GIA is a leader (or is it the leader?) in the area of hardbound hymnals (see our interview with Bob Batastini). All eyes are on GIA’s new hymnals for use with the revised missal translation. I hear that Gather, 3rd ed. will be available in time for the NPM convention in July, but Worship, 4th ed. will arrive on the market later. G3 is 70% piano/guitar-based, 30% organ-based. (I know, I know, the category boundaries are oftentimes fuzzy.) Where Worship, 3rd edition (1986) was pretty much entirely organ-based, W4 is 80-20, weighted toward organ-based. This means that W4 is GIA’s primary classical hymnal, but its usability is enhanced by the availability of contemporary repertoire used in many or most parishes.
GIA has put online for our examination the preliminary contents of W4. (BTW, the online sample pages look very attractive.) I’ve spent a bit of time with the hymn list and also compared it to W3. I like what I see.
I count 517 661 hymns in W4. (Here and throughout, keep in mind that minor changes are still possible before publication. I don’t see our national anthem anywhere – is that still coming?.) W3 had 410 hymns, so the expansion is considerable. [UPDATE: Fr. Ron Krisman from the W4 editorial team notes below that several things have changed since the preliminary listing went online in February.]
W4 draws heavily on the work of contemporary poets and throws the net wide ecumenically. Herman Stuempfle comes in with 42 entries, followed by Sr. Delores Dufner OSB (30), Mel Bringle (20), John Bell (16), Marty Haugen (16), Adam Tice (15), Ruth Duck (13), Fred Pratt Green (13), Tom Troeger (13), and Sylvia Dunstan (11). Some might say that a few people are over-represented, and I have minor quibbles here and there with the quality of some texts. But overall, the selection seems to be very strong indeed. Here is my tally of all the text sources in W4′s hymnody in order of frequency.
Some great texts from W3 didn’t make it into W4. Before we critique the elimination of this or that gem, though, we should realize the challenges faced by hymnal editors. The list of texts they wished they could include is probably about three times as long as there was room for – or is it ten times? Difficult choices have to be made. One can’t go only by the poetic or theological value of a text – you have to look also at the topics to be covered, the availability of suitable hymn tunes, and other considerations as well. Perhaps a really great text had to be cut because there were already too many in that category – just as some really-good-but-not-great text perhaps had to be included because nothing better was found in the category.
Here is my tally of the hymn texts in W3 not in W4. I see that the “his” has been changed in the titles of “God Has Spoken by His Prophets” and “God is Here! As We His People” – to “the” and “your” respectively. “Faith of our Fathers” is now “Living Faith.”
Some texts are altered in the other direction – restored to a more original form. I think I’m glad that the clunky “good” in “How Good the Name of Jesus Sounds” has been changed back to the traditional “sweet,” though that’s not my favorite word either. The editors are clearly exercising care to preserve and improve poetic value, which of course sometimes must be balanced against other concerns.
I’m glad that W4 goes back to the more familiar forms of “The Church’s One Foundation” and “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”
I’m delighted to see that the text commissioned by the National Catholic Youth Choir from Sr. Delores Dufner, OSB a few years ago, “Mary, First among Believers,” is in W4. I recall that we had NCYC sing the 87 87 D text to RAQUEL, since Sr. Delores told me she is rather tired of the old Marian tune PLEADING SAVIOR. But in W4 her text is paired with… PLEADING SAVIOR. I admit that I don’t mind that tune, and rather like it.
Now here’s an interesting textual editing conundrum, one we’ll also encounter in the collects of the new missal translation. What sounds right to your ear, “You, who have…,” or “You, who has…”? Many people think English usage has shifted to the latter, but some purists say the former is more correct for second-person vocative address. And it’s what our collects will have in the new missal. W4 is following the style of our collects, and swimming against the stream of most others who have edited F. Bland Tucker, in giving us “Father, We Thank You, Who Have Planted” (rather than “Who Has Planted”).
Really, really impressive is W4’s hymns for the lectionary – a hymn for every Sunday based on the readings, especially the Gospel. Just from the list of titles, one recognizes familiar lectionary themes – “A Blind Man Sat Beside the Road,” “As Servants Working an Estate,” “If Christ is Charged with Madness,” “Martha, Mary, Waiting, Weeping,” “Not Alone, but Two by Two.” I have high hopes for a renewal of biblical piety for Catholics who sing these texts.
In 2001, GIA put out Hymns for the Gospels by W. Thomas Smith and Bob Batastini. It’s a ground-breaking collection of lectionary hymns, put for the most part to well-known (or that deserve to be well-known!) hymn tunes. Of the 159 hymn texts in HftG, 74 will be in W4. This tells us that the W4 editorial committee carefully put every hymn text on the scales, and didn’t simply carry over everything from HftG. HftG is good, and W4 will be even better.
I was curious how many of the HftG texts were brought over into W4 with the same hymn tunes. Many are, but I count 32 (out of 74) hymn texts which are paired with a different hymn tune in W4. Again, this reflects careful examination on the part of the editors.
About my only regret in the changed hymns tunes is that Peter Scagnelli’s excellent versification of Gregory the Great, “Again We Keep this Solemn Fast,” is no longer matched with the weighty ERHALT UNS HERR, but is now with the weaker OLD HUNDREDTH, which of course is better known. For the most part by far, cheers went up when I saw the changes made.
Here are just a few of my favorite alterations:
- “Wild and Lone the Prophet’s Voice,” SALZBURG → ABERYSTWYTH
- Your Hand, Though Hidden, Guides Us: ST. THEODULPH → KING’S LYNN
- “A Blind Man Sat Beside the Road,” NEW BRITAIN → ST. ANNE
- “The Call is Clear and Simple,” PASSION CHORALE → MERLE’S TUNE
- “Our Savior’s Infant Cries Were Heard,” WINCHESTER OLD → ST. COLUMBA
- “To Love Just Those Who Love You,” PASSION CHORALE → AURELIA
- “The Thirsty Cry for Water, Lord,” NEW BRITAIN → WIDOW’S GOLD
- “The Church of Christ in Every Age,” WAREHAM → EISENACH
The editors seem to have realized that the associations were too strong to make some matchups workable – PASSION CHOARLE with Holy Week, ST. THEODULPH with Palm Sunday, NEW BRITAIN with “Amazing Grace.” They have found better matches in each case. I rejoice any time WAREHAM is eliminated – it must be among the dullest hymn tunes ever written, threatening to become interesting only in the 4th to 6th measures from the end – and I’m especially happy when its replacement is as strong as EISENACH. Here is my tally of all the changed hymn tunes from HftG to W4.
From all the wonderful new texts in W4, it must suffice to tantalize you with this excerpt from a particularly well-crafted hymn:
Shall tribulation or distress,
Shall persecution, fire, or sword,
Or any perils of this world–
Or even death,
Or even death–
Shall any pow’r of earth or heav’n
Divide us from your love, O Christ?
No, neither angel hosts nor thrones,
Nor height nor depth of evil’s reach,
Nor present things, nor things to come–
Not even death,
Not even death–
Not any pow’r of earth or heav’n
Can part us from your love, O Christ.
– Mary Louis Bringle, b. 1953, © 2006, GIA Publications.
I’m excited to see the breadth and variety of hymn tunes in W4. Here is my tally of W4‘s hymn tunes in order of frequency. Now before you raise criticisms, keep this in mind. Some tunes appear an awful lot – KINGSFOLD wins with 7 appearances – but that doesn’t mean congregations will have to sing the tunes too often. Some tunes are used because they’re well known, but a given usage might be for a lectionary hymn used only once every 3 years, or for occasional rites.
Here is my tally of new hymn tunes in W4. There’s a lot to rejoice in here. I suppose my favorite addition is WER NUR DEN LIEBEN GOTT, followed closely by ABERYSTWYTH, MIDDLEBURY, and CWM RHONDDA. I admit there are plenty of new hymn tunes on the list I don’t recognize. It will be fun to see whether they are contemporary classical tunes I haven’t yet encountered, or the tune names the GIA folks gave to piano/guitar-based songs, or old classics I somehow missed until now.
Scandinavian Lutherans will be interested to see that A STORE GUD is in W4. Here in Minnesota, judging from funerals in Catholic parishes, “How Great Thou Art” has long since become “an old Catholic hymn.” And we just sang it this morning at the Stearns County jail, where I celebrated Mass for the Fifth Sunday of Easter.
Of course some of W3’s tunes had to be cut. Here’s my tally of the hymn tunes cut for W4. There are bound to be some howls of pain here, probably even more from the editors than me. I regret the loss of SONNE DER GERECHTIGKEIT, and also ALLEIN GOTT IN DER HOH’, but I understand that metrical Glorias are out now. The editors did the right thing in cutting the original funky-rhythm versions of EIN’ FESTE BURG and WIE SCHÖN LEUCHTET – it always felt like they were there more for scholarly cred than usefulness to real Catholic congregations. It’s a shame that the only hymn tune by the great liturgical reformer Joseph Gelineau in general circulation, LE CENACLE, had to be cut, but I understand that you include tunes for their usefulness to real Catholic congregations and not as tributes to great reformers. I regret that Calvin Hampton’s highly interesting DE TAR and ST. HELEN got cut, but apparently the difficulty of these hymn tunes prevented them from catching on with Catholics. Probably the same is true for Richard Proulx’s lovely ALDINE. The old Catholic ditty SWEET SACRAMENT is gone – or will this appear in the worship order for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament?
There you have my initial impression of the hymnody in Worship, 4th edition. I’m impressed. I am convinced that this hymnal will set a new industry standard for primarily organ-based Catholic hymnals. I very much look forward to seeing the full hymnal in print.
Now look, everyone. I’m an absent-minded professor, not an accountant or bookkeeper. I’m very thankful that monks don’t have to fill out tax returns. I’m sure I got some details wrong in all this list-making. I welcome your corrections.
And of course, I welcome your opinions!
Thanks for the analytical materials, Fr. Anthony. . . they will undoubtedly be useful.
As an academic, I buy a copy of new hymnals as they come out. I’m always impressed with the variety and differing balances in Catholic hymnals. How many Baptist/Generally Evangelical hymnals do I have that include 99.9% the same contents — about 65% of which I find inappropriate for public worship. (Yes, I know, different theologies of worship, etc., no need to point that out!)
If I were considering investing in W4, I would be concerned about the loss of these texts:
Christ Upon the Mountain Peak
Earth and All Stars
God, Who Stretched the Spangled Heavens
Hills of the North, Rejoice
Lift Up Your Heads, O Mighty Gates
Lord Christ, When First You Came to Earth
Now the Silence
O for a Heart to Praise My God
O Gladsome Light
O Radiant Light
See amid the Winter’s Snow
Thy Strong Word Didst Cleave the Darkness
‘Tis Good, Lord, to Be Here
We Are Your People
We Gather Together
We Know That Christ Is Raised
I don’t think there are enough good Advent hymns to go around to begin with, and despite the brevity of the season, I think the Advent section in most hymnals needs expanding. (Likewise, Easter, but that’s another story.) “Lift up your Heads” can do double-duty for Passion/Palm Sunday as well — not one I’d think to cut. Two of. . . maybe three?. . . Transfiguration hymns are out: that seems a bit extreme.
This is a substantial loss of poetry: I get the variety of editorial concerns and the multiplicity of needs to be weighed. These were surprises.
Overall, it appears to be a fine hymnal. Many congratulations to GIA.
Hi, Cody. As always a very thoughtful and balanced response from you. I cut my teeth on W2 as organist/pianist at my home parish well before ordination. There were so many wonderful gems in W2, and I agree with your analysis. “Now the Silence” is indeed beautiful. But I wonder if part of the cutting process was based on some kind of polling as to which songs were actually USED. I would bet that some of the gems were left in unpolished form at many parishes.
The ICEL2010 rollout is certainly going to be very expensive for places with hard-covered hymnal like Worship!
The GIA website offers 5-year payment plan at 1.5 % interest for hardbound hymnals. I believe this is considerably cheaper than season or annual worship aid subscriptions.
Fr. Jim, undoubtedly you’re right about polling. Alas, any one congregation can only learn and use so much of a given hymnal, and some things — however beautiful — go unused. In the case of “Now the Silence,” I’m afraid that both the text and the tune are a bit too challenging: they lack immediate appeal. “Hills of the North” is an Advent favorite of mine, but it too lacks immediacy. Sigh. The bright side is that there are a lot of new compositions (texts and tunes) that really are excellent and deserve a fair shot.
I suspect, in the long run, that the future will hold some sort of iPad-esqe device for the pews, with an unlimited selection of texts and tunes by subscription. While I dread the loss of a tangible hymnal and the benefits gained from flipping through it before liturgy or during a lousy homily — not that I’ve ever done such a thing (yeah, right!) — the thought of a tailor-made repertoire for a given congregation does excite me.
Every gain involves a loss when change is involved. In this case, it’s not just change for change’s sake, but change that, I hope, is for the better.
I realize “Earth and All Stars” was composed for my undergrad alma mater (St Olaf)–but I won’t weep at its loss. “Loud boiling test tubes”?!? C’mon!
