Well this is courageous if nothing else – “in defense of non-singing congregations.” (Scroll down below all the headlines.) And since it’s from my friend Jeffrey Tucker over at New Liturgical Movement, I really want to cut some slack. (I have not forgotten Jeffrey’s supportive words to me the day Pray Tell went online.) I kind of like Jeffrey’s puckish spirit and his willingness to just put it out there, whatever it is. I rather enjoy novel proposals and original ideas myself, and I suppose if somebody put me up to it and I were feeling impish, I could write a liberal defense of the cappa magna.
But really, Jeffrey. “The job of singing belongs primarily to the schola and the cantor, not the people”? “We are free to participate externally or internally based on our own desires”? “The hymn…has no traditional place in Catholic liturgy, particularly not in Mass”? On that last point, I know a guy who wrote a little book about such things, and I see around page 567 that Catholics having been singing vernacular hymns at Mass since the Middle Ages, in some cases more than Protestants.
Sorry Jeffrey, I’m not with you on this one. I don’t think Pope Pius X or Pope Pius XII or the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani are either. But I look forward to your next novel idea!