Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Steubenville hymnal

Todd’s blog pointed me to a new hymnal from Franciscan University at Steubenville.

Anyone seen this thing? I have a knee-jerk reaction to Jim Cowan’s stuff, much of which seems to have about 10 words and half as many chords.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

ICEL’s worst translation?

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto
Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

The translation I’m pretty sure most of us learned as kids:

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

And....sigh....ICEL’s text:

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

1) I suppose ICEL can’t be faulted for leaving a verb out of the first line, since everyone does that with the Gloria in excelsis. Still....why?

2) I suppose “ever shall be” was trashed in favor of “will be for ever” for intelligibility.....not that we didn’t understand this in 2nd grade....

3) Where did “et in sæcula sæculorum” go? I admit, the grammer of the “world without end” part isn’t all that clear, but axing it entirely? Come now.

The stinger is that if we want to be faithful to norms, at least for now we have to use ICEL, .... unless someone can save me here with a “loosey-goosey” clause somewhere?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

on the expected 1962 Missal indult

Playing off Gavin’s article, I’d like to weigh in a bit.

The general assumption is, I think, that the 1962 Missal (I do agree with those who object to the term “Tridentine”) will be granted open permission for use by any priest who so desires. If that happens, a hands-off universal indult (effectively eschewing the “indult” part, since an indult is, by definition, an exception to a general rule), I don’t expect we will see much change.

The big question is this: why, if there are priests willing/eager to offer Mass under the old form, aren’t there more parishes offering Mass partly, or entirely, in Latin with the 1975/2002 Missal? There is already universal permission to offer Mass in this form, so why wouldn’t clerical advocates of the old Mass be taking more steps in this direction?

I speak, incidentally, largely of three things: the direction of the priest, use of Latin, and the music used.

It seems to me this is largely a gesture of good faith to the SSPX. It will have little pragmatic effect at the parish level.

There is, however, another angle: the Pope may actually encourage seminarians and priests to learn both, and parishes to offer both. I would think this not at all unlikely, since B16 isn’t stupid, and clearly he wants the old Mass to be more familiar to more people to encourage “re-reform”. And if that happens, I would expect a substantial presence of the old Mass, but only eventually. There may be a mandate for every RR priest to learn Latin (as I believe was the case only decades ago).

Will that encouragement come? I dunno. The French bishops aren’t stupid, either, and they wouldn’t be protesting unless they felt they’ve got a good chance of having some influence. They may persuade the Pope just to say, “well, there it is - use at your own risk”, rather than, “you should all become familiar with this”.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Meme for me

1) favorite Ordinary settings:

If I just gotta get people to sing, good ol’ Mass o’ Cremation does the trick. For sounding purty/interesting and still letting the folks sing, Mass for the City.

I love Vaughan Williams Mass in G, too. And Bach B minor, but not sure that counts. :)

2) favorite Mass Proper chants

*sigh* Again, I don’t know them well enough. I’ve had fun singing the “Qui habitat” tract to myself, though. :) If sequences count, then “Victimæ” definitely.

3) favorite polyphonic motet

Oh geez .... if we’re able to go 20th century, Penderecki “Stabat mater” and Messiaen “O sacrum” are big faves of mine. The “Tu pauperum refugium” attributed to Josquin is really pretty, and Gibbons “Hosanna to the Son of David” is a delightful romp.

4) favorite hymn

Assuming we mean chorales here...I’ll go with ENGELBERG.

5) favorite Marian piece

Wylkynson “Salve Regina”, Josquin “Ave Maria”.

Ave maris stella...I actually really like the Anerio cantus-firmus polyphonic treatment of it. Fairly easy piece, too, at least by comparison.

6) favorite liturgical season

Holy Week. I also love Advent - there’s a profundity in the eschatological stuff that I think is lost with our culture’s treatment of Christmas.

7) favorite composer of sacred music

Again, gotta discount JSB, but besides him, hm. I may have to give this to Poulenc - his music is so original. Messiaen didn’t write enough (liturgical) sacred music to be considered.

8) Worst church music annoyance (Gavin’s)

Schlocky or doctrinally iffy hymn texts that nonetheless are meaningful to people. I don’t feel right planning them for the liturgy, but then get things like tonight, where people asked me for “How Great Thou Art” - that whole presumption of salvation thing in the 4th verse just AIN’T how the Church prays, at least as far as I can tell.

