Monday, November 26, 2012


The Missa Bossa Nova was written for the vernacular Tridentine Mass of the 1965 missal by Father Peter Sholtes. If you forget the tempo and instruments and focus on the English words, you will find that the first translation of the Latin Mass into English was very faithful to the Latin whereas what we got in 1973 was anything but faithful. Listen closely, the translation is very similar with only minor differences with the revised translation that we've had for the past glorious year.

I think the single worst thing that happened to the Catholic Mass was not its vernacularization, although the second revised English translation was an absolute disaster, now corrected thanks be to God and not to liturgists.

The single worst thing that happened to the Catholic Mass was the total abandonment of Gregorian Chant, or polyphony or other chants based upon these. But worse yet was the abandonment of no instrumentation when singing and the organ for instruments that are best left to the secular venue, such as those used in the Missa Bossa Nova. Even its name tells you that Catholic spirituality and chant are seriously compromised by the melody, beat and instrumentation used.

Keep in mind it was my generation, the baby-boomers, onto whom this was first foisted and in the Tridentine Mass, not the reformed Mass, as the wave of the future and that to hate this or want what we had in pre-Vatican II times was so out of date, so pre-Vatican II and so not with it! You would be marginalized for finding this distasteful and not in keeping with our Catholic heritage! It is this type of tripe, not the words, but the melody, instrumentation and beat that compromised our Catholic identity as it regards our Catholic liturgical heritage, spirituality and connectedness with our past. It seriously compromised our Catholic culture (i.e. cult, worship). We have yet to recover from this and in fact are now foisting it upon a new generation with contemporary beats, melodies and instruments, praise and worship music primary amongst this deconstruction of Catholic identity when it comes to chant and instrumentation.

But when you listen to this below, and keep in mind, written and performed for the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, I wonder if it would have been okay without the folk instruments and 1960's bee bop sound. Without instrumentation, the melody might work very well or accompanied only by organ. What do you think? But let's thank God, that in His mercy, the Missa Bossa Nova was not set to the Credo!


The nine-fold Kyrie

The Gloria

The Sanctus:

The Pater Noster

The Angus Dei


rcg said...

You have to wonder if Fr Scholtes feels the same way about these videos that Pin feels about those Facebook pictures of himself in a Speedo; something you wish you could get back.

Vox Cantoris said...

Indeed Father, and Hollywood even gave us something to remember.

O may it never happen again.

Carol H. said...


Gene said...

Garbage. When he gets to Hell, he'll be forced to listen to that crap for the first million years.

Gene said...

RCG, You mean like you felt when they posted those pics of you and that drunk whore in a nun's costume in New Orleans? LOL! Oh, and that mitre you were wearing...too much!

Robert Kumpel said...

I'm probably going to offend everyone on your list, but I actually kind of enjoy listening to this--but please let me qualify that statement. I love the whole 60's Bossa Nova sound from Brazil: Tom Jobim, Jorge Ben, Sergio Mendes, etc. Now this isn't as good as their stuff obviously and it isn't even really pure Bossa Nova, but it's kind of pleasant background music. And however offensive it may be to people it's way better than the horrible Glory and Praise junk that's imposed upon us at Mass every week. I'm almost nostalgic for some of these tunes at Mass. Having said that, I really don't want this music for Mass either, but I do like it as background music. If I have to listen to lyrics, I'd rather hear lyrics that praise God as opposed to someone lamenting their heartbreak in Portuguese.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

There is plenty of religeous music I like to hear including some very nice Protestant music. In fact I like the sound of the Missa Bossa Nova but just not at Mass please! In fact some of the most wonderful compositions of the Mass are great for the concert hall but not for the Liturgy. I liked Bernstein's Mass and saw it and loved it but not appropriate for the actual Mass.

rcg said...

FrAJM, exactly. I liked Bernstein, love Vaughn-Williams, 'Ain't No Grave Gonna Hold This Body Down', etc. But why not in the Parish Hall? (Except Bernstein, that was like a prediction of Vat II).

Gene, was that the picture in the swing?

John Nolan said...

The abandonment of Gregorian Chant was a direct result of the enforced vernacularization of the liturgy which began in 1964 and was complete by 1967, and the reformers wanted it. It's been known for years that their aim was not to reform the Roman Rite but to destroy it and replace it with something else. Latin and the chant associated with it for well over 1000 years had to go first. The rest would follow.