Derek, if you have the chance, give David Haas’ new-tune recording of “Earth and All Stars” a listen — particularly at that stanza. 🙂
Thank you, Fr. Ruff, that’s what I call a valuable review. But, I’m hoping you’ll continue with your reflections regarding Ordinary and Psalter/Proper settings. (?)
Pax et bonum.
New hymnals with more hymns and more new hymns related to the Gospel make me nervous, far more nervous than the New Missal. Sounds like I am going to be asked to listen to more hymns rather than singing one’s that I know and like.
Perhaps I should start a music rewards program for my collection envelope, including a slip of paper listing the reasons for giving bonus dollars for last Sunday’s music program:
Entrance Hymn: $2 ( $1know, $1like)
Sung Kyrie $1
Gloria $2 know, like
Sung Litany of the Faithful $1
Preparation Hymn: $2 know, like
Sung Eucharistic Prayer $5
Sung Lord’s Prayer $1
Communion Hymn $2 know, like
Recessional Hymn $2 know, like
Buying a new hymnal would probably not be the way to win music rewards
I am pleased to see so many contributions by Sr. Delores Dufner! She truly is a wonderful lyricist.
A personal anecdote: I often joke with friends that I am a “Scandinavian Lutheran Catholic” as my mother is a Lutheran, my grandmother a Lutheran convert to Catholicism, and my hometown parish at least 40% Scandinavian converts. I was raised singing the strong organ hymnody of the Lutheran tradition, both in attending church at my home parish and with my mother. I believe the Lutheran hymns to be a great contribution to Catholic music repertoire. In my own wedding, I combined strong hymns with Renaissance polyphony. Many, many of our guests expressed how much they loved our music – and that was both the Lutheran and Catholic sides of our families!
The loss of Now the Silence and a few others is a bit alarming. But if they were doing it on the W2 plan, they’d have closer to 2,000 offerings for W4. In a century, I might look forward to an eHymnal for every worshiper. No limit to the number of offerings for something like that.
I confess I find it harder to get excited about hymnals. On that score, I’m closer to Charles’ camp, though without the slavish approach to propers and psalms. While people are producing good texts these days, I’d rather see hymn writers producing more for responsorial singing. I wonder if we have too many hymns yet.
As for the tunes, I’ll look over my new copy in a few months and see how GIA has treated American melodies as opposed to central European tunes. Their Worship series has always been too heavy on German and British tunes.
Are you sure Beach Spring wasn’t in W3?
I don’t think Beach Spring was in W3, because I wanted to use it for my wedding, and the hymnal the church used didn’t have it! This is why hymnals are so important Todd 🙂
,I confess I find it harder to get excited about hymnals. On that score, I’m closer to Charles’ camp, though without the slavish approach to propers and psalms.
Todd, you mischevious scamp, you…
I’m really not allowed to camp out anywheres near the “slaves'” as I tend to either rant or snore, at times both simultaneously.
But, as Fr. K brings to light, I was interested to see to what extent GIA would nod towards proper and psalm settings, even if metrically ala PSALIITE. For example, are any of the Macek settings folded in?
I have noticed a few souls lamenting the “rapture” of forms such as used by pioneers like Deiss, which were “responsorial” (tho’ rhythmically idiomatic) and, in their way, more aligned to a schola ethos which is absent in strophic hymnody.
I sort of wish that this thread could have avoided the inevitable descent into PC Land, but when does a day pass without catholics arguing amongst themselves? I’d wager not a few RC’s, ELCA’s, LDS’s, JW’s et al in Joplin, Misssouri still standing this morning would gladly join in singing “FoOFathers” or “Amazing Grace” together, unconcerned about rhetorical victimization in hymnic prose.
I’m off to SF later today to hear GIA’s array of Mass settings at Mission Dolores. So, see Todd, I trod unafraid into many a diverse camp besides CMAA/Solemnes.
Dropping “Faith of Our Fathers” says it all.
Seeing this posting convinces me all the more that it’s now time the Vatican re-visit an approved list of hymnody in the vernacular at Mass.
That you think one hymn “says it all” probably says it all about your general attitude toward everything.
Uh, folks, Faith of our Fathers is in there, but under the title “A Living Faith.” The more recent GIA hymnals have retitled it – along with a few other tunes.
Edit: At that First Eucharist remains as well… under “You Lord, At Your First Eucharist”.
Sean, thanks for catching my mistake in this case. I’m sure there are more.
Dear Father Anthony,
I assure you, “Faith of Our Fathers” does indeed “say it all” about the state of the Faith right now. Many are in denial of the fact that our Church is being persecuted, and, I firmly believe that our Faith is going to be tested to the point that some of us might be called upon to give our lives for that Faith. Consider the second verse:
Our Fathers chained in prisons dark,
Were still in heart and conscience free,
How truly blest their children’s fate,
If we like them should die for Thee.
In light of our country’s and the world’s attitudes toward the Church right now, this hymn is as relevant than ever.
As for my “general attitude about everything,” what do you think my “general attitude” is?
I was unable to reply to your later comment because the “reply” mechanism was not available. I will leave my own wonderment as to why.
While it is your opinion to think my attitude as “negative,” I find it rather realistic.
You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned what I think of your attitude towards the new translations, the Holy Father, and the Church in general, which you may think to be realistic as well.
Thanks be to God, the GIA’s version of Faith of our “Fathers” does not contain those antique verses that do not reflect any living catholic faith that I know of. GIA’s version goes “Faith of our mothers, daring faith” and then “Faith of our brothers, sisters too.” I am happy that the title is finally being fixed — and anyway, don’t we see enough of “Fathers” prancing about in their lace and dresses at mass anyway? 🙂 I’m sure you do at your traditionalist chapel, so please leave those of us in the regular world, struggling to cope with one priest child-abuse scandal after the next, to sing our songs without being clubbed over the head by male-only language.
Sandi Brough wins the prize for nastiest reply. Where on earth did that all come from? Seems almost any topic becomes an excuse to malign those who attend the EF.
Perhaps the best thing would be to include both the traditional and updated version of the hymn – that would seem to please everyone. I’ve seen many hymnals with “alternate” texts. Give people a choice.
Thanks be to God, the GIA’s version of Faith of our “Fathers” does not contain those antique verses that do not reflect any living catholic faith that I know of.
So those of us who sing those verses don’t have “living catholic faith” or you just refuse to know us?
Let’s consider this rationally: the Hymnal editors use a number of surveys in the process leading up to hymn selection. If something gets cut, it probably doesn’t have a lot of usage to begin with.
From a musical standpoint, Henri Hemy’s ST CATHERINE isn’t a particularly good tune. It’s catchy because it’s simple, but it also exhibits all of the nasty tendencies that make Victorian hymn-tunes. . . well. . . Victorian (for lack of a more charitable term): Waltz meter, four-bar phrases, given to chromaticism in interpretation — including uncontrolled glissando at the ends of phrases. You know. . . “motifs adopted in the theaters, and be not fashioned even in their external forms after the manner of profane pieces. . . ” all the things that Pius X complained about.
As to Fr. Faber’s text — prejudices one might assume aside — the history behind it, i.e., not of the suffering of the 16th century but of the virtriol of the19th, is largely forgotten (and where remembered, not always fondly on anyone’s part). It is a popular text, to be sure; in spite of its attempted affront to the C of E, it remains popular among Anglo-Catholics on both sides of the Pond. Furthermore, it’s become something of a rally-hymn among the Mormons.
Then, of course, there is the language issue, which various publishers have tried to remedy. Substituting “Ancestors” for “Fathers,” which works well in the triple meter, is one approach. In the case of GIA’s hymnals of late (as Sean points out above), all but the first stanza are new compositions, addressing “mothers,” “brothers, sisters too” and “Faith born of God.” This works, and takes care of lingering problems with the now-abandoned original text.
However honored its place might be in some circles — it has historical merit, I’ll agree — I don’t know that it can be considered a particular loss.
I feel rather strongly that old hymn texts should simply remain as they are – attempts to update often end up clunky or grating – or seem politically correct in a condescending way.
The worst (and IMO, most unnecessary) updates are those that haphazardly remove archaic language, but leave it when the rhyme would otherwise be ruined. There’s a common version of “At the Cross Her Station Keeping” like this – and it seems odd that all the verses to “O Sacrament Most Holy” use “you” while the refrain uses “thine.” The update of “O Sacred Head” also lacks the powerful imagery of the original (what’s wrong with “death’s pallid hue comes o’er Thee, the glow of life decays?”). If the original version of one hymn or another doesn’t suit the sensibilities of a particular congregation, then I imagine there are still hundreds of other selections that do. Unlike official liturgical texts, the use of a particular hymn is totally optional.
Jack, I would agree in principle, particularly with (faux) Tudor-Stuart English. No need to update. I am more sensitive to the use of male nouns and pronouns in an inclusive sense: while I understand that male nouns and pronouns were once universally considered gender/sex inclusive, that universality no longer holds true. We are in a transitional period, so a bit of elasticity both ways on so-called “inclusive” language (or just plain 21st century English) is needed, though at the rate of language change today, I can appreciate hymnal publishers needing to attend carefully to this issue if they want their books to be sale-able for a congregation looking to make a 10-15 year investment.
It doesn’t matter if there is an “approved” list or not. We will continue to use the songs people desire, sing well, and that reflect good theology. God is laughing at all these attempts to control.
Even IF Faith of Our Fathers was left out, (and I say this charitably,) really? This would be the straw that broke the camel’s back? How often does the Holy Father sing this credal hymn of the Church?
For the one time I use it per year… print it out on a songsheet. Or buy another hymnal. No need to fret about the Church’s demise here.
I am not worrying about the “demise” of the Church here. I’m simply saying that dropping this time-honored hymn reflects the negative attitude of GIA towards traditional hymnody and the history behind it.
As for the “sexist language” in the text raised by Sandi, I think you need a lesson in literature, history, and theology. I’m sorry you have issues with masculinity in the language of religion. Perhaps you should seek some spiritual direction about this.
Finally, I am hardly one who attends “traditionalist chapels” as you so naively suggest. I simply believe that we should preserve and promote the hitorical treasures of our liturgy and music.
There is just no way to talk to some people. Catholics are routinely maligned and insulted for their beliefs…sometimes even by other Catholics.
On another note… to say that the hymn “A Living Faith” is a replacement for Faith of Our Fathers is all the encouragement I need to stay with our current parish practice of publishing our own weekly music booklets (I really despise the term “worship aid” so I have just decided to call them weekly music booklets). Aside from being considerably less expensive, I am able to use the actual texts to hymns, as well as include Latin Hymns when appropriate. No more having to wince while singing “I called on the Lord and God answered me, from all my troubles I was set free”. I guess the Lord couldn’t answer, so he let God take the call…
Sandi is perfectly right that phrases like “Faith of our Fathers” are now perceived inevitably as sexist though they may not have been so for Faber (though he was very much a man’s man).
Remember not to leave out the original third verse
Faith of our fathers, Mary’s prayers
Shall win our country back to Thee;
And through the truth that comes from God,
England shall then indeed be free.
How would our English friends feel about that?
Since the second stanza was quoted above, may I add Faber’s original third?
Faith of our fathers! Mary’s prayers
shall win our country back to thee;
and through the truth that comes from God
England shall then indeed be free.
(Faber also provided a setting for Irish Catholics)
I’d say it’s quite good to alter hymn texts as needed. And even the second stanza quoted earlier in this string (11) has been altered by hymnal editors and is not Faber’s original.
The statement “GIA has a negative attitude toward traditional hymnody”: Oh my. Please be careful with such hasty generalizations.
I can certainly understand altering “England” to “we shall indeed be truly free” or some such change, but to completely wipe out verses in place of the meaningless modernized lyrics we get with “modern hymns” is simply wrong.
I used to love Faith of our Fathers as a boy –but it is not a hymn that can be transferred to these ecumenical times.
I am thrilled that there will be a hymn for every Sunday based on the readings from the lectionary.
But there are already propers for each Sunday. Why not simply use them, as highlighted in this post at another blog:
In music my parish has eclectic tastes. We sometimes do Gregorian chant for special occasions, but we wouldn’t do it every Sunday. I am always an advocate of Scripture-related words, but as far as musical style goes, I’m happy to let other people choose. To each their battle!
Thank you, Father Anthony, for the report, which undoubtedly occupied your time for several hours.
And to all who have posted, thank you for the time you have taken to express your opinions about many things in Father Anthony’s report, and many things which weren’t.
I don’t want to burst anyone’s bubble, so keep writing. However, the web site listing of the contents of “Worship IV” predates the final meeting of the hymnal’s general editors, which occurred in February of this year. The general editors cut about 30 items on the web list, added another dozen or so, and selected about 25 titles as “endangered species,” any or all of which may be cut when the service book is finally laid out and it is discovered that there is not room for everything.
By the way, missing from Fr. Anthony’s report, there are 99 settings of psalms and canticles in the psalter section. This is in addition to the plus or minus 636 hymns.
