Tuesday, September 8, 2015

ON PRIEST RETREAT IN ST. AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA: UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE

I am in Saint Augustine for the Mass celebrating it founding 450 years ago! Cardinal O'Malley celebrant! How cool is that!

UPDATE: What a glorious day it was and Cardinal O'Malley gave an excellent homily and his art of celebrating the Liturgy was excellent!He didn't chant any of his parts, but his speaking voice has a chant like quality to it.

The music was splendid although a bit of a hybrid with  a mix of Latin, Spanish and English. The Processional was Christopher Walker's Laudate, Laudate Dominum, which has a wonderful Latin refrain all sing and the choir sings the verses in English. It was robustly sung with organ an other instruments. The choir was excellent.

The Gloria was in Latin, Jubilatio Deo version, and powerfully chanted by all but the organ accompaniment was a bit lethargic.

Ther Responsorial Psalm was okay. I think I would have prefered something more chant-like involving the entire choir rather than just the cantor.

The Sanctus, Mystery of Faith and Great Amen were from The Community Mass. I like this setting of the Mass very much.

Unfortunately the Our Father was spoken, not chanted.

The Agnus Dei was the Jubilatio Deo Latin version, but much too short for all the additional things that needed to be accomplished at that point. I think the choir could have sung a more complex Latin Agnus Dei by one of the great Masters.

There was a "Hymn of Thanksgiving" after Holy Communion which I do not endorse. And on top of that we stood to sing it which then flowed immediately into the Post Communion Prayer and Solemn Blessing and Dismissal.

Then there was no recessional hymn but simply an Organ Recessional by a 16th Century Spanish Composer which was appropriate for a Mass celebrating the 450th Anniversay of Catholicism coming to St. Augustine.

I wish the propers had been chanted. While I liked the Processional Hymn, it was a bit too triumphalistic and not in keeping with the noble simplicty of Gregorian Chant at the Entrance.

Oh, and did I write that today is the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary? What a splendid day for Saint Augustine to have been founded on our Blessed Mother's Birthday.  The Mass was for the Feast.

I thought too, that some elements from the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, such as chanting the Propers from the EF Mass for this Feast as well as the Gradual would have been quite appropriate.

As well, the Liturgy of the Eucharist could have been Ad Orientem with the Latin Sanctus, Mystery of Faith and Pater Noster. That would have been stunningly beautiful and recall the actual first Mass celebrated outdoors here in Saint Augustine's!

But alas!


12 comments:

Lefebvrian said...

Did he offer the Mass as it would have been offered 450 years ago?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Since I am now vesting to concelebrate I presume no, written in real time. BTW. Vesting at an Episcopal Church across the street from true Cathedral! They have good taste and excellent air conditioning!

Calvin of Hippo said...

Yeah, but lousy theology. They're gonna' really need that AC one day..if you get my drift.

rcg said...

Wear sunscreen. Something with a rating of SSP 10.

Michael (Quicumque Vult) said...

"How cool is that?" you ask.

I answer: it's only cool if the Cardinal's sense of "ars celebrandi" is good. If not, his Mass is either going to be uninspiring or a suffering to offer in union with Our Lord's sacrificial act. ;)

Michael (Quicumque Vult) said...

Regarding your update, I'd rather the priest chant *nothing* than that he only chant occasional parts. To me, it's all or nothing. Give me a chanted Mass or a spoken Mass — don't give me a spoken Mass with a few chanted parts thrown in awkwardly. :)

John Nolan said...