They didn't get it entirely their own way (Paul VI seems to have belatedly come to his senses) and the best way of cocking a snook at Bugnini and his heirs and successors, is to celebrate their New Mass in Latin and Chant, using only the Roman Canon which they were so desperate to get rid of.

Canuck said...

That is the problem - some musicians can't seem to distinguish between this Miss Bossa and music appropriate for liturgy. To be honest, some of the recent music settings for the revised translation are not any better. Yesterday, I was praying to be patient and forgiving.... Thank God that a few, very few parishes are beginning to use chant. I pray that it spread - the Spirit is a blowing all over this land - to quote a popular song....
Keep up the good work Father McDonald and God bless you.

Andy Milam said...

Father McDonald,

"If you forget the tempo and instruments and focus on the English words, you will find that the first translation of the Latin Mass into English was very faithful to the Latin whereas what we got in 1973 was anything but faithful."

But we cannot forget that. It is that as much as abandonment of the Latin which caused the problems we have today. It is the absolute disregard for the sacred, in favor of the profane which caused the liturgical malaise we must combat today.

Some will say that we cannot put the horse back in the barn, my response to that is "WHY NOT?!" According to the liberals, we are the most educated, the most modern and the most "enlightened" Catholics EVER. Why can't we figure out a way to put the horse back in the barn? I believe we can.

The Church spent a goodly number of years prior to 1570 with regional Masses, which is essentially what we have now. St. Pius V centralized that and for near ye 500 years we had liturgical stability and the Church entered into a so-called counter reformation which was a glorious period in history, from a Catholic point of view.

What we need today, is another centralization of the Mass. The Holy Father should take a lesson from St. Pius V and simply codify the Mass and THEN IMPLEMENT IT! As I have argued before, the Holy Father (for whatever reason) keeps the liturgical "forcefulness" in a hypothetical vacuum. He speaks of the glories of the reform of the reform, but does nothing about it.

The re-introduction of the TLM was not a reform of the reform, it was a restoration of a Catholic truth. And a good one, at that. But....what has come from it? A closer translation to the Latin? That isn't due to the restoration of the TLM, that is a process which has been ongoing since 1975, with the first revision.

A true reform of the reform would be a concrete reform of the Mass. Substantive changes upheld by law, not suggestion, with consequences. And those consequences should be first leveled at the bishops, then moved to the priests. The process is simple, the implementation is simple and the acceptance would be worldwide and swift.

Catholics won't leave. Heck, they didn't leave when the drivel you posted above was force fed to them, they won't leave now. And if they do, that is on the priests who don't support the Vicar of Christ and the Church.

Bottom line, we can put the horse back in the barn. We're smart enough to do it. We just have to be willing to stand up and say ENOUGH! Sadly, most priests like the freedom to do what they want, because for most priests, obedience is a hypothetical, just like the reform of the reform.

So, enough of Bob Hurd, and Bernadette Farrell. Enough of Marty and David. Enough of the St. Louis Jebbies (whoever is left) and Enough of liturgical abuse being passed off as "implementation and forward application."

The Mass should not have been tampered with. Sacrosanctum Concilium wasn't needed, except by liberal churchmen in bed with the Protties. And it was forced. The Mass was reformed in the image of Luther, and Paul VI signed off on it, which makes it valid.

It's time for a second centralization and it is time for a second counter-reformation. Just like before it must be supported by law, because as we have seen over the last 50 years, suggestion will just be ignored....much like priestly obedience.

Pater Ignotus said...

"Sacrosanctum Concilium wasn't needed..." So now Andy joins the crowd that understands itself to be superior to 1) the Holy Spirit and 2) the Bishops of the Catholic Church in union with the pope.

It gets curioser and curioser around here.

Marc said...

I hope everyone saw that it appears most diocesan seminarians have been given permission from the PCED to act as subdeacons during Solemn High Masses.

Rorate Caeli has the letter from PCED (it also dodges the question of whether assisting at SSPX Masses fulfills the Sunday obligation).

John Nolan said...

Andy, the imposition of the NO was surely the greatest act of liturgical centralism in the history of the western Church. Pius V allowed the continuation of local Uses with a 200-year pedigree, and those religious Orders which had their own distinctive rites continued to use them. Forty years ago the Dominicans and Carmelites opted into the NO, and the Carthusians adapted their rites to include NO elements. For the first time the western Church could be said to have standardized her liturgy.