While the web list is fairly accurate with regard to which texts have been proposed for inclusion, several of the tunes have been changed during the past few months. For example, at one point 12 texts were wedded to KINGSFOLD; that’s been paired down to 7, four of which are “hymns for the gospel” (each used perhaps only once every three years), one is a text especially suitable for ecumenical and even interfaith prayer services, one is a Palm Sunday and/or Christ the King hymn by Timothy Dudley-Smith which emphasizes what a different kind of king Christ is, and, finally, there is “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say.” I expect that last one will get the most use.
Fr. Ron Krisman, Orlando, FL
(1 of the 5 general editors of W4)
Oh my. Now I find out. Oh well – the hours were enoyably spent!
I guess my next post can be a report on… not what changed between W3 and W4, but what changed in W4 between January and July. With lists and charts.
Thanks for the update, Fr. Ron! We all look forward to seeing the final contents.
awr – – –
Hi! I kind of agree with your comment about about the hymn tune OLD HUNDRETH being comparatively weak, but I wonder if that is in part due to its overuse. When sung and played well it still is a great tune.
I suspect its overuse comes from its being in a very common meter and thus it is often used as a substitute for lesser known hymns. A tragic example would be the OLD HUNDRETH variant of the “Song of Farewell” for funerals, which has always been like fingernails on the blackboard to me.
Fr. Jim Blue;
Ten minutes with FINALE and I had a version of the “Song of Farewell” set to Conditor Alme Siderum. Having spent a good many years as an Organist in a Methodist Church, the associations with the Doxology is just too strong to use Old 100th for much else….
“For example, at one point 12 texts were wedded to KINGSFOLD; that’s been paired down to 7”
A good example. I like that tune as much as anyone, but three would be a reasonable limit, if that were needed. Aren’t there any good tunes in the Sacred Harp tradition that would have the same folk feel? Why go to that good well (KINGSFOLD) so often?
I would hope that more care is taken with editing instrument books this time around. The G2/GC/W3 editions are particularly sloppy once you get past the organ/piano accompaniments.
I think all texts and tunes should be submitted to Vox Clara’s experts for final redaction.
Let’s let the 7,000 divinely appointed guardians of RetroChurch’s poetry and prose loose on this material and into shape whip it graciously so that, overcome with the immensity of its majesty, and bound by a chord so tight in can never be undone, we may, to the praise of God’s manifest wisdom, even when our disordered affections impede us, a new canticle to the ever-living God, we pray, sanctified with newness like the dewfall, sing graciously as with one voice we acclaim.
I am a bit concerned, to say the least, at the way this hymnal is being foisted on the faithful, without the least bit of transparency as to the methods used in selecting the hymns which we will be forced to pray. Nobody that I know was consulted in the process, despite all the talk of collegiality that the Church supposedly ushered in. Not to mention that our ecumenical partner churches have been used to the hymnal we’ve been singing for the last many years. What are we saying to them by suddenly changing everything? I know many people who will NOT be purchasing the new hymnals. What if we just said wait? What if we just did nothing?
What on earth are you talking about? We don’t have official hymnals in the U.S. Catholic church, only private publishing houses offering private publications. Their number is legion. Their purchase and use is optional, entirely at the decision of local parishes. Nothing is being foisted on anyone.
I’m talking about the process. My beef is with the way things were done with consulting those who will actually be using the hymnals. It’s the top-down “leadership” (read:dictatorship) of these hymnal-producing hierarchs that I’m taking issue with, copyrighting texts and not even asking the faithful what they would like to sing.
And I note you said nothing about the same comparison when someone said above that it should have been submitted to the RetroChurch’s ICEL for 7,000 revisions. Father Ruff, as much as you talk about charity to those who don’t tow the party line, I think it’s uncharitable to tell the faithful in this case that “If you don’t like it, look elsewhere.” We are the Church, not GIA.
Worry not…some of us actually got the joke!
Really poor joke. Apples and oranges.
Please…people support and agree with those things that they agree with and those which they disagree with they claim are defective, irrational, poorly argued , insensitive, non-relevant, or otherwise illegitimate when compared to what they agree with. We’ve seen this with the whole translation issue (which was, after all, the point of Don’s parody comment above) where any claim that the new translation might be good is met with the assertion that “obviously, you just can’t see….” or some other comment that begins by discrediting your entire point of view as defective. So much for the “open minded crowd”.
Thanks, Jeffrey. 🙂
Sean: What say does the average parishioner in your parish have in what hymnal is purchased? I know that my own parish has already bought new hymnals for the upcoming translation change. I couldn’t tell you what was bought, because the laity weren’t asked. I’m sure the new clerics (i.e., the parish council or eucharistic minister team or whatever) had some input, but those of us who have to pray this music sitting in the pew didn’t have any input whatsoever into what constitutes, time-wise, a very large part of what we are going to be praying at Mass every Sunday. And that’s not even taking into account the fact that when you sing, you pray twice.
Don and Jeffrey: bet you can’t find as many grammatical mistakes in the entire series of Worship hymnals combined as we’ll soon be able to see in Vox Clara’s 7,000-experts redacted Pell-Moroney-Ward Missal which, unlike any hymnal, will be mandatory for liturgical use.
As noted elsewhere, the first study (of several, I’m told), listing day by day the 2010’s mistranslations from Latin, violations of LA, and grammatical errors (and, close to this latter category, “stylistic infelicities,” nice ring, eh?) is already in production, and will provide a day-by-day analysis showing the production to be both inaccurate and less-than-literary.
It will be fascinating to see if then, finally, the uncritical cheerleading ceases, and people realize that, far from fulfilling its mandate, Vox Clara (and ultimately CDW) did a disservice to the Holy Father and to the praying Church.
It will be fascinating to see if then, finally, the uncritical cheerleading ceases, and people realize that, far from fulfilling its mandate, Vox Clara (and ultimately CDW) did a disservice to the Holy Father and to the praying Church.
Just keep battering that strawman. How many times do you need to be told that something can be both a) not perfect and b) better than what it replaces?
Do you spend time visiting hospitals and telling patients that they shouldn’t undergo treatments that will improve their lives but not make them perfectly healthy?
No one was speaking to you, Sam, but now that you bring up (again) your oft-repeated apologia for laziness, incompetence and arrogance on behalf of a body from which the Holy Father personally and the Church at large have the right to expect more, how many times do YOU need to be told that the real strawman here is the “lame duck” ICEL, and the real tragedy is that instead of our best – which was within reach – we are having to settle for a mediocre hodgepodge of mistranslations,, grammatical errors and violations of norms that should have been followed.
I get it, Sam, I really do that you don’t give a hoot whether the forthcoming Missal – finally in beautifully printed and bound volumes – is the best we could have hoped for or just so-so.
But please don’t put down those of us who aren’t as happy with the mediocre and unworthy as you have made so abundantly clear that you are. And who are going to keep saying so. And, very soon, present the black and white documentation (beyond that which CDW received months ago and chose to ignore) that shows just how poor 2010 is.
Not in comparison with 1973 – but with the Latin Missal.
Do me a favor when that study comes out: don’t bother looking at it. Stay right where you are in At-Least-It’s-Better-Than-It-Used-to-be-ville. You’ve obviously got lots of company!
Mr. McGuire: Re: #46 — Mandatory for whom? Does your parish get to vote on hymnals? Mine sure doesn’t. The hymnal choice is dictated by either the pastor or some select committee and handed down by fiat. One could say that it is not mandatory for anyone to use the new translation of the Roman Missal, as one could always choose an Eastern rite or a non-Catholic ecclesial community. For the laity, the practical effect of the new hymnals is the same as that of the new missal translation: If you don’t like the new hymnal choice, and aren’t willing to change your mind and conform, your only choice is to leave. We’ve been told time and time again by the editors on this site that it’s uncharitable to suggest leaving the Church, so why shouldn’t we be up in arms about not having a process in place for parishioners to have input into the music they sing at Mass? Especially since all these publishers and composers are profiting from the Holy Mass.
No one was speaking to you, Sam, but now that you bring up (again) your oft-repeated apologia for laziness, incompetence and a arrogance
This is a completely false portrayal of my position. I made no apologies for laziness, incompotence or arrogance. I made a limited point. That what we’ve been offered is better than what we have. You can contradict that if you like, but the way you chose to make your argument, with false claims about what I believe and what I have argued is not at all persuasive.
I get it, Sam, I really do that you don’t give a hoot whether the forthcoming Missal – finally in beautifully printed and bound volumes – is the best we could have hoped for or just so-so.
This has nothing to do with what I wrote, or with what I have ever written and frankly, it’s insulting. I do care about whether it’s the best we could have hoped for, but as I noted above, it can be both not the best we could have hoped for and better than what we have.
If the hymnal is that bad, you go to another Roman Rite parish.
And if I don’t like the new translation, I switch Rites?
Ah yes, such a similar situation.
Care to expound, or only to ridicule? Either way, it’s like it or leave it. Not exactly community-building.
In the instance of a bad hymnal, the “it” one would leave is a parish.
In the instance of a bad translation, the “it” one would leave is the Rite (or at least the parishes of that Rite where Mass is celebrated in English).
The difference is obvious.
As is my point: WHOEVER the anonymous revisers are who have given us 2010 may indeed have given us something better than what we’ve had. But doesn’t God, and that worship of Him which is our bounden duty, deserve our best? Are we not, then, permitted to point out the mistranslations, grammatical errors and outright violations of the directives contained in Liturgiam authenticam and the Ratio translationis? Further, to remind everyone that the CDW, formally entrusted by the Holy Father with diligent supervision of matters liturgical, KNEW about the principal errors as early as last summer – and failed to fulfill its responsibilities in this regard?
I, and others, who FULLY SUPPORT THE NEED FOR A NEW TRANSLATION, cringe to see its grammatical absurdities, are appalled at its mistranslations, mystified by its violations of clearly promulgated norms.
I certainly have the right to say that, in my opinion, the “stiff upper lip”, “chin up, cheerio, carry on” approach of some of the 2010 cheerleaders – along with the “at least it’s not so bad” mantra – do no service to the Church in the long run.
None of that is ridicule. In fact, it’s not even opinion. It’s statement of fact: there ARE mistranslations, grammatical errors, violations of norms. Monsignor Moroney’s latest spin is: “Well, when you have 7,000 people consulting on a project, you’re bound to end up with some mistakes.”
Do you find that approach edifying (i.e., literally community-building)?
It will be nice to know that you will have spent considerable time reveling and looking forward to reveling in the downfall of something our Catholic leadership thought was good. Such charity!
Don, relax. GIA sent surveys to many existing users of the current Worship hymnal. If the new hymnal doesn’t meet your needs, don’t purchase it. There are many options.
I’m plenty relaxed, but you’re not seeing the point. *I* don’t get to make the decision about purchasing it. Nor did *I* get a survey. I get no input into the songs selected for any hymnal, and I get no input into the hymnal selected for any parish. I’m simply a parishioner who must listen and leave if I don’t like it. Mr. McGuire seems to say that the best thing to do is simply to leave my parish Church. After all, it’s not as troubling as leaving the Roman Rite, to him. What if you live in a town, as I do, where there is only one parish? Living on the state line, I could drive into the adjacent state to attend church outside of my diocese, but they use the same hymnal. This all could have been avoided if the hymn selection process were free, open, transparent and democratic, but it wasn’t. It’s an oligarchy of profit-seekers.
Do you pick the hymns at Mass? Do you get to select the Eucharist Prayer?Do you have input with the homily? Vestments? Decor?
When psalms are set to music, do they use the Revised Grail Psalms?
Why the need to have so many hymns when all GIA had to do was set the antiphons to music? The Church already gives us the texts. There is a huge difference between singing at Mass and singing the Mass.
Of course the U.S. bishops disagree with you in Sing to the Lord. So does the Holy See – cf. Musicam sacram no. 32, which extends to the entire Church the permission the Holy See had given to the German and Austrian bishops in 1943 to sing vernacular hymns at Latin High Mass to replace propers. Note how many vernacular hymns have been sung at large public Masses celebrated by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.
I’m pro-propers, and I use them when I can. But it’s not a black-and-white issue, as you you seem to think.
MS #32 only gives permission for such practices to be retained where they were already in place and affirmed by indult at the time. Notice that MS #32 says that such practices can be retained….How can a practice be “retained” if not already in place? As such, I guess the Churches in Austria and Germany are free to use vernacular hymnody at High Masses.
Truly, I don’t see how this is a general permission to make that change. There is also the further addendum that in those cases where the practice is retained, the competent territorial authority must approve the texts of such songs. Would that not be a condition of their use? The answer of course, would have to be “yes”… if permission was already in place to use vernacular hymnody, and if the Bishops approve a body of hymns for such use, then the practice may be retained.
Jeffery – The GIRM in every country I know of approves of vernacular hymns as an option chosen instead of the option of the proper. As you know, the GIRM is the highest legislation for the Mass. I’m not aware of any country where the bishops have not approved vernacular hymns such as these, or where the Holy See has not approved it. Are you?
It’s one of those fringe interpretations even the Pope ignores.
As a first-time commenter on this blog last night, I didn’t work out how the ‘reply’ function worked, so I’ve started a discussion further down the page which properly (sic) belongs here.
