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  #46  
Old Feb 23, '12, 9:04 pm
superamazingman superamazingman is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

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Originally Posted by Cat View Post
That's interesting. But it sure hasn't happened that way in our city. As I said in an earlier post, the Latin Mass parish has about 8 or so people in their schola after over 20 years of existence. Why do you supposed it hasn't grown like yours has?

Thank you.
As YTC said, it's not just those things that need to happen. It needs to be a complete paradigme shift.

Parents: If at all possible, get the kids in a good catholic school or homeschool. Sorry, the public schools are simply just going down the drain.

Pastors: Learn the EF, and celebrate the OF accordingly: with reverence and continuity with the EF, not as a break from it. Start singing the Mass. ANY congregation that has ever sung can handle 2 amens and a kyrie. Sing the introductory rites. Start there. Then keep adding more. The sung liturgy is the highest form of worship. Then keep singing more. Make radical changes. One pastor I know begun celebrating all his daily Masses at the high altar. Still OF, still in English, but facing in the same direction as the people. And the people love it. The freestanding altar is frequently removed for weddings and other special Masses which people request to be celebrated in that way (for normal Masses, the freestanding altar isn't moved, since it needs 6 men to move it) He's dying to do it on Sundays, but he fears the congregation isn't ready yet. They will be soon though...

Bishops: Do the same! Support the orthodox Catholic schools. Fix the ones that aren't. Support the homeschoolers, they'll always have your back. Encourage pastors who want to act with the mind of the church. One of the biggest deterrents of pastors making positive changes is fear of the bishop. In my diocese, no one fears the bishop getting mad at them for doing the right thing, ergo...

A complete shift is needed. You can't just do one thing or another here and there.
c o m p l e t e - s h i f t - o f - a t t i t u d e

Think about it this way, if the thing/practice/attitude in question began in the last 40 years, chances are, it's probably not helping the cause. Note that I didn't say everything from the last 40 have been bad, but 90% of it is.
  #47  
Old Feb 23, '12, 9:28 pm
Elisabeth51 Elisabeth51 is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

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Originally Posted by YoungTradCath View Post
However, you know just as well as I do that our ideals and principles rarely ever translate into reality for two reasons: 1) they are extremely far-fetched, and 2) they are not rarely very poor ideals and principles to begin with. We are still very much stuck in the 1973 timewarp liturgically speaking (no matter how good of a translation of the Missal we now have) in most parishes and we base our musical decisions not on nobility, solemnity, and tradition, but on massively incorrectly-interpreted principles like "active participation." You'll note that nobility, solemnity and tradition are tools/qualifiers to judge musical quality, while our incorrectly-interpreted "active participation" is not a tool/qualifier, but is a political principle. It shouldn't be, and I find it reprehensible on so many levels that its meaning was ripped from its roots and another one was transferred into its place and was fed by the king's hand (in a manner of speaking) to the people, but it happened anyways.

I'm 18 years old. I admit that I do have a certain affection for high quality music that the average youth doesn't, but I don't buy the ridiculous junk like, "Well, the kids won't like that music. We have to have (insert drivel here)." Sometimes I just want to scream out loud, "Sorry Mr. Music Director, us kids really actually hate the nasty Bossa Nova-style Gloria you think we love so much! Another failure, great job!" UGH. .... Excuse my wording, but old people at my parish really think we like nasty pop tunes at mass! And I laugh! I've shared my views with several other young adults at the parish and they agree. It's VERY embarrassing when the public school does a performance of Mozart's Requiem and the local Catholic parish is singing nasty ditties that would make the Lutheran church next door and the Methodist church across the street absolutely, positively disgusted.

So, I'll give three reasons why our Catholic teenagers aren't getting the musical education they need:
1. There is a major generational problem closely connected to the generation that grew up through and right after Vatican II and heard its teachings murdered and its entrails and blood scattered and poured, so much so that for the most part they believe it. I know this because these false pretenses curiously aren't held by the interested Catholics of my generation (late teens through early 30s)... This is not to say that there aren't older Catholics who don't appreciate real sacred music, but proportionally compared to my generation, the numbers are way off.
2. My generation is misrepresented and underestimated in what we can handle and what we appreciate.
3. American society is too political, principled and idealistic in the wrong way. Rather than evaluate a musical piece for its own quality, it has to fit the enraging and severely misinterpreted concept of "active participation." It makes me almost want to vomit when I type that phrase, that's how bad and misinterpreted it is in my young mind.