9) If I could be in any performing ensemble in the world, which? (PT’s question)

Hm - this is a toughie, because I’d love stage performing time as well as Bach-ish time. But, let’s say Collegium Regale (Herreweghe’s group).

10) One prediction for Catholic liturgical music in 10 years (my question)

The core repertoire will not have a substantial effect on American Catholic parishes, as it will largely include music that is already familiar. Publishers will still largely be able to publish whatever they want, though with the growth of liturgical music as a profession and the increasing number of large parishes (growing populations plus fewer clergy per capita), the quality of both texts and music will continue to improve.

30 OT--B

30 OT—B (10-29)

Processional: Let every heart who seeks the world rejoice ( TOULON )

Psalm: The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy. W 647

Offertory: Lead me, Lord (Wesley)

Communion: Laetabimur in salutary (women—chant)

Thanksgiving: Now Thank We All Our God W 189

Recessional: Immaculate Mary W 134 (vs. 1-5)

29 OT--B

Yes, a bit late, I know.

29 OT—B (10-22)
Processional: I Call Upon You Lord (DIADEMATA)
Psalm: Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you. W 644
Offertory: Meditabor (Franz X. Witt)
Communion: Domine Dominus (chant-men)
Thansgiving: There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy W 275
Recessional: Hail, Holy Queen Enthroned Above W 107

Liturgical Music Meme

By way of Gavin, here's a meme (how do you say that?) in an area of great interest. Apparently, this is one where each new poster is to add another question to pass along. So be it.

The Liturgical Music Meme

1. Your favorite Mass Ordinary settings (i.e.Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus Dei):

"Mass for the City" (Proulx) takes the top spot for me, at least in the contemporary realm. The Gloria especially is incomparable. In a more traditional vein, the Kyrie from the Missa cum iubilo (Mass IX, I believe) is quite remarkable.

2. Your favorite Mass Proper chants (i.e. Introit, Gradual, Tract, Alleluia, Offertory, Communion):

The Proper for the Requiem mass is so well-known for good reason. Wonderful music. And I'm a sucker for almost anything in Mode II.

3. Your favorite motets (polyphonic vocal work):

Geez, where to start . . . the Lotti "Crucifixus", Purcell's "Hear My Prayer", Byrd's "Sing Joyfully", Palestrina's "Missa Papae Marcelli" (well, this should have probably gone under number one), nearly everything by Lassus. These tunes are all so popular because they're so well-composed.

4. Your favorite Hymn:

In the more common repertoire, I love LOBE DEN HERREN and HYFRYDOL. But I really enjoy REPTON and a tune called MICHAEL, which was composed by Herbert Howells, I believe. Both of these are unfortunately not found in most Catholic hymnals. Surprise, surprise . . .

5. Your favorite Marian piece:

So many from which to choose . . . the Biebl "Ave Maria", though a bit overdone, is quite wonderful in its simplicity. I love the solemn tone for "Salve Regina", and I just don't think I can narrow down all the Renaissance settings. Hymn tune would be PLEADING SAVIOR.

6. Your favorite Liturgical Season for music:

Holy Week, no doubt, but Corpus Christi (though not an actual season) has lots of great repertoire as well.

7. Favorite composer of sacred music:

Well, J. S. Bach, but assuming we're looking for Catholic composers here, I would probably say Lassus or Byrd. I've yet to find a piece by either of these two that hasn't engaged me both spiritually and intellectually.

8. Make up a question for all future posters to answer, and answer it!

Worst church music annoyance:
(Gavin's question)

Doing all the verses of a hymn except for the last, though I've occasionally done just that, though not without much shame.

If you could join any performing ensemble in the world, which would it be? (My question)

Probably the Taverner Choir under the direction of Andrew Parrott. I love their sound.

Tag people:

My partner-in-crime, Cantor, and our colleague "Klaus."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mr. McMillan, we love you.



Friday, October 20, 2006

liturgical east for the last 2 weeks of Ordinary Time?

An idea for liturgists and priests who might read this blog:

Since the last two weeks of Ordinary Time have a distinct eschatological tilt to them, what about using these weeks to face liturgical east at Mass? If explained to the people why it is being done, and the V2’ers can take solace in that it is only temporary, would there be much problem? And more importantly, how much could be gained?

