not intended to be a cookbook, but a blueprint.

        Perhaps what was lacking in the conciliar documents was a repeated statement, “Curia, keep out!”

      3. @Fr. Allan J. McDonald – comment #66:
        Not surprising – again we have repeated personal experience that is globalized beyond all recognition…..”But yes, those who wanted to “deconstruct” the Mass even after the 1969 Order of Mass came about did do and illicitly what you suggest and I am a eye-witness to it–the total elimination of the Sign of the Cross at the beginning of Mass, with the Greeting only and then directly to the Collect skipping the Penitential Act. And yes, one combined prayer for the bread and wine at the Preparation of Gifts. The elimination of the washing of the hands, along with its brief accompanying prayer. And of course ad libs for almost every other part, including the Eucharistic prayer and the Ecce Agnus Dei. At my seminary we even eliminated at some Masses the Great Amen and sang “Yes, Lord…” in its place. And of course the official Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons were ditched in favor of generic hymns, some of Dutch origin that were so secular in style and words that there wasn’t even a mention of God or Christ, what I would call the proliferation of useless, banal hymns in place of the rich Biblical antiphons that sadly became optional.”

        From an earlier post on SC Article 5:“The vast majority of people make choices more out of the myths they live than out of the abstract principles they have learned. That is why it is so essential to become aware of the stories we live, the larger stories which we daily tap into and which give us the real backdrop for our most personal choices, good or bad.” (Tad Guzie, The Book of Sacramental Basics.)

        Or, “The iceberg metaphor also helps to explain in modern terms an aspect of the ancient philosophical axiom, “quidquid recepitur, ad modum recepientis recepitur” (Whatever is received, is received according to the mode of the receiver). Psychologists tell us that “people receive new ideas only in terms of the ideas they already have.” For example, during a theology course the new ideas presented in the course are received by the students according to their “under the iceberg” previous theological understandings — not, as it would seem, according to the intention of the professor.”

        The Catholic Mythos changed due to VII; as did the ritual. The majority welcomed this mythic change but a small minority continues to resist. Yet, we know that an uninformed *mythic understanding* can eventually lead to ritual breakdowns – sad to say; this works both ways including those who repeat liturgical memes. As many bishops stated during VII, the council itself was a liturgy – a liturgy of a pilgrim people. Just love the use of *loaded terms* that justified liturgical abuse as if personal memes aren’t *loaded terms* that fail to *point out what is meant.*
        Really, use of Angus Dei tropes is part of the *corrupt reform*?

        Fallacy – taking an exception or outlier and deducing a general principle. Examples from the commenter:
        Confusing cause and effect
        Hasty Generalization
        Guilt by Association

  20. “Is it really necessary to see this and prolong it?”

    You’d have to ask your bishop about that one.

    “It truly fits the definition of noble simplicity …”

    Looks like simple American pragmatism to me. The next step is to just pass the tray pew by pew. Then you might not even need the priest.

  21. I’ll quit troping the Agnus Dei as soon as priests stop distributing hosts from the tabernacle. Both priest and musician now have a rubric to observe in the breach!

    1. Scott Pluff : I’ll quit troping the Agnus Dei as soon as priests stop distributing hosts from the tabernacle. Both priest and musician now have a rubric to observe in the breach!

      What a christian attitude to have! I’ll stop sinning when all others do too.

      Also, maybe there’s sometimes a reason to distribute from the tabernacle. In a perfect world, there would never be any reason, but we can’t take everything into account, so sometimes it is needed.

      How about being obedient for the sake of being obedient?

      1. @Ben Yanke – comment #74:

        Ben: How about being obedient for the sake of being obedient?

        The Angelic Doctor was almost run out of Paris for his innovative take on Aristotle.

  22. Kudos, Scott – ++++100 (even if some just want to follow the GIRM, Rubrics, and spirity of the liturgy which, of course, follow the Aquinas theological view??) Keep in mind, Deacon – this is *doctrine* (unique use of doctrine, one would say)

    And how about real bread versus plastic hosts?

