31 July 2012
Let’s wrap up our examination of the Ordo Cantus Missae with a look back at Communion psalms:
22. The numbers of psalms and of their verses are taken from the Nova Vulgata edition (Vatican Polyglot Press, 1969). The verses and parts thereof are arranged as in the book of the Liturgy of the Hours (Vatican Polyglot Press, 1971).
23. An asterisk placed after the number of a psalm indicates that the antiphon was not taken from the psalter, and that the psalm was assigned to it ad libitum. In that case, another psalm can be substituted, if it is more pleasing, for example, Psalm 33, which has been used at communion from ancient tradition.
When Psalm 33 is indicated as the psalm at Communion, there is no preference among the verses to be selected, any of which is very suitable.
Psalm “33″ referred to here is the “Taste and See” psalm, the 34th as numbered in most Bibles. Psalm 34, by the way, is used often in the liturgy. It’s one of the nine common psalms for Ordinary Time, it appears in the Rite of Acceptance for adult Christian Initiation, and in a number of sacramental rites, including marriage. It’s also an “acrostic” psalm, taking the first letter of each verse as a subsequent letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The ABC approach can be a bit scattered, but the common theme throughout is a thanksgiving offered to God for deliverance from danger, and for protection and wisdom.
I appreciate the kind contribution of Richard Chonak who translated the Latin original of the second edition (1988) which was used in this series.
31 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under sex abuse  Comments
Father Peter Day suggests a certain effort and energy is needed to make headway on the sex abuse and cover-up scandals. A worldwide initiative is suggested, courtesy of Australia’s Eureka Street publication:
(A)mid the thousands of shattered lives, the institutional church is tending towards resuming normal programming while this overwhelming problem corrodes from within.
The Church is desperately in need of a long-term collective, coordinated and global response. Something of similar scope and dedication as the recent translation of the Roman Missal: an intensely focused institutional endeavour that demanded the attention, energy, and gifts of hundreds of church leaders throughout the world.
This is about right. In order for this to really take root, it will probably require something peeled off from the CDF, something on the level of a Roman dicastery. Something with independent reach and authority. Probably something packed with lay people. Something like this is really needed. A gathering of experts in psychology, penance, liturgy, pastoral outreach, and for the sake of contact with bishops, diplomacy.
It is not good enough to adopt a siege mentality by blaming an ‘aggressive anti-Catholic media’. It is not good enough to say ‘that happened a long time ago under someone else’s watch’. It is not good enough to say ‘that’s an Irish problem, that’s a Boston problem’, or that it is ‘disloyal’ to raise these matters publicly.
There has to be a collective, universal response: to remain silent and passive is to perpetuate the effects of the abuse on both victims and the Church.
Yes. I suspect we will have to wait for the next papacy for this to be realized.
31 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Scripture
, spirituality Leave a Comment
I see RNS picking up and commenting on Fr Longenecker’s possession theme for the Aurora shootings, and I wanted to follow up a bit more on last week’s “Culpability” post. I repeat again: not having direct contact with the person involved, I have no rational claim to say the shooter was possessed, mentally ill, or just plain “fallen.”
What struck me was my lectio in Genesis 4 yesterday, especially this passage (4b-8) following the brothers’ offering the Lord their sacrifices:
(T)he Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell.
The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.”
Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out to the field.” And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel, and killed him.
After praying I was struck with how this whole passage of lurking and murder was handled in contrast to the snake’s direct seduction of the woman in the Garden of Eden.
This is more in keeping with the ordinary experience of sin, even deeply grave acts. Something in us, something like our “countenance” falls, and sin lurks at the door. Is this “sin” something personified in a supernatural being? Or is it easier for us to avoid blame–part of our fallen human nature–and say the snake “made” me do it.
Maybe the door is an interior one within us. Maybe the battered soul is barricaded in an inner room, and the lurking is something from our own history, our own choices, our own self.
I do think the genius of the Catholic sacramental system provides us with the way out, the escape from sin. Like the nativity, and like the other sacraments, Jesus Christ becomes incarnate in our deepest experience of Reconciliation. It demands that we resist our natural urge to blockade, to defend, to excuse, and avoid. The way out is unlocking the door, admitting our own culpability, and throwing ourselves on the mercy of God.
The only clever maxim I have to go with this:
Easier said than done.
30 July 2012
As always, I note the kind contribution of Richard Chonak who translated the Latin original of the second edition (1988). Today, some guidance on how to use the repertoire in the Roman Gradual for the reformed liturgy:
19. Since a great variety of readings has been introduced to the Missale Romanum, while the chants of the Mass from received tradition cannot be changed, the assignment of chants is
being brought into accord with the various readings, according to the three-year cycle (A, B, C) of the Lectionary established for Sundays.
