Why do Churches Continue to Purchase OCP Material?


#1

The revulsion with which many people view these hymanls is quite evident, especially on this forum. So why, with the bad music, lack of Gradual texts, and expense of replacing the hymnals, do churches continue to purchase them? I've seen these literally everywhere. Every single church that I have ever visited owns OCP hymnals. There are other options, especially recently that are permanent, contain good music, and all of the text necessary for the Mass. I've personally tried to convince a parish to purchase one of these alternatives, but to no avail. I received a lame excuse for the liturgical director (or whatever title she had) about the "changing needs of the church", even though the church sings the same bad songs that we all know from the past 20 years.

Why are alternatives so difficult to pursue?


#2

Specific objections?


#3

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:1, topic:311499"]
The revulsion with which many people view these hymanls is quite evident, especially on this forum. So why, with the bad music, lack of Gradual texts, and expense of replacing the hymnals, do churches continue to purchase them? I've seen these literally everywhere. Every single church that I have ever visited owns OCP hymnals. There are other options, especially recently that are permanent, contain good music, and all of the text necessary for the Mass. I've personally tried to convince a parish to purchase one of these alternatives, but to no avail. I received a lame excuse for the liturgical director (or whatever title she had) about the "changing needs of the church", even though the church sings the same bad songs that we all know from the past 20 years.

Why are alternatives so difficult to pursue?

[/quote]

The only thing I can say, because I can't answer the question, is that the "revulsion" to the hymnals, in my experience, is largely limited to these forums, and a few others on the internet, and the more "traditionalist" Catholics. Most Catholics in most parishes like them just fine, and it is doubtful they want to change, as their favorite songs are in them.

You just have to deal with the reality that everyone has different tastes, even though yours seem the best to you. Suggesting something else is fine, but when it doesn't happen, don't be overly disappointed.


#4

To the OCP hymnals? Hymns with theologically questionable lyrics (Sing a New Church, for instance). The sung propers of the Mass are not included, only the spoken propers. And in general, just poor song selection. Plus, disposable hymnals are a waste of money compared to hymnals that contain all the readings so you don’t have to replace them.


#5

[quote="smndtupidisaftr, post:1, topic:311499"]
The revulsion with which many people view these hymanls is quite evident, especially on this forum. So why, with the bad music, lack of Gradual texts, and expense of replacing the hymnals, do churches continue to purchase them? I've seen these literally everywhere. Every single church that I have ever visited owns OCP hymnals. There are other options, especially recently that are permanent, contain good music, and all of the text necessary for the Mass. I've personally tried to convince a parish to purchase one of these alternatives, but to no avail. I received a lame excuse for the liturgical director (or whatever title she had) about the "changing needs of the church", even though the church sings the same bad songs that we all know from the past 20 years.

Why are alternatives so difficult to pursue?

[/quote]

I agree with CB Catholic.

Before I began reading Catholic Answers materials, viewed info on their website, and then eventually (in 2004) joined this forum I had not heard that anyone disliked OCP's music or materials. Most of the musical opinions expressed in this forum are extremely conservative.

The Church is obviously not a democracy. But that doesn't change the fact that