The GIRM published for England & Wales and (as Paul Inwood points out) in force there since 2005, gives only options 1, 2 and 3 for the entrance, preparation of the gifts and communion – no provision is made for hymns. (The pdf can be easily found on the website of the Bishop’s Conference of E&W’s Liturgy Office.)
That’s pretty clear then, but Paul further states that this ‘makes no difference’ (his words) because Celebrating the Mass: A Pastoral Instruction, issued by the Bishops’ Conference (and making provisions for music at Mass which differ from those of GIRM), is a source of particular law which – these are my words now, not his – robs the GIRM of its binding force. As you have stated that GIRM is the highest legislation for the Mass, I wonder what your view of this might be?
The U.S. bishops, in fact, do not disagree with what Michelle said. In Sing to the Lord, there are four options, as you already know. As she referenced below, the propers are first on the list. If GIA were to set the propers to music, there would really be no NEED for hymns. No where in Sing to the Lord does it say the bishops disagree with Michelle on any point she made. On the contrary, there has been much talk lately about singing the mass vs. singing at mass.
“Church legislation today permits as an option the use of vernacular hymns at the Entrance, Preparation of the Gifts, Communion, and Recessional. Because these popular hymns are fulfilling a properly liturgical role, it is especially important that they be appropriate to the liturgical action. In accord with an uninterrupted history of nearly five centuries, nothing prevents the use of some congregational hymns coming from other Christian traditions, provided that their texts are in conformity with Catholic teaching and they are appropriate to the Catholic Liturgy.”
The document treats hymnody at Mass in several places. It does not say that use of the propers should eventually eliminate hymns, as Michelle clearly holds.
According to your “last option” logic, the Ordinary Form is clearly the first option, so nobody should be attending the Extraordinary Form since it’s the last option (of two). But I don’t accept that logic. Nor do I accept Michelle’s and your highly contorted reading of SttL regarding hymns and propers.
At the public Masses the Holy Father has celebrated, the propers have, for the most part, been chanted. In fact, in the liturgies celebrated by the Holy Father, the propers have pretty much been the norm.
Furthermore, it seems to me that the propers are the first order and the hymns are the last option. Somehow, hymns are now given greater presence than the propers.
One big consolation for me is that the Gloria A New Mass for a Congregation has been revised.
There are still those who argue that simply because MS and even SttL list the options in a particular order, that that order does not imply a hierarchy. Also, there is a long standing technique of confusing the use of vernacular hymns at Mass in addition to the Propers with the use of venacular hymnody to replace the propers. Outside of the curious case of the German and Austrian permission cited above (And where is this extended to the entire church, and if so, we can feel free to use hymns at High Mass I guess…), I would like to see where there is a specific permission to replace the propers with vernacular hymnody. I don’t buy the argument that the so-called “alius cantus aptus” implies such a replacement, but rather that it implies the use of another suitable setting of the proper texts, not to mention that it is the last and therefore the least desirable of the options given. But of course such a claim will largely fall on deaf ears here where practice implies doctrine and individual needs outweigh any requirements of the liturgy.
FWIW, I’ve read dozens of commentaries on Musicam sacram on Italian, Spanish, German, French, Latin, and English, including commentaries in EL by the drafters of the document. Never have I seen the claim that “alius cantus aptus” means another setting of the proper text. Every commentator I’ve ever read takes it to mean another hymn or song rather than the proper text. And please note, in the GIRM the fourth option (you are correct, it is listed fourth of four) is an option to be done instead of the proper. There is no language referring to it replacing the proper; it is simply another option for when the proper is not sung.
With all due respect… a commentary is not the same as the document itself. I do understand that there is a legitimate permission for the use of vernacular hymnody at Mass… I get that part of it. In my EF parish where I sing in the schola, we routinely sing the Entrance Propers in addition to a hymn (sometimes Latin, sometimes vernacular). Particularly at Masses with more extensive processions, or on more festive days this is often done and I would have to conclude that it was done at the time of Musicam Sacram as well. I guess what I’m saying is that the use of vernacular hymns at Mass is most certainly permitted, I just don’t see where it is specified that they replace the Proper chants, and maybe more to the point, WHY they have to replace the Proper chants rather than simply be used in addition to them.
The GIRM lists four options for the opening chant/song, and we are to do one of these four options. The first option is the proper chant. The fourth option is “alius cantus aptus.” I see no basis for claiming that the first option always must be done, or that the fourth option may be done only as an addition to the first option. If I’m reading you correctly, that’s what you seem to be claiming. What is your basis for this?
In Masses across the Catholic world, including every cathedral, and including Masses celebrated publicly by the Holy Father, we see an “alius cantus aptus” sung in place of a proper chant. Are you really claiming that this practice, apparently countenanced by every bishop of the world including the pope, is illegal?
Oh? From the Pope’s UK trip:
“Grace to you ” by Fitzpatrick
“Be Thou My Vision” – strophic
Resp. Ps. (rather than proper Graduale)
Gospel Acc. (rather than proper Alleluia)
Prep of the Gifts:
“Celtic Invocation,” Fennelly
“Take and Eat,” Joncas
“Soul of my Savior” – strophic
“Seed, Scattered and Sown” – Dan Fetten
“Ave Verum,” choir
“Lord, I give my life to you” – strophic
“Ecce panis angelorum” – choir
“Do làmh, a Chrìosda”
“Where True Love is Dwelling” – strophic
“God to Enfold You” – John Bell
“Sweet Sacrament Divine” – strophic
“God, We Praise You” – strophic
“Crown Him with Many Crowns” – strophic
Proper introit (Gregorian)
Resp.Ps. (not proper graduale)
Proper Alleluia (Gregorian)
Offertory: Christus factus est (not proper offertorium)
Communion proper, Gregorian
Motet – O sacrum convivium
Hymn: “Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All” – strophic
Hymn: “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” – strophic
“Church of God, Elect and Glorious” – strophic
Motet, Cantate Domino, Monteverdi
“Longing for Light” by Bernadette Farrell
“Praise to the Holiest” – strophic
Resp. Ps. (not proper graduale)
Gospel Acc. (not proper Alleluia)
Offertory: “Firmly I Believe and Truly” – strophic
Motet: Beati quorum, Stanford
“Blest are the Pure in Heart” – strophic
Motet: O quam gloriosum – Byrd
“Be still, for the presence of the Lord” – strophic
Motet: Ave Verum, Elgar
Surrexit Christus – Taize
“Make Me a Channel ” – strophic
Closing: “For all the Saints” – strophic
I count 24 hymns/songs, but only 3 of the 15 assigned propers, in these 3 Masses. Plenty of music by Protestants and Anglicans.
Out of curiosity, what hymn are you referencing?
Although not technically a “hymn”, it is from GIA’s re-write of James Moore’s “Taste and See”. The original was “I called on the Lord and He answered me, from all my troubles He set me free”. In later editions it was again changed to “I called on the Lord who answered me…”
A similar awkward moment can be found in the re-write of Lucien Diess’s “All the Earth” with for we are God’s people, chosen by God… there are many such examples. There is also the very unwise re-write of “All on earth Thy scepter claim” in Holy God We praise Thy Name, making it into “All on earth thy rule acclaim”. I get the reason behind it… Kings, royalty, no longer a culture that understands such things, blah..blah.. but really. When we were using hymnals and would sing that particular hymn, everybody would say “sceptre” even though the book said “rule”.
Now who’s being selective in his outrage over poor grammar and awkward phrasing? Is this the same critic who defends “overcome with paschal joys,” “the infinity of your majesty,” even “bending slightly,” or, indeed, anything that comes back from Vox Clara?
Kudos, Jeffrey, for your transparency!
You lose credibility when you misquote the song, not once, but twice. Especially the first time, which was twisted to allow a snarky comment.
The current text reads as: “I called the Lord who answered me, from all my troubles, I was set free.”
So Sean, GIA succesfully replaced free-of-charge all the books where the first re-write was used? Otherwise, it’s not a misquote. It’s a version that’s been inflicted on thousands of people.
My problem is with the politically correct elimination of “he” or “him” or “his” for no apparent reason. Has nothing to do with grammar.
I will certainly lose sleep knowing that someone whom I neither know nor whose views I particularly agree with feels that I have a credibility problem. You really have no idea. How about “Taste and See that the Lord is good; In God we need put all our trust”. Or any of the 100’s of other such ludicrous alterations done for the sake of PC sensibilities. I recall that the earlier re-written (bowdlerized?) version of Taste and See did in fact have the 2nd verse as I first said. It’s hard to keep track as they change almost yearly. I might also be mistaken, which I am willing to admit is a possibility… as I have a great many hymns, songs and chants memorized in English,Polish, Hungarian and Latin that’s always possible.
Or perhaps I intentionally stated it wrong just to bait particular individuals, knowing that they would have to make a comment to keep their high standing in their own minds. I’m not talking about you, of course…
I’ve been using this song for oh, 30 years. I’ve never seen verse 2 as you described. Perhaps you would be kind enough to tell me which hymnal this particular translation you claim exists in. I do have them all.
Regardless whether Jeffery originally misquoted the revised line from “and God answered me” to “who answered me”, his point still remains. There is absolutely no reason why the verses should have been changed. We all know Jesus was a man, and we all know that God is referred to as “Father”… and every father I know is male. Sean, you have yet to actually resond to Jeffery on his central point…that the texts are needlessly changed for PC sensibilities. Let’s focus on the real issue here.
Clerics sniffing at PC sensibilities show their unredeemed chauvinism, or sexism. Wonder how you like our PC language about other races, about gays, about the handicapped etc.? It is not a virtue.
Come on Joe, we are taking about the Father, Son and Holy Spirit here. It is clear in the example Jeffery presented that the text was altered so that the Lord was not referenced as a male, and that God is not a “he.” It’s one thing to replace text saying “men” and “man” with “people” which seems reasonable. But deliberately de-masculinizing the Father and Son is rediculous to say the least.
Fr Ruff, I would love to see a similar analysis regarding the new version of Gather.
Fr. Ruff, at the public Masses that the Holy Father has celebrated at the Vatican, the propers are used.
But that’s not the only place he celebrates Mass.
Since the Pope does celebrate very public Masses without sung propers, doesn’t that make it hard for you to assert that it’s what everyone should be doing at every Mass?
It’s also not a shock that the Vatican, which attracts pilgrims with many differing mother tongues, might use propers to lighten the emphasis on the Italian tongue. It’s sui generis.
It wouldn’t make it particularly hard to assert that it would be ideal or recommended, if possible, for everyone to do at every Mass. It would make it extremely hard to assert that it is mandatory for everyone to do at every Mass. I know you know this, Fr. Ruff, but for Jeffrey’s benefit, the actual text of the GIRM reads:
48. The singing at this time is done either alternately by the choir and the people or in a similar way by the cantor and the people, or entirely by the people, or by the choir alone. In the dioceses of the United States of America there are four options for the Entrance Chant: (1) the antiphon from the Roman Missal or the Psalm from the Roman Gradual as set to music there or in another musical setting; (2) the seasonal antiphon and Psalm of the Simple Gradual; (3) a song from another collection of psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) a suitable liturgical song similarly approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.
However, the Holy Father celebrates Mass at the Vatican most of the time. What is sung at the Vatican is the propers. Even the choir of the Diocese of Rome sings the propers when they assist at the Papal Masses.
Michelle, I realize that.
I’m curious how you’d respond to this: Do you concede that the Holy Father DOES celebrate public Masses with hymns rather than propers, and therefore one can’t really assert that everyone should always be using propers rather than hymns? The counterclaim is that the Holy Father himself is setting a precedent in countenancing hymns rather than propers. Do you agree?
No, Michelle, what is sung at the Vatican is a mix of hymns and propers. One need only look at the service bulletins on the Vatican website to confirm this. Propers were used more often during Holy Week, but even then, not entirely: on Palm Sunday (for one example), the only Proper texts used were those sung in the procession after the Blessing of Palms — two (Ps. 24 with the “Pueri Hebraeorum” antiphon and “Gloria, Laus”) were Gregorian Chant; the other, Ps. 122, was a modern setting. The Offertory and Communion were modern hymnic or antiphonal compositions not based on the Propers, or were other hymn/antiphons that while appropriate, are not found appointed in the Graduale for that day.
Another example, the Second Sunday of Easter: the Proper Entrance Antiphon and Communion Antiphons were used, but during communion also a hymn; and only a hymn at the Offertory.
I’d also just like to point out that the GIRM refers to the Gloria as a hymn. Just found that interesting for some reason.
@Anthony (#58). The GIRM for England & Wales (for the Roman Missal which comes into force in 2011) does not permit vernacular hymns to be sung at the entrance, at the preparation of the gifts, or during the distribution of communion.
Let’s see some documentation, please.
Please refer to the website of the Liturgy Office of the BCEW.
Ben, GIRM has been in force in E&W since 2005, as a matter of fact.
While there is no provision (not the same as “not permitting”, incidentally) for vernacular hymns in paragraphs 48, 74 and 87, this makes no difference. The relevant legislation (particular law for England and Wales) is contained in the E&W Bishops’ document Celebrating the Mass, published in 2005 at the same time as GIRM and designed to be used in conjunction with it. See paras 140, 180 and 213 concerning what may be sung at these points in the Mass in England and Wales. A much broader provision than GIRM, I think you’ll find.
