26 July 2012
People do incomprehensible, senseless, and evil things. Because we do not have windows over our hearts or in our heads, often times the unbelievable seems to pop up out of nowhere. Fr Dwight Longenecker, like many of us, can’t comprehend a person opening fire with a weapon in a crowded movie theatre. A human being who had Christian parents and who went to a high school with Christian teachers acts in a most diabolical … wait–maybe it’s the devil.
Is James Holmes demon possessed? It is impossible to say without a detailed diagnosis. Even then, it is a slippery question. We are dealing with a reality that is rubbery. In many ways this is the wrong question. Better to ask, “Was James Holmes taken over by Evil?”
Yes. Something happened to the mild mannered science geek. He turned into a monster. Something twisted in his mind and heart, and Evil made an entry. Evil infested his life. It took him over. Whether the twist was through mental illness, some inner wound or some terrible dark intelligence, we cannot say. The fact that we can’t say what went wrong and don’t have a neat and tidy answer is the key to understanding the terrible conundrum of evil.
Being neither a practitioner of the demonic, nor an expert in exorcism, for all I know, Fr Longenecker could be right.
On the other hand, I’ve seen the ugly side of addiction close up in my family and in my ministry experiences. I have long-struggled with codependency and the associated compulsions which, in the light of day, make me shake my head and wonder why I behaved in a way I would not choose.
The recognition of my own culpability steers me away from blaming grandparents who were child abusers or alcoholics and who were unable to give my own parents sufficient tools to be good parents themselves. I don’t blame other people. Being a healthy adult in recovery, not to mention a Christian, I fess up to my own failures. I think about having sex with a woman who is not my wife? My fault, not Dad’s. I eat more than I should at the end of a long day? That’s on me, too, not Mom who encouraged me to clean my plate. I lash out in anger or sarcasm? It wasn’t any imp putting bad words and attitude into my mouth. It wasn’t my daughter on hormones. Mea definitely culpa.
I read a few commentators trying to penetrate the accused shooter from his mannerisms, the direction his eyes followed, and such. Someone I read thought he had pinpointed the mental illness from what he saw on CNN. Well, maybe it was mental illness. Or maybe it was an isolated human being who struggled with perspective and who made a conscious (if horrific) choice to do something evil. Why is it so easy for Christians to accept that some people are just bad (or worse, heretics) and so difficult to concede that some sinful choices are just that: choices?
Msgr William Lynn saw bad and sinful choices being made by a cardinal in Philadelphia. (Or so his defense team suggested). His brother priests molested and raped children. The same guys who sat with him in seminary, who shared drinks and good times with the rest of the clergy before the Chrism Mass, and who put a public face at Mass on an otherwise very private and sheltered life. A life that may, for some people, drain perspective and drain the ability to admit culpability.
There’s no big conclusion or wise maxim to come from this essay. The older I get the more I concede I just don’t know. But that doesn’t make me more willing to auto-accept some younger whippersnapper’s clever insight on these senseless things. I don’t have a better idea. But I’m dislinclined to blame anybody else for anything.
26 July 2012
We continue the examination of the document Ordo Cantus Missae, which forms part of the introduction to the Roman Gradual, the official Roman Catholic book of music. As always, I note the kind contribution of Richard Chonak who translated the Latin original of the second edition (1988). After the Kyrie (or its replacement) comes not a strophic hymn, but a traditional piece cited as a “hymn”::
3. The hymn Gloria in excelsis is begun by the priest, or, if appropriate, by a cantor. It is presented either by a cantor and choir in alternation, or by two choirs responding to one another. The division of verses, marked with a double line in the Graduale Romanum, need not be preserved if a more suitable manner is found that can be combined with the melody.
When the rite of blessing and sprinkling holy water is used in Sunday Masses, this rite takes the place of the penitential act.
Roman practicality at work: the priest-celebrant begins the intonation, but if he is unable, a cantor will.
Perhaps we should be surprised the OCM doesn’t address that bugaboo of many American church musicians, the responsorial Gloria. It does give an alternate method for singing the piece: alternating choirs. More traditional? Perhaps. My own preference is through-sung, with the assembly. As a stepping stone to full participation, I have no problem with phasing in the Gloria, from a choir-only piece to a responsorial form, to a setting sung through by everyone.