  23. I will say that we rarely reach the theoretical perfection of no hosts from the tabernacle. The problem is that, with five Sunday celebrations, week after week after week, plus all the other masses that happen throughout the week, the unconsumed hosts accumulate. Even with our excellent ministries to hospitals, nursing homes, the homebound and so on, the hosts need to be consumed.

    1. @Jim Pauwels – comment #60:
      I think it’s a reasonable goal to use freshly consecrated hosts at the weekend Masses, and to consume any remaining at the weekday Masses a few days later. I’m more accustomed to seeing “one bag” of hosts consecrated at each Mass until the tabernacle can’t hold any more. Whether expecting 30 or 300, it’s one bag every time. We can do better.

  24. Fr. McDonald’s diatribe above is not at all welcome to this participant. Yes, yes there were experiments and omissions and additions not envisioned by SC nor even by the GIRM that accompanied the Novus Ordo. Yes, yes some of them were silly and the product of over zealous clerics with an inadequate understanding of liturgical history. But almost none of that survived the test of time. The singing of tropes during the breaking and distributing of the bread is a perfectly legitimate practice and to suggest otherwise is to overstep the kind of authority which Jesus entrusted to Peter and the Apostles. The same Lord poured out his spirit upon all flesh, and that spirit blows when and where he (sic) wills. This results in a sometimes troubling but necessary tension between the need for good order based on what has been handed down and the freedom of the spirit to breathe new life into routine rites. Insisting on two differing prayers and gestures to accompany the placing of the people’s gifts of bread and wine upon the altar is certainly questionable. As is the practice of the repeated requests of God to bless and accept these gifts. Why on earth priests should pray silently that God should accept these gifts we offer with humble and contrite hearts and then ask the people to pray that they will be acceptable and then pray the “secret” prayer aloud just for good measure is beyond me. That there may be slightly differing practices from parish to parish on matters such as this is hardly a whimsical abuse. Allan, your view of things is your view of things. Nothing more, nothing less. The same is true of my view of things. If you want yours respected, desist with the constant mischaracterization of what good and faithful priests seek to do in leading people in worship nearly everyday of our lives.

    1. @Fr. Jack Feehily – comment #70:
      Allan, your view of things is your view of things. Nothing more, nothing less. The same is true of my view of things.

      Then it’s hardly out of bounds for him to offer his view of things. Of course this is the problem with relativism, having reduced it all to a matter of opinion, you have no grounds to complain about the other guy’s opinion.

    2. @Fr. Jack Feehily – comment #70:
      I have to agree with Samuel However, and Fr. Jack you hit the nail on the head and which is the point I was making, everyone has his or her own opinion on SC and all of the Vatican II documents. Thus you have the widespread experimentation I describe above, by academic theologians, btw, in a seminary setting that trickled down to rank and file parishes in the 70’s. Everyone thought they were doing the spirit of Vatican II and heading toward Vatican III. I don’t think anyone then and to the chagrin of many today, that we’d have the reform within continuity movement we are experiencing.

    3. @Fr. Jack Feehily – comment #70:
      Why on earth priests should pray silently that God should accept these gifts we offer with humble and contrite hearts and then ask the people to pray that they will be acceptable and then pray the “secret” prayer aloud just for good measure is beyond me.

      (The “secret” prayer is no longer known by that designation.)

      That’s another question for the reformers of the Mass, Bugnini et. al. Is this another useless or useful repetition? Is it a mere holdover, a stingy continuity with the “old ways”? Or was it retained precisely because it is important?

      You might as well ask why the priest should pray “grant peace in our days”, and then pray to the Lord (who said “I leave you peace”) that He would “grant [the Church] peace”, and then have the whole congregation display a sign of that peace, and then pray for the Lamb of God to “grant us peace”.

      Or you might ask why during the Mass we ask for mercy so many times. There’s the “Lord, have mercy” and “may Almighty God have mercy on us” at the beginning, and then in the Gloria we ask for mercy twice, the priest or deacon prays that through the words of the Gospel our sins might be wiped away, and then towards the end we ask the Lamb of God to “have mercy on us” at least twice.

