The neoparticipatio folks are at it again, dredging up six-year-old articles that weren’t that good to begin with. A canon lawyer takes a shot at choral renditions of the Mass ordinary. I wouldn’t have been impressed had I read the article in 2000. And I’m not impressed today.
If you’re looking at liturgical law, you can’t confine yourself to the legislative documents alone. In the Roman Catholic Church we have the Roman Missal. It contains rubrics–the print in red that tells you how to celebrate Mass.
The rubrics tell us that the acclamation after the preface, the Sanctus, is sung or recited by the priest with the people. I think a case can be made for an occasional choral presentation, although I don’t ever envision it happening in my parish. But a parish choir performing a choral Sanctus as part of the regular musical fare? That’s a liturgical abuse by any definition. The moral of the story: never send a canon lawyer to do a liturgist’s job.
The Musica Sacra blog posted a link to this brochure yesterday. It commits the same error: overlooking the rubrics. It also does a poor job of explaining the Vatican II principle of participation, citing Sacrosanctum Concilium 14, but overlooking 21, 26, 28, 30, 33, or even the sister document to Musicam Sacram, Eucharisticum Mysterium, which devotes section 12 to explaining participatio a bit more.
Sadly, the hermeneutic of resistance is alive and well.