All Are Welcoming An Archbishop

Jimmy Mac sent me the program for Archbishop Gomez’s Mass of Reception. Lots of text to read while you’re waiting for Mass to begin on page 13. And it’s a typically LA start, a medley arranged by Tony Alonso: Iona’s “Come All You People,” “Alabaré,” the spiritual “Plenty Good Room,” capped off with “All Are Welcome.”

I like the Litany of Saints for the entrance. It’s the Becker setting, which I hope they adapt and don’t try to mash in three to four saints per line. The cathedral is pretty long, so I’m sure they can take their time with rolling in the clergy. The Kyrie follows in Spanish, then the Gloria in British (Peter Jones setting from the St Thomas More group). I can imagine the long-dead monarchs Philip and Elizabeth enjoying this one.

For the Liturgy of the Word, more Marty Haugen (guess) and the Rob Glover arrangement of the Honduras Alleluia. I’ll break from music to mention that the Scripture inspiring the new archbishop’s motto is in between these two.

Then some gospel after the gospel at the Rite of Reception: Leon Roberts’ setting of Psalm 118. Sung intercessions with a four-language (no Latin) refrain. (Anybody for more?) Latin plainsong makes an appearance with Duruflé’s setting of Ubi Caritas. But you get two for one at Preparation of the Gifts, as a Vietnamese song “Le Dang,” Rufino Zaragosa setting follows. Same guy composed the Eucharistic acclamations, Misa Juan Diego setting.

Agnus Dei XVIII with tropes. Yay to both. Three Communion songs: Ricky Manalo’s “Ang Katawan ni Kristo,” then “Pan de Vida,” then the lone SLJ offering, “One Bread One Body.” Then the welcomers get their first strophic hymn, Christopher Idle’s metrical version of the Te Deum set to NETTLETON. And it’s all over.

More commentary:

Long before chanters set themselves up as the opposition to us contemporary music folks, we tussled with the organ-n-hymn crowd. The OHC would’ve had their heads spinning to see so much non-hymn music. In a cathedral. For a new archbishop. What a difference a generation makes. Marty Haugen ties plainsong 2-2. So does gospel music. Lots of fresh 21st century music. Do you suppose the reform2 crew would find anything redeeming here? Do you?

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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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5 Responses to All Are Welcoming An Archbishop

  1. RP Burke says:

    Wow. A ketchup sundae with extra nuts and liver chips. Something for everyone to hate.

  2. Sam Schmitt says:

    Anything from the 1964 years of Church music before Vatican II except for the smattering of chant and the Durufle?

    I think they’re trying a bit too hard to please and “include” everyone.

  3. CN says:

    Interesting you should mention adapting the Becker litany…

    Back when that Litany was popular, I was working for a diocese that wanted to use it for an ordination, ‘adapting’ it for use with the proper versicles and responses for an ordination (“bless this chosen man and make him holy… etc”) and when it came time to print and get all the necessary copyright permissions and all that, it was FORBIDDEN in no uncertain terms by the publisher that we adapt the litany for the particular use of an ordination rather than the intended use, which I presume was for an Easter Vigil (with ‘baptism’ verses).

    We dumped Becker and used the traditional “chant” Litany then and ever since, and lived happily ever after.

    I did not see what they did in LA, nor do I care that much (although looking at the program briefly, the ketchup sundae quip seems to be a pretty good description) but I think that more importantly it is another indictment against the stranglehold that the publishing companies have on Church music.

  4. Todd says:

    CN, interesting you should have adaptation problems.

    First, RCIA directors from time immemorial have insisted their patron saints be included. The rite suggests the litany itself is adaptable.

    Second, I never publish the saints I use. I mean: the congregation never sees it; only the cantors.

    Third, I do like the litany setting a lot. But taken at a good tempo, the verses as written are just not effective: too many names crammed in. I’ve always assumed I had license to adapt for a text I know I have license to adapt. The extreme case is that cantors don’t have permission to make mistakes to bungle or omit a name.

    Fourth, while I like RP’s culinary suggestion, I would say it’s more like Southern Fried Lemongrass Angel Food Cake with mole sauce.

  5. Liam says:

    I think the issue of “adaptation” has to do with trying to print the adapted text. “Improvisation” can’t be legislated agin’, as it were, but printing an entire unauthorized adapted text can.

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