Thursday, September 14, 2017



It seems to me that those who constructed the new Ordinariate's Missal, Divine Worship, already used the principles highlighted in Pope Francis recent motu proprio--Magnum Principium. You might ask, how?

1. There is a different dialect of English used and there doesn't seem to be as strict of a word for word translation of the Latin parts into this old dialect of English. So in effect, the Ordinary Form Missal now has two versions of English. Could we see different versions of English proliferate in the USA?

2. More authority is returned not just to Bishops' Conferences, but also to local bishops. It seems to me if Divine Worship can include not only Anglican Patrimony into this Catholic Roman Missal as well as the EF patrimony, why in the name of God can't the American Bishops create an index for the following?:

1. Prayers at the Foot of the Altar
2. Rubrics for the genuflections in the Eucharistic prayer recovered as in Divine Worship
3. The ancient offertory prayers
4. The Requiem Form of the Agnus Dei for Funerals
5. The thrice said "Lord, I am not worthy" 
6. The Last Gospel
7. The EF format for the printing of the Missal to include all the propers as well as the option of the Gradual and Tract 

And certainly local bishops could delegate to local parishes thourgh their pastors and pastoral councils the option of Ad Orientem as well as kneeling for Holy Communion at an altar railing and the distribution of Holy Communion under both Forms by way of intinction.

And can't a local bishop mandate that the Mass parts of the laity be chanted in Latin and not the vernacular, such as the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei to untie the diocese and the various language groups present there??????

None of this exquisite diversity should be seen as divisiveness in a particular diocese but as subsidiarity put into action, unity in pluralism and renewal in continuity with our liturgical heritage.

Who needs Rome to approve what I have written? It can be done on the Diocesan level and in most instances on the parochial level with pastors resolving issues in their own parishes.



John Nolan said...

The first vernacular versions of the Mass (1964) were not the same in England and Ireland, and were different again in North America. Ten years later ICEL imposed a uniformity, albeit a lamentable one.

Let's go the whole hog. Texts do not need to conform to an original model; they do not even have to be in a recognized language - pidgin, creole, dialect, they're all of a piece. Ritual actions need not conform with any objective standard or rubrical norm - dancing women holding aloft incense bowls was a feature of an Easter Vigil in Ireland, of all places, and to adopt animal sacrifice in Africa should not be a problem.

In fact, the more 'multicultural' chaos the better. Tango Mass? No problem.

Why? For the simple reason that more and more Catholics will come to realize that we actually have a Roman Rite, unaltered in its essentials for a millennium and a half, developed organically and flowering in different Uses which indicate unity in diversity, with a common sacral language, namely Latin.

That this Rite and its cultural baggage fostered the greatest artistic achievements of mankind, above all western music which could not have come about had it not been necessary to develop a system of notation for Gregorian chant - which in itself is the greatest corpus of monodic melody in existence.

Bean said...

"That this Rite and its cultural baggage fostered the greatest artistic achievements of mankind, above all western music which could not have come about had it not been necessary to develop a system of notation for Gregorian chant - which in itself is the greatest corpus of monodic melody in existence."

In your opinion, and highly debatable.

Ask an Iranian or an Albanian if they agree. Or a descendant of the Inca or Maya. The Japanese and the Aleutes may not share your opinions and predelictions.

More and more I see western cultural hegemony, not the Catholic faith, as the raison d'street for you positions.

ByzRC said...

So many of our bishops are neo-cons, they want the false facade of tradition with all the trappings of multiculturalism. Why, because people aren't 'participating' if this component isn't included. The culture that takes a backseat, it would seem, is the Catholic one!

ByzRC said...

Lord have mercy, John, another follower for you. Or, perhaps the latest incarnation of gobshite/boo yah/enrique?

John Nolan said...


Regarding Mr Bean, I suppose I should take it as a compliment that my mild-mannered and well-informed comments arouse the ire of the Calibans in our midst.

Western classical music is universal. Masaaki Suzuki, founder of the world-renowned Bach Collegium Japan, writes: 'The music of JS Bach is part of the joint patrimony of mankind. Ever since our foundation we have continued to convey Bach's music from Japan out to the wider world.'

I suppose Mr Bean to be one of those cultural relativists who will say that Beethoven is not objectively greater than Beyoncé. Or Mozart is a great composer only because I think he is.

Daniel said...