Of course it was hardly a standard product. Rendered in a babel of vulgar languages, some of them hardly worthy of the name, subject to extreme 'inculturation' and experimentation, and stripped of anything suggesting the numinous, it was now ready for the next great leap forward. Translation had already given way to 'dynamic equivalence'. Now each language group was to generate its own texts. Centralized control was being used to impose virtual disintegration. That this permanent revolution (echoes of Mao Tse-Tung) was stopped in its tracks still rankles with progressives; this was the 'betrayal of Vatican II' that they are always banging on about.

ytc said...

Wait, do we actually have to believe the Holy Spirit inspired SC? ?_? I thought that was only dogma, which SC--praise Jesus!--is not.

Because... well, because any pastoral statement of any Council or Pope can be summarily ignored by a future Pope. We do it all the time! Who remembers the Council of Vienne, anyway? And SC is purely pastoral in nature. Not that it doesn't deal with dogmatic things, but in itself it is a pastoral statement. AND! by the way, the liberals seem to be ignoring the more inconvenient aspects of said document.

All this leads me to believe that SC is not divinely inspired.

Andy Milam said...

Pater Ignotus;

""Sacrosanctum Concilium wasn't needed..." So now Andy joins the crowd that understands itself to be superior to 1) the Holy Spirit and 2) the Bishops of the Catholic Church in union with the pope.

It gets curioser and curioser around here"

No I do not. I have never said that I was superior to the Holy Spirit, nor have I said that I am superior to the Bishops of the Catholic Church. Notice, though that I do explicitly acknowledge the validity of the Mass, something which you conviently ignore.

I am however, entitled to my opinion and as long as I don't deny a truth of the Church, which I have not done, I can defend that opinion. If you would like to engage me on that opinion, Father Kavanaugh, I would be happy to debate you on the matter of necessity.

@ John Nolan -- we agree.

Anonymous said...

In view of the Kumpel-McDonald sequence, I wonder whether the Verdi Requiem (1) ever was used for an actual Mass, Manzoni's funeral or otherwise; (2) what Father McDonald thinks about its suitability. I have always said that, if England were a Catholic country and if the decedent I am going to name had been a Catholic, then the only fitting occasion in my lifetime when it might have been appropriate was the funeral of Winston Churchill. On a different issue concerning that musical setting of the requiem Mass, whether its being "operatic" is or is not a demerit, I used to think that it was, but now I have come to think that it is more commendable. As with the little drummer boy, Verdi could have said, "I want to do something to glorify God, and writing big flamboyant vocal music is WHAT I DO."

Ancil Payne

John Nolan said...

Ancil, the problem with Requiems like Verdi's is that they are, for dramatic reasons, built around an elaborate setting of the Dies Irae which in a liturgical context would seriously distort and unbalance the rite. In contrast, the most celebrated polyphonic Requiem (Victoria, 1605) does not set the Sequence at all.

That said, I have a DVD of Mozart's Requiem from Poznan, Poland, recorded in 2002 on the anniversary of the composer's burial. The context is a Solemn Mass celebrated by members ofthe FSSP; the university choir and orchestra sing and play with great verve and precision; the visual focus is very much on the liturgical action; the sound quality is excellent. It does work, and those parts of the Mass which Mozart didn't set are not missing, since of course according to the 1962 rubrics the priest is required to read them.

Gene said...

Kavanaugh is not going to debate Andy because he is not equipped to do so. He may as well go bear hunting with a stick...I have a nice length of oak he can borrow...I'll even drive him out to Bond's Swamp and drop him off. LOL!

Andy Milam said...


Yes, Verdi's Requiem was used as a Mass. It was composed for a friend of his who passed away (Alessandro Manzoni). It has since become more of a choral expression not done in a Mass setting, but rather in a concert setting, sadly.

As for suitability, I would argue that Masses in the "Viennese style" are absolutely acceptable. They are not "operatic," as you'd say, but rather they are polyphonic. Also, they fit every criteria which is acceptable in Church music up to and including today.

My .02, based upon my years being a protege of Mons. Richard Schuler.

John Nolan said...

Andy, hear, hear! The late Haydn Masses are the final flowering of his genius and this was a composer who prefaced all his scores with AMDG. If it's opera, it's heavenly opera. There is drama in Gregorian chant if you have ears to hear.

These Viennese Masses work best with the EF, of course. Pius X didn't like them, but the 1903 Motu Proprio was always taken cum grano salis in Germany nd Austria.

Andy Milam said...