It's really bad when yours truly actually came into the Catholic Church expecting glorious music, liturgy and architecture, yet was given a beaten and embarrassed liturgical practice instead. I'm serious.
You make excellant points! When I was your age, I felt the same, I disliked the shallow 7-11 songs (7 words repeated 11 times) that were new. Right now, in a parish where the organist has worked patiently for years to truly follow the Church's instruction, we have people on the pastoral council that want to go back to the "folky guitar" Mass---older people who are the ones that were the kids then. They point to parishes that are packed and have the "new" music. I continually point out that many times the text is in error, ok they are packed--with what? People that are there to have fun and will leave?, what about the people that are not going to that parish because they want the traditional music of the church? What about the people that are coming to our parish because we do have the chant, the pipe organ, a mixture of Latin & English? I know people that if they had a traditional parish near them, would be going to Mass, they are not going because of the modern music, mostly. There is a lot of misunderstanding on what the Church documents acutally say---people don't realise that Latin is encouraged, that chant still has the "pride of place" (I think that's the quote)......just a few weeks ago the organist and I were talking with a man who was complaining about Latin (we only use it for the Propers), we were trying to explain that the Vatican II documents state that the people should know their parts in Latin---his response was: "what documents?" I think we need a class on church history along with music class.
  #48  
Old Feb 23, '12, 9:31 pm
superamazingman superamazingman is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

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Originally Posted by Elisabeth51 View Post
just a few weeks ago the organist and I were talking with a man who was complaining about Latin (we only use it for the Propers), we were trying to explain that the Vatican II documents state that the people should know their parts in Latin---his response was: "what documents?" I think we need a class on church history along with music class.
Precisely!
  #49  
Old Feb 24, '12, 3:35 am
Cat Cat is online now
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungTradCath View Post
Demographics, of course, play a huge role. And I don't mean race, nationality, gender, etc. I mean ecclesial environment and demographics. superamazingman's bishop is very liturgically orthodox if I may say so (although I will not reveal his diocese).

The answer to aberrant liturgy must be:
Young
Smart
Not weighed down by the mistakes of the 1970s
Very open minded to both Forms of the mass
Communicative
Bottom-up, as in, parish-level
Realize that the answers to all liturgical problems are probably answered by the past
Unselfish
Motivated
Our bishop is extremely orthodox and conservative. He is a supporter of both the Latin Mass (we have had the Latin Mass in our diocese and in our city for over 20 years), and the OF Mass. He does not allow abuses in the OF Masses in his diocese.
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  #50  
Old Feb 24, '12, 4:09 am
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YoungTradCath YoungTradCath is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat View Post
Our bishop is extremely orthodox and conservative. He is a supporter of both the Latin Mass (we have had the Latin Mass in our diocese and in our city for over 20 years), and the OF Mass. He does not allow abuses in the OF Masses in his diocese.
Isn't he relatively new?

You can certainly have an orthodox bishop yet still have nasty liturgy quality diocese-wide. The solution to this problem has to have those qualities I mentioned, but most important are these three: young, smart, and not weighed down by the mistakes of the 1970s.

Thankfully, it seems seminaries nowadays are producing good priests, for the most part, both in terms of orthodoxy and orthopraxy. And therein lies another thing: seminaries have to be unfailingly loyal to the Papacy. It's all very clear where John Paul II set the mark as far as the background things are concerned (in terms of supporting doctrine and whatnot, he cleaned house), and where Benedict XVI is pointing us on the top level, liturgically speaking. It might take another five popes and five decades, but there will be a Roman decree no doubt, eventually beginning the concrete process of liturgical re-solemnization. Our current Pope is simply leading by example. Once that has seeped in, more will follow. I expect by the time I am 50, perhaps my affection for the Extarordinary Form of the mass will not be as justified as it is now.

There are so many levels in which we can start to destroy this problem, but the root has to be young, dedicated priests and parish staff who will back him up. Of course, liturgical beautification has to be done somewhat slowly and must be explained (I find that slightly funny...), but not in a conciliatory manner. We MUST acknowledge that where we are at is highly problematic, and where we want to be is not "just another way to do it," but is "THE way to do it."
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  #51  
Old Feb 24, '12, 5:33 am
christofirst christofirst is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

A phenomenon I can not fully explain, but have observed, is that the Church and society swing like the pendulum throughout time, from conservative to progressive; from vertical to horizontal. We have certainly gone through, or are still going through, a more progressive, or liberal time, where the emphasis in worship is placed on the gathered community, the horizontal aspect, and the music reflects this. It is "all about us".