Also, for ferial days, the chants of the preceding Sunday are repeated, and they are being brought into accord with the readings assigned to each day of the special seasons of Advent, Lent, and Easter, as well as with the first readings during Ordinary Time, according to the two-year cycle (I, II).
If a chant appears that is joined in a more or less strict relation to some readings, it ought to be brought with them if the readings happen to be transferred.
20. Any exceptions that may be added to the Proper of Seasons are represented in this Order, after each basic assignment, by the following written abbreviations: A, B, C for Sundays, solemnities and certain feasts; I and II with the numbers of weekdays (Saturday is indicated with the number 7) for ferial days in Ordinary Time; numbers of weekdays alone for the ferias of other seasons. The abbreviations written in this way are placed in another part of this book, where all the exceptions are linked together, no. 136-141.
21. The chief norm which this Order of Chant for the Mass follows is that it strives to observe the Missale Romanum as much as possible in its ordering. For this reason some of the assignments of chants are being transferred or altered.
Those who work closely with the proper chants and the Roman Rite may be able to relate if this adaptation has been more or less successful in harmonizing with the Lectionary readings and seasonal considerations. Anyone?
30 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under evangelization
, The Blogosphere 1 Comment
I’d like to ask for reader input on this next bit. Which may not be so bitty.
The Year of Faith commences on 11 October and continues through November 2013. It seems appropriate to take up significant blog space here looking at faith, and particularly the effort of new evangelization. The confluence of this blog and my personal interests has never been confined to liturgy. And I think we all would enjoy a deeper delving into evangelical territory. There are numerous options, some fitting within the previous thrust of this site, and others that might be fresh ground.
The concept of evangelization did not originate with Pope Benedict XVI or his charismatic predecessor. As you may recall from our examination of the General Directory for Catechesis, one of the most-quoted documents was Pope Paul VI’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi. Of course, the seminal conciliar document is Ad Gentes, the last in our Vatican II series of five to six years ago. The US bishops have not been silent on evangelization over the years.
If we were to look at this topic over the next sixteen months, it would be good to keep in mind that the challenge has been before us lay Catholics at least since the Second Vatican Council. But like many conciliar initiatives, it has not really taken root in the Catholic imagination. At least not outside those few communities that have discerned a charism and devoted their energy to spreading the faith. All too often, Catholics treat the faith as a treasure to be guarded. I can cite personal examples in my life from both liberals and conservatives. And my own missed opportunities, too. Timidity knows no ideology.
Faith is a gift. God gives it to each believer. We cannot hope to conserve such a gift and hold it for our own. The phrase “faith sharing” may hold wince-worthy associations in some quarters. But sharing faith is part of spreading it. Wince if you must if you have to divulge some small part of yourself at a discussion table. But if you demur, make sure to surface a better idea to demonstrate Christian faith in your own life.
So what do you think? How should we observe the Year of Faith? Any intrepid writers interested in a bit of collaboration? Any topics you’d like to see covered here from a sensible Catholic perspective?
30 July 2012
Let’s roll through the remainder of the Mass. OCM doesn’t give a lot of instruction on this part, but keep in mind that everything written about the music at entrance (OCM 1) applies to singing during the Communion Procession (OCM 17)
13. After the Offertory antiphon, verses can be sung according to tradition, though they can be omitted also at any time, even in the antiphon Domine Jesu Christe, in the Mass for the Dead. After each individual verse, part of the antiphon is repeated, starting at the place indicated.
More Roman pragmatism here. The music fills the time alotted for the ritual action. Music itself should not prolong the preparation of the altar and gifts.
14. After the Preface has been completed, all sing the Sanctus; after the consecration is made, all sing the anamnesis acclamation.
The rubrics also state the assembly is to sing these pieces.
15. When the doxology of the eucharisitic Prayer has been completed, all respond: Amen. Then the priest, alone, offers the invitation to the Lord’s Prayer, which all sing with him. He alone supplies the embolism, which all conclude with the doxology.
16. When the breaking of the Bread and the commingling are being carried out, the invocation Agnus Dei is sung by the cantors, with all responding. This invocation can be repeated as many times as necessary to accompany the breaking of the Bread, keeping the musical form in view. The last time, the invocation is concluded with the words Dona nobis pacem.
17. When the priest receives the Body of the Lord, the Communion antiphon is begun. The chant is carried out in the same manner as the Introit chant, and in such a way the cantors also may receive the sacrament.
See this post for our previous discussion on the entrance chant.
