Misadventures in Roman Documents

I noticed an effort at CMAA’s forum to duplicate a discussion we had here almost five years ago. Looking at GIRM 30 through 41, the author intends to …

(highlight) some issues that would at times vary from what I and possibly others new to this have believed to the intent of the GIRM…and possibly why there has been confusion.

I am not sure that every experienced church musician always serves with the mind of the Church when it comes to liturgical ministry. I confess that over the years I’ve had misunderstandings that led to errors, ones that others have considered serious, or worse, heretical.

It can help to read a whole document rather than treat it as an adventure in gotcha! with one’s particular perceptions of what is right or wrong with the Church. That’s one reason why I thought it useful here to take documents in whole. When I was in school, we read documents in whole. We didn’t pick out favorite passages like SC 116. We had to wrestle with citations to inculturation, and the Roman proclivity for setting the bar low when and where low is needed.

The thread is titled “USCCB notes about the Mass,” which led another commenter to ask, “More ambiguity from the USCCB?”

I thought it was bishop’s note on the GIRM…don’t recall it being so ambiguous! Wasn’t attacking either document, but remarking on issues that had, in the way that they were presented, could have caused situations – such as priest’s welcoming the people before Mass and singing happy birthday and having strangers stand up during Mass to be welcomed – to come about.

I don’t remember the GIRM as being so – Sing to the Lord-ish, but possibly I have just been away from it so long. My sincere apologies for posting.

I think it’s more a matter of Sing To The Lord being GIRM-ish.

I think most of my musical colleagues at CMAA are earnest, honest, and have the best intentions for the scope of their service in the Church. I don’t think reform2 promoters always serve, think, or act with the intent of the Roman Catholic Church in their efforts. I am sure most of these folks want to. Wanting and doing are two different things. I suggest the same skepticism there as one might bring here: don’t take everything you read on the internet as gospel.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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