      You say these things are beyond you. How much time have you spent pondering them?

      Why do we ask again and again for God to accept our offerings? Why do we pray for the same thing more than once ever?

    4. @Fr. Jack Feehily – comment #70:
      Insisting on two differing prayers and gestures to accompany the placing of the people’s gifts of bread and wine upon the altar is certainly questionable.

      Are you referring to the two separate “Blessed are you…” prayers, the one for the bread, and the other for the wine? I’ve been to a couple Masses where the priest blends the two prayers together. I don’t know why that’s done, though. But for whatever reason, the reformers of the Mass kept both prayers in, without an option for blending them together.

      Are these prayers an example of “useless repetition”? Or could they be considered useful repetition? And if they are patterned after the berakah prayers of Judaism, isn’t that another reason to respect the prayers as they are written?

      I suppose I don’t see why there need to be differing practices, from place to place, from the ones prescribed by the Missal where no variation is foreseen.

  25. Sorry – can’t agree that this is all relative. Read the just posted item by Fr. Ruff. It summarizes the best history (hermeneutical efforts) that most agree upon today. There is opinion and then there is fact, research, and documentation. (suggest that too much of the new hermeneutic is based upon a desire and not facts – see Fr. Ruff’s comments)

    What it shows (specfically in terms of SC and the prelimanary documents) is an inside effort by a few to rewrite and delete much of the work of the committee (CPC) chosen to develop the outline/schema for Vatican II on the liturgy. Unfortunately for the *continuity* folks (documents use *reformists* versus those who wanted little change), the bishops and the central committee rejected overwhelmingly their attempts to rewrite and revise what the council fathers wanted to develop, discuss, and vote on. One has to really stretch the bounds of factual history to reinterpret this as *continuity in reform* – history shows that reform was not what the curia and a few cardinals/bishops desired – but the council fathers again overwhelmingly defeated their concept of continuity. (one could wonder about how *continuity* is being used in this context? Issues are framed between reform and statism – continuity refers to something entirely different in this context) The fathers wanted reform – (continuity in terms of dogma, doctrine but how it was lived and expressed via liturgy was something they wanted to reform based upon both ressourcement and a desire to have regional and local bishops make their own liturgical decisions.

    http://jakomonchak.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/liturgy-debate.pdf

    Highlights:
    – click on the link and scroll down to the fourth paragraph on page one. Read the quote – it is footnoted from Bugnini’s Reform of the Liturgy book,pg. 38 and confirmed by Caprile.

    Again, you reference a personal experience and decide that this was the case universally. Not exactly a serious historical effort or one of agreed upon scholarship and peer review.

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #73:
      You mistakenly contend that I’m calling into question the sources you site as well as Vatican II; I’m not at all. I simply critique the implementation of the Council in a regid progressive way but implemented in a pre-Vatican II authoritarian way where certain theologians interpret the actual documents in a way never intended or at least through then lens of discontinuity not with the pre-conciliar Church as with the actual Vatican II documents themselves .

  26. You say: “…..I simply critique the implementation of the Council in a rigid (sp) progressive way but implemented in a pre-Vatican II authoritarian way where certain theologians interpret the actual documents in a way never intended or at least through then lens of discontinuity not with the pre-conciliar Church as with the actual Vatican II documents themselves.”

    Your statement is true dissembling at its best – which means, you say nothing. You are back to making unsubstantiated accusations about *cerrtain theologians interpreting in ways never intended or at least through the lense of discontinuity. Again, your personal meme. And some of those theologians actually were the thinkers, writers, and developers behind the actual VII documents. (but you know better?)

    *Discontinuity* – not a term used by B16 – he talked about the hermeneutic of reform – in that reform you can find examples of both continuity, discontinuity, and rupture (using his terminology). A certain *camp* has taken those remarks and run with them distorting his actual statements.

