Section IV of the US Bishops’ document Sing to the Lord treats the matter of “Preparing Music For Catholic Worship.” This is a vitally important topic, and our shepherds devote nearly 3,000 words to it–a bit more than one-tenth of the document.
Over the next few days I’d like to take a careful look at preparing liturgical music. I invite your comments as we progress on the topic. Just to whet your appetite, this is how the American bishops organized the preparation of music in numbered sections 110 through 136:
- A. What Parts Do We Sing?
- The Principle of Progressive Solemnity
- The Parts to Be Sung
- Sacred Silence
- B. Who Prepares the Music for the Liturgy?
- C. Care in the Choice of Music for the Liturgy
- D. Judging the Qualities of Music for the Liturgy
- The Three Judgments: One Evaluation
- The Liturgical Judgment
- The Pastoral Judgment
- The Musical Judgment
We’ve already covered the bishops on progressive solemnity here and here, and on silence here. We’ve also the three judgments from time to time, including here. For the next few posts, I think we’ll just focus on the “who” and look at the overall approach by our American bishops.
Maybe the first notable bit is the choice of words: preparation instead of planning. What comes to mind when you read or hear liturgy preparation instead of liturgy planning? Is it a good thing?