18. After the blessing by the priest, the deacon presents the admonition: Ite, missa est, and all give the acclamation Deo gratias.
As always, I note the kind contribution of Richard Chonak who translated the Latin original of the second edition (1988).
29 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Ministry
, women religious  Comments
… both the CDF and the LCWR to offer an example to the world on how disagreement and misunderstanding are handled. From the letter:
We pray for a successful outcome of the mutual dialogue that will occur between your leadership, the Bishops and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. We are confident this conversation will provide a much needed example to the wider world of respectfulness and civility, as it embodies a degree of mutuality, trust and honesty, often absent in today’s world.
Thanks to Fran for the heads-up on this.
29 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under evangelization
, Other Places 1 Comment
We have a handful of Korean students at the student center. I’ve come to know a few of them, those involved in liturgical ministry. It’s always interesting to hear how faith has developed for different people in different cultures. My wife is genius for drawing out people’s faith stories. When she’s in the conversation, others follow soon. I keep my ears open.
So I read with interest this commentary at the excellent UCA News site. The heady years after Vatican II were good for Catholics in Korea:
The impact of the Council … helped move the Church towards a more participatory body in terms of religious dialogue and ecumenical movements.
As of the end of 2011, the local Church had 5.32 million Catholics, or 10.3 percent of the total population. In 1962 when the Council convened, it had only just more than half a million.
Many factors contributed to such a sharp rise in the Catholic community, but I think the Council was a principal one.
The Church in Korea saw a six to 10 percent increase each year after the 1960s. However, in the last decade the rate of increase has dropped to two percent, similar to trends in the West.
It’s difficult to maintain such a heroic pace. On a local level, the Church is sometimes bolstered by charismatic leadership. People are attracted to personalities. That’s not a bad thing, in moderation. The lived witness of the Christian life is an important part of the evangelical life. It’s biblical. One sees it in the life of the saints. One sees it in many modern charisms, both healthy ones and those less so.
(P)articipation in what is the core of the life of faith and an indication of spiritual maturity – the sacraments – has greatly weakened.
Many Christians, even Catholics, speak of that personal relationship with Jesus. One would think that the sacramental life is the key locus for Catholics to experience that relationship. So I wonder: what is it about the sacramental life that doesn’t nourish and deepen that relationship, at least on the scale of the larger Catholic culture? Regular readers here know I’m deeply skeptical of the supposed link to traditional Catholic piety and obedience. I think that intentional communities are closest to touching on this relationship in more than a casual, being-serviced, suburban way. Those communities usually happen off the mainstream and into the margins. Those would be places with well-defined missions: university communities, inner cities, particular apostolates. The rest of the parishes? Sometimes we flounder.
(T)he numbers of infant baptisms, first communions and Sunday school attendance, all of which are indicators of how well faith is transmitted to the next generation, has fallen steeply over the last decade.
These trends suggest the Korean Church may be repeating the failure of the European Church and requires analysis of socio-cultural challenges and factors within the Church.
That analysis would be interesting. If we can detach from political trends within the Church long enough to look at the signs and discern our directions. The most effective approach will include substantial input from various Catholic factions. We will need it. The task ahead is big, and since the late 70′s, we’ve been losing ground. A charismatic pope clearly wasn’t enough. Somehow, we need to get about a billion Catholic believers into the charismatic realm to convince the other five billion humans we have something more than a big, happy, dysfunctional family to offer.
Speaking for myself, I need to ponder the approach we’ll take at Catholic Sensibility to the Year of Faith. It won’t be completely congruent to the institutional path, mainly because others will cover this effort much better and more comprehensively. Ten weeks to figure it out. Any ideas?
29 July 2012
As always, I note the kind contribution of Richard Chonak who translated the Latin original of the second edition (1988). Today, we look at the situation when there are two readings, not three, in the Liturgy of the Word:
9. When there is only one reading before the Gospel, the Gradual Responsory is sung after it, or the Alleluia with its verse. In Paschaltide, either one of the Alleluia chants is sung.
10. At the singing of the Gospel, after the final proper cadence, the conclusion Verbum Domini is added, as notated in the common tones; then all respond: Laus tibi, Christe.
For a weekday Mass, sing the Psalm or the Alleluia. During Easter, sing either Alleluia chant.
11. The Credo is sung in the customary manner either by all or in alternation.
12. The Universal Prayer [Prayer of the Faithful] is carried out according to local custom.
I’ll state the singing of the Credo has always been a mystery to me. For the faithful to state the faith: this seems a spiritual priority, and if a musical setting can enhance it, well and good. But if the musical setting were in any way an obstacle, the sung version should be dropped.
