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 Post subject: Could be
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:35 am 
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Greetings,

I have noticed that when it comes to liturgy we discuss what is done poorly in our parishes. We don't seem to discuss what our liturgy could be, or what our liturgy should be. This is one of the boards where there seems to be less dreaming and planning and more complaining.

What are your DREAMS for liturgy? Where do you think our church should be going? and How do you think we should get there?

I would be good to have a thread were we plan and hope and dream.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:55 am 
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Oh now you've done it!

Actually, I've been attending Mass at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and WOW! What a beautiful, reverent Mass. The regularly use either the Adoremus Hymnal or a booklet from Ignatius Press titled "The Mass of Vatican II".

My dream for the liturgy is that parishes would use the Adoremus Hymnal. That they'd roll back the use of HHS and these funky innovations and move to a more standard Mass that isn't the "Spirit of Vatican II" but is instead what the council really called for.

See, nothing major.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:16 am 
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I don't think I have any major lofty expectations. I'd like to see the GIRM followed and I'd like more strict guidelines placed on music.

When musical directors and pastoral councils decide to add nonsense to the liturgy, it should not be permitted, period.

That'd be a good place to start, IMHO.

Dani

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:43 pm 
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I would like to see a true flowering of modern liturgical compositions in the vernacular. Music that is closer to the intentions of the original documents. There are a lot of talented composers out there. Even the HHS school has put out some nice stuff. I've noticed that every few years the people in that 'industry' will begin to incorporate a more proper sense of ritual into their compositions. Then what happens is the industry takes two steps backward when they find out that the next wave of contemporary compositions by the next wave of new talent will sell like hotcakes, and the cycle starts over again. The result is that the body of contemporary liturgical music in the vernacular has never really had a chance to become what it should and can be.

I'm not sure what the answer is. But here's an illustration of what I am referring to.

A few weeks ago a good friend of mine who is a professional musician got married. He works part time as the accompanist at a parish in my diocese. The FT director at this parish is a contemporary 'LifeTeen' style songwriter - very, very talented, published, you can by his music on a few of the modern liturgical websites. The music ministers for this wedding were of course a local who's who of up and coming talent in the diocese (except for me, I'm kind of 'old' and not very cool by LifeTeen standards). It goes without saying that the modern praise and worship style dominated at this Nuptial Mass. Now I don't dislike this music, some of it is very good, very scriptural and not inappropriate for Liturgy, (maybe not the most appropriate, but not innappropriate). Much of it, however, is not right for Liturgy.

Anyway, at this wedding, I sang the responsorial Psalm, one of my own compositions. The setting I wrote was more chant-like, less sing-songy and totally faithful to the text. It was not something a guitarist could just strum along with.

After the mass, some people complemented me on the Psalm. Maybe they were just being nice. It wasn't my absolute best work. But my friend and his new bride loved it. She especially loved it. Some other folks said nice stuff. The priest who presided thanked me for singing, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't too crazy about my psalm setting; I know he prefers the LifeTeen end of the stylistic spectrum (a good man and a faithful priest, nonetheless).

( :roll: Here's my point:) Then I talked to this musician who I mentioned above, the one that has had a lot of his work published and distributed nationally. He said some kind words about my music, but more importantly he also said the following - and this was much more significant to me: That there is still a need for appropriate responsorial psalms - that 'we need to weed out alot of the [stuff] that was written in the 70's and 80's' - those were his words. So here is a composer of 'cutting edge' praise and worship style music who is keenly aware of the need for music that is more closely united to the various ritual actions in the Liturgy. I know that at his parish along with the hand clapping music they also chant some parts of the Mass, in particular the Memorial Acclamation in latin. Its a start.

What the next step is, I don't know. I do know a lot of liturgical composers, mostly of Catholic praise and worship songs. These people are extremely orthodox in the area of faith and morals. And they write really, really nice praise and worship style music with sort of an alternative edge. Some of this music they use in the Liturgy, some of it they use only in concerts and for retreats - they know the difference. But other people out there at other parishes who aren't as discerning will use any and all of it for Liturgy.

I would like to see these 'songwriters' become 'composers'. I would like to see what they could do if they got just a little more classical, closer to the principles of what liturgical music should be, more contemplative, more scriptural. They could turn the industry on its head in a single generation and pave the way for a body of liturgical composition that is truer to what the original vision of V2 really is.
Perhaps they will.


Last edited by FotBG on Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:50 pm 
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Carole wrote:
Oh now you've done it!

Actually, I've been attending Mass at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and WOW! What a beautiful, reverent Mass. The regularly use either the Adoremus Hymnal or a booklet from Ignatius Press titled "The Mass of Vatican II".

