Thursday, February 2, 2017

GROUND HOG DAY AT THE VATICAN, AKA, CANDLEMAS OR PRESENTATION OF THE LORD AND THE CONCLUSION OF CHRISTMASTIDE

This splendid annual Candlemas Day Solemn Mass always is in conjunction with the gathering of religious institutes with the Holy Father. But please notice how splendidly the Liturgy is celebrated with its prelude of blessing of candles in the "narthex" of St. Peter's with the pope dressed in cope and the procession of Candles with the proper antiphons/introit.


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interested in this day, so I looked up Candlemas in Wikipedia and found the following statement about the symbolism of candlemas in the United States: The celebration of Candlemas has largely been replaced in the media by Groundhog Day. That is sad

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The new chasuble and miter His Holiness is wearing are some of the nicest he has worn since becoming Pope, maybe the good Marini is rubbing off on His Holiness?

TJM said...

Fr. McDonald, agreed. I do not care for the little "ash-can" mitres which have been de riguer in recent years.

John Nolan said...

On the plus side:

1. Better vestments.
2. The Sistine choir continues to improve.

On the minus side:

1. Only one antiphon at the procession, with the Nunc Dimittis unaccountably sung twice. There are two other antiphons, 'Adorna thalamum tuum' and 'Responsum accepit', plus the responsory 'Obtulerunt'. Endless repetition seems to be a feature of the Novus Ordo.
2. Far too much Italian. Yes, anyone with Latin can more-or-less understand what is being prayed, but that's not the point.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

Sacrosanctum Concilium said to get rid of "endless repetition," didn't it? I guess Bugnini didn't read it,

John Nolan said...

TJM

It's quite an interesting paradox. Those of us who sing Gregorian Chant know that its essence is not that of repetition. It may have a long melisma on a single syllable, but then it moves on. There are, of course, responsories where phrases are repeated, but not to an excessive extent.

In a Gregorian hymn the melody is repeated strophically but the words change in each verse. In the 1960s it was assumed that people could only sing simple melodies to a simple and unchanging text. Its apogee was in Taizé chant which has the effect of a mantra, repeated over and over again until it becomes meaningless.

Moreover, since their musical experience is assumed to be limited to the unsophisticated tonality of pop music, what they are required to sing must conform to this paradigm. Thus one has congregational settings of the Ordinary of the Mass which in musical terms are markedly inferior to those written well over a millennium ago.

'Lumen ad revelationem gentium' (GR p540) is an ancient and very simple chant and it was good to hear everybody singing it in St Peter's. How many Catholic parishes sang it? Very few, I suspect.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

Spot on as usual!

I began singing Gregorian Chant at the age of 8 and by the time I was 10, I could chant 5 Latin Ordinaries by heart. I didn't get the memo that it was "too hard."

Ironically, when I am at a Novus Ordo parish and they chant either the Sanctus or Agnus Dei in Latin, the congregation actually sings that the best. The hymns, not so much.