Writing assignment:
Prove, objectively, that Beethoven is greater than Beyonce'.
"Objectively" mean your opinion, or mine, or John's or music critics' doesn't matter. Because we are objective here.
Background and context: I think Tony Bennett is a better singer than Sinatra (was). Others may prefer Elvis or Ray Charles or Otis Redding or that Garth fellow.
Who can show me "objectively" which is the best?

Daniel said...

Out of respect for John Nolan, of course, I did not name any "female crooners."

I am not totally insensitive.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The Ordinariate's English Credo forgoes using "Consubstantial" preferring to use "Of One Substance." Interesting, no?

Bean said...

The head of the Vivaldi Collegium Japan might disagree with Mr. Suzuki. But that, like your woefully inadequate self-defense above, is a digression.

Daniel, neither JN nor any of his learned supporters here will offer a scintilla of evidence for "objective" truth of their assertions. Why? There is none.

Mozart and Bach are, assuredly, great composers. I have many of their works in my CD collection. Philip Glass and Arnold Schoenberg are also great composers, but I do not have their works in my collection because I do not enjoy listening to their music. I don't know how to enjoy it. But that's my, not the music's fault.

Legume said...

No, it it not particularly interesting.

"Of one substance" is and OBJECTIVELY better translation of homoousios.

That an OBJECTIVELY better translation is used should be expected.

Translations of translations such as "consubstantial," are, in the vast majority of cases, going to be OBJECTIVELY less accurate.

rcg said...

Each civilization has its moments. It is pretty clear that Western Civilization has brought more than its share to table. It would be false pride to claim responsibility for it, certainly for those of us who have resisted its benefits do successfully. It would be simultaneously foolish to squander its contributions in false humility or misguided deference to other civilizations even if one thought those contributions were small.

The present day Iranian and Albanian have almost relationship to the cultures that inhabited their countries long ago. We may find ourselves in that same situation not very long from now if we can't at least respect the civilization that brought us here and those who are trying to perpetuate it.

BTW, it seems to me fairly obvious why 'consubstantial' is not the same as 'of the same substance'. One is of the same class of matter, the former is of the same matter at the same time. Thus, one God (unum Deum).

Contrast that to this blog where we have three distinct idiots with a single flaw.

John Nolan said...

Mr Bean

The Bach Collegium Japan specializes in baroque music, Vivaldi's included. Your opening comment is plain silly - the most ardent devotee of Vivaldi would not put his music on the same level as Bach's. In any case, all Suzuki is saying is that great music transcends cultural boundaries. One doesn't have to be an 18th century German Lutheran to appreciate Bach's cantatas.

To say that Mozart is a greater composer than (say) Dittersdorf is non-controversial. It can quite easily be demonstrated using the tools of musical analysis - not that anyone would bother to do so. It would be futile to argue that Mozart was greater than Haydn (or vice versa) since both men were of such towering genius that comparisons are odious. Haydn achieved more in the fields of the symphony and the quartet; the younger composer achieved more in the fields of opera and the concerto. That much is beyond dispute.

It would not be hard to demonstrate why the Church gives primacy to Gregorian Chant as being 'proper to the Roman liturgy'. Personal taste doesn't come into it.

I don't particularly care for the music of Debussy. That's not the music's fault. My dislike of a lot of the stuff one hears in a lot of churches is precisely the music's fault, and I do not find it hard to recognize and point out its shortcomings, both in conception and execution. It's vapid, banal and (since it harks back to a style of popular music no longer current) way past its sell-by date. In a secular context I would not notice it; in the context of the Mass I find it offensive.

Some of us don't leave our critical faculties in the church porch.

John Nolan said...


The Credo in the Ordinariate missal is the one from the Book of Common Prayer. The most irritating thing about the missal is the use of the Coverdale psalms, particularly noticeable in Ps 42 which renders 'Judica me Deus' as 'Give sentence with me O God' and alters verses 4 and 5 (which affects the responses).

Most Ordinariate priests in England celebrate the EF and would no doubt stick with the Latin here. The same goes for the traditional Offertory prayers which are not said aloud anyway.

Bean said...

Who invented these "tools of musical analysis"? Was it, maybe, a European? Someone steeped in the European classical styles?

Imagine what these "tools" are going to reveal...

George said...