25 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Liturgical Music 1 Comment
I was reading the review of Worship 4 at PrayTell. James Frazier gives the tome high marks. Because I haven’t seen it yet, I’ll confine my comments to his review, and some thoughts about publishing.
Perhaps the time was “right” for Worship 4 from a sales perspective. I heard of a lot of parishes dumping their permanent hymnals because the Mass setting section was out-of-date. Few enough parishioners sing from the Mass section of a hymnal anyway. And given those ubiquitous MR3 cards, I’m not sure hymnal pages are put to good use in that way. I’d rather have an extra piece of good music than the new Confiteor.
One issue: hymns. Mr Frazier is most definitely pro-hymn:
One of today’s most well-regarded composers of “contemporary” music once said that four-square hymns are not appropriate for Catholic worship. I still wonder at the myopia of this statement. It implies that authentic reform in the West must follow a set of rules different from inculturation everywhere else in the world. Hymns, he would have us believe, are for Protestants, not for Catholics, even though sixteenth-century Anglicans and Lutherans were working with essentially the same Roman liturgy in their day that we are today. Why was hymnody OK for them but not for us?
I’m not sure “hymns-inappropriate” is necessarily myopic. Hymns include very good music, and I would miss some very good music if I wasn’t singing hymns. But hymns aren’t absolutely necessary. I do think GIA has gone overboard with its focus on hymns, polluting good considerations from the original Gather edition and trying to shoe-horn psalm settings and other song forms into a hymn-box. My sense is that Catholic music is diverse enough and unsettled enough that we can tolerate “intros” and other forms of musical intonation that aren’t hymn-tune introductions.
My own sense is that the antiphon-plus-verse format of both the St Louis Jesuits and the traditional propers are more familiar (today) and likely more fitting for many congregational singing moments, especially when people are in processions. Hymns have their own place, even at the Eucharist. My own sense is that 25-40% of a parish’s repertoire could be hymns. But I also believe that it’s possible to have an excellent liturgical music effort without a single strophic hymn.
Now, before I have organists jumping down my throat on this one, I will say that repertoire should always be driven by the pastoral judgment. If I were serving a community with a strong organ tradition, and that sang, say, 200 hymns and 40 songs, it would not be my mission to wean them off “Protestant” music. And possibly to the shock of my alienated friends in CMAA, I will gladly concede that songs in the “proper” form, even the propers themselves, are a quite fine way to sing the Mass, so long as everybody’s singing.
Mr Frazier doesn’t like the eight Mass settings. I don’t either, but for a wholly different reason.
But the greatest fault of the Mass settings lies in the predominance of sing-song, facilitated in many cases by the slavish use of 6/8 and 3/4 meters, often with cloying sixths and thirds.
I’m familiar with three or four of the W4 selections. None of them grabbed me.
If the time was right from a marketing perspective to sell a whole bunch of hymnals, it is totally wrong from a ministry perspective to include Mass settings in them. As I said at PrayTell, even the St Louis Jesuits in the 70′s knew better. Published congregational music must be assembly-tested–at the very least in the composer’s parish. Ideally in a few other places, too.
Printing eight mostly-untested Mass settings in a hymnal projected to last ten-plus years is a disservice. Wiser would have been a slightly less expensive and thinner hymnal, and/or an option to include two or three sets of Mass setting cards to supplement W4. That’s not to say that the W4 Mass setting composers haven’t done fine work. I would like to see these Mass settings tweaked a bit here and there to reflect a more “natural” voice of the assembly. I recently sang the revised Mass of Creation. It’s an improvement, as I would expect.
I don’t agree with Mr Frazier that a preponderance of “sing-song” is a composer’s problem. I think the fault lies with musicians–even excellent ones–who decline to put the same musicianship into the weekly congregational repertoire as they might with special music.
I say this as a person who has often played the Mass of Creation or a setting of Psalm 27 or 103 or 23 mostly on auto-pilot. I find that when I’ve had time to think about how I might play a chestnut–maybe I’m adapting to a young cantor, or a new instrumental arrangement, or even a new parish, I can often be open to new ways of presenting music.
I think many of my colleagues at the piano or organ could use a little verve and imagination when we’re playing the same old piece of pew music for the 100th or 500th time.
Anybody else get a peek at Worship 4? What are you seeing?