I am thinking it would really open people’s eyes, especially to see some parts of the Mass where the celebrant faces the people and others where he doesn’t.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Psalm 91 and funerals

Fr. Michael Joncas’s “On Eagle’s Wings” is probably the most popular setting/paraphrase of Psalm 91 in use today. It frequently sees use in connection with funerals, in which context it usually functions as consolation for the grieving.

What is most surprising, then, is to observe that this psalm, unlike other psalms frequently used at funerals (e.g. “The Lord is my shepherd”, “My soul is thirsting”, ...), is entirely absent from the Roman Rite’s liturgical books for funeral Masses.

Moreover, the places where this psalm does appear are all in connection with Lent - the first Sunday of Lent in particular, where it is the responsorial psalm in year C, and all of the day’s proper chants in the Roman Gradual (and a few of them in the Simple Gradual) come from this psalm. On top of that, this psalm appears nowhere else (that I can find) in the liturgical books (its use as a common resp. psalm during Lent notwithstanding).

What ends up happening, then, in practice is that if OEW, or another Ps. 91 setting, gets used during Mass, people associate it more strongly with their loved one’s funeral than with the liturgical use. And in the case of Lent, this can really screw things up, prompting people to confuse the season of repentance (Lent) with a day of mourning (funeral). The (I assume) traditional association between Psalm 91 and Lent is obscured, and in a way, the liturgy’s formational efficacy is diluted.

And of course, there is the concern of whether the psalm text itself is really appropriate, all things else besides. Here I don’t know that I feel entirely confident venturing a yes or no, having not the Biblical nor theological background to make an informed judgement. It seems ok to me, but of course in the context of the liturgical year, I would say it’s a poor choice for any liturgical activity other than observance of Lent.

Monday, October 16, 2006

MS 47-53

Yikes, I nearly forgot I was plowing through this document . . . at this rate, the new MCW will be out before I finish!

VI. Language for Use in Sung Liturgies; Preserving the Treasury of Sacred Music

47. According to the Constitution on the Liturgy, "particular law remaining in force, the use of the Latin language is to be preserved in the Latin rites." [30]

At the same time "use of the mother tongue . . . frequently may be of great advantage to the people." [31] Therefore "the competent ecclesiastical authority . . . is empowered to decide whether and to what extent the vernacular is to be used . . . The acta of the competent authority are to be approved, that is, confirmed by the Apostolic See." [32]

These norms being observed exactly, there should be a wise use of the kind of participation that is best suited to the capabilities of each assembly.

Pastors should see to it that, in addition to the vernacular, "the faithful are also able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass belonging to them." [33]

Well, I won't get into the conspiracy theories in regards to the demise of latin in the liturgy . . . but it really is a shame that this last little bit couldn't have been pushed a bit more in the last 30+ years. Though I can sing the "Pater noster" if I have the notation in front of me, I couldn't recite it to save my life . . . same with the Gloria (though I could do much better) and the Credo. Hopefully this can be somewhat corrected in the next couple of generations.

48. Once the vernacular has been introduced into the Mass, local Ordinaries should determine whether it is advisable to retain one or more Masses in Latin, particularly sung Masses. This applies especially to great cities in churches with a large attendance of faithful using a foreign language.

It seems that this is starting to revive itself somewhat throughout the country, especially since this universal indult may actually come to fruition. We have a latin mass once a month at my church (though it's on a Tuesday at 5 PM) which is a step in the right direction.

Of course, in a situation with many different ethnicities, it would be necessary for each person to have a missal in hand with the latin and their native language. Worship aides put together by the church would be a potential logistical nightmare depending on how many different ethnicities would be present.

49. The norms of the Congregation of Seminaries and Universities on liturgical formation in seminaries are to be observed in regard to use of Latin or of the vernacular in liturgical celebrations in a seminary.

The norms in the Motu Proprio Sacrificium laudis, 15 August 1966, and this Congregation's instruction on the language for religious in celebrating the divine office and the conventual or community Mass, 23 November 1965, are to be followed in their liturgical services by the members of institutes professing the evangelical counsels.

50. In liturgies celebrated in Latin:

a. Because it is proper to the Roman liturgy, Gregorian chant has pride of place, all other things being equal. [34] Proper use should be made of the melodies in the editiones typicae of this chant.

b. "It is desirable also that an edition be prepared containing simpler melodies for use in small churches." [35]

c. Other kinds of melodies, either for unison or part-singing and taken from the traditional repertoire or from new works, are to be held in respect, encouraged, and used as the occasion suggests. [36]

Seems like a hierarchy here: a) Graduale Romanum b) Graduale Simplex c) Other, which is sufficiently vague here.