Preference for a certain creative work is not necessarily indicative of the proficiency of the one who created it. Someone may prefer a certain musical composition for any number of different reasons. In some cases this comes down to judging the music by personal subjective predisposition and not by objective criteria. Yet it is common trait to know by our powers of observation that someone is better than another in doing something. Ball player A is better than B because A is playing at a professional level whereas B is just an amateur without the skill and talent to play at a higher level. Carpenter X is better at what he does than carpenter Y because what X can build takes a higher level of skill. One does not even have to possess a skill to recognize that one person is better than another at what he does. But one can prefer one sport or art and disdain another.
However, if one possesses a skill, especially at a high level, then that person is better equiped to judge another of the same skill. If you prefer a certain kind of music for whatever reason, then that's what you prefer despite what someone else may think. But it is those musicians with a high degree of education, training, and talent in their chosen profession that are the ones to judge other musicians and their work.They are more competent to make an objective assessment of their musicianship and composition skills. Just for starters, they know if an instrument is in tune or out of tune, and this is not subject to preference or subjective opinion. So we see that one person is chosen to be a member of a symphony orchestra. though others tried for the position.
Is it possible to objectively prove that the music of Beethoven is better than that of some popular singer-songwriter? Going just on subjective preference, no. However, judging by musical and compositional standards recognized and in common in the field of musical training and education, I believe it is

George said...

'Of the same substance' is certainly not a good translation.
One human being is of the same substance as another, but each is a distinct
being separate from the other.
We know by faith that our God is Three Persons in ONE Being.
So the Son of God is 'substantial with' the Father, though a separate distinct Person.

John Nolan said...

Mr Bean

Why do you disparage European culture? You were formed by it, after all. The fact that it has spread throughout the world and fundamentally changed every continent is an historical fact. That its effect was not always positive (Marxist-Leninism on China, for example) is undeniable, but in general its results have been beneficial.

Western classical music has no equivalent in the musical culture of any other part of the world, which rarely rises above the folk idiom. This is not to denigrate other musical traditions; it is simply to state an obvious and easily provable fact.

Henry said...

All the posts here about musical preferences--whether thought to be objective or subjective--and about what music is good or bad, all such discussions are irrelevant to true liturgy.

The music proper to the Mass--chant, from plainsong to polyphony, which developed over the centuries under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, should NOT be replaced by any other music whatsoever, whether good, bad, or indifferent. Thus it's irrelevant whether Beethoven or Beyonce is better music; neither is appropriate at Mass.

The distinction between classical and popular music is similarly irrelevant. Indeed, today's classical music likely was yesterday's pop music.

A case in point is last night's Solemn Pontifical Mass broadcast by EWTN from Philadelphia's Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul. It was filled with wonderful music by Mozart. Which only left one thinking how much better an Ordinary in Gregorian chant or sacred polyphony would have fitted the majestic solemn liturgy, and regretting that we were "subjected" instead to an admittedly exquisite orchestral Ordinary.

rcg said...

Bean, you might be surprised at what those tools discover. Western music compositions are full of influences from native folk as well as foreign sources. The Western music approach was to study how to define the way music is produced and make it reproducable and teachable both in the metor protege format as well as remotely with coded descriptions. All of this was done by other cultures although to a lesser extent. Musical notation, for example, has been attempted many times but it was basically perfected in the Westso that it offers a set of tools that allows transposition of a tune to accomodate other instruments and ranges. There is no denegration intended or needed for other sustems that excelled in their specific areas. A very good example is the mastery of tone on the Indian subcontinent. Yet the instrument most often associated with displays of the tonal basics is the Western fiddle or violin.

As an aside it is my impression that the British invented the Indian restaurant. That group of flavors and spices is something that the West has enthusiatically embraced for our well being as well as pleasure.

John Nolan said...

Another feature of western 'classical' music is its ability to borrow from the music of other cultures. However, those cultures do not borrow from western 'classical' music; they adopt it and then enrich it with elements of their native musical culture.

Some argue that the tonality of western music satisfies a universal need. In 16th century Mexico, missionaries found that the natives were innately musical; native choirs were soon performing Renaissance polyphony to accompany the liturgy and before long there was a Mexican 'school' of composers.

Anonymous said...

John Nolan, I must correct you. Most Priests of the Ordinariate in the United Kingdom do NOT use the EF. Maybe 10 or 12 of the 90 do. The majority use the Ordinariate Form or the Ordinary From.