@ John Nolan,

I beg to differ on one point. The Viennese Masses work perfectly fine with the Novus Ordo, IF the Novus Ordo is celebrated properly; ie. St. Agnes in St. Paul, MN. (

I would also argue that Tra le Sollecitudini didn't actually prohibit Orchestral Masses, but rather it solidified the specific actions of the ministers, singers, and instrumentalists in their word and deed.

When one looks at Tra le, he will see that the choral works must simply be proper, lawful and noble for use in the liturgy. One will also see that the use of the profane is altogether abrogated.

Please don't misunderstand, I am a huge fan of Tra le, but I also understand what is both implied and acted upon.

Pater Ignotus said...

Andy - You said "Sacrosanctum Concilium wasn't needed..." The bishops who, called together by the authority of the pope and with the full authority of the Church, gave us SC. THEY thought it was needed. You set yourself above their authority when you say "Sacrosanctum Concilium wasn't needed.

The work of any Council is done in, by, and through the Holy Spirit. Bishops, when gathered in union with the Holy Father, are the voice of the Holy Spirit. You say "Sacrosanctum Concilium wasn't needed..." How do you know better than the bishops with the Holy Father in and through the action of the Holy SPirit.

I do not "ignore" you when you "acknowledge the validity" of the OF mass. This is the natural position of any real Catholic, and I have no reason to think you are not a real Catholic. You do what Catholics do, so I don't comment on it.

Now, when you skip mass or use racist speech or use vulgar language, or when you make errors in asserting as "facts" those which are not facts - then you'll get comments.

Do Councils make 'unnecessary' statements?

ytc said...

PI, I don't think Councils make "unnecessary" statements, as such, but I do think that the pastoral window of chronological applicability can be fleetingly small.

Gene said...

Ignotus, when you happen upon that bear, it may be occupied foraging or, perhaps, sleeping. If you can sneak up on it, all the better. Be sure to hit it really hard in the head. If it sees you first and is charging, do not try to outrun it. Bears can outrun a dog for short distances. Climbing a tree will not help because the black bears native to Ga. can climb very well, unlike grizzlies. Lying down and playing dead won't work, either, because black bears eat their victims. A grizzly will leave if it thinks you are dead; a black bear will simply say grace and eat you. So, stand with the stick raised high above your head and, as the bear charges, time your strike for just when he begins to rise up. Good luck and, hey, maybe there is some obscure Saint that was killed by a bear that you can call upon...LOL!

Andy Milam said...

Father Kavanaugh;

Certainly Councils are done by, through and in the Holy Spirit, but the fact remains that this Council, by the Fathers' own admission was not dogmatic. There was NOTHING taught regarding faith and morals.

That said, I acknowledge and accept the Council as being a valid expression of the Magisterium, but because there was NOTHING taught dogmatically or doctrinally, I am not bound to hold it as infallible or binding. This is exactly what is being flushed out right now in theological discussion.

So, when I say that Sacrosanctum Concilium was not needed, I mean that it wasn't needed. It is clear that the machinations which influenced the document in question were not of noble or holy means. It is clear that there was an agenda behind the development of the document (which started in earnest in 1948) and that was to undermine the whole of the Mass itself.

So, when we look at the Mass in a historical/critical light, we see that there has never in the history of the Church such a radical departure from known Catholic thought. Yet, even as "the smoke of Satan" entered into the Council, there are those who say that the machinations and it's fruits are needed.

I will eventually argue why Sacrosanctum Concilium was NOT needed, but first I will give you the floor as to explanations as to why it WAS needed. Perhaps your reasoning will change mine. Perhaps not, but at any rate, I will seriously reflect and respond to your posts.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Catholics are bound to canon law too, even those purely human laws such as fast and abstinence, although dispensations were readily given in certain situations.
I would have to say that an Ecumenical Council, even if pastoral, has the force of canon law and thus we should not become cafeteria Catholics concerning even the pastoral nature of the Council.
With that said, though, we are in a new post-Vatican II era with Pontificum Summorum. So I would chide those who fail to recognize this and refuse to accept the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and provide it in their parishes when there is a stable group asking for such. This cuts both ways!

Andy Milam said...

Fr. McDonald,

There is merit in what you say, however, the Code of Canon Law as it existed in 1917 and was largely ignored.

So, while I understand your zeal for accepting Canon Law and I do too, I would argue that the Council MUST be interpreted in light of the 1917 CIC and not the 1983, which obviously was not existent then. I would also argue that this change in thinking would change the tambor and tenor of the whole conversation.

Pater Ignotus said...