Thanks for the references, Paul. At #62 Anthony stated that GIRM is the highest legislation for the Mass, and suggested that every edition of GIRM makes provision for the singing hymns in the place of propers; clearly, the English & Welsh version already in force makes no such provision. I’m no canon lawyer, but does not ‘Celebrating the Mass: A Pastoral Introduction’ present itself as an aid to the implementation of GIRM, rather than as an independent source of legislation replacing GIRM? Where there is an irreconcilable conflict between the two documents – as it would seem there is in this case – surely GIRM takes precedence.
Now that I’ve worked out how the ‘reply’ function works, I’ve posted a reply to Anthony’s comment further up the page where it properly belongs.
Fr. Finigan writes here that Celebrating the Mass is an advisory document like Sing to the Lord and does not bear the recognitio neccesary for (most) documents of episcopal conferences to have legal force. Is that not correct?
Almost. Such documents without recognitio are not law; they have the force of the legal documents (eg GIRM) they cite. However, they’re not nothing, as some folks want to argue. They are the considered judgment of the bishops, they are helpful guidance, and I believe that any Catholic should take that seriously and not go against the bishops’ judgment.
Some of these arguments are a little like saying you can ignore everything in the pastor’s homilies because his text was not submitted to Rome for recognitio.
And now I suppose we’ll get into a lot of haggling about legality and loopholes etc. I hope we can all keep the big picture in mind on this issue: our bishpos apply universal norms to their situation, and any ecclesiology implying that Rome regulates everything is totally untraditional, and contrary to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council on collegiality.
Either the documents have the recognitio or not.
For the most part, Bishops conference can’t by their own authority create particular law. So it’s not enough for Paul Inwood to write:
The relevant legislation (particular law for England and Wales) is contained in the E&W Bishops’ document Celebrating the Mass, published in 2005 at the same time as GIRM and designed to be used in conjunction with it. See paras 140, 180 and 213 concerning what may be sung at these points in the Mass in England and Wales.
If the document doesn’t have the recognitio it isn’t (in most cases) particular law.
The England and Wales GIRM seems pretty clear, e.g.:
If they wanted something else, they should have written something else in the document, not in a pastoral companion to the document. Given all the complaints about process and consulation, when there is consultation, the bishops have a duty to write what they want to write and then to be bound by the laws they write.
I hope we can all keep the big picture in mind on this issue: our bishops apply universal norms to their situation
Yes, our bishops apply the universal norms to their particular churches. Our conferences of bishops don’t, however, they make such adaptations and take such other actions as are provided in the universal norms, but the primary local regulator of the liturgy is not the conference, but the individual bishop as is the case with most things, like the recent kerfuffle over the Neo-Catachumenate in Japan.
Ah, so then the US can just ignore the Introduction to the Order of Mass released by the US Bishops before the GIRM 2002?
Does the new translation qualify as vernacular?
My dictionary gives ‘native or indegenous as oppsoed to literary or learned.’
I continually am amazed at this obsession with some to somehow push the use of the propers as the only and only real approach for the entrance chant. Why is there such a lack of toleration of multiple approaches? Why is this such a point of contention? The GIRM allows for a variety of approaches with its 4 options. Any attempt to manipulate these options to say, “well, the propers is the first one listed, so the others, well, they really don’t matter or they really should not be done” is ignoring the fact that bottom line, the document (GIRM) allows for any of the 4 choices. What is the big deal? It seems to me, the more important concern should be NOT what of the 4 options is being utilized, but rather, is the overall vision and desire of the introductory rites being accomplished? Are the goals of unity of celebration and season and feast, and the other considerations being met? – that is where the argument and discussion should lie in my view. Why can’t we tolerate the fact that more than one approach can achieve the overall goal of the introductory rites? Sorry, but all four options of the entrance chant are listed, “legal” and approved by the church; the pope (since this seems to be such a point of criteria for some) has and continues to preside at celebrations where all of these options are utilized. And the sky has not fallen. My gosh – let’s just admit that we all have our preferred choices for what option to use for the entrance chant, and that all 4 can accomplish the goals of the vision of the opening rites. GIA is presenting a hymnal in this case which leans toward option #4; other publications will lean toward other options. Can we not accept and honor the fact that different communities will choose resources that while different in approach, will, in this case for example, still accomplish the goals of a particular liturgical moment? Geez….
Very well said. Lotsa people on this blog need to get a hobby (or a real problem)
I am puzzled about the place of hymns in the EF. As I recall at Sunday Mass pre Vatican II the bulk of the proceedings consisted in the hmns — they were the moments that allowed vocal participation by the laity. Do EF worshipers today similarly rely on hymns? And if so, what hymns?
In Cork we sang: Holy God; God of Mercy and Compassion (Lent); Sweet Heart of Jesus; To Thee O Heart of Jesus; To Jesu Heart all Burning; Soul of my Saviour; Hail Queen of Heaven; Sweet Sacrament Divine; Faith of our Fathers.
Had I but Mary’s sinless heart
To praise Thee with, my dearest King,
Oh, with what bursts of fervent praise,
Thy goodness, Jesus, would I sing.
The place for hymns tends to vary. The only real constant I’ve seen is to have a recessional hymn. Many EFs have a processional hymn as well.
Hymns tend not to be used at Offertory and Communion unless they are in Latin. It should be kept in mind that most Sunday EF Masses today are Missa Cantatas (High Mass), so vernacular hymns tend not to be used during the Mass itself. The hymns used tend to be old standbys, with some communities using more obscure hymns than others depending on what materials they use – places that offer both EF and OF tend to use the traditional hymns found in the popular OCP/GIA hymnals while EF-exclusive communities tend to use more obscure things from the old St Basil and Gregory hymnals.
Common hymns I’ve heard that most Catholics would know:
Holy God We Praise Thy Name, Hail Holy Queen, Come Holy Ghost, Immaculate Mary, For The Beauty of the Earth, O Sacred Head, Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee, and all the usual old Advent and Christmas carols.
Hymns I’ve heard that I never encounter at the OF include:
Our Lady of Fatima, On This Day O Beautiful Mother, Heart of Jesus Hear, Soul of My Saviour, Mary Dearest Mother, O What Could My Jesus Do More, O Come Divine Messiah, O Come and Mourn, ‘Tis The Month of Our Mother, God of Mercy and Compassion, Jesus My Lord My God My All, O God of Loveliness.
You also tend to find hymns devoted to particular saints, like St Patrick or Joseph – something I’ve never encountered in any OF Masses I’ve ever been to.
The propers are almost always sung at High Mass, but in my experience tend to be sung in a monotone or to a simple psalm tone if the community is a smaller one. The propers are usually supplemented with Latin hymns, motets, choral pieces, etc.
‘We still have a few silent EF Sunday Low Masses where I live. Liturgical purists tend to frown upon Sunday Low Mass. I’m a big fan, however. Nothing like starting the day with quiet meditation.
I wish that the Vatican would reissue the indult for vernacular hymnody at a Missa Cantata. The Anglo-Catholics ’round the corner from my home combine English (and sometimes Latin) proper chants with at least four hymns during Sunday Mass. I disagree with the idea that a sung Mass must be entirely in Latin save for the entrance and recessional. At least a vernacular hymn at the offertory and communion should be allowed.
I understand that many EF Catholics don’t want to encourage too many innovations out of a fear that Latin Masses might spiral out into extreme experimentation. However, I’m certain that chanted Latin propers and vernacular hymns could coexist in the same Mass.
PS: I’d like it if my parish would use The Hymnal 1940 or the English Hymnal, but that might cause heartburn with some of the parishioners 🙁
Joe, was it not
To love Thee with, my dearest King? 🙂
And how could you leave out, the one which was introduced by our curate thus: “And now, we’ll have three verses of that great eucharistic hymn, ‘I’ll Sing a Hymn to Mary.’
Gerard, memory may fail an aging man across the gulf of years. I thought “I’ll sing a hymn to Mary” was more May devotions fare, but I am pretty sure that “Hail Queen of Heaven” was a frequent concluding hymn.
Yes, “to love” makes more sense.
Allow me to repeat my meme: Vatican II is the future and Summorum Pontificum is the past. Vatican II is a still vibrant kairos; SP is a step back to a dead past. The way forward can only come through CREATIVE rethinking and reenactment of the Eucharist not through fussing about maniples and musty copes.
Joe – My faith and the faith of others is not a dead faith stuck in the past – your constant harping how it is doesn’t make it so.
SP is part of the future of Catholicism.
David Haas, May 23, 6:53pm
And I am amazed at how easily you can ignore what “some” actually say and manipulate said opinions into blanket condemnations based upon the tired and hopeless model of “us versus them” diatribe and polemic. Interest in editorial content doesn’t always equate to pushing a contrary agenda.
For the record, many of us “thems” get the veracity of the options, and will defend them as long as the Church deems them licit.
But this intra-familial blood-letting is and has been repugnant and increasingly ridiculous.
I, for one, intend not to grind any more axes, and God willing seek only to bury them from now on.
I heartily second Charles’s call for more civility and less “us and them.”
But David Haas is not off-base here – some voices in this thread, alas, have stated that only propers should be done, and have even tried to claim that propers are the only things sung at the Pope’s Masses. This kind of misguided zeal and factual inaccuracy tends to inflame the conversation.
Yes, yes, yes — the bull-headed pretend not to know how provocative they are.
They only do it to annoy, because they know it teases.
I haven’t chimed in on this thread since I’m not a musician, but I certainly have my tastes in liturgical music which is quite eclectic.
But it seems to me that there is some foment afoot in the hierarchical world and amongst a goodly number of liturgical scholars and musicians that the proper chants should not be optional and like the EF Mass, should be sung or said, no matter what.
It would seem to this priest that if the EF is going to influence the OF in any far distant future third missal then there might well be a clarification in the GIRM that the official proper chants not be eliminated, spoken or sung all the while allowing for other selections in addition to the proper chants which is and was the case with the EF Mass in most parochial settings.
But with that said, the current GIRM certainly allows for a great deal of flexibility and currently one could do as one wishes within those rather broad guidelines.
Yes, Allan, that does seem to be where things are at.
“Where things are *at*”?!?! With English skills like that, you might make a good consultant for ICEL! 🙂
Ha! I did that on purpose, actually, and I knew it was a Minnesotaism when I did it. That’s really how we talk here. And there aren’t many sentences that can’t end with “with.” I recall asking a junior monk (not from the Midwest), after schola announcement went out, whether he was “singing with” for Holy Week. He replied, “Ummm, singing with…a bad attitude? …with an alligator purse? Or with what?”
Most Minnesotans are of Scandinavian or German descent, so the separable prefix from the old mother tongue was… brought with… into English.
Enjoyed #125, Fr. Ruff. All my friends from Illinois always asking me if I’m “going with, or staying here.”
I guess it sort of shows that even among English-speakers, there is no one “vernacular.”
Ever since I learned from this blog last year of the existent of a web site for the Latin Propers,
I have included them in my weekly prayer life, great lover of data and personal experience that I am.
Although I like Gregorian Chant and Latin, I have concluded that returning more psalms in English to the Proper locations would be far more worthwhile than doing the antiphons and verses whether in Latin or English, i.e. the psalms are more valuable than the antiphons.
I was amazed at the number of different psalms included among the Propers. Returning psalms would help to make up for the “psalm deficient” that now occurs because people do not have access to the Divine Office at the parish level. Since the Propers do not have much relationship to the OF, I would just use more psalms not necessarily the ones assigned to Ordinary Sundays.
A major problem with having more English psalms seems to be the increased tendency to regulate the text of the psalms, i.e. to not allow different translations, etc. This tendency seems to me to be contrary to the fact that Latin antiphons frequently do not follow of the Vulgate text, i.e. they abbreviate verses, combine verses, change words, change verse order and in some cases I suspect are just the Old Latin text of the psalm. I don’t know that it is worth fighting the literalists to get more psalms in; it is probably better to stick with hymns that we know.
The same GIRM paragraph that lists propers first endorses congregational singing in dialogue with the choir or singing done by the assembly in total when it comes to the propers.
The propers inform my music programming, but I’m not a slave to them. Especially during ordinary time when the RM offerings don’t seem to have a nose for it being cycle A, B, or C. Any sensitive, biblically-aware music director will improve on the propers as given with Scripture-based texts that make real connections to the liturgy.
Personally, I care little about the structure of what is programmed musically at the beginning of Mass or at Communion, as long as the assembly can readily join in at least part of the singing. Additionally, I don’t think GIA’s emphasis on doing hymnals full of hymns serves the wider Church terribly well. We have other song forms for the Eucharist. Hymns make up 20-30% of my parish’s repertoire. That strikes me as about right.
I lose patience with the propers-only meme when its advocates ignore the rest of GIRM 48. Not to mention closing their ears and eyes to any alternative explanation that doesn’t fit their worldview. We’ve worked too long and too hard to get people singing the Mass. We don’t need a new generation of performance music for any excuse.
