Wednesday, January 10, 2007

“Worship” journal

I thought I would blog a bit this morning on the liturgical journal “Worship”.

A well-meaning relative bought me a gift subscription to it for my most recent birthday. It’s an interesting read - definitely not for the academically faint-of-heart, but also definitely “left-leaning” liturgically (as much as I despise such terminology with regard to liturgy).

This most recent issue has a couple articles that, to me, are of note - one on Communion on Good Friday, which apparently remains a serious question among liturgists (among whom I do not really number myself).

The second one, though, is in Nathan Mitchell’s recurring column, “The Amen Corner”. Here he rehashes some of the arguments against the document Liturgiam authenticam - mostly stuff we’ve seen before.

A few thoughts I had that I wanted to pass on to the blogosphere for commentary (those few readers our blog may still have left, with PT and I so rarely posting lately):
  • Why must people insist on replacing Latin terms for the liturgical texts (“Gloria”, “Agnus Dei”, et al.) with English equivalents, like “Glory to God”? Maybe because I’ve spent so much time, as a choral musician, with the Latin texts, that people referring to them in a vernacular tongue just sounds strange. Anyone else feel like this is just goofy?
  • Am I correct in thinking that the time since V2 is unique in that the Church is expected to worship not only in Latin, but also in vernacular tongues? The examples I see Mitchell cite of the history of liturgical/Scriptural translation seem more to do with translations that replace, rather than complement, the original texts.
  • Why do Bp. Trautman & Co. assume that active participation in the liturgy is inimical to the use of Latin or “more Latinistic” English? And, are those who think that way favoring “participation” to such an extent that participation in the liturgy is hampered? I mean, if it’s just about participation, let’s get rid of anything liturgical - clearly, it is important to recall that V2 emphasized not just participation, but participation in the liturgy.


At Thursday, January 11, 2007 9:47:00 AM, Blogger Gavin said...

I usually use the terms "Gloria", "Sanctus", etc. in talking to people, they know what I mean, although some think the term refers only to the English ones.

At Thursday, January 11, 2007 5:29:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a discussion board I read, I have only seen objections form the other POV -- the "left leaning" to use your term , asking why people insist on using the Latin terms.

(Incidentally it seemed that the liturgists on the board seemed to oppose use of Latin, and the musicians to either not care or to think it was the only logical usuage, rahter than to always have to say "the Lamb of God/Cordero De Dios Song."

At Thursday, January 11, 2007 6:13:00 PM, Blogger Cantor said...

Good reasons for use of Latin terms:

1) Musicians use the Latin terms, even when working with English texts. Look at Anglicans and their “Mag/Nuncs”, all in English. (Another example: the English “Salvator mundi” in the Howells Requiem.)

2) The Latin terms, in the context of discussion in a vernacular tongue, stand out and distinctly identify what is going on. If I say “holy”, that could be just about anything. “Sanctus”, though, in the context of a discussion in English leaves very little ambiguity.

3) Multiple languages and nations use the Latin terms.

4) Established precedent for centuries. There is no reason to coerce us all into changing.

I think, as the baby boomer generation leaves us, we will see less of the antagonism toward Latin. Younger people don’t understand what all the fuss is about - and are much more apt to take the exhortations for congregational learning (and, by implication, liturgical use) of Latin.

At Thursday, January 11, 2007 10:59:00 PM, Blogger Gavin said...

Also, "Sanctus" can refer to an English, Spanish, Latin, French, etc. setting. It clarifies that you're not singing a different song, it's the same one just in a different language.

In addition I refer to hymns exclusively by tune name. Some members of my choir actually do know them by the tune. And, of course, I refer to the old Lutheran chorales by their German first lines (and clarify if it's the Bachification or the original). Just my own way of being weird.


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