GIA Publications notes that Marty Haugen’s well-known and widely used “Mass of Creation” is now 25 years old. I heard its debut from the composer as an undergrad at our summer music conference (now CCMLA) at St. John’s. I promptly typeset it on the abbey’s old music typewriter (this was before computers and Finale) so we could use it at campus ministry student Masses before the published edition arrived. Now we program it at any big liturgy (e.g., university graduation this Sunday) because it’s the closest thing to a universal setting known by all comers, at least in the Midwest. Sort of a latter day Mass VIII (–Yes, I know, some of you have mixed feelings about that. Keep your comments respectful, please.) I think it’s an eminently singable and useable setting which allows people to unite in song, and that’s a good thing. As congregational music it’s solid enough, though not particularly elegant. I suppose that wasn’t the goal. I’ve been somewhat surprised at its popularity, to be honest. I don’t find its G minor in 3/4 to be as appealing as others apparently do. I guess the whole world doesn’t think like a bookish chant geek monk, or something.
Here GIA has put up an article on the setting by the composer, including a look into the delicate process of revising existing settings for the new text. I think you’ll find it very interesting.
Congratulations, Marty! Thanks for serving the Church.