51. In view of local conditions, the pastoral good of the faithful, and the idiom of each language, parish priests (pastors) are to decide whether selections from the musical repertoire composed for Latin texts should be used not only for liturgies in Latin but also for those in the vernacular.

Well, to fulfill the request that the faithful know the Ordinary in Latin, it seems that using chant settings during masses in the vernacular is a good idea, at least occasionally.

52. To preserve the treasury of sacred music and to encourage new styles of sacred song, "great importance is to be attached to the teaching and practice of music in seminaries, in the novitiates and houses of study of religious of both sexes, and also in other Catholic institutions and schools" and particularly in institutes of higher studies specifically established for this purpose. [37] Especially to be promoted are the study and use of Gregorian chant; its distinctive qualities make it an important foundation for a mastery of sacred music.

Yeesh, I'd say they dropped the ball on this one. I think just recently seminaries are making an effort to find adequate musical training for our future priests. A seminiarian at the Mount had told me that they just recently re-hired a Director of Music after a 10-year absence due to budget cuts. Yikes.

53. New compositions are to conform faithfully to the principles and rules here set forth. "They are to have the qualities proper to genuine sacred music; they are not to be limited to works that can be sung only by large choirs, but are to provide also for the needs of small choirs and for the active participation of the entire assembly of the faithful." [38]

I'd say it's safe to say that the writers of this document didn't have the music of Joe Wise in mind when they composed this section . . . (I apologize if that came off as uncharitable)

Those parts of the traditional treasury of music that best meet the requirements of the reformed liturgy are to receive attention first. Then experts are to study the possibility of adapting other parts to the same requirements. Finally, parts that are incompatible with the nature of the liturgical service or with its proper pastoral celebration are to be transferred to an appropriate place in popular devotions and particularly in celebrations of the word of God. [39]

This makes it very clear that the progressives were out-of-line when they felt that the council was calling for all "old rite" music to be tossed. On the other hand, it seems that the fathers wanted to do everything possible to salvage all quality music that was not incompatible with the new rite.

30. Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 36, §1.
31. Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 36, §2.
32. Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 36, §3.
33. Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 54. See Sacred Congregation of Rites, Instr. Inter Oecumenici,
26 Sept. 1964, no. 59.
34. See Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 116.
35. Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 117.
36. See Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 116.
37. Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 115.
38. Sacrosanctum Concilium art. 121.
39. See no. 46 of this Instruction.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

New Church music blog

Check out Gavin’s new blog, Laudamus Te. Pretty much aimed at similar content to ours; maybe he’ll be better than PT and I have been lately about posting!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

28 OT--B

28 OT—B (10-15)

Processional: If You Should Count Each Sinful Deed (ERHALT, UNS HERR)

Psalm: Fill us with your love, O Lord, and we will sing for joy! W 641

Offertory: Recordare mei, Domine (chant—cantor)

Communion: Aufer a me (chant-women)
Be Thou My Vision (Rutter)

Thanksgiving: What Wondrous Love is This W 306

Recessional: Sing of Mary, Pure and Lowly W 248

The Rutter is scored for SATB choir and harp; he uses the well-known SLANE melody in varied textures throughout to create quite a lovely arrangement. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

27 OT--B

27 OT—B (10-8)

Processional: Lord, All Things are Guided still ( SALZBURG )

Kyrie: Missa de Angelis

Psalm: May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives W 638

Offertory: Search Me, O God (Phillip Young)

Communion: In salutari tuo
Laudate Dominum (Mozart)

Thanksgiving: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling W 172

Recessional: The Head That Once Was Crowned With Thorns W 266

We introduced the "de angelis" Kyrie in the following manner: cantor w/organ sings melisma on "Kyrie"; congregation joins in on "eleison" with "fuller" organ. Same with "Christe" and the last "Kyrie." No repeats and last melismatic "Kyrie" omitted.

The hope is to do it like this for a few weeks and then have the congregation sing the whole thing w/organ and then eventually without accompaniment. We'll see how it goes . . .

Also, I'm very blessed to have a young voice student who sang the Mozart "Laudate" very beautifully. And she can blend!!!