25 July 2012
As always, I note the kind contribution of Richard Chonak who translated the Latin original of the second edition (1988). Let’s look at the Ordinary music of the Introductory Rites:
2. The acclamations Kyrie, eleison can be distributed among two or three cantors or choirs, if
appropriate. Each acclamation is to be sung in a two-fold manner, yet a greater number is not excluded, especially considering reasons of musical art, as indicated below, n. 491.1
When the Kyrie is sung as part of the penitential act, brief tropes are placed before the
You might expect my criticism of this section lies along the principle that the assembly should be singing a good portion of a penitential act. After all, it is for the benefit of confessing one’s own need for mercy, not allowing the choir to serve a quasi-priestly function.
The relevant section cited above is reproduced here:
1. For chants in the Order of Mass the Kyriale Romanum and Kyriale simplex are to be It is permitted for the selection of chants to depend first of all on the ability or capacity of the singers; more ornate melodies are preferred in more solemn celebrations.
This music is at the service of a sense of progressive solemnity. Still, I would be hesitant about removing the people’s voices from this part of the Ordinary on those solemn celebrations, where the options for ritual are many and varied.
Note that the three-plus-three-plus-three format should be retained to respect the composition of a piece:
2. Pertaining to the chant of the Kyrie, when nine invocations are notated fully, the musical form requires that they be sung in their entirety. In contrast, when one melody is to be repeated for the first invocations of Kyrie, this invocation is only sung twice. Similarly for the following invocations Christe and Kyrie (for example, Kyrie V). When the final Kyrie is written with a distinct melody (e.g., Kyrie I), the Kyrie preceding it is only sung once. In this way the general rule of repeating each invocation once is preserved.
3. When the Kyrie is employed as a response to some invocation in the penitential act, the melody of this response should be chosen either from Kyrie XVI or XVIII of the Kyriale Romanum, or a melody from the Kyriale Simplex.
An important liturgical reminder, namely that the Kyrie Eleison is not an automatic part of the Sunday Eucharist:
4. When the rite of blessing and sprinkling holy water is done in place of the penitential act in Sunday Masses, the antiphon Asperges me is sung, or in Paschaltide, Vidi aquam.
If anyone has comments on the particular repertoire of the Kyriale, happy to hear it. You can link in the comboxes, if you’re careful. Other thoughts?
24 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Church News
, sex abuse Leave a Comment
Philadelphia’s Msgr William Lynn got three-to-six in sentencing today. Ralph Cipriano has the most content of the many bloggers and news sources.
It still seems remarkable that a non-abuser could spend a few years in jail. His defense attorneys suggest he was only the patsy for Cardinal Bevilacqua. Consider that that story would have landed the archbishop of Philadelphia in jail, had he been on trial in his lieutenant’s place. I wonder about the result of the Kansas City trial later this year. Will the prosecution be as brutally rude as in Philly? I hope not. The case needs to be made on its own merits, and not by grandstanding.
Many, many commentators have underscored the psychological harm to victims. One recent article cited broken relationships, substance abuse, and emotional dysfunction. One thing not cited as often is the damage to belief, something far more widespread than victims. Many believers are shocked at the behavior of their clergy, especially bishops. Chasing people away from the Church is literally the antigospel in action.
Not only will Msgr Lynn serve time in prison, but so will the Gospel. Until bishops can demonstrate with great clarity their own commitment to moral conduct, the work of evangelization will be hampered.
24 July 2012
The OCM next addresses the various parts of the Mass and outlines how the singing of individual elements is to take place. The next eighteen numbered sections address the Mass from entrance to conclusion.
Today, we’ll look at the longest of these sections, treating the singing at the very beginning of Mass. The relevant GIRM sections on which this is based are 47-48.
1. When the people have been gathered, and the priest is approaching the altar with the servers, the Introit antiphon is started. Its intonation can be made shorter or longer as appropriate, or, better, the chant can be started by all at once. Hence the asterisk which is found in the Graduale marking the part of the intonation is only to be taken as an indication.
When the antiphon has been sung by the choir, a verse is presented by one or more cantors, and then the antiphon is repeated by the choir.
In this manner, the alternation of the antiphon and verses can be as long as is necessary to accompany the procession. However, before the antiphon is repeated at the end, Gloria Patri, Sicut erat, can be sung as a final verse, in the same manner as one of the verses already sung. If the Gloria Patri has a particular melodic ending, that same ending is to be used in all the verses.