Todd, the problem is that with hymns, you aren’t really singing the Mass; you are singing at the Mass. The other problem is that because the propers are rarely used, people may not even be aware that they exist. I blame the publishing houses for this because they consistently push their products, as opposed to what the Church states.
That’s an overstatement. The propers are an optional part of the Mass; the key to singing the Mass is the Ordo and responsorial or gradual psalm – the other propers are, by legislation, optional. And I write this as someone (as Todd will affirm) who has needled people to be more open to offering the propers – it’s just that fundamentalism over the use of the propers is about the single worst way to promote the use of the propers.
Anyway, let’s remember Todd’s older brother and his family and loved ones in our prayer today; Todd’s brother was killed in a car accident last night.
Amen, KLS. Have been doing so throughout the morning.
I would share a foxhole with Todd anywhere, anytime.
Thanks for the heads-up. Will hold Todd’s brother and family in prayer.
Todd, the problem is that with hymns, you aren’t really singing the Mass; you are singing at the Mass.
– Seriously… what??
Don’t be surprised, Sean – this is what happens when you start inventing “two forms of one rite” – something hitherto unheard of – and flog a dead horse that was abrogated nearly 50 years ago.
The “Singing the Mass” and “Singing at Mass” distinction was introduced during the Liturgical Movement to counter the rampant abuses that were associated with lay practice at Low Mass. It’s a spin-off from “Don’t just pray at Mass, pray theMass” — follow along, unite with the prayers, make your self-offering through the liturgy: don’t just pray the rosary or other devotional prayers to pass the time until the bells ring. The situation was similar with the music: people sang hymns like “On this Day, O Beautiful Mother” and “Full in the Panting Heart of Rome” — hymns which had nothing to do with the Mass itself, the ritual action taking place, or the Proper of the day (meaning the readings and prayers as well as the chants). That was “singing at Mass” and, with “praying at Mass” came to be opposed to “full, active, conscious participation.”
The remedy to both problems at that time was the introduction of the sung dialogue mass, including the chanting of the Propers (often to simplified psalm tones) — “praying” and “singing the mass”.
I understand that with the reintroduction of the EF liturgy on a widespread basis, the old problems of “praying at ” and “singing at mass” — and all the other abuses the liturgical movement attempted to address — have returned with a vengeance. (I have my own theories about this, vis-à-vis my experience of the so-called “Missal” mass that Anglo-Catholics sometime use. More on that later.)
Opposing hymnody, some have tried to press that phrase into service with the current situation. What is different, of course, is that hymnody is (usually, but not always) chosen in a more deliberate matter, with the Lectionary Propers in view, and integrated into the organic gestalt of the liturgy, rather than being tacked on to give some sense of flow and the passage of time to the pre-Communion devotions. In this sort of situation, the dichotomy of “singing at” vs. “singing the” mass is simply false.
Of course, if one drops in a few hymns that have nothing to do with the part of the liturgy during which they’re being sung (e.g., a Marian hymn at Communion), add in a few of the hottest P & W songs from your favorite CCM station, and voilà, you’re singing at Mass again!
I understand that with the reintroduction of the EF liturgy on a widespread basis, the old problems of “praying at ” and “singing at mass” — and all the other abuses the liturgical movement attempted to address — have returned with a vengeance.
Where have these problems reemerged? Have you seen this problems first hand? They have not been problems in the places I’ve seen the EF celebrated.
I have observed them firsthand, Samuel, and recently, in parishes in Chicago and in the greater Michiana area where currently I live and work.
have returned with a vengeance
Not just isolated instances, but “with a vengeance”? I am not sure I have seen anyone praying the rosary at Mass (to offer one example) since the 1960s — and I have been to more EF Masses, in more places, than Cody is likely to experience in several lifetimes. Would Cody care to mention the sorts of abuses he has seen? Is he referring perhaps to confessions during Mass? (these are permitted) Is he referring to Anglo-Catholic communities ? (not relevant)
I am not saying I doubt Cody’s word. I do say that it isn’t representative.
I’ve said before, and I’ll repeat here. I don’t think it’s fair to drop a general negative judgment on a form of the Mass based on a small sample of parishes. In such cases, specifics should be mentioned. “At St. X parish in Chicago, the low Mass was accompanied by a hymn to St. Patrick even though it was July. They sang “Ave Maria” at Communion.”
Otherwise, it’s the equivalent of me going, “I’ve seen a lot of parishes where, since the ordinary form came in, there have been a lot of abuses.” It’s so general it would rightly be discounted.
My experience in NY (both in Rochester and NYC), NJ, VA is that the Low Mass with hymns is unheard of. Literally, I’ve never heard of it happening. Praying the rosary and other devotional prayers at Mass doesn’t seem to be any more common than at ordinary form Masses.
Fair point, Robert.
My own experience (which has been of Roman Catholic EF liturgies), combined with reports I have had of trustworthy sources from places where I am not; I will concede that “with a vengeance” was not the best choice of words for a representative sample that may or may not be indicative of the whole.
I use the term “abuses” not only of what goes on in the chancel but of what goes on in the pews. When the liturgy is being served, it must be served by all, not just the party at the altar. Anytime the Mass (EF, OF, Rite I, Rite II, my church or yours) is allowed to become a spectator sport, a backdrop for personal piety, or a one-stop shop (more below), I consider it an abuse. Not perhaps, as most liturgy-police would define it. . . but then, I don’t believe in policing the liturgy.
Of the one-stop shop: I know that confession is permitted during the Mass, and I know (personally) a handful of younger Roman Catholics who make a 20 minute trip to church on early Sunday afternoon when the EF is being served and they can do this, go to confession, receive communion and split for brunch. I’m not sure but that they’d be better off just going to brunch and saying a nice table grace. I know this is not normative behavior, but it points toward the problem of tolerating the sacrament of penance being celebrated during the eucharistic liturgy (and which is WAAAAY off the topic of this thread.)
I use the term “abuses” not only of what goes on in the chancel but of what goes on in the pews. When the liturgy is being served, it must be served by all, not just the party at the altar. Anytime the Mass is allowed to become a spectator sport, a backdrop for personal piety, or a one-stop shop (more below), I consider it an abuse. Not perhaps, as most liturgy-police would define it. . . but then, I don’t believe in policing the liturgy.
So what we’re really talking about here is your subjective judgment of whether people are interiorily participating in the Mass? (Or your judgment that their interior participation is not sufficient?)
…I know (personally) a handful of younger Roman Catholics who make a 20 minute trip to church on early Sunday afternoon when the EF is being served and they can do this, go to confession, receive communion and split for brunch.
I’m uncertain what your objection is? That they leave the Mass early? That they go to confession during the Mass?
Samuel, my confessor’s instinct tells me that you are simply trying to pick a fight. Charity constrains me from saying more.
With regard to your first point: not a judgment on the dispositions, but on the exhibited practices. I know from other exchanges that you place a great deal of weight on interiority at liturgy, which is fair. When I engage in participant observation, I don’t look at the dispositional. My interest in these cases is the practices — precisely because dispositions are nearly impossible to judge.
With regard to the second point, my objection is that they do not actually participate in the liturgy at all. They arrive at church in time to have their confession heard and slip into line for communion, then leave. No interest in the readings or the sermon, no interest in the action of the Canon. In this rare case, I think I could put my finger on the dispositions involved — and they are more the fault of bad catechesis on the basis of quasi-Calvinist theology than they are of the individuals I have in mind.
When I engage in participant observation, I don’t look at the dispositional. My interest in these cases is the practices — precisely because dispositions are nearly impossible to judge.
Not really. You can talk to people about their participation in the liturgy. This is part of what anthropologists do when they study foreign cultures.
my objection is that they do not actually participate in the liturgy at all. They arrive at church in time to have their confession heard and slip into line for communion, then leave. No interest in the readings or the sermon, no interest in the action of the Canon.
O.K. clearly this is an abuse. But a more general point, cases like this don’t establish your point that:
Unless you also establish that it’s the EF liturgy that is the cause of these practices or at least that they’ve become more common since S.P. Plenty of people leave your average OF Mass early too.
Samuel, my confessor’s instinct tells me that you are simply trying to pick a fight. Charity constrains me from saying more.
My e-mail is freely available for things you want to say privately. But it seems kind of pointless after you mention them publicly. My interior perception is that I’m irritated that you’re accusing EF participants of failing in participation without actually bothering to talk to them about their religious practices and then attributing that failure to a rite of the Mass. I’m also irritated by people who have little or no experience of the EF as a liturgy (vs. a book) making detailed and final judgments about it. At least it seems you’re not in that category, though it wasn’t possible to tell from from your 1st comment.
This thread makes me a bit sad. I still don’t see what’s wrong with the rosary at Low Mass. I have a good ear and can usually hear and understand what the priest is saying from the altar. Why should I bring a missal and read it if I can understand the priest without it? Should I pose with a hand missal just to do what everyone else is doing? I don’t agree with confession during Mass, although I have to tolerate it when confession is offered that way. However I see no inherent danger in saying the rosary if one is attentive to the lections and propers, and also follows the priest at the altar. It shouldn’t be a sin to pray the way that is most profitable so long as it doesn’t disturb others.
Quite honestly, I resent the notion that the only way to pray the Mass is through verbal and postural unity. Many in the EF movement are also pushing for an active participation. Only now, reading the Mass while it is taking place is the height of EF active participation. I realize that the first and second waves of the Liturgical Movement had to deal with inattentive celebration, infrequent sung parish Masses, relatively infrequent communions at Mass, and an often uneducated or undereducated laity. Nowadays, Catholics are generally more educated about liturgy. Perhaps it is time to let up on the demand for uniformity in both rites and let people find their way to worship individually.
Samuel, I am very well aware of the varieties of anthropological methodologies brought to bear particularly in the field of ritual studies; and in different settings, for different needs, I have made use of a good many of them, including formal and informal interviews. My interest at present, as I indicated, is in practices: practices and not “religious experience.” The two can, and sometimes do, go hand in hand — and just as often do not.
With regard to the last point, about “people who have little or no experience of the EF as a liturgy (vs. a book) making detailed and final judgments about it,” I have experienced the EF liturgy from the pews, High and Low Mass, in the area around Notre Dame, where I’m at now; also in New York. I also have celebrated the liturgy of the 1962 missal in both Latin and English, and been responsible for serving it as both deacon and subdeacon. I have MC’d for it, and also for a couple of its medieval predecessor variants. I am intimately familiar with its history from 1570 to present, I have familiarity with its current and past legislation, and a working knowledge of a number of the the guides to its ceremonies and their variations.
My interest at present, as I indicated, is in practices: practices and not “religious experience.” The two can, and sometimes do, go hand in hand — and just as often do not.
You’re free to be interested in whatever you’re interested in, but when you write that the liturgy has in several places because of the increased use of the EF caused a renewal of abuses such that the liturgy has “become a spectator sport, a backdrop for personal piety, or a one-stop shop” you are saying something about how people participate interiorily in the liturgy as well as their exterior participation. If you’re going to say something about it it’s not enough to say that it’s not your area of interest.
Anytime the Mass (EF, OF, Rite I, Rite II, my church or yours) is allowed to become a spectator sport, a backdrop for personal piety, or a one-stop shop. . . I consider it an abuse.
I believe my comment was more inclusive than you would care to believe.
I believe my comment was more inclusive than you would care to believe.
Actually, that was my point. That these abuses go on everywhere and that to the extent they exist, I don’t think they’re neccesarily particularly confined to EF communities.
You wrote that you found that:
“with the reintroduction of the EF liturgy on a widespread basis, the old problems of “praying at ” and “singing at mass” — and all the other abuses the liturgical movement attempted to address — have returned with a vengeance.
Robert asked what kind of abuses you were referring to:
Would Cody care to mention the sorts of abuses he has seen?
You replied in part:
I use the term “abuses” not only of what goes on in the chancel but of what goes on in the pews. When the liturgy is being served, it must be served by all, not just the party at the altar. Anytime the Mass (EF, OF, Rite I, Rite II, my church or yours) is allowed to become a spectator sport, a backdrop for personal piety, or a one-stop shop (more below), I consider it an abuse.
And these judgments about the quality of particpation require more than just an observation of the exterior activity of congregation, particularly when you label it abusive and then use that judgment to justify a blanket judgment that the reintroduction of a form of the liturgy has caused a renewal of those abuses.
If you don’t, in fact, believe that these abuses are particularly a problem because of the reintroduction of the EF, you could just withdraw that remark.
Interestingly, the EF Masses I’ve attended in the Chicago area have shown me the opposite – there’s more “praying the Mass/singing the Mass” than I typically see at many an OF.
The problem with the eucharist prayer is your not really praying the mass, you are praying at the mass.
And we were well on our way to allowing additional acclamations to the Eucharistic Prayers to form even greater dialogue and ownership of them. So much for that.
With all due respect, I think the problem with this conversation is that you don’t seem to be listening to what others are saying. First you said that the pope always uses sung propers at his Masses. I pointed out that in the UK, Masses with the pope had 25 strophic hymns, but 3 propers sung (out of 15 in the 3 Masses). Then you said that there are nothing but propers at the Masses he celebrates in Rome. Cody pointed out that that’s not true either.
