New York Music, Old Yuck Attitudes

NPM sent me a link for the selections of music for the pope’s visit, including the less-fussed-about NY selections, all overseen by Dr Jennifer Pascual, music director at St Patrick’s Cathedral.

NLM had the scoop a few weeks ago, courtesy of Jeffrey Tucker, who in turn noted his contact at the top, as it were:

(Dr Pascual) was kind enough to provide a list of the music being performed at the various events, and the performers taking part in the events.

The tenor of his comment boxes (actually, the basses, altos, sopranos, accompanists and clergy, too) must have made an impression on him. Most of the commentariat focused on “theologically unsound – and dreadful rubbish” and “a song celebrating the real absence” and “why did this drivel slip through?” and “the Western liturgical tradition is effectively dead.” With friends like that, you can’t help but join in the negativity of all creation:

It’s been pointed out to me something I should have noticed: there is NOT ONE Gregorian proper! That’s absurd and it’s also absurd that I didn’t notice this.

It’s also rather absurb to see “Jesus Remember Me” associated with the neo-60’s. Chalk it up to the dictatorship of personal taste, I guess.

Do you suppose if Dr Pascual saw these comments if she would be as kind to NLM on the next request?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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3 Responses to New York Music, Old Yuck Attitudes

  1. Gavin says:

    On the contrary, the absence of any Gregorian proper IS a legitimate concern, given that it’s a Catholic Mass. I’d argue that anytime there’s a Mass without a Gregorian proper, in a tradition where Gregorian chant is to have “pride of place” (don’t like it, go Byzantine), one is justified to ask “why?” Now there’s usually a good reason for such, in this case it may be that most Americans have never HEARD a Gregorian proper and so would not know how to react, but I’d say the same is true of “Christus vincit”.

    Most of the commenters at NLM on this have been idiots, but Dr. Pascual is a big girl and I think she can handle it. I’ve put up with all sorts of “advice” in my short 5 years of church work; I’m sure she’s used to separating the chaff (“real absence”) from the wheat (“not one Gregorian proper”). Jeff made a valid point. Let us thank God no one at NLM started an e-mail campaign against her!

    And what exactly is being used for the organ at Yankee Stadium? Presumably an electronic of some sort, but what? Just curious.

  2. Anne says:

    “And what exactly is being used for the organ at Yankee Stadium? Presumably an electronic of some sort, but what? Just curious.”

    Why would it matter for a mega-mass at Yankee Stadium? This isn’t an especially a good situation for good worship to begin with. Use the stadium organ…take me out to the pope’s mass….

  3. A few weeks ago I was at the Memorial Mass in St. Peter’s Square for JPII. The music was pretty much all chant, accompanied by some sort of organ coming over the PA system. But at some point the PA started feeding back and the organ accompaniment disappeared for a minute or so. It was the best singing of the whole Mass (though the singing on the whole was not bad, given that we were outdoors).

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