What causes this change when it comes, I can not say. I can see the groundswell of change here, in the people who have posted. But change often comes slowly. Too slowly, I thought when I was 18. Now that I am 50, I see things with a little more perspective (very little!). Change is coming. We have the Latin Mass here in Los Angeles. I have to travel 20 miles to get there, but we have it. The music there is simple, but reverent: the old hymns with an organ and humble choir back in the choir loft. And its not just old-timers I see there. Families and young people too.
  #52  
Old Feb 24, '12, 6:08 am
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YoungTradCath YoungTradCath is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

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Originally Posted by christofirst View Post
A phenomenon I can not fully explain, but have observed, is that the Church and society swing like the pendulum throughout time, from conservative to progressive; from vertical to horizontal. We have certainly gone through, or are still going through, a more progressive, or liberal time, where the emphasis in worship is placed on the gathered community, the horizontal aspect, and the music reflects this. It is "all about us".

What causes this change when it comes, I can not say. I can see the groundswell of change here, in the people who have posted. But change often comes slowly. Too slowly, I thought when I was 18. Now that I am 50, I see things with a little more perspective (very little!). Change is coming. We have the Latin Mass here in Los Angeles. I have to travel 20 miles to get there, but we have it. The music there is simple, but reverent: the old hymns with an organ and humble choir back in the choir loft. And its not just old-timers I see there. Families and young people too.
The thing is, I don't really know of any other time in the last 1,500 years in which the liturgy was so blatantly adulterated and murdered. It's so odd. The liturgical climate is in such a dichotomy: beautiful and timeless and reverent, and nasty and contemporary and "me" based.

I do see glimmers of hope. As I've maintained, I really think much of the problem is tied to the Vatican II generation. And as I've said, not all Vatican II-era Catholics were brainwashed, but most of them are very weighed down by the baggage of the 1960s/1970s. It's funny, because I came to this conclusion on my own, and then after I started reading books on the liturgy and blogs, it seems that many people agree with me. That doesn't mean I'm right, but I do have another bolster to my argument. Most dedicated youth of today and most young priests have a very different (read: traditional and unadulterated by a poor interpretation of Vatican II) mindset and set of practices than their grandparents and even parents. I don't mean that in small ways; I mean it very sincerely and in the deepest, most profound ways. I believe it was Cardinal Piacenza of the Congregation for the Clergy who said to the seminarians of the Los Angeles Archdiocese something to the effect of, "Yours will be the first generation to correctly interpret and implement the real teachings of Vatican II." I just read that a few days ago and I can't find it... Meh.

All signs are pointing to a refreshed (the vocal minority would use the nasty cliche, "pre-Conciliar") Roman Rite. I predict that, of course, the EF will remain the EF and nothing will change except perhaps the addition of new saints and new prefaces, which is 100% fine and warranted. I also predict that, before my life is over, there will be sweeping restorations to the OF, not the least of all the direction to which mass is prayed. (Hint: IMO, the Benedictine altar arrangement is only means to the real end)

Perhaps what I predict will come true. Perhaps it is only wishful thinking. However, in all honesty, I believe the proportion will sway to the former.
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  #53  
Old Feb 24, '12, 6:36 am
Tigg Tigg is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungTradCath View Post
It's really bad when yours truly actually came into the Catholic Church expecting glorious music, liturgy and architecture, yet was given a beaten and embarrassed liturgical practice instead. I'm serious.


I'm sorry!

Quote:
The thing is, I don't really know of any other time in the last 1,500 years in which the liturgy was so blatantly adulterated and murdered. It's so odd. The liturgical climate is in such a dichotomy: beautiful and timeless and reverent, and nasty and contemporary and "me" based.
Your discernment, praise God, is spot on!

Quote:
CCC: 1156 "The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art.
If only we could be obedient to Rome in matters of music!
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  #54  
Old Feb 24, '12, 8:51 am
opus101 opus101 is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

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Originally Posted by Elisabeth51 View Post
... we have people on the pastoral council that want to go back to the "folky guitar" Mass---older people who are the ones that were the kids then. They point to parishes that are packed and have the "new" music. I continually point out that many times the text is in error, ok they are packed--with what? People that are there to have fun and will leave?, what about the people that are not going to that parish because they want the traditional music of the church? What about the people that are coming to our parish because we do have the chant, the pipe organ, a mixture of Latin & English?

Excellent points! "packed - with what?" has always been my question as well. Is it numbers that we are after at Mass, or hearts that are loyal, faithful and true? Are we there to have fun and to be entertained, or to participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?

You are so right to mention the fact that, as far as "numbers" go, many have actually LEFT parishes (and wrongly, even left the Church) because of the crazy music of the
past few decades. And many continue to go to these parishes , considering it one of their greatest crosses in life, continuing to truly "suffer" with Christ through truly abominable liturgies.
  #55  
Old Feb 24, '12, 9:16 am
ProVobis ProVobis is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

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Originally Posted by ByzCathCantor View Post
Here's a great video of one of the youngest cantors in our Eastern Christian churches: Christos Voskrese (Christ is Risen) - youngest ACROD cantor (and he is chanting in perfectly enunciated Old Church Slavonic, our Latin)
Seems as though there is an advantage to using an inflexive language (where word order is not that important) in the music. Just saying.
  #56  
Old Feb 24, '12, 9:37 am
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

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Originally Posted by ProVobis View Post
Seems as though there is an advantage to using an inflexive language (where word order is not that important) in the music. Just saying.
Very astute observation. It is a great advantage, and translation to the vernacular (English, in particular) was not easy as a result.

