The Collegeville Conference on Music, Liturgy, and the Arts

This year’s CCMLA, “New Music, New Texts: Preparing for a New Missal,” ran this week, Monday night through yesterday afternoon. It was a rousing success, with over 175 participants. We’ll offer more on the new missal next year – mark your calendars for CCMLA 2011: June 20-24. Below are a few photos, including a mini-concert by the National Catholic Youth Choir. They sang Latin chant, Palestrina, Bach, Distler, and the rousing “Praise His Holy Name” by Keith Hampton.

More photos will follow.

The presenters did their best to provide a positive and inspiring presentation of the new missal. The new ICEL settings were sung – eg the Gloria, the prefaces of Eucharistic Prayers 2 and 4, the rest of the Order of Mass – and everything seemed to work well.

Two disturbing signs if you’re trying to take the pulse of the People of God on the coming changes. One participant said that they came to the conference fairly neutral and uninformed about the new translation, and now they know enough to know that they don’t like it at all. Another participant shared with a presenter (not me) that she felt  hurt by the way the hierarchy is imposing this on people without listening to them. She was in tears.

The forum with the panel of presenters brought about a lively discussion. My sense of the mood was that a depressing cloud descended on the group. Is it because so many parish liturgists and musicans are too liberal and lacking in obedience? On the contrary, I didn’t hear anyone say they were going to resist or fight the changes. Everyone  spoke about “how to make the best of this,” what to do since “we have to do this.” In a way, it’s admirable obedience – these people are willing to do what the Church asks, though, for many of them, it is with a heavy heart.



  1. As one of the 175 people who participated in this CCMLA, thanks to everybody who made this such a wonderful event.
    The two examples you cite of participants who formed negative opinions during the conference remind us of the task we have before us and most especially the great responsibility we have to help people adjust to the new Sacramentary and find in it something prayerful, hopefilled and true. Whatever our own opinion we must be positive whenever possible, impartial when we cannot be positive and charitible in all things.
    Let us be guided by the words of Luke 17:1-3a: Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves.

  2. It is a truly wonderful program. I attended in 2007
    and it was one of the most inspiring experiences. Simply beautiful talks by all 4 presenters were offered every day, in addition to other activities!
    I would recommend it to anyone!

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