    You state – *never intended* or *with the actual Vatican II documents themselves*. You can only aver to that by providing what you state the actual documents of VII (e.g. SC) are saying. You appear to think that the black & white SC document means the same thing for everyone and *certain* folks implemented or interpreted in rigid and *pre-Vatican II authoritarian ways*. That is why Fr. Joncas is posting each SC article – even using the original latin, you have to make conscious choices about the meaning. Using what Fr. Ruff just posted, we know that folks read and interpreted the overwhelmingly approved SC in different ways (not necessarily discontinuity or even rupture – because that is really in the eye of the interpreter). You again state your personal opinion with a certitude that SC just doesn’t have. As Fr. Ruff said well, SC was a blueprint – it laid out principles that had to be interpreted and implemented. You appear to disagree with some of this by claiming that they misread SC. That holds water only if everyone agreed with your starting SC point of meaning and interpretation. Just because you don’t agree with someone’s implementation, doesn’t mean that person failed SC – it just might be that you fail to understand SC or an article and thus make a judgment that is inaccurate. As Fr. Jack said well, yes, some may have implemented incorrectly (abuse in your language). But, you appear to condemn and label even their intentions – not sure how one knows that?

    You do realize that authoritarianism is alive and well today especially in our increasingly centralized papacy/curia. And as others have expressed, it would appear that some recent curial pronouncements fall into the category of *rigid* – can suggest or cite LA and its translation theory.

    1. @Bill deHaas – comment #76:
      The last time I checked, Catholics owe an obedience to the legitimate authority of the Church, i.e. the pope as the vicar of Christ and the bishops in union with him and their authoritative teachings and decrees. We don’t owe an obedience to theologians as though they are a parallel magisterium. I would not offer them one bit of obedience if it contradicted or challenged legitimate authority as illegitimate authority is always authoritarian.

    2. @Bill deHaas – comment #77:
      *Discontinuity* – not a term used by B16 – he talked about the hermeneutic of reform – in that reform you can find examples of both continuity, discontinuity, and rupture (using his terminology).

      Actually, from the 2005 Christmas address to the Curia:

      On the one hand, there is an interpretation that I would call “a hermeneutic of discontinuity and rupture”; it has frequently availed itself of the sympathies of the mass media, and also one trend of modern theology.

  27. Well, I am so glad that we have all the chair re-arranged on the Titanic. Major problem of the church solved. Hopefully we can now move on to the more mundane issues of the church.

  28. after reading much current debate and opinion re: church/Rome and/or church/american, sadly I call your attention to my group (defeated) and our children (three later groups) absolutely uninterested in Roman Catholicism – so sad….cathey s ott (age 88)

  29. Jared Ostermann : But…does this document actually have the authority to create or remove such liturgical permissions?

    Actually, the liturgical documents created by the USCCB/BCL never had the authority to allow the use of these so-called “tropes” in the first place.

  30. Jared Ostermann : I started my MSM at Notre Dame in January of 2008, when STTL was the big new document in town. I attended several talks on the document, including talks by contributors AWR and Leo Nestor. I am STILL confused because everyone seems to have a different take on the nature of the document. Is is a legislative document, or mere guidelines? Is it rendered non-binding by the fact that it was not submitted to Rome?

    STTL itself states in the Forward that it is a set of “guidelines … designed to provide direction to those preparing for the
    celebration of the Sacred Liturgy according to the current liturgical books…”

    STTL seems to be relegated to the dust heap due to confusion, if nothing else. Whenever one ‘side’ sees something it likes (“more chant!”) the document is the “will of the US bishops.” When it’s something less useful (yet another list of prioritized musical categories for congregational singing – different from MCW and different from Musicam Sacram), the document is “suggestions, non-binding because never approved by Rome.” Perhaps because of the confusion, I have yet to find a pastor who is taking the document as foundational to music ministry in the states.

    As with all liturgical documents, this document carries a certain “weight” when it comes to authority. Canon Law explains this somewhat. Obviously, where this document quotes other authoritative liturgical documents, it has the same force of law as the document it references.

    To get back to the topic at hand, I wonder if the CDW was concerned because STTL somehow proposed or implied a territorial legislative norm (Agnus tropes in the states), or concerned merely because the non-binding suggestions of STTL are confusing.