If it happens that the chant, without the verse Gloria Patri and the repetition of the antiphon, becomes too protracted, the doxology is omitted. If the procession is shorter, only one verse of the psalm is used, or even the antiphon alone, with no verses added.
When a liturgical procession precedes the Mass, the Introit antiphon is sung when the procession enters the Church, or else it is omitted, as is provided in the specific cases in the liturgical books.
At first I was a little distracted by “the chant can be started by all at once.” Maybe that refers to the choir. Maybe the people. Perhaps the Latin is clearer as to who “all” is.
The GIRM speaks of the entrance chant as a dialogue between the choir (or cantor) and assembly. There’s no reason to think that won’t work best here. Some sort of dialogue with the antiphon and psalm verses is to be expected, it would seem. A mature singing faith community would have no problem chanting psalms verses here.
There are practical considerations, that the entrance psalm shouldn’t be “too protracted.” I would think as long as the prescriptions of GIRM 47 are followed–those four goals of the entrance music–the local liturgyis on firm ground.
Church musicians should know when the introit is omitted. It can and does happen on Sundays.
Translation courtesy of Richard Chonak who worked with the Latin original of the second edition (1988).
23 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Ministry
, Sports  Comments
I was catching news of the NCAA and self-imposed sanctions against Penn State football before hitting the road today. The list includes more than $70 million in fines and lost revenue, no bowl games, removal of a statue, and reduced scholarships for four years. There’s that “vacating” of wins for fourteen years. I think that’s an appropriate measure for the coach’s record. But it’s otherwise a silly gesture, even for a scandal like this. It strikes me as akin to a rewriting of history, erasing the public memory of events for a political purpose. Joe Paterno won more games as a coach than any other. He also allowed a sex predator to continue to molest and used the almighty power of college football to have his way. Maybe that’s embarassing for the NCAA to have Coach Paterno at the top of the heap, but that’s the culture they’ve long-encouraged in big time college athletics. I hope they don’t think there aren’t other culture-of-football challenges ahead.
If the Catholic Church ever imposed sanctions on a diocese, let’s say Philadelphia, I was wondering today what that would look like.
Removal of the JoePa statue would sort of be like removing the burial remains from the cathedral crypt and putting them in an unmarked grave.
No bowl games for four years and an extra year of probation on top of that is like a generation in college sports. For a diocese, a generation would be like the active ministry life of a priest. No red hat and no metropolitan status for thirty to forty years.
Scholarships and fines … well, I don’t think you can take seminarians, priests, and money away from a diocese. Penn State will have a hard enough time paying fines without dipping into academics or women’s sports. Losing a bishop’s burial spot and a red hat? Man, that would hurt big time and there’s no money involved with that whatsoever. I guess the courts are already mandating abuse settlements, and dioceses are doing what PSU won’t be allowed to do: take money from innocent people.
Penn State football avoided the “death penalty.” Geez, what would that look like for Philadelphia? The actual archdiocese would be chopped up and reapportioned to Allentown, Harrisburg, and maybe even Camden, Trenton, and Wilmington. I think that’s under consideration in Ireland, though, a radical reduction in the number of bishops and dioceses.
There are still people who say that Penn State got off easy in all this. And many respected sports commentators are saying these were a little too strong. I’d have to concede that the NCAA and Penn State itself were far more serious about the eradication of the culture of silence around protecting sex predators. The Church would have to do a lot of distasteful things before it approached the impact of these penalties.
23 July 2012
As always, I note the kind contribution of Richard Chonak who translated the Latin original of the second edition (1988). What do you make of the pastoral adaptation permitted below?
For like reason permission is given to choose among pertinent chants of the Proper of the Seasons, as for the proper text of the day another text of the same season may be substituted, if appropriate.
This seems sound to me, and an out for the “new music of the week” syndrome so often (and appropriately) criticized in the early post-conciliar years. The “like reason” is to “generously satisfy” the pastoral needs of any or all individual communities. By the standard of the Roman Gradual, it would be permissible to repeat a smaller repertoire of chant to permit the people a more gradual introduction to the singing of this music. The easy implementation would be to choose one Advent antiphon, for example, and employ different psalm verses on successive weeks. I wonder if anybody is attempting this as an alternative to choir-only implementation on Gregorian propers.
