Implementing Ordo Missae

My beloved wife joined me for daily Mass today. It has been a blessing to return to regular daily Mass attendance in my new parish. Having a noon Mass is a convenience for a parent like me, compared to 6:15 AM (missing family breakfast time, such as it is) or 8:15 AM (on the heels of school drop-off).

One nice aspect (among many) this Mass is the regular singing of the Eucharistic Acclamations, the alleluia, and music to start and end the Mass. Especially the interior parts led by the priests’ chanting. One day the pastor asked me to be the psalmist. A few got a bit nervous when I chanted psalmody at the last parish. It fits well here. Maybe it should be our new frontier.

As I was at Mass today, it struck me that one way to make the new Roman Missal succeed is to complement the subtraction of known texts with the addition of singing.

My suggestion of the day for implementing the new RM is to sing the new acclamations every Mass, every day. While we’re at it, we might add the gospel acclamation and the Agnus Dei. The new Roman Missal does indeed give us an opportunity, and we owe it to our dismayed and startled parishioners to kick up the liturgy in positive and fruitful ways.

These new Mass parts will be more easily and readily learned if they are learned with song. The recitation value of these parts is pretty low anyway.

Every priest and liturgist should make it a priority to encourage the singing of every Mass. The great advantage of post-conciliar liturgy is that it did away with the artificial construct of High Mass and Low Mass. Every Mass should aspire to be High. Mainstream Catholicism has a huge advantage over Tridentine parishes and communities: we can actually maximize the artistry of every Mass we celebrate. We should take advantage of this opportunity to aim for the highest earthly quality so that heaven is more accessible through the liturgy we pray.

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Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to Implementing Ordo Missae

  1. Liam says:

    Todd

    I’ve thought for some time that the best way to teach the revised texts is through singing them. One reason is that it slows down the recitation a bit (echoing my comment on an earlier thread) to allow the synapses to fire in proper sequence, as it were.

    As I posted on a thread over at RPINET on the copyright issues (btw, NLM received two responses now on that issue from the USCCB staff – go read if you’ve not read that):

    Yes. It will be a test of the USCCB’s and ICEL’s mettle to see how interested they are in successful implementation of the changes – the more genuinely interested they are, the more they will realize they need to facilitate rather than block things like creative commons licenses.

    The USCCB would show immense improvement over what happened in the 1960s by commissioning settings in various idioms that would be freeware to Catholic parishes in the US: plainsong (at least 2 versions, one simple and one festal); choral a cappella polyphony/harmony with congregational bits for solemn occasions, through-composed with orchestration for large celebrations, and a couple of settings that draw from public domain pre-commercial melodies (be they Gregorian, hymn melodies, or white/black spirituals, et cet) . And add to that the basic Latin ordinaries in chant form. That could be a very useful core repertoire for all parish music ministries in this country.

    In other words, it would be good for the USCCB to see that it is important for it to help facilitate this, rather than sit back and let market forces tangle with its copyrights.

    And I still would like the USCCB to facilitate in freeware form the setting of the Psalter to the psalm tones, but that’s from a conversation we had years ago here … [at RPINET]

    But many things are in the public domain. Any text or musical setting that predates 1923 is in the public domain, whether it be Latin or vernacular. So the Church cannot copyright the standard text of the Our Father, for example – too late.

  2. jeffrey says:

    Todd, it seems that you made the point before I did about singing as pedagogy. Someone called to tell me this! He was right. Anyway, I’ve added a link to you.

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