CCTLS 15: John Paul’s Hopes

Let’s wrap up our examination of John Paul’s chirograph on sacred music. The last entry:

15. I hope that the centenary commemoration of the Motu Proprio Tra le Sollecitudini, through the intercession of their holy Author together with that of St Cecilia, patroness of sacred music, may be an encouragement and incentive to those who are involved in this important aspect of liturgical celebrations. Sacred music lovers, by dedicating themselves with renewed impetus to a sector of such vital importance, will contribute to the spiritual growth of the People of God. The faithful, for their part, in expressing their faith harmoniously and solemnly in song, will experience its richness ever more fully and will abide by the commitment to express its impulses in their daily life. In this way, through the unanimous agreement of pastors of souls, musicians and faithful, it will be possible to achieve what the Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium describes as the true “purpose of sacred music”, that is, “the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful”[SC 112].

May your example and model in this be the Virgin Mary, whose praise in the Magnificat of the marvels God works in human history remains beyond compare. With this hope, I impart my Blessing to everyone with affection.

Focusing on the higher things, avoiding the easy path of the hermeneutic of subtraction: this section suggests a higher calling for the church musician of today: being encouraged by the witness of those whose shoulders on which we stand. Note especially the prominence given to the expression of faith in song by the entire people of God.

Suppose you were giving a final encouraging word to the musicians of today. What would be your one point you would want to communicate? How would you conclude John Paul’s letter in your own words?

About these ads

About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in Chirograph for the Centenary of TLS, post-conciliar liturgy documents. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to CCTLS 15: John Paul’s Hopes

  1. Liam says:

    Fear not the past, the present, nor the future.

  2. Charles says:

    First of all, amen to Liam’s final blessing.
    Now, the usual problem I often have with your interpretational fisking, Todd, is how does this-
    The faithful, for their part, in expressing their faith harmoniously and solemnly in song, will experience its richness ever more fully and will abide by the commitment to express its impulses in their daily life.
    Lead you to proclaim what B.JP2 meant was this?
    Note especially the prominence given to the expression of faith in song by the entire people of God.
    I’ll leave it at that for now.

  3. Todd says:

    Is there a difference?

  4. Obviously.
    Could you please answer my question with an answer, a question asked in honesty?

  5. Todd says:

    Happy to answer. It was not my intent to be evasive.

    I see JP2 addressing three groups of people. First, he speaks of “encouragement and incentive” to those, who are involved in this “aspect” of liturgy. My interpretation: music ministers and clergy.

    Second, he addresses “sacred music lovers,” who doubtless include some of the first group, but might also include patrons, though it’s not explicit.

    Third, he addresses with hope, “the faithful,” and a twofold grace that comes from the expression of “faith (harmoniously and solemnly) in song,” namely their own “experience” or “richness” as well as the evangelical impulse of the “daily life” of the laity.

    If I were to put CCTLS into practice, as a music minister, it remains all about the expression in song of the entire people, particularly the liturgical assembly. Seriously, I see no disconnect with my paraphrase and interpretation. I’m used to reflecting on the words of documents, and in part that means I put it into my own words. Since I’ve quoted JP2 in full, I don’t think I’m being deceptive. And I certainly don’t see a problem with someone else interpreting these documents differently.

    In the post, I asked people how they would conclude CCTLS in their own words, after I spouted out my own. Seriously, I think I was quite fair in this.

    This may not be the way CMAA engages documents, but it’s been my modus operandi for years here, and for two decades before that. I’ve been presented with church documents as a student, I was asked to interpret as a student, and to apply them as a pastoral minister. I conduct this blog in a similar way, inviting people to interpret and apply. Or how they’ve applied them in their own communities.

    So let me ask in return: how would you state John Paul’s message of hope for sacred music in your own words?

  6. Fair enough. Allow me a night’s rest while I compose what I would hope for us.

  7. Charles says:

    I’ve long championed that in humility we will likely find more answers and “success” with deliberating these issues. The ultimate humility, of course, can be found by going “home” via the official hymnals of our Church, the Graduales. Short of that, remember “leggo my ego.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s