Also, norms for chant in the Mass already present in the introduction of the Graduale Romanum, are thus reexamined and amended, so that the function of each chant may be shown more clearly.
23 July 2012
Whew! Back from a weekend in the Twin Cities. The young miss should be enjoying her first evening under the pine trees of central Minnesota as I type. Before I forget, I thought I’d relate some Sunday liturgy observations from the pew, since I so rarely get that perspective.
Three blocks from our hotel, I found St Olaf Catholic Church. The family and I were wandering through the downtown Skywalk Saturday evening and we spotted the sandy colored exterior. 10AM Mass seemed to work best, and I seated myself in a pew near the organ console. As I paged through the bulletin, I noted that I landed in Lynn Trapp‘s parish. I figured I’d not be finding much amiss in the liturgy. And I was right. The order of worship was printed on the back page of the bulletin. I was looking around for the Carl Daw text on the Opening. I needn’t have bothered; it was projected on the white spaces on the interior balcony. It’s not a great text by Prof. Daw, but I generally turn my nose up at “gathering” texts. Too darned preachy.
The psalm settings, Liturgy of the Word and during Communion, were my first exposures to these settings of Psalms 23 and 107 from the Collegeville Composers Group. Very nice. Interesting. The Psalm 23 “went on forever” in the estimation of the organist and cantor (private conversation, post-liturgy). I didn’t mind. The refrain was longish, and two lines (of the four) were repeated interspersed with the psalm verses. It was better than random, and it engaged the congregation in a way that probably requires more attention than a sung-through hymn setting of a psalm. It was definitely not an idle time of musical reflection. It was about the most active I’ve felt after the first reading in my life, even including times when I might have played two instruments on one piece. Every week, something like this would get tiring. Like I said, for Psalm 23 and as an occasional thing, this was okay for me.
Good homily and well-structured. A young pastor who spoke fast like people of his generation, but he paused often to let the thought sink in. I had to concentrate to follow him, but it was no worse than following an African-accented associate at my current parish. He had three points in the homily. I stuck with two, a mention of the Ignatian practice of a twice-a-day examen, and being open to the opportunity of being waylaid by ministry or service opportunities.
I was having a very hard time placing the verses of the Communion Psalm. No wonder. The 107th.
Interesting harmonization on “City of God.” I will have to utilize that. I note that the advantage of throwing the music up on the wall is that they were able to pick and choose verses–in this instance, they cut the third verse. I didn’t miss it.
You know, it’s very nice to get exposed to new music, especially psalm settings, and be able to pray them. My experience of this Mass bordered on delightful. The people sang pretty well, and they were quite willing to participate in the new stuff. The musicians started when they should for Communion. I might quibble that the psalmist didn’t sing from the ambo, or that they sang all three verses of preparation, even though the ritual action was complete after refrain-verse one-refrain. But when the overall sense of liturgy is excellent, one doesn’t mind trivial problems.
21 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under My Family
, Other Places Leave a Comment
The morning before a trip, I always wake early. It was 2:30AM today.
We’re off to the Twin Cities in a few hours for a few days of vacay. Eventually, we’ll jettison the young miss to the camp bus on Monday.
I’m hoping to spend some cool Sunday afternoon hours here and above. The young miss is surprisingly tolerant of such things. Here, too. Though maybe that’s asking too much. Too bad they’re both closed Mondays.
Hopefully the heat will break enough to stroll around here, one of our favorite spots.
21 July 2012
Perhaps a musical expert can tell us where the dividing line is between the authentic and the imitation:
Moreover the removal of pieces that display later, neo-gregorian imitations, particularly in the feasts of the Saints, has made it possible that only Gregorian melodies be retained, although it is always permitted that those who prefer, may retain and sing those neo-gregorian melodies. None of these is completely expunged from the Graduale Romanum. Indeed, for some that have been accepted into universal use (e.g., in the Solemnities of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, of Christ the King; of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M.), no substitution has been made. In the place of others, however, selected chants from the authentic repertory have been placed, bearing the same texts, when possible.
