Saturday, January 18, 2014


Michael Joncas at Praytell highlights he National Liturgy Conference in Wollongong, Australia, occurred this week.

The conference opened on Wednesday, 15 January 2014, with an opening Mass at Wollogong’s St. Francis Xavier Cathedral presided over by their Ordinary, Bishop Peter Ingham, DD.

Music selections included Dan Schutte’s “Here I Am, Lord” as the Entrance Song, David Haas’ “Blessed Are They” as the song at the Preparation of the Offerings, Michael Joncas “Take and Eat” as the Communion Processional Song, Christopher Walker’s “Take the Word of God with You” as the Recessional. Featured Australian composers included Paul Mason, whose “Mass of Glory and Praise” provided the service music and whose setting of Psalm 39/40 was sung as the Responsorial Psalm, and Richard Connolly, whose “Sing A New Song,” to James Philip McAuley’s text, provided a model post-Communion congregational song of praise. 

My comment: While one may not like the stale selections of the trendy 1970's and 80's above, one could have asked if the actual "propers" of the Mass were chanted in addition to these non-liturgical songs added to the Mass (apart from the parts of the Mass). Do we still need to be singing devotional songs, best left to popular piety at Mass similar to what was done to the Low Mass on Sundays prior to Vatican II? I ask, you answer.


John Nolan said...

Chanted Propers? The theme of this conference was very much "back to the 'seventies". The opening Mass, with its roll-call of sacro-pop purveyors and the picture of drumkit and bongos with the blurb "Vibrant Music for a Worshipping Community" (on their website) should give the game away. The Australians who spoke at the Sacra Liturgia Conference in Rome last year, Prof. Tracey Rowland and Bishop Peter Elliot, are conspicuous by their absence, and yet there were workshops organized by many (unnamed) "eminent liturgists and musicians" which I'm sure didn't include Nicola Bux, Alcuin Reid, James MacMillan or Colin Mawby.

No doubt the participants will go back to their parishes newly energized to inflict this dated codswallop on their fellow Catholics. Oxen and wainropes could not drag me to one of these so-called liturgies. If nothing else were available I would be at home with my Liber Usualis making a spiritual Communion.

rcg said...

Mullet Mass Revival.

Pat said...

No doubt these are the same kind of liturgical trendies who moan about other people wanting to "turn back the clock" because we want to worship the way the Church did for 1600+ years. Why are Catholics still being subjected to this? Don't the trendies realize that this kind of presentation has ZERO evangelizing power? Saint Augustine's conversion started when he heard the beauty of the chant at mass. I doubt he'd have the same reaction if he walked into one of today's Masses.

Henry said...

"Do we still need to be singing devotional songs, best left to popular piety at Mass similar to what was done to the Low Mass on Sundays prior to Vatican II?"

I keep hearing this old saw repeated by people who weren't there then but, try as I will, I just can't recall any hymns sung during low Mass--certainly no 4-hymn sandwich can I dredge up in my memory--at the many I attended in the years prior to Vatican II. I wonder if anyone else can, who was actually there then. (Could the memory be so awful that I've just blocked it out?)

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Henry I certainly remember it in pre-Vatican II times in the Army Chapel where we attended Mass in Atlanta and also in my home parish of St. Joseph Church in Augusta. The Mass was completely spoken as a Low Mass would have been, but there were four hymns and usually these were Marian Hymns. How else would I have known traditional Catholic hymns that I know since I don't recall attending popular devotions as a child but I did attend mostly Low Masses up until about 1965?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Of course these were Sunday Low Masses, not daily low Masses.

Henry said...

Well, it's true that the majority of the low Masses I attended were on weekdays, and that on Sunday's I mostly attended high Mass. So maybe these two have shaped my memories of the pre-Vatican II era? It's also true that, as a recent convert, I was completely fascinated by and focused on the prayers of the Mass, following them in my hand missal, and may have been oblivious to any music that was sung.

Joe said...

In my diocese (Detroit), this style of Mass is the norm. God help us please. I bet Pater Ignotus would LOVE it up here. He'd fit in perfectly.

Henry said...

In any event, a big difference between now and then is that, prior to Vatican II, any hymns sung at low Mass were in addition to, not instead of the propers of the Mass.

There are two completely different issues here. The problem with most OF Masses now is not that hymns are sung, but that the propers of the Mass are omitted.

There is nothing wrong with appropriate hymns being sung OF Mass. Indeed, I see the flexibility to permit hymns, or (for instance) recitation of responsorial psalms a la the Simple English Propers in lieu of the graduale propers, as a positive feature of the OF--even if one that's nowadays abused by the selection of inappropriate hymns.

John Nolan said...

Mullet Mass Revival - LOL!

I remember a hymn sung at Communion on Holy Days but the four-hymn sandwich in my parish was unknown until 1965 when the Latin sung Mass was peremptorily abolished.

I really think that we should stop being charitable to these people and start using our critical and intellectual faculties to call them out. I recommend all to read the article by Dr Nicholas Postgate on paying particular attention to the extended quotation from Benedict XVI.

Православный физик said...

Well, if we're going to use hymns, can't they at least be decent? The ones at this conference aren't even quality music....I'd probably still feel the same even if the chanted propers were sung in addition to what was sung at these liturgies

George said...

“Here I Am, Lord”
“Take and Eat”
Is it just me or do these sound to anyone else like "Campfire music".
I suppose if it were a small church whose only musical resources consisted of
a non-liturgical music trained guitarist or two and/or a pianist then this is what one would expect to hear.
I will say though that I attended a funeral one time at a small rural Baptist church where the musical accompaniment consisted of solely of an elderly lady on a old piano and it was far better than the above.