So here’s a question: Isn’t this essentially the same situation as the SSPX bishops, only Bishop Yue doesn’t celebrate the Mass by the 1962 Rite?
Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
11 July 2012
11 July 2012
CCTLS section eight treats not only choirs, but touches on other music ministers, too. Let’s start with the choir:
8. The importance of preserving and increasing the centuries-old patrimony of the Church spurs us to take into particular consideration a specific exhortation of the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium: “Choirs must be assiduously developed, especially in cathedral churches”[SC 114]. In turn, the Instruction Musicam Sacram explains the ministerial task of the choir: “Because of the liturgical ministry it exercises, the choir (cappella musicale or schola cantorum) should be mentioned here explicitly. The conciliar norms regarding the reform of the Liturgy have given the choir’s function greater prominence and importance. The choir is responsible for the correct performance of its part, according to the differing types of song, to help the faithful to take an active part in the singing. Therefore,… choirs are to be developed with great care, especially in cathedrals and other major churches, in seminaries and in religious houses of study”[Musicam Sacram 19]. The schola cantorum’s task has not disappeared: indeed, it plays a role of guidance and support in the assembly and, at certain moments in the Liturgy, has a specific role of its own.
The documentation of the decade of the 1960′s with regard to choirs is clear: they view a greater importance to be aligned with the virtue of enabling worshipers to sing. This primary task of service (some might say of sacrifice) is intended to be fostered as a good example in places of formation: from larger churches to places where clergy and religious are formed in their vocation.
That is not to say that the choir’s traditional role as “correct performer” is abrogated. Part of that performance is to perform as a servant to others.
From the smooth coordination of all – the priest celebrant and the deacon, the acolytes, the altar servers, the readers, the psalmist, the schola cantorum, the musicians, the cantor and the assembly – flows the proper spiritual atmosphere which makes the liturgical moment truly intense, shared in and fruitful. The musical aspect of liturgical celebrations cannot, therefore, be left to improvisation or to the arbitration of individuals but must be well conducted and rehearsed in accordance with the norms and competencies resulting from a satisfactory liturgical formation.
John Paul II widens his gaze in the interests of good liturgy. Not only does the choir serve the singing of the people, but it has a place in a larger order of worship. We are looking for a “spiritual” atmosphere, which is accomplished by more than “correct” musical performance. This atmosphere would seem to require grounding in a certain formation in worship. I would expect this formation to be appropriate to the person’s responsibilities. Every choir member should have a basic training. Every music leader (conductor, director, accompanist, psalmist, cantor, songleader, librarian, etc.) should have more. And if there is a professional music director, I don’t see how a sound liturgical formation should be escaped. That doesn’t mean a graduate degree, necessarily. But it might. More likely, a musically trained individual would have liturgy as an area of personal study.
11 July 2012
The rite gives two possible antiphons “(w)hile the gifts are being brought.”
From the sermon on the mount:
If you are bringing your gift to the altar, and there you remember that your neighbor has something against you, leave your gift in front of the altar; go at once and make peace with your neighbor, and then come back and offer your gift, alleluia.
Moses consecrated the altar to the Lord and offered sacrifices and burnt offerings; he made an evening sacrifice of sweet fragrance to the Lord God in the sight of the children of Israel.
No psalms given with these; just the antiphons.
As with the dedication of the Church in II, 73, the bishop kisses the altar after the gifts are prepared and Mass continues in the usual way (IV, 58). The prayer over the gifts (59) is different from the one used for the church dedication in II, 74. The preface is different as well (60).
Two communion antiphons are given in IV, 61 to be used with Psalm 128. One is the same as in II, 78, and this one, liftted from Psalm 84 in fact, differs:
Even the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest wherein she places her young: near to your altars, O Lord of Hosts, my King and my God.
The Mass concludes with a different Prayer after Communion (62), Blessing (63), and Dismissal (64).
The Mass for the Dedication of an Altar is not just a variant of the Mass for the Dedication of the Church. Its texts, mainly antiphons, psalms, and prayers, are a unique offering. The Church has foreseen an altar’s dedication as not just an important moment demanding the bishop’s attention, but a distinctive ritual when celebrated apart from the dedication of a building for worship.