Lastly, care was taken to more suitably arrange the authentic Gregorian repertory, purged of inauthentic melodies, so as to avoid repetitions of their texts as much as possible, and let other pieces of the best form, that only occur once a year, assume their places. Hence in every way effort was made whereby the Communions were enriched, gathering into those chants everything that was not strictly proper to some Saint, and hence can be taken up for all the Saints of the same order. Furthermore, the commons have been enriched with various chants, derived from the Proper of Seasons, which were rarely used. The rubrics present a more ample permission to draw from the newly arranged Commons, so that pastoral needs can also be more generously satisfied.
So there’s a good deal of flexibility in this. A core repertoire of “authentic” Gregorian music is identified, but anyone wishing to use newer music is permitted to sing it. There seemed to be an efort to ensure good pieces weren’t sidelined because the celebrations to which they were attached were less prominent liturgically. What do those folks fully familiar with the Roman Gradual have to say on these points? Have they worked for you?
Thanks to Richard Chonak who translated the second edition (1988) quoted here.
21 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under Liturgy
, The Blogosphere  Comments
General Intercessions, Universal Prayer, Petitions, Prayers of the Faithful–I like the last of these synonyms for one of three indispensable liturgical reforms mentioned by Georgia Masters Keightley in her article in the July 2012 edition of Worship.
I’ve noted with interest and my own brand of tenacious pig-headedness the discussion here and here on the liturgies of the CMAA’s recent Colloquium. I suppose if some quarters are going to dissect the Irish Eucharistic Congress and Pope Benedict’s opinions about the thumbs-up or downness of the Roman Missal, it seems only fair that more traditional-minded liturgy get some scrutiny, too. I’d like to zero in on opting out of the Prayer of the Faithful. I think it’s a questionable practice for a liturgy conference of any sort. And while yes, it only happened twice at CMAA, and only for mere weekday Masses, I think it illustrates how difficult it is to resist tinkering with liturgy for purposes other than ars celebrandi.
In response to this stance:
Optional prayers are eliminated as unnecessary innovations.
Fritz Bauerschmidt’s commentary at PrayTell struck me:
I presume this refers to the prayer of the faithful. And, if so, this attitude toward the common prayer of the baptized for the needs of the Church and the world. . . well, it just makes me sad. Vince died this week. But it is an unnecessary innovation that we pray for the repose of his soul at Mass? We are in an ongoing financial crisis. But it is an unnecessary innovation that we pray that our leaders would act wisely and compassionately in response to this? Olivia’s protracted illness continues. But it is an unnecessary innovation that we as a community be called to remember her in prayer?
Fritz is spot on and the CMAA is most likely wrong on their practice of “eliminating unnecessary innovations.” There are several reasons why, and some of them are liturgical. It is possible to follow the rules, and yet fall into the trap of vainglory. I think that’s what’s happening with this sentiment.
The Church has long recognized the special quality of pilgrimages. I would submit that any serious regional or national gathering of believers for the purpose of the faith constitutes a pilgrimage. The CMAA Colloquium certainly qualifies. A few hundred church-minded folk descend on a host locale for several days and devote themselves to singing and liturgy. They might not be walking the well-worn paths of northern Spain, but they certainly are on a time-honored track. They might not be going up a set of stairs on their knees at an endorsed pilgrimage site like this one, but the fact of stationary kneeling is no less honored.
And while the celebration of daily Mass remains optional for the Catholic at any time, the situation on a pilgrimage or at a conference is somewhat different. There is an obligation of a different sort when one shares the experiences of travel, meals, learning, and such with others in a spiritual setting. One chooses to align oneself with worship even when it’s “unnecessary.” In fact, I would submit that a church conference attendee who opted out of optional worship would be considered with concern. Was the person sick? Was there emotional upset? Why would someone committed to a period of spiritual unity absent herself or himself from a community activity?
In effect, the daily Masses of any sort of event like the Colloquium take on the character of “obligatory” celebrations. Even if it’s not “official” such liturgies are more often celebrated with the spiritual and liturgical intensity of a holy day, and less with a “commuter” Mass that allows a small fraction of an hour for prayer.
The Colloquium has good intentions, I’m sure. I don’t agree with the politics of their liturgy, but I think the pastoral trap they’ve fallen into is to use the liturgy to demonstrate their leadership’s ideals. I remember my experiences with the North American Forum’s week-long RCIA conferences back in the 90′s. Our tasks in liturgy were less about reenacting worship as a parish ideal. With no catechumens or candidates, and all baptized believers, we couldn’t do that with integrity. What we did do was to demonstrate best practices: good musical repertoire, good proclamation and preaching of Scripture, good ritual movement. It was up to those attending the conferences to put principles into use back in their home parishes. The liturgies we prayed were for the moment, even as they were designed with an eye to best practice.
I really can’t imagine doing away with intercessory prayer at a conference like this. When I travel away from home, there are likely more prayers in my soul than if I had stayed home. The list of intentions is long: safe travel, settling well in a new location, families we have left behind, sponsors and benefactors who permit us to travel, the aims and goals of the conference itself. Intercessory prayers are as deep as bone to the believer. A cursory look at the psalms should convince a singer of that. A sense of progressive solemnity would suggest that there’s no rush to get through liturgy to eat lunch or get to the next choir practice, that the liturgy itself demands that pilgrims bring petitions before God.
Prayer of the Faithful: optional like any ol’ Mass during the week. But always a good idea for the faithful believer. Maybe even necessary.
20 July 2012
I note the kind contribution of Richard Chonak who translated the Latin original of the second edition (1988). The deletion of some observances (like the Pentecost octave) meant some chants were unassigned in the new calendar. However, the expansion of two cycles of readings meant a new opportunity to assign these chants plus some others to the Church’s liturgy.
Above all, care was taken to preserve the authentic Gregorian treasury in its integrity. Accordingly, chants pertaining to Masses which no longer had a place in the liturgical year were assigned to form other Masses (for example, for the weekdays of Advent, for weekdays between Ascension and Pentecost), or were substituted for others that occurred more than once in the year. (for example, in Lent or on Sundays of Ordinary Time), or if appropriate to their character, were assigned to the celebrations of Saints.
As well, about twenty authentic Gregorian texts, which had been taken out of the repertory, through various changes made in the course of time, were restored to it. Provision was made that none of the authentic chants were disfigured or mutilated, excepting certain elements that perchance were inappropriate to the liturgical season, such as Alleluia, which occurred in the text of antiphons with notes that constituted an integral part of the melody.
There was clearly a lot of care on two fronts: ensuring that the fullest repertoire was available, and that the music would be put at the service of the Church’s liturgy, not vice versa.
19 July 2012
Posted by catholicsensibility under sex abuse
, The Blogosphere Leave a Comment
Ralph Cipriano did a marvelous job covering the sickening sex abuse and cover-up trial in Philadelphia. Up today is a post with some commentary from one of the jurors. She also participates in the thread that follows. This comment about why Msgr wasn’t convicted of conspiracy:
I specifically requested that the foreman send out a question (which he did) asking if the result of a conspiracy was that a child was endangered, did the endangerment also have to be the intent. Judge Sarmina told us that it did, which made it nearly impossible to convict, with the elements that we were given of conspiracy.
Once the trial was over, I asked one of the D.A.’s why the Conspiracy was to EWOC (endangering the welfare of children). He stated that every conspiracy has to have a goal. Well why on
earth didn’t they charge him with Conspiracy to commit fraud, or something like that?
Good question. I don’t think any bishop or bureaucrat conspired to harm children. They conspired with one another to keep quiet, cross their fingers, and hope the moral formation of seminary would finally take. That children were harmed by the repeated shuttling of predators and the cover-up of their crimes was a tragic “accident” of the system. Unless, of course, there’s a bishop out there who wants to dispute that.
19 July 2012
(This is Fran’s contribution, who blogs here and here.)
This well-known and well-loved passage seems to be rarely chosen for a funeral Gospel in my experience. I’m not really sure why that is.
The words paint a very clear picture for those who listen:
When he saw the crowds, Jesus went up the mountain,
and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him.
He began to teach them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.
Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you
and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me.
Rejoice and be glad,
for your reward will be great in heaven.
The sentiments expressed here can speak directly to those who are in the throes of loss. They are in the poverty of the death of a loved one; mourning is addressed almost immediately. Be it hunger, thirst, longing for mercy, the promise is clear. God will fulfill God’s promises to those in need.
Matthew’s words bring forth the promise of heaven, and the offer of hope. The words of this passage illustrate this clearly, along with the gift of consolation and a glimpse of the Kingdom, so necessary for those in a time of great need.
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