29 July 2012
Laurie Goodstein at the NYT has a feature up this weekend on the upcoming LCWR meeting and the response to come from a summer of discernment. I guess my own summer has been roaring by; I didn’t realize the moment of truth was so near.
Looking back, I have to say that I admire Bishop Blair for going on NPR’s Fresh Air to state the bishops’ view. That interview could have gone much worse for him and the bishops than it did. As it happens, I don’t think he carried himself well at all. If he’s any indication, the bishops see this as an issue of obedience to Church teaching. For the sisters, I don’t think the Church teaching is a matter of dispute, at least not in any great numbers. They see it as a twofold problem.
First, the matter is one of what’s fair game for discussion. This report is more about imposing a gag order on disputed topics. Not aligning oneself against faith and morals. Secondarily, it seems the sisters have a serious case to say that the views cited in the report are taken out of context, or even blatantly misunderstood.
If the CDF is intentionally misreading their reports, then that would be a matter of grave sin, a participation in gossip and defamation.
I’m more inclined to think that this is something of a dialogue of the deaf, as one cardinal put it. I’d say a certain intellectual curiosity is a danger signal to modern bishops, who, it seems, lack the general theological aptitude of their forebears of the post-conciliar years. Uniformity is routinely confused with unity. Talking and listening equates with accepting. This is just not logical.
If the LCWR as a canonical entity can’t get past the blockade of ignorance, then I don’t see its purpose. Religious sisters seem well-able to convene in conference in any sort of way. It continues to happen among communities. No doubt it will continue outside the approval of the bishops–there are simply too many women who will talk about minsitry and theology and way too few bishops to have a prayer of stopping them. All that has been accomplished is the weakening of the institution. And maybe that’s not a bad thing.
28 July 2012
Today, a look at the liturgical moments before the Gospel:
7. The second reading is followed by the Alleluia or the Tract. The Alleluia chant is arranged in this way: Alleluia is sung completely, with its melismatic neume, by the cantors and is repeated by the choir. If appropriate, it can even be sung by all. The verse is presented by the cantors, up to its end; after that is done, Alleluia is repeated by all.
During Lent, in place of Alleluia the Tract is sung; its verses are sung in alternation by two parts of the choir responding to each other, or by a cantor and choir. The last verse can be sung by all.
8. The Sequence, if there is one, is sung after the last Alleluia, in alternation by cantors and a choir, or by two parts of a choir, omitting the Amen at the end. If the Alleluia is not sung with its verse, the Sequence is omitted.
A few observations:
I’d like a peek at the Latin original; it’s not entirely clear to me if “all” means the entire music ministry or the whole assembly.
The Sequence is placed after the Alleluia. This makes for a rather awkward liturgical moment: in the US people customarily stand for the start of the Gospel Procession. Standing for a Sequence, especially a performance one, would be an interesting conclusion to the procession, especially when people (and clergy) expect the proclamation of the Gospel.
If the Alleluia is not sung, or not sung with the verse, the Sequence is omitted. My guess is that this text instructs that if a community isn’t singing the Gospel Acclamation, they shouldn’t recite the Sequence. Singing a verse wouldn’t seem to be the determining factor. Perhaps Paul Ford or Richard Chonak could shed some light.
Note: I appreciate Richard’s translation of the Latin original of the OCM’s second edition (1988).
27 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Astronomy
, Science Leave a Comment
I see the astronauts at the International Space Station are getting pets of sorts. More than pet fish, really. These little guys will help researchers determine the progress of bone and muscle loss in a microgravity (weightless) environment. That’s the one big issue that Mars mission thumpers don’t talk about a lot. Even though they insist the astronauts on long Earth-orbit missions exercise daily, nobody as yet has a handle on how to stop the human body from adapting to the sense of weightlessness one experiences off-planet.
These fish, Oryzias latipes, have already been taken into orbit on previous US shuttle missions and bred in space.
If it were me, I’d prefer a nice cat for a space station pet.
27 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Church News
, Ministry  Comments
Bishop Leonard Blair got some radio and CNS time this week, chatting about the LCWR:
If by dialogue they mean that the doctrines of the church are negotiable and the bishops represent one position and the LCWR presents another position, and somehow we find a middle ground about basic church teaching on faith and morals, then no, I don’t think that is the kind of dialogue that the Holy See would envision.
But if it’s a dialogue about how to have the LCWR really educate and help the sisters to appreciate and accept church teaching and to implement it in their discussions and try to hear some of the questions or concerns they have about these issues, then that would be the dialogue.