In one of our most prominent liturgical hymns, the Cherubikon, variants in Old Church Slavonic (of which there are many) can actually differ dramatically in their rendering, as the static text was inflexively matched to the melodic line. In many cases, the melodic line was adapted from other hymns where the lyrics bore no relation to those of the Cherubikon whatsoever.

As our Divine Liturgy is almost entirely chanted, you could imagine the challenges of setting such to music and English language, where people would think you were having a stroke if you started "illogically" repeating words or phases, as is done commonly in Old Church Slavonic.
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  #57  
Old Feb 24, '12, 10:05 am
Cat Cat is online now
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungTradCath View Post
Isn't he relatively new?

You can certainly have an orthodox bishop yet still have nasty liturgy quality diocese-wide. The solution to this problem has to have those qualities I mentioned, but most important are these three: young, smart, and not weighed down by the mistakes of the 1970s.

Thankfully, it seems seminaries nowadays are producing good priests, for the most part, both in terms of orthodoxy and orthopraxy. And therein lies another thing: seminaries have to be unfailingly loyal to the Papacy. It's all very clear where John Paul II set the mark as far as the background things are concerned (in terms of supporting doctrine and whatnot, he cleaned house), and where Benedict XVI is pointing us on the top level, liturgically speaking. It might take another five popes and five decades, but there will be a Roman decree no doubt, eventually beginning the concrete process of liturgical re-solemnization. Our current Pope is simply leading by example. Once that has seeped in, more will follow. I expect by the time I am 50, perhaps my affection for the Extarordinary Form of the mass will not be as justified as it is now.

There are so many levels in which we can start to destroy this problem, but the root has to be young, dedicated priests and parish staff who will back him up. Of course, liturgical beautification has to be done somewhat slowly and must be explained (I find that slightly funny...), but not in a conciliatory manner. We MUST acknowledge that where we are at is highly problematic, and where we want to be is not "just another way to do it," but is "THE way to do it."
No, he just celebrated 50 years of being a priest. He is retired from being a bishop, but the Holy Father has not yet appointed his replacement. All of the churches in his diocese are praying a special prayer for his replacement during the Prayers and Petitions time in the Mass.

Our problem is not poor leadership.

Our problem, IMO, is that we are a stone's throw from Willowcreek and the excellent professional contemporary and traditional praise music presented there. Many Protestant churches model their music after this program.

Although I realize that there are exceptions like YTC, most of the young people that I know greatly prefer contemporary music in their worship, and thus migrate to churches modeled like Willowcreekl.

Also we have several very old mainline Protestant churches in our city that offer high-quality classical music, so any musicians that have any chops go there, and they are paid for their work. Young people who like classical music go there, too.

That's another reason we don't see high-quality music in the Catholic churches in our city. They are not paid well, and much of the music is done by volunteers. The really good musicians generally need to eat, pay rent, buy gas, etc., and they can't do music at the same time that they hold down another job. So they tend to play/sing in non-Catholic churches.
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  #58  
Old Feb 24, '12, 11:41 am
liturgyluver liturgyluver is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

I think in the absence of paid professional musicians who also understand the Liturgy, each Diocese should appoint someone with the right skills who understands Church missives and can give corporate direction to parishes to get things back on track. My take - in the UK at least - is that many priests don't care enough about the music and devolve the music. It's telling that so few Catholic parishes - even cathedral publish a music list. And it will take time to improve:last year only 19 men were ordained to the catholic priesthood in the whole of England and Wales.

Congregations too, though have to take responsibility: they should object when banal music is played, and if they attend a mass with hymns (as opposed to a choral mass) they certainly need to get better at singing - I was at a confirmation last week and I was shocked that no-one (apart from about 5 of us) sung the beautiful hymn that surely everyone knows - Come Down, O Love Divine.
  #59  
Old Feb 24, '12, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

To the OP: Are there going to be more articles in this series? These are the best articles on the topic that I've ever read. And from a Bishop at that!
  #60  
Old Feb 24, '12, 6:18 pm
christofirst christofirst is offline
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Default Re: Singing the Mass

Yes, it looks like there will be a fourth and final part. I just chanced upon it at
www.calcatholic.com
I'll keep my eyes peeled for the next one.
YoungTradCatholic said he'd been following them as they came out, so I hope they're being linked all over.
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