My dream for the liturgy is that parishes would use the Adoremus Hymnal. That they'd roll back the use of HHS and these funky innovations and move to a more standard Mass that isn't the "Spirit of Vatican II" but is instead what the council really called for.

See, nothing major.


:clap: My sentiments exactly! The Gather Hymnal should not be allowed in any parish. I think if my parish chucked Gather and brought in the Adoremus Hymnal, people would learn to follow along. It really wouldn't take much for parishes to become orthodox.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:59 pm 
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My dream for the liturgy is that it be beautiful, transcendent, reverent, faithful, humble, prayerful, imbued with Scripture and with a palpable sense of the mystery at the heart of it. Every word, gesture and note should point to God, not to the celebrant or musicians or other participants.

Any liturgy is abusable by folks who are not disposed to prayerful participation, but the liturgy should make it easy for those disposed to prayer to pray and should serve as an encouragement to prayer for those who are lukewarm.

More specifically:

* I would have it recover propers, like the introit and communion antiphon, which often (and in some parishes always) get replaced by hymns not so finely crafted for the prayers of that day's Mass, and sometimes are not suitable at all.

* Gregorian chant or music derived from it suited to the English translations would be given "pride of place." This is music at the service of prayer. Contrast it with some contemporary Psalm settings, which are more concerned with slamming the inspired words of the Psalm into the meter, melody and style (and sometimes ideology) of the composer.

* Songs (and instruments) more suitably styled to a pop, folk, rock, rap or easy listening concert would be gently phased out. No matter how well these styles of music are done, the "performance" aspect seems inevitable and the music itself seems (to me, anyway) impossible to reconcile with recollectedness, the first essential step in prayer. (I should add that I think there is much to commend in a previous poster's remarks on contemporary composers and their potential - I'm not against all new music simply by virtue of it being new.)

* Vernacular translations would be improved to better reflect what it is we're doing (a process that is already under way), and Latin would be brought back at least to a few parts of the ordinary to restore a sense of mystery and connection to the universal church and to facilitate the return of at least simplified chant, while vernacular would be retained for the Eucharistic prayers, the propers, the readings and so on.

* Reverent, prayerful silences would be recognized. The fruit of silence is prayer, and we get so very little of it in our lives outside church. We should be drinking it in at Mass.

* Long forms of the readings would be used.

* Bells would ring at the consecration.

* I would see catechesis and prayer go toward improving the lay understanding of the liturgy and its purpose and role in the life of the church, with the goal of having us all better receive with docility the form of this great prayer so that we might participate more fully in its substance. Liturgical documents seem to be treated (by many different factions) as kind of a "living constitution" upon which one imposes one's whims. This turns the liturgy into a battlefield instead of a place of unity and creates a temptation for some of us to live on perpetual Liturgical Abuse Watch instead of praying the Mass with gratitude and reverence.

My dream is that the liturgy would be so beautiful it would, as in the old days, be used by God to win artists and musicians and poets as converts. My dream is that it would be so reverent and prayerful that it would help stem the tide of secularization in our kids and ourselves, and would serve almost as catechesis. My dream is that it would feel like what it is, a foretaste of heaven on Earth. My dream is that we could simply try to do faithfully what the Church asks of us so that it would be a point of unity instead of division.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:07 pm 
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I don't have any problem with the Liturgy, just the architecture. Ours looks like it was built for a barn dance.

And we have the ugliest looking creche set ever! Thank God it's only around for a few weeks. The old one looked more like Fontanini.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:43 pm 
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I would like to see a reform of the modern rite bringing it back towards what VII envisioned. I would like to see expanded use of the 1962 missal (including more frequent solemn high masses) to help that reform along, and I would like to see a wide reclamation of the musical heritage of the Church.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:26 am 
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On a Polish discussion board on liturgy that I occasionally read, any discussion on 'how badly my parish is doing this and that, what are you doing?' gets closed pretty soon. They want to keep the liturgical discussion strictly along the lines of what should be done and what is permitted according to the Church documents. You don't see much whining there...

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 8:51 am 
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Baeda Vernerabilis,

Have you seen the booklet available from Ignatius Press "The Mass of Vatican II"? It is really wonderful. It isn't the 1962 Missal, but it is a wonderful liturgy.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:43 am 
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No, but I will be sure to give it a look. Thanks.

The indult parish I go to uses the Adoremus hymnal for both the traditional mass and for the modern mass. I love to sing from that hymnal! Our priest admits he prefers the old rite, so I think that bodes well for the modern mass there. I would like to check it out---I've only seen a handful of modern rites performed exceptionally well.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:54 am 
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Baeda Venerabilis wrote:
No, but I will be sure to give it a look. Thanks.

The indult parish I go to uses the Adoremus hymnal for both the traditional mass and for the modern mass. I love to sing from that hymnal! Our priest admits he prefers the old rite, so I think that bodes well for the modern mass there. I would like to check it out---I've only seen a handful of modern rites performed exceptionally well.


