My friend Jeffrey Tucker and I will appear on Brian Craig’s internet talk show Saturday at 11AM EDT. There will be an opportunity for listener call-in. At the least, you’ll be able to hear the voice behind half the blogging team here at Catholic Sensibility and one of the voices behind the NLM site.
Brian asked us to reprise an Eastertime appearance to discuss liturgy near the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s motu proprio offering a wider use of the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM). If you’re expecting fireworks like in long blogging threads, I caution you may be disappointed. Jeffrey is a professional, and while he and I may disagree on some methods, what we share is a desire to see good music assist good worship in all Catholic parishes.
I’ve long thought a more dangerous stumbling block for good liturgy is the sort of Western pragmatism that pervades our culture. Included in that would be the American aversion to the arts. The worst horror stories in parish music usually revolve around a new priest arriving to clear the decks because the old musician(s) are getting paid or getting paid too much or aren’t reading the new pastor’s mind or some other silly excuse for administration. You can pretty much lump all the post-conciliar choir director firings and folk group coups and today’s “change of plans” to particular the hubris of particular clergy, not some cabal to ruin the Roman Rite.
That said, I will comment that over the past thirteen years, I’ve come to enjoy a more direct approach with the people of more conservative or traditionalist sensibilities in my parishes. And more recently, on the internet. I welcome the voice of … dissent (for the lack of a better term) on my committees and among those who advise me. A predecessor in one parish once tried to run the dissenters off her liturgy committee. I can’t agree with that tactic. While some Catholics (both traditional-leaning and progressive) come with some aspects of misinformation or ignorance, many do not. I appreciate people who can keep the focus on the ideal liturgy for the edification and holiness of the people. That, my friends, is the common ground from which we can be working.
Compare and contrast with groups that select for a homogeneous membership. By ensuring a radical uniformity, trivialities become the all-consuming focus for disagreements. This would be one reason why the TLM may well sink. Without a catholicity in mainstream parishes, the link to traditional music may weaken. With an artificial uniformity in TLM communities, I don’t see artistry being challenged to grow by innovation (like the innovation that saw polyphony arise from chant).
Anyway, the radio show won’t be as esoteric, I think. But it should be a good discussion.