Sunday, October 30, 2011

MUSIC, NOT THE CORRECTED ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE MASS IS THE MOST CONTENTIOUS ISSUE IN THE CHURCH TODAY!

The greatest torn in my side since becoming a priest is what type of music to sing at Mass. I'm a bit more liberal about it, just as long as it is good and done well. Some people like Gregorian Chant and other forms of Latin music and they like it when it is translated into English. Others like hymns of a traditional nature many of which come from the great heritage of Protestant hymnody. Some love contemporary music, worship and praise music and sacred words set to secular tunes.

What's a pastor to do? Put it to a vote for each Mass that is celebrated in a parish? Do we need that kind of consultation and implementation?

Special Announcement: VATICAN II HYMNAL from Corpus Christi Watershed on Vimeo.

13 comments:

Joseph Johnson said...

One thing that would help tremendously (which Jeffrey Tucker advocates) is to use musical material from sources such as Corpus Christi Watershed and the Church Music Association of America rather than the large commercial publishers (who generally give us more of the same Haugen/Haas 70's style stuff repackaged for the new translation). Get away from the monopoly of GIA, OCP and WLP if you want real change!

Henry Edwards said...

"Put it to a vote for each Mass that is celebrated in a parish?"

Yes, by all means. Provided you think its all about us and what we like, rather than about God and what honors him.

Templar said...

Joseph is spot on. The video you attached to the Blog Post is perfect. And aside from any one's preference's it is "what is prescribed"

Bill Meyer said...

I agree it is contentious. We are now using the Mass of St. Ann by Ed Bolduc (Except for the Alleluia). Not as good as I had hoped, but certainly a vast improvement over Marty Haugen. It's a shame Mr. Bolduc did not write an Alleluia, as the one we are using sounds really terrible in contrast to his Mass.

William said...

Father, just read the lyrics! If the theology they contain in not 100% Roman Catholic, suppress them. Protested hymns, while infinitely superior to the Haugen/Hass/Schutte crap, are very often at variance theologically to what we hold as Catholics.

Read over carefully the words sung in "Amazing Grace."

Anonymous said...

We have so many parishes up here you can pick one to suit the key you want to sing in. We have a priest from India that leads a rock mass on Sunday evening. I agree with Fram that lots of different music can help in mass, but the problem is being sure it is going to help and not distract. Ideally the mass could be done in traditional chant and a fellowship after mass people could sing along with guitars and stuff. That should satisfy people but there will be people who can't or won't stay and will be unhappy they don't get to hear the tunes they like. Maybe that's why we can have EF and OF mass in the same parish.

By the way that is a cute baby.

rcg

pinanv525 said...

Well, where I attended Mass today at 5 pm was abominable. It was the Mass that is largely for the college kids down the dtreet (unknown to me). They had some poor kid with a nasal twang banging on a fifty dollar guitar and another one playing the out-of-tune piano with what sounded like hammers. Everybody sang from some cheap, folksy song book called "Spirit," or something like that. During the "sign of peace" (groan), there was all kinds of hand jiving and mouth kisses. I thought I might be granted the grace to witness a miracle, for surely the statues in the Church may have gotten up and run out...

Joseph Johnson said...

Once again, the large commercial missalette companies (OCP, GIA and WLP) are the custodians and perpetuators of the "corporate jingle" music of "AmChurch" (the "American" Catholic Church). I much prefer music that is prescribed by and a mark of identity of the Roman Catholic Church.

Henry Edwards said...

In his book Letters to a Young Catholic, George Wiegel tells how St. Mary's Catholic Church in Greenville (SC) became one of the finest places in our region to experience the reform of the reform. In late June 2001, he recounts, a new pastor arrived at St. Mary's:

"When the people of St. Mary's came to church on Sunday morning, July 1, 2001, they noticed that things had changed in the previous twenty-four hours. The tabernacle, which had been banished to the side of the sanctuary in 1984, had been restored to its proper place at the end of the long axis of the church, enthroned on the reredos at the rear of the sanctuary. A large icon of Mary had been hung — the first image of the parish patroness to be visible in the church twenty years. Burlap banners made by second graders had been removed. The tattered paperback 'worship resources' (which is what some confused people call 'hymnals') had been removed from the pews and consigned to the parish dumpster; a music program for that Sunday's Mass had been made for every congregant."

Apparently, Fr. Jay Scott Newman had not waited for any vote of his congregation!

Templar said...

Henry...Father Newman also says Mass Ad orientem and does a Latin OF Mass, exercinig fully his rights as a Pastor to Lead His Folk.

You also won't find any Female Altar Boys in St Mary's.

Carol H. said...

Music is the main reason my family decided to travel 40 minutes to attend St. Joseph. We live only 1.2 miles from our local parish, but the 1-4 guitars and tamborine and bouncy woodstock music drove us away. We tried to grin and bear it, (we actually managed for a full year) but we could not take it any more.
Don't get me wrong, I actually like contemorary music. I like to sing while doing housework (Go Light Your World by Kathy Troccoli is my favorite). But such music is not apprpriate for mass. We would not wear flip-flops and play Rolling Stones music in the background to have an audience with a queen, so why do people wear inappropriate attire and play music inspired by woodstock for their audience with the King of kings?
It seems to me that we should play a variety of sacred music at mass, and play the rest as background music at social gatherings (as long as the words conform to Catholic teaching).

Templar said...

vifibCarol, my family is in the same boat. We also travel 40+ minutes to attend at St Joseph so that we might have a worthy encounter with Our Lord.

This past Sunday we were obliged by schedule to attend at the parish closer to our home, Mass began with a joke (I kid you not) which was met my rackus laughter. For the Homily, the Pastor went over the new translation of the Creed, taking time to ridicule most of the new words. Afterall that though you'd think we might then recite the new Creed, right? Nope, right back to the Lame Duck ICEL translation. At least they dasi the Creed, the last two times I assisted at Mass there they neglected to say it at all.

Siggghhhhhh.

Joseph Johnson said...

Father,
To help illustrate my point about the (glaring) difference between the commercial missalette music and the more traditional (and prescribed) Catholic music available from Corpus Christi Watershed, etc. please, (oh please!) look at the May 27, 2010 story (by Jeffrey Tucker) on New Liturgical Movement entitled "What is Dignified Music?"

I would even suggest this as a new independent posting for your blog. Anyone who watches it should get the point! I only wish that parish music directors and the general Catholic population were required to watch this short piece, for educational purposes (re-education, if you like!).