It is available from Ignatius Press - but it isn't on their website as an item for sale. They will send it to you free of charge if you email them. It doesn't include the readings and other changeable part of the Mass but it is really awesome.

I also really like the Adoremus Hymnal.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:55 am 
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I would suggest that few parishioners of yours go to a Catholic Church of different rite such as Maronite or Eastern. They would find out how the Divine Liturgy is more beautiful.

Some examples from web sites:

Maronite Divine Liturgy

Byzantine Divine Liturgy

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:49 pm 
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I'm not a huge fan of the Maronite Rite. It tends to have been quite "Latinized" for lack of a better term. If you're interested in seeing a Middle Eastern Rite the Melkite Rite is very interesting (though I found it to be harder to follow than the Byzantine Rite).

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:38 pm 
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I sometimes go to a Ruthenian Byzantine-rite parish whose pastor is famed for de-Latinizing everything. The liturgical books in the pews are 20 years old and have the filioque covered in whiteout in both the English and Church Slavonic columns. Other things are crossed out, including directions to [KNEEL] at various places. No filioque and almost continual standing.

It is almost identical to your standard Orthodox parish save the picture of Benedict on the wall at the entrance.

I do like going there, and I think the rite is very beautiful, but I'm very Western and feel right at home at my parish with the classical Roman rite.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:44 pm 
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Carole wrote:
Baeda Vernerabilis,

Have you seen the booklet available from Ignatius Press "The Mass of Vatican II"? It is really wonderful. It isn't the 1962 Missal, but it is a wonderful liturgy.


I think I have this...a sort of burgundy color cover?

Dani

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:50 pm 
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Dani,

Yes. A very think paperback booklet with a burgundy-ish coloured cover.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:54 pm 
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1. I'd like to see the instructions followed faithfully.

2. I'd like to see some of the "bells and whistles" come back into use, especially at special masses to help make it clear that something extraordinary is going on. Bells ringing, incense (although not always - poor allergies), use of latin for mass parts (making sure the congregation can chant along)...

3. I'd like to hear educational and challenging homilies.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:55 pm 
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Locally, and in the near term, I would like: 1) to have the money to hire a music director and not rely on well-intentioned but uninformed volunteers; 2) to retore the Tabernacle to the center of the sanctuary and to make some other modifications to the sanctuary; 3) to have a proper baptismal font that would be located just inside the doors to the church; 4) to develop a young adult (16-24) schola that could sing some Gregorian and some very traditional hymnody; 5) to replace the current missalettes and hymnals with durable, large print, accessible but dignified hymnals and missalettes. All of these changes require money that I simply don't have.

As far as the universal Church is concerned: 1) I would like a well thought out reform of the rite, incorporating again some aspects of the Tridentine Mass. This would, I hope, provide the Church with a single, dignified rite that is accessible to modern sensibilities while still clearly embodying the tradition and development of the liturgy. 2) I would like to be able to get reasonably priced, musically worthwhile, settings in English and Latin to the proper parts of the Mass. 3) I would like "Fr. Trendy-in-the-next-parish" to be assigned to be prison chaplain at St. Helens (where Napoleon was exiled) so that I don't have to answer questions about why I don't do this or that silly thing that he has introduced into the Mass.

Now let me describe something that we did last Sunday that worked beautifully. After Mass, I blessesd families. In my end of Mass announcements, I said that all families would be invited up for a blessing, and that since families come in all shapes and sizes, it was up to them to decide who should come up (HARUMPH YOU SAY?) Families, I continued, may include parents and grandparents and children, or solo couples, or children by adoption or biological children or both, or cousins galore, or a single person who is bringing with her in her heart all the people she loves and who don't live nearby or who don't come to church, or two widows who find companionship and support with each other and who look in on each other daily........

At the end of Mass, after reverencing the altar, I stayed in front, moving to the center of the church's main ailse, and people began to come forward.

Some left church right after the final blessing of the Mass, but most stayed. And I blessed families of one, two and every number up to 20 or so. I tried to tailor the blessing to what I knew of the circumstances of the family, being discreet, but also personalizing it. After the family received the blessing, as they moved aside for the next family to come forward, an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion handed each person a prayer card with the picture of the Holy Family on the front and a prayer for families on the reverse.

How long did it take? At the biggest Mass, about 20 minutes or so. How did people react? Very well. Will I do it next year, yes. Am I smart enough to have thought this up by myself? No, I stole the idea from a great and holy pastor.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:56 pm 
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ThyKingdomCome wrote:
3. I'd like to hear educational and challenging homilies.


A big, major-league, mega dittos to this one! Most homilies are a bunch of pablum.

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