I’m not sure the LCWR and the CDF are quite on the same page. The LCWR has disputed the claims made against it. It would seem that before Bishop Blair can even be sure what the dialogue is about he should listen to his own flock first and suspend belief on the CDF’s claims here.
However, if this is about the occasional wayward sould who escorts women for abortions, that’s an argument built on the same lines as those who marginalize the episcopal witness for the moral mismanagement of cardinals such as Bernard Law and Anthony Bevilacqua. The ordination of women is not a matter of morality, nor faith in God. It is an administrative tradition, well-packed in history and especially metaphor. Permitting oneself to be swayed by the mewlings of sex addicts and declining to protect the innocent is under a direct condemnation of the Lord. Bishop Blair is correct that such a scandal does not remove the resposibility of the bishops to teach and serve in Christ’s name. Another model for serving, addressed to the apostles directly should be well-considered here.
This is a beef over administration. I can’t see the American sisters submitting to lies, if the bishops insist on turning this into a catechism lesson. Jesus didn’t found canonically-approved membership organizations. While helpful to facilitate communication, they don’t appear necessary to the tradition. Especially when the communication has been tarnished by gossip, innuendo, and misunderstanding. Many otherwise good bishops believed the lies of predator clergy. Raising the issue of their handling of sex abuse is definitely apt here. Are theu so sure they haven’t been hoodwinked again?
27 July 2012
After the Gloria, catch a quick breath; the Liturgy of the Word awaits. You did know that the readings may be sung, right?
4. When there are two readings before the Gospel, the first reading, which is usually taken from the Old Testament, is presented according to the tone for readings from the Prophets, and is ended with the customary form for a period. The conclusion Verbum Domini is also sung with the same form for a period. Then all respond Deo gratias, in the customary way at the end of readings.
5. After the first reading, the Gradual Responsory is sung by the cantors or by the choir. The verse is presented by the cantors up to the end. Hence there is no reason to have the asterisk, by which is indicated the resumption of the chant, to be made by the choir in the end of the Gradual verse, the Alleluia verse, and the last verse of the Tract. However, when it is seen as suitable, it is permitted to repeat the first part of the Responsory up to the verse.
In Paschaltide, the Gradual Responsory being omitted, Alleluia is sung, as described below.
6. The second reading, which is taken from the New Testament, is sung on the Epistle tone, with its proper final cadence. It can also be sung on the tone of the first reading. The conclusion Verbum Domini is sung according to the second melody notated in the common tones, and then all respond Deo gratias.
This set of options might benefit from a flow chart. Anyone see anything worth a commentary? That Easter provision for omitting the gradual responsory (responsorial psalm) and replacing with an alleluia psalm–I’ve got that part right don’t I?
Translation of the OCM, 1988 second edition is by Richard Chonak.
26 July 2012
I was pleased to land in a parish that had a long tradition of parishioners composing the Sunday prayers of the faithful. The pastor handed me a list and said I was now in charge of recruiting students, couples, and/or committees to take a handful of Sundays–usually a month–and write away.
In the era of electronic communication, this is made very easy. I give my writer a noon deadline on Saturday, and we get the prayers into the hands of lector number three at Saturday Mass in a very timely way.
While I’m squeamish about using a practice like lectio divina in such a pragmatic way, I do suggest our writers use some sort of prayerful method to engage the Sunday Scriptures and arrive at appropriate prayers for the Sunday assembly. Here it is:
- A few days in advance from the weekend, find a place and time free from distraction, preferably fifteen minutes minimum. Set the coming weekend’s Gospel passage and be seated in a relaxed way. You may want to have a journal at hand. After a few moments to catch your breath, begin with a prayer. Ask God for insight and grace.
- Read the Gospel passage to yourself aloud–slowly, quietly to yourself. Pause for fifteen to sixty seconds. Perhaps a word, phrase, or an idea will come to mind. Write it down, but don’t try to analyze or justify it in any way.
- Read the passage a second time, slowly and aloud. Perhaps something will strike you. Pause during the reading, when this happens. Perhaps for up to a minute. Consider this question: what may God be saying to you in this Scripture passage? Write down one or two sentences.
- Look over the passage again, reading it aloud again if you wish. At the end, ponder what God may be telling the parish through this reading? What prayers are suggested in the lives of our parishioners, through these readings, and in the world this week?
- If you are committed to this process, you could repeat on other days for the other two readings or even the psalm. The Gospel and the words of Jesus especially are what most people listen for at Mass and make their connections, so make that your minimum aim.
- Write out the prayers, using the reflections from your prayer time with the Gospel and other readings.
- Conclude with a personal prayer of thanksgiving.
Next Page »