You claim that publishers give us hymns just to sell their products. I think this is slander, and I know the reality is more complicated. I know these people, and I feel pretty confident in saying that they publish hymns and hymnals because they really really believe in them – their spiritual value, their value in promoting active participation, their ability to tie in to the Scripture, their ecumenical value, their place within inculturation, and so forth.
Now you claim that hymns are singing at Mass, but not singing the Mass. Did you not see the passage from Sing to the Lord which says that hymns at Mass fulfill a “properly liturgical function”? SttL isn’t particular law, nor does it claim to be. But it is a teaching document, and it shows that the US bishops think that hymns DO have a liturgical status – i.e., they are part of the Mass. Since the GIRM clearly allows the option of singing a hymn OR the option of singing a proper, this means that you’re singing the Mass whether you follow either option.
I haven’t yet heard you admit that hymns at Mass are a legitimate option in the mind of the Church. When you write “what the Church states,” it really means “what Michelle states.”
The line about “singing the Mass vs. singing at Mass” applied back when there was only one option, a proper. It doesn’t apply now, since hymns are a legitimate option.
I agree with Karl’s assessment that your assessment of the problem is a gross over-simplification.
But I’d rather comment upon your last statement. Scape-goating publishers as you state above is not only incorrect on many grounds, but is also counter-productive towards reform and restoration of “orthopraxis” as you envision it.
A vacuum of comprehensive liturgical leadership at the local or conference level of bishops isn’t a new thing under our old sun. It’s not like the laity has had instruction and access to the LU/GR/GS et al from Rome or France before or since 1903. So folks like Msgr. Rossini, Nicholai Montani and Dr. Marier stepped up to fill that vacuum, locally, among hundreds of others (read Higgenson’s tomes.) So, GATHER COMPREHENSIVE or BREAKING BREAD doesn’t conform to your ritual understanding of the liturgical tea party. Well, the ST. GREGORY and THE MOUNT MARY hymnals were fraught with serious problems as well. We get over it, we move on.
But more importantly, whether you’re stuck in Lodi or Laredo with sticks in the mud in major leadership roles, sitting on the sidelines with a big sign proclaiming “WDTPRS” or some such maxim won’t accomplish a darn thing. Your contribution is just as mute as the rainbow wigged guy at the ballgame and his “John 3:16” sign.
Elsewhere in this thread there was a ping pong game over James Moore’s “Taste and See.” Understandable.
But if that is the “another suitable song” during the Communion procession, your choices are simple: be the person who refuses to sing “happy birthday” at the party for some reason; find another church (which seems to be what we do nowadays, sigh.); or get involved in a committed, meaningful way from within, establish your credentials as a dedicated servant and work the “system,” sadly such as it may be.
(to be cont.)
Thank you Fr. Anthony for your exhaustive analytical work in reviewing G4 (sounds like a summit conference, doesn’t it?). In the lists of hymn tunes, that wonderful Welsh tune Hyfrydol seems to be missing. Is it? Or, have my eyes deceived me?
I know some Anglicans who think that hymns have kept their Church from a more vibrantly scriptural and organic liturgy.
But it is a grim mentality indeed that would abolish hymns
By the way, no amount of huffing and puffing about interpretations of legal documents can gainsay the universal custom of Catholics which is to sing hymns at Mass.
I was thrilled to see the world’s elite sing so lustily at the Royal Wedding. Hymnody is a glorious treasure of the Anglican Church.
One keeps discovering gems of Charles Wesley:
O Thou who camest from above
The fire celestial to impart,
Kindle a flame of sacred love
Upon the altar of my heart.
There let it to thy glory burn
With ever-bright undying blaze
And trembling to its source return
In humble prayer and fervent praise.
Jesus confirm my heart’s desire
To act and speak and think for Thee;
Still let me guard the holy fire,
And still stir up the gift in me.
Still let me prove thy perfect will,
My acts of faith and love repeat
Till death thy endless mercies seal
And make the sacrifice complete.
In response to Charles.. I am not sure where in my post I am drawing a line between “us and them.” Certainly did not mean to do that.. I was just responding to what I see to be a group of folks who want to condemn any option of the Entrance Chant, except the first options (propers). I was just sharing my exasperation with what I have seen to be a relentless pounding upon those who utilize options that are clearly “allowed” for in the GIRM. I am sorry for any implied inferences that I am trying to set up camps. I actually thought I was doing the opposite by naming the fact that different groups of people have different leanings toward the implementation of the entrance chant. But I am sorry…
No – He willfully misquoted, twice, a text. The first time, he misquoted it with the purpose of saying it referred to Lord and God as two different entities. Language matters.
Secondly, I *believe* it was the composer who changed the text, and if not, GIA had his permission.
Yes, Jesus was a man. Pretty difficult to be both. But God the Creator? Are we really stuck with the giant old man with a big beard image?
No – He willfully misquoted, twice, a text.
And you know that it was “willful” how?
Even Aquinas cautions that we be careful not to think of God the Father as something drawn from human fatherhood, and that the measure of human fatherhood is how closely it hews to the metaphysical fatherhood of God the Father.
It should be noted that, for over a millennium, Christian art generally avoided depicting God the Father in full human likeness, with light or a hand or an eye, et cet., as a more appropriate form of visual indication.
Having just spent a week in a German monastery, my humble opinion is that the only way to use the propers is in the plainchant setting.
Otherwise, omit them.
Sean, there is real issue with the verses of this song. Verse 2 I didn’t really think too much of, although it is very awkward after you learn it one way. But verse 1 clearly refers to the Lord and God as two different entities: “…my soul shall glory in the Lord for God has been so good to me.” Originally, my soul glories in the Lord, for HE has been so good to me. This is an example of needless revision.
In terms of God and gender, Jesus referred to God as “Father”. We start prayers and Mass in the name of the Father, and Son,… Based on our human sensibilities, it would be counterintuitive to claim God is anything other than “male” as we understand it. “God created man in HIS image; in the divine image HE created him; male and female HE created them.” Genesis 1:27. What right do we have to alter the understanding of God to appease modern PC objections?
The Pope said in 1978 that God is our Father, but even more, God is our Mother. The Bible has some (not a lot) feminine images for God. Many a medieval mystic perceived that God is neither male nor female, but feminine imagery is highly appropriate to the mystery of God’s love. The Church teaches that God is neither male nor female.
What you say makes sense. I’ve verified your claim in the Catechism. However, even in the Catechism, God is referred to as “He” although it says we cannot assign a gender to him. So, how do we come to terms with the fact that the Catechism says God does not have a gender, but is constantly referring to God as “him”? And if this is the case, why is there such a big issue raised when a song or hymn refers to God as “him” or “he” since the Catechism itself does it? It sounds to me like regardless of the pronoun used to describe God, it doesn’t alter the fundamental understanding of who he is. If so, then many of the revisions that were made to songs and hymns were superfluous and added no value to the understanding of God.
Well, tell James Moore it was a “needless” revision. (If you want to see a needless revision, look at RM3 🙂 )
So, God created MAN in his image. Who did he create women in the image of? And I don’t say this next phrase flippantly or in disrespect to the Almighty, but does God have “male parts”? This is more than some passing modern phase. This is moving to a greater understanding of the Creator. And if we have trouble with it now, imagine the folks 2000 years ago trying to understand it!
1> The Magnificat is clearly the background for this verse, where Mary declares “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47) Using God and Lord echoes Mary;s usage better than using God and He.
2> John Paul II spent a good deal of time early in his pontificate explicating Genesis 1 & 2. His talk on 7 Nov 1979 is on “the original unity of man and woman,” where he makes much of the difference between the two Hebrew words for man, a’dam and ‘ish. The latter is used only after the creation of woman (‘ish’ishah>/i>), suggesting that masculinity is not a prominent feature when God creates a’dam, only becoming significant with the creation of woman.
Forgive me if I have misremembered the Hebrew transliterations. And if I am wrong in saying that the “He” in “male and female He created them” is a non-gendered reflexive, not a masculine pronoun. The masculinized English version is not literal, but a dynamic equivalent to the Hebrew that should not be stretched too far.
Thank you, Anthony, for a useful and thoughtful analysis of W4. And thank you, Ron Krisman, for helpful and thoughtful remarks in the midst of an incredible maelstrom that has erupted. Ron and I are laborers in “adjoining” vineyards, so I am well acquainted with the balancing act of believing in what is good, noble, true, and beautiful, and trusting research as to what will SELL. (Sorry folks, like it or not, that’s the way Catholic publishing works.) GIA has made some bold and interesting choices. Should be exciting!
I know a bit of your situation. But as a DM of a huge four parish merge, I’ve never dismissed the involvement of any person who, though critical of this or that, shows the moxie to stay involved and be willing to learn as well as to share their insights and charisms. But if they show up, harp and then hit the skids and a long hiatus before making another knock on my door, then I’m going to justifiably be skeptical of their motives the next time around.
I hope to post about all this soon at Chant Café. There are lots of ways to keep the faith, MMR. But big picture positing and blame game playing generally don’t get the job done.
YMMV, and I’m just sayin’
God bless you.
The bigger question I have is why is it so hard to find musical settings of the propers? Lord knows we have the text sitting there waiting to be utilized. I like what W4 has done with a lot of them, but between them, OCP, WLP, etc, no main publisher has sat down and actually published music for all the propers in one collection, have they? I love singing the hymns I know at mass, but I would love to hear the actual propers, too. I didn’t even know they existed until a few years ago…and it’s a shame, because they are an integral part of the mass IMHO. They are based exclusively on scripture and are always related to the readings. If it were up to me, any serious catholic hymnal up for consideration should have all the content in W4, as well as a section for the entrance, offertory, and communion propers set to music for each sunday in each year A, B, and C (and easy for any congregation to sing along to). ONE book with mass settings, hymns, and propers. It would definately help me select music for mass each week!
No, the propers aren’t always related to the readings. The one-year cycle is used for all three years of the lectionary. They did everything they could to find a few communiones in the authentic repertoire that match the Scripture readings, but not that many were available. In a few cases they stipulate a proper for use in Year A, or B, or C, but mostly that isn’t possible.
Even in the pre-Vatican II liturgy, the propers weren’t always related to the readings. Look at the communiones for daily Masses of Lent – obviously they just went through the psalter, one psalm at a time, and put one on each day.
Mind you, there are traditionalists who find the emphasis on thematic unity (the second reading cursus in OT being an exception) in the OF to be constraining, and thus find the one-year propers cycle to be a feature, not a bug….
Thank you, Brad. Having read what is happen at Musica Sacra, I believe that they have something called the Simple English propers project. Fr. Sam Weber also has some of the settings posted in the Archdiocese of St. Louis Institute on Sacred Music website.
Charles, in my case, we are stuck with some very bad music down here, especially in those areas that use “Spirit and Song”. When the music starts sounding like something you hear at a Jazz bar or at some blues concert, it’s no longer indicative that something sacred is unfolding before you.
The Spanish-language music fares worse. It’s either Mariachi or some other variation of “conjunto” music that you are more likely to hear at a barbecue or some other event.
I am sorry. I did not know about Todd’s brother’s death. I will pray for the repose of his soul. I did not want to appear insensitive.
I’ve been following that project very closely. The problem I see with it is that it is all in gregorian notation, which makes it all but unusable in my parish. Introducing english chant will be difficult enough. Doing so by using musical notation they are not used to will certainly render the propers dead-on-arrival. My parish LOVES to sing, so I would be thrilled to find a collection of propers that can be accompanied by organ and be singable to the average congregation. The other option for me would be to chant the propers, then go right into a hymn everyone can sing. But the Simple English Propers would be too much work for me, since I would have to convert each chant into modern notation. The search continues… Maybe some of these composers who frequent this blog can start composing inspiring music for the propers? Just an idea…
Michelle, no insensitivity perceived; no worries.
I agree with you that poor quality music poorly rendered is a big obstacle for liturgy.
Misdiagnosis is also a problem. I hear and play S&S music and I also have some experience listening to jazz and blues. I hear the similarity in genre, certainly, but many things: church music is played differently, church music has its context, and there is also the matter of lyrics–often Scripture-based.
I tend to think that the power of the liturgy tends to overcome things like errors, imperfect musicianship, source problems with things like pipe organs and jazz. But I suspect that Christ is more pleased when we make efforts toward unity. We can quote GIRM 48 and interpret like our favorite gurus and all, but I suspect that John 17 is a far superior document to which we can align ourselves.
And again to all, many thanks for your well wishes and prayers for my family. We have, shall I say, our own issues with John 17, and prayers will be very welcome in the days ahead.
Yes, Sean. It was I who said that.
A bleak and divisive future. May God send us a universal pastor like John 23 to help save us from ourselves.
What a divisive attitude – your prediction of a bleak future seems self-fulfilling.
If you dislike the EF, then don’t attend it. It’s not like it’s unavoidable. I imagine that even if the EF were truly made available to all for whom it would hold appeal, it would still be a minority liturgy. Most of the division I’ve experienced in the wake of SP comes from folks who don’t have to have anything to do with the EF, yet dislike the idea of others participating in it.