One or two points (and I hope I am not being nit-picking):

1. What is the 'Jubilatio Deo' Gloria? Forty years ago Paul VI issued a little book of chant called 'Jubilate Deo' (tr. Sing joyfully to the Lord) and if memory serves the Gloria was that from Mass VIII 'de Angelis'. It's the one familiar to most congregations.
2. If the Cardinal did not sing any of his parts then what he was celebrating was the least solemn form of Mass (see Musicam Sacram 1967), in effect a Low Mass accompanied by singing. Since all the chants are now in the Missal, what possible excuse could he have for not singing them? For fifty years we have been urged to 'sing the Mass, not sing at Mass'. The new Missal translation at last makes it feasible in the vernacular. Unless bishops set an example their priests are unlikely to follow. Like the cardinal, they will take the lazy way out.
3. If the Propers are chanted, which they should be, they would not be the EF Propers, as found in the Liber Usualis, but the OF Propers as found in the 1974 Graduale Romanum. So the Inroit would be 'Gaudeamus', not 'Salve sancta parens', the Alleluia would be 'Solemnitas gloriosae Virginis Mariae', not 'Felix es', and the Communio would be 'Beatam me dicent', not 'Beata viscera'. The Gradual 'Benedicta et venerabilis' and the Offertorium 'Beata es Virgo Maria' are common to both forms.
4. Whereas mixing musical genres in the context of a single celebration is not bad in itself (plainchant and polyphony actually complement each other) there is a tendency nowadays to throw too much into the mix in the hope of pleasing everybody. The Mass is not a variety performance but all too often, especially on grand occasions, it comes to resemble one.







rcg said...

"His voice has a chant-like quality to it". For some reason Ben Stein in "Ferris Beuller's Day Off" comes to mind. Of course Italians would never resort to sarcasm...

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Cardinal O'Malley celebrated the Mass as Pope Francis does. He did not chant his parts.

I do have a serious question that perplexes me. In the Ordinary Form, it is allowed to substitute the official introit and other antiphons with other selections similar of dissimilar, for example a metrical hymn of some kind.

If this substituion is allowed, it is beyond me why the official Introit and antiphons of the EF Mass could not substitute the official chants of the OF Mass. It doesn't make sense to me. Therefore, I contend, given the state of the GIRM concerning these chants and the options available that the EF Introit and antiphons may be chosen. Why in the name of God and all that is holy can't these be selected if one can substitute a metrical hym?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Cardinal O'Malley celebrated the Mass as Pope Francis does. He did not chant his parts.

I do have a serious question that perplexes me. In the Ordinary Form, it is allowed to substitute the official introit and other antiphons with other selections similar of dissimilar, for example a metrical hymn of some kind.

If this substituion is allowed, it is beyond me why the official Introit and antiphons of the EF Mass could not substitute the official chants of the OF Mass. It doesn't make sense to me. Therefore, I contend, given the state of the GIRM concerning these chants and the options available that the EF Introit and antiphons may be chosen. Why in the name of God and all that is holy can't these be selected if one can substitute a metrical hym?

John Nolan said...

Fr AJM

See point 3 of my comment above. The OF Missal gives texts for Entrance and Communion Antiphons. They are recited only if there is no singing at these points. If there is singing, the preferred options (see GIRM 48 and 87) are the chants of the Graduale Romanum. These are NOT the EF chants, although in many cases they correspond to them, since the Graduale was revised in 1974 to take into account the Novus Ordo calendar, among other things. The Responsorial Psalm and Gospel Acclamation are in the Lectionary and can be, in fact should be sung (see GIRM 61 and 62). However, they may be replaced by the Gradual and Alleluia/Tract from the Graduale, and when the OF is sung in Latin they usually are.

To give an example, next Sunday is the 24th in Ordinary Time. If I open the Graduale at the correct page (Hebdomama XXIV) I get the Introit, Gradual, Alleluia, Offertory and Communion chants which are identical to those for the 18th after Pentecost in the EF (which is another two weeks away). However, for years B and C there are different Communions, and year C has a different Offertory, since the revised Graduale takes some account of the lectionary cycle. These chants are all to be found in the EF, albeit on different days, but it is incorrect to call them EF chants.

Turning to the Missal, the two options for the Communion antiphon are different again; they were added in 1970 and so were never set to chant in the first millennium. But remember that they are not intended to be sung anyway!

Substituting hymns for propers is (sadly) allowed, but is the least favoured option.

Jusadbellum said...

Fr. McDonald, are you at liberty to give us a peek into what the priests are meditating on during your annual retreat?

thanks,

JusaB