Friday, February 01, 2008

instrumental-only music in Advent and Musicam sacram

In case there is any further want for evidence that Rome, at least, considers Musicam sacram to be binding, the following is in the CDW’s 2001 reply to the USCCB in response to proposed adaptations for the U.S. GIRM:

In addition, n. 74 needs another slight adjustment, namely the mention of the fact that purely instrumental music is to be excluded during Advent or Lent, during the Sacred Triduum and in Masses of the Dead, in accordance with the Instruction Musicam sacram n. 66. found in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 59 (1967) 319.

I was aware of the prohibition against instrumental music in Lent, but didn’t think it was prohibited during Advent, the Triduum, or the Masses of the Dead.


At Friday, February 01, 2008 1:04:00 PM, Blogger Dad29 said...

The adjective "purely" is significant.

You can use instruments for accompaniment (presumably of the congregation) during these seasons, although the ideal is no instruments (including organ) at all.

IIRC, the Old Rite allows organ during Advent.


At Wednesday, February 06, 2008 1:31:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always thought this whole concept of "no instrumental music" or "minimal instrumentation to support the singing" during Lent as quite odd. There are so many creative ways to enhance the music (hence prayer) with tasteful instrumentation, regardless of the season. And what do you tell the violin player or flute player, etc. "We don't need you during this season. Go sit in the assembly or sing along with the choir". What a wonderful way to treat those who volunteer their talent.

At Thursday, February 07, 2008 9:42:00 PM, Blogger Mike said...

In the Eastern Churches, they still don't allow instruments of any kind during the Divine Liturgy. The ones I've been in don't seem to have a problem with people singing either. I wonder if there's a connection...

At Friday, February 22, 2008 11:35:00 AM, Blogger Mara Joy said...

I think I'm going to make my own blog post with this question, but I might as well add it on to here as well. So, does this prohibition against instrumental music only apply to during the Liturgy? I mean, obviously, the organist can still practice playing the organ by himself when no one is around and of course that is instrumental music. So if it's not just referring to during Mass, then what about an organ prelude? Is that allowed? Where would the line be drawn? (and if we can't even play preludes during Lent, then when are we supposed to play all of the countless beautiful works of art written on Lenten themes and hymns?)

At Friday, February 22, 2008 10:57:00 PM, Blogger ScholarChanter said...

So, how do I bring this up to my music director, where the culture in this town always has organ postludes? oy.

At Monday, February 23, 2009 5:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole idea of when to use music and what type of music, needs to be discussed completely and logically. The great masters in the past wrote beautiful instrumental music based on Advent and Lenten themes. Are these to be ignored and never heard in church? If the question concerns the quality of the the music or whether instrumental music is a distraction during a penitential season, but allows for instrumental accompaniment for hymns, then what instruments can accompany? I find guitars, et al, extremely distracting, especially when played poorly. Furthermore, I am appalled at the idea of having singing only during Lent, but what do many people sing? A lot of the so-called contemporary vocal music that is being published and promulgated during Mass is pure musical trash, written by and accepted by poorly trained musicians, singers and leaders of the "feel good" generation. Such trivial music should also be banned, not just during Lent, but permanently. Most of it would never be accepted in a music composition class in a university, yet is forced on us by the self-appointed leaders of church music. If you are going to discriminate in music, then do it completely. Let's keep J. S. Bach and get rid of B. Bachrach and company.


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