The division started when people decided to re-write history and brought back the abrogated pre-V2 liturgy. We couldn’t stay together and just move on. What’s to stop further “restorations?” Who are you to tell me that I must embrace the third edition of the OF Missal? Perhaps it is to great a burden for my faith life. Why can’t I be allowed to attend a Mass with the 2nd edition? And likewise, you wouldn’t have to attend it. An honest question for you to answer…
You say people re-wrote history – how? Nobody “brought back the abrogated pre-V2 liturgy.” It never went away and thus didn’t need to be brought back. It has been celebrated continuously with Church approval for the past 50 years. SP pretty much recognized a reality that already existed in the Church (two versions of the same rite), but took away the means for some to lord their power over others (the real cause of division, IMO).
I have no problem with people making a good case for using the 2nd edition of the Roman Missal (which I doubt is shockingly different from the 3rd edition, so the case would need to be pretty good) – or do you really mean the current translation of it as opposed to the new one?
An article in a recent issue of Worship argues very persuasively that it was abrogated. This is a canonical issue, and so the judgment of that commission of cardinals that it was never abrogated, because its case is weak and because it doesn’t take into account all the arguments in various places such as the Worship article, is probably a faulty opinion on canonical grounds – though it has juridical force and is the basis for subsequent documents, eg from B16. An article in Italian just came out also arguing persuasively that it was abrogated in the mind of Paul VI – not sure I’ll get around to translating it, though.
None of that changes the historical reality, though – the old missal never went away and therefore wasn’t brought back. Abrogation may have happened on paper or in the mind or Paul VI, but it didn’t seem to ever actually happen for the many people who were still allowed to celebrate it with Church approval (I’ll have to check, but wasn’t it Paul VI himself who granted the first indults?). Two forms of the Roman Rite didn’t pop out of nowhere – they already existed in practice and under different names.
wasn’t it Paul VI himself who granted the first indults?).
The so-called Agatha Christie indult of 1971 comes to mind. How the theory of abrogation can be squared with this I leave to its advocates to explain.
I’m not a canonist, so maybe others can offer help on this question. But I believe that offering an indult is necessary precisely because the liturgy was abrogated, otherwise an indult would not be needed.
Both the Father and the Son demasculinize themselves by comparing themselves to mothers or mother hens.
I believe ‘Tis Good Lord to Be Here is now changed to “How Good Lord to Be Here” in W4 same tune Swabia.
I do hope that they would reconsider using Again We Keep this Solemn Fast,” to the hymn tune- ERHALT UNS HERR, and not the weaker OLD HUNDREDTH- I know for one my congregation will continue to sing Erhalt Uns Herr, they know it well, and it works – Plus they are keeping that hymn tune to The Glory of These Forty Days- not sure why they needed to make a change to Again We Keep this Solemn Fast.
One problem I have with our scripture-based music is that composers almost always seem to pick the most positive line of the text and expand it into affirming, optimistic, hopeful music. (The homilies also tend to do that.) When it is done over and over again, it slants the Mass to a feel-good, affirming liturgy, and some of the meaning and depth are lost. It makes it more bland.
For example, last Sunday the first reading was about divisions and a process to resolve them, a serious topic. Much of the Gospel was about Thomas and Philip’s lack of understanding. Altogether a mixed tone. Yet our music was “Jesus Wine of Peace” (Haas) (first communion Sunday), “There are many rooms” (Lawton-Tate), and “Praise to you O Christ” (Farrell), all uniformly positive and celebratory. Other parishes I visit seem to make similar choices. I don’t have any complaints about any one of those hymns in particular, but about them as a group, especially when that bias is repeated Sunday after Sunday.
This is an interesting point.
Therein lies the real problem with programming nothing but hymns at mass. There are only so many messages to choose from, and often times, there are no hymns appropriate to convey the message heard in scripture. Some weeks, I basically close my eyes, turn to a page and choose a hymn since I can’t find anything that relates well enough. And, once the music is selected, even if you carefully choose it, the overall message can be lost.
Overall, I would say people remember the words they sing more often than the words they hear read aloud. So, it’s really important to find appropriate music to pair with the readings. But, since the hymnals only have so much to choose from, it’s often an impossible task.
I wonder (seriously) if that’s how the people who chose (at least some of) the Propers felt.
Did they “basically close their eyes, turn to a page and choose a passage since they couldn’t find anything that related well enough?”
For the 3-year cycle, I think the answer is yes. But that’s because propers have never been established for the lectionary outside the EF. I’m fairly certain that the propers for the EF lectionary fit fairly well with the readings. I could be wrong. Regardless, the propers are official texts of the mass. The hymns, not so much. If the propers are to be held in high regard, they should officially be established for the 3-year lectionary, and hymns should be composed to match with the propers, so that the propers are the guiding factor in hymn selection. That way, we are using the official texts of the mass that have been missing for a while now, and we can still maintain congregational singing of hymns.
Who says all the music has to fit the readings? Hymns can be seasonal and ritual-based as well. That’s why the Church pays us Music Directors the big bucks… to sift through all the music and apply what fits best.
Do you have any openings where you work, Sean? I could use some big bucks for sure. Maybe I am attracted to the propers because it would make my job easier…the text is already selected, just perform it.
So why was the Liturgy of the Hours abrogated and the Liturgy of the Mass not – in your view – ?
Beats me, as I’m not talking about the Liturgy of the Hours, or really even about formal abrogation at all. Are you denying that anything I wrote above is untrue? The 1962 Mass continued to be used after it was (or was not) abrogated – to say so is not “rewriting history” as you call it. Claiming a dead rite has now been revived, however, is a rewrite of history since it ignores the development and gradual expansion of the indult that occurred over the last 40 odd years that eventually led to SP.
The hang-up on formal abrogation seems odd to me. Even if it were abrogated, then I imagine the Pope has the authority to un-abrogate it since it certainly hasn’t been treated as if it is abrogated.
Sorry, meant to say “Are you saying that anything I wrote above is untrue?”
Clare, very interesting observation, as Samuel notes.
I also think you’ve identified a sort of cross-roads issue facing those of us who program these “alius” texts in conjunction with the assigned propers. Some bullet point concerns:
*It is difficult to assess, quantify/qualify how any given text is comprehended, people’s perspectives are vast.
*Same difficulty in the hearing of scriptures assigned.
*Similar difficulty in aligning proper processional antiphons and psalm verses with the import of the assigned scripture readings.
I offer a mini-synopsis of Easter 5 to illustrate:
+Was the thrust of the first reading from Acts about division/process/distribution of resources, or about a congealing early church discerning sacramental orders in an apostolic manner? Or…?
+Was the Gospel (Farewell Discourse) about T/P’s lack of understanding, or a sort of prophetic dialectic wherein the Lord solidifies the disciples’ (and our) understanding of His Messianic role and what demands are made of us “left behind” to remain faithful to the Way….?
+Introit: Sing to the Lord, sing a new song…./ Communio: I am the vine, you are branches… (More echoes of the Gospel in the latter are obvious.)
+So, would “Go make of all disciples (ELLACOMBE)” be more intuitive than “Praise to You, O Christ…”?
+(Speaking of B.Farrell) Would her “All that is hidden” be more appropriate with its more “demanding” verses than the Lawton piece (of which I’m unfamiliar)?
+What happens when a publisher drops a piece such as RVW’s THE CALL from its yearly hymnal that would otherwise have great resonance with the farewell? This also happens to be a crucial issue within AWR’s original review and subsequent commentary. The farewell discourse, along with, say, the Transfiguration or the parables of Lent are seemingly great “singularities” for which a scarcity of prosaical hymntexts are easily found in general resources.
Well, that’s all for now. No recommendations from this corner. This was a miniscule glimpse of concerns that some of us thrive upon, while it drives others (like our friend Jeffrey Tucker) bonkers!
When all else fails, I suppose, each parish could have a JSBach on staff, and stipulate a weekly cantata to cover all bases!
I share with you the belief that these concerns to which you refer are features, not bugs.
Definitely, KLS. Any competent and responsible DM should have the where-with-all to accept this process of discernment weekly if so required by the pastor, and may I add: without the necessary consultation of a “worship guide booklet.” If a church is otherwise endowed (ala S. John Cantius) with a “propers/ordinary/sequences” schema, um so besser and easier. Otherwise, musician, do your homework. It’s not too much to ask as we’re offering it all back to….
Well there’s a good point: who’s the “we” who “want to get serious about propers?”
And if everything’s so wonderful with the abrogated pre-Vatican II Missal, how come an Ecumenical Council reformed it?
And when you say “EF Lectionary” what do you mean? Surely the provisions for allowing the abrogated Tridentine Rite in the current pontificate allow a range of “lectionary” choices?
Nowhere in my comment did I say that the EF missal was wonderful. That is an assumption you eagerly made on your own, and for what reason I don’t know.
I am speaking exclusively about the proper texts of the lectionary used prior to VII, and how, when the new 3-year lectionary was created, the same propers were assigned to all three years, since we only have a collection of propers for one year (the EF lectionary as used prior to VII).
And you’re worth every one of them!
I think some strife could be avoided if publishers created gradual-hymnals: books with both chanted propers for each Sunday and Solemnity/Feast (or hymns relying solely on the antiphons and psalms of the propers) and additional hymns. I personally, as a DM, would purchase such a treasure. I also see nothing wrong with singing the propers and then hymns at the Introit, Offertory, Communion. Could not such a compromise be achieved?
The “Stuffed Mass”
Gerry, your scenario of “both/and” has gone the rounds at many a forum and in likely many a pastor’s office. I think the orthodox consensus isn’t that, but that options mandate “either/or.” However, many (including myself) engage in what Dr. William Mahrt of the Church Music Assn. of America has coined as “The Stuffed Mass.” The link above is an article positing how music’s role in directly accompanying specific liturgical processions could incorporate the presumed incompability of using both hymn and proper.
One important issue is being ignored in this discussion between singing the Propers and alius cantus aptus. It is that the 4 possibilities in USA for singing at Mass are hierarchical according to the musical resources of the parish. V2 wanted that even the smallest parish have some singing. But to substitute the word of God with extra Scriptural texts just because people prefer it, is very un-pastoral. It puts the desires of man ahead of charming God. The Scriptural text of the Propers is sung as prayer in the Mass. Listening to the word of God being sung as prayer should raise the soul to participate in the heavenly liturgy which is what the Mass is all about. Leave hymns to the Divine Office which is where they have always belonged in the West. The problem in USA is that there is little Vespers or morning prayer in the parish churches, so everything is centered on the Mass.
I would also caution Fr Ruff about using historical examples of Germany with regards to vernacular hymns. Germany for centuries has been special because of its language, which is so different in accentuation from the Latin. The Latin was awkward for Germans to sing and they eventually started singing German hymns, which was a great factor in bringing about Luther’s so-called Reformation.
Also, it seems to me that the New English hymnal still beats the W4 by light years from what I am hearing, and it is not even “Catholic” as such!
“But to substitute the word of God with extra Scriptural texts just because people prefer it, is very un-pastoral. It puts the desires of man ahead of charming God.”
How is introducing ‘extra Scriptural texts a substitute for the word of God?
How do you know what God’s liturgical tastes are? And what makes you think God needs or wants to be charmed? Is God not charming enough? Have a look at a few scriptural texts!
Your claim that singing hymns in the vernacular caused the reformation is as amusing as it is unhistorical.
Finally, what makes you think you are in a position to caution Fr Anthony?
How is introducing ‘extra Scriptural texts a substitute for the word of God?
From the context, I think he meant “extra-Scriptural”.
Gregorian chant is worth more than just doing it for “special occasions”. It should be given pride of place in liturgical services … not demoted as the “special uncle” who carves the Thanksgiving turkey once a year …
But you’re really okay with letting other people choose musical styles for church? That’s pretty scary … Secular styles simply don’t belong in church.
Yes, I’m really ok with it. I cringe when it’s badly off-tune, and I am happy when the congregation sings. Aside from that, as long as we get frequent feedback from a variety of people thanking us for the music and saying that it helps them pray, that’s more than enough for me to be content.
On the other hand I do think about the words. For example today we worked on a 19th century piece that has 10 pages of music giving glory to the Father and the Son, but not one word about the Holy Spirit! That bothered me. I can’t say that anyone else cared. I view that as my role: bring people’s attention to the meaning of the words they sing. Again, to each their battle!
Liturgy shouldn’t be a battle.
Charles, I forgot about that article. I remember reading it when it first came out. Actually, the only reason I use the ‘stuffed Mass’ format is because of my pastor, who wants the Propers sung and the congregation to sing at the processionals. We’ve tried using “By Flowing Waters”, the “Simple English Propers”, and Richard Rice’s “Simple Choral Gradual”, and have found them moderately successful in encouraging participation by the laity. Our most success has been the “both/and” approach, and it seems to please everyone. I prefer the Propers only.
I’m right there with you, Gerry. Cheers and maybe “next year in Jerusalem.” 😉
“But, he said, when people recognize that the liturgy does not belong to an individual or parish as much as it belongs to the Church, then they begin to understand how, while some expressions of local culture are appropriate, priority should be given to expressions of the Church’s universal culture.”
“He said music used at Mass … should keep alive the tradition of Gregorian chant and polyphony.”