    Probably a little of both.

  31. Fr. Allan J. McDonald :It does strike me that adding trophes or more “Lamb of God’s” is what SC would classify as useless repetition . The “Breaking of the Bread” is intrinsic to the Rite of Holy Communion regardless of the size of the host at the fraction rite. Is it really necessary to see this and prolong it?

    Agreed. As is stated in GIRM 83: “The fraction … should not be unnecessarily prolonged or accorded exaggerated importance.”

  32. Rules, rules, and more rules. Do you think that Christ really cares weather we sing Lamb of God, or God of Power and might, or Christ has died, Christ is risen….My Gosh, God must be shaking his head at the Catholic church say my “my people, what are you doing?’ Are we getting so bogged down with being in line with the original latin text that we are forgetting about the real action taking place? What a beautiful sign to sing the different titles of Christ. We took out Yaweh from our text, we changed the Holy, the Gloria, and all the other Eucharistic Acclamation…What’s next people? This is getting pretty old really fast. This thought of chant and singing all this old music in liturgy is pretty frightening. It’s no wonder our youth are rebelling and not wanting to come to mass. We better wake up and realize this is the United Sates of America and our church has changed from 45 years ago. The pews are emptying fast…..

  33. Terry Piontkowski : Rules, rules, and more rules. Do you think that Christ really cares weather we sing Lamb of God, or God of Power and might, or Christ has died, Christ is risen.

    He might not, but it seems you certainly do.

    1. Just so we don’t lose (or distort) the point of Terry’s comment – I believe it is that in this case Church officials care too much about rules.
      awr

      1. Anthony Ruff, OSB : Just so we don’t lose (or distort) the point of Terry’s comment – I believe it is that in this case Church officials care too much about rules. awr

        I believe in this case, the USCCB cared too little about rules when they directly contradicted Redemptionis Sacramentum no. 27.

  34. To tell you the truth, I want a praying church, and I think people are leaving because of the constant do this do that that continually happens.
    You have to admit, our non-denominational churches are packed every Sunday and guess where they are coming from? Ya have that right Anthony, our church officials do care too much, and I think they have lost sight of what good liturgy is all about. And yes scott, I do care. That’s why I am so concerned, aren’t you??????

  35. Terry Piontkowski : To tell you the truth, I want a praying church, and I think people are leaving because of the constant do this do that that continually happens.You have to admit, our non-denominational churches are packed every Sunday and guess where they are coming from? Ya have that right Anthony, our church officials do care too much, and I think they have lost sight of what good liturgy is all about. And yes scott, I do care. That’s why I am so concerned, aren’t you??????

    It is the contradiction in your comments which perplex. Either the rules are important, in which case everyone (including Church Officials) should care about their content, or they are not and we can just leave Church Officials to set them as they see fit.

    After all, what the rules say will only distract from being a praying church, if you are second guessing what they should be.

    BTW Fr Anthony, it is not losing or distorting a point I hope, if one is merely seeking clarification. It might end up changing the point able to be made, but that I trust is an entirely more constructive outcome.

  36. Anthony Ruff, OSB : Just so we don’t lose (or distort) the point of Terry’s comment – I believe it is that in this case Church officials care too much about rules.awr

    That’s like saying police officers care too much about the laws.

    The Eucharist is the Source and Summit of our faith. It needs to be treated with more dignity and respect than a famiy picnic.

    1. Do you think police officers enforce every law in every case? Does every driver who goes 56 mph in a 55 mph zone get a ticket in all places?

      More importantly, have you studied and prayed over the New Testament texts with all Our Lord’s teachings about the law and the laws of organized religion?

      I care about liturgical law and try to be faithful to it, including its intent, in all possible circumstances. But I’m not sure it’s quite the right Christian attitude to think every law applies at all times. What if doing this would hurt people, or scandalize people, or cause divisions?

      As you probably know, there is a long history of commentary on church law, with discussion down through the centuries about how to apply it, how to interpret it, when other concerns trump it, which local customs supersede it, and all the rest.

      awr

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