Andy - Now, by rejecting the legitimate authority of Pope john Paul II in promulgating the 1983 Code of Canon Law, you set yourself above not only bishops, not only an oecumenical council, but over the Vicar of Christ hisself.

Curioser and Curioser....

Andy Milam said...

Father Kavanaugh,

Obviously, you didn't read my post very clearly. At no time did I reject the 1983 CIC, but rather I said that we cannot apply the 1983 CIC to Vatican Council II, because it didn't exist.

Also, if I were follow your logic, which is sadly flawed in this instance, how can a product of Vatican Council II be used to determine it's outcome? Because that is precisely what you're implying.

Gene said...

Ignotus, Another option in your bear quest would be to take along another modernist Priest of your ilk who cannot run as fast as you. Or, perhaps you could persuade a nice juicy fat Bishop to go along with you. Wear some good shoes...I like New Balance but, since you will be in swampy terrain, some of those Merrell trail running shoes might be good.

John Nolan said...

@ Andy Milam

The main problem with regard to polyphonic Masses in the NO is the requirement that the Sanctus and Benedictus be sung before the priest commences the Canon. This was noticeable at Pentecost 2009 when Haydn's Harmoniemesse was used in St Peter's. HH was literally left standing for a quarter of an hour. The long Agnus Deis are less problematic since they can be sung during the people's Communion.

Pater Ignotus said...

Andy - The 1983 CIC replaced the 1917 Code. While the 1917 Code is useful for historic reference, it has no force of law. Vatican II can only be properly understood and rightly implemented under the law currently in force, not the law in force between 1962 and 1965.

And it is a serious error to say that Vatican II taught nothing regarding faith or morals.

No, Good Father, the authority of Canon Law and and the authority of an Ecumenical Council are not equivalent. Both are authoritative, to be sure. Canon Law is invested with a "primatial character" being a act of the "primate" or pope. An Ecumenical Council draws its authority not from the pope, but from the Holy Spirit acting through the College of Bishops in union with the pope. The promulgation of a Code is the act of a pontiff; the promulgation of a Council is an act of the entire Magisterium.

Gene said...

Of course, Ignotus, another option for the bear hunt would be for you to properly arm yourself (as you cannot seem to do for theological discussion or debate with the liturgists on the blog)with a good rifle. For the terrain around here, a so-called "brush gun" with a lot of punch would be best. Maybe an old Marlin .444 mag or a 45/70 gov't. Of course, a good 'ol 30/30 with 170 gr. bullets would work for a black bear. Don't bother with a won't have time to use it. LOL! Oh, that's right, you are one of those anti-gun nuts who thinks that the bad guys will just nicely hand over their guns if the law says for them to. LOL! LOL! LOL! Or, maybe you just can't bear (ha, ha) the thought of somebody shooting Bambi. Hey, man, its meat!
Now, back to your particular bear. You could jump in the Ocmulgee and try to swim away from the bear. That is a possibility, however black bears swim quite well. Often, though, they won't do that much work to catch a meal, especially a scrawny modernist Priest who probably does not taste too good, anyway. But, if you had that juicy Bishop with you....well...LOL!

Andy Milam said...

Father Kavanaugh,

Let's just slow down for a moment, shall we? OK.

You're missing the point of my assertion regarding the CIC. Let me be 100% clear: I DO NOT REJECT THE AUTHORITY OF THE 1983 CIC.

Now that this is out of the way, we can continue the discussion. When we critique Vatican Council II, we cannot (I repeat: CANNOT) apply a document to it which did not yet exist. Let me be perfectly clear:

The 1917 CIC was the Code in effect during the Council, therefore to properly understand the Council, we must apply the 1917 CIC. Whereas the 1983 CIC supercedes the 1917 CIC, that didn't happen until 1983, a full 18 years AFTER Vatican Council II closed.

To apply the 1983 CIC to the mechanisms of the Council is preposterous, because one cannot apply what didn't exist. Now, if you want to retroactively apply it "in light" of the Council, you may do so, but it is disingenuous to do so,

Gene said...

You see, Kavanaugh, that bear is getting closer. You probably should have carried a rifle. Maybe if you blessed the probably don't put much faith in things like that...

"Shout Bamalama" by Otis redding

The preacher and the deacon wuz walkin' one day,
When along come a bear trottin' down thataway,
Preacher told the deacon to say a prayer,
Deacon say, "Lawd, a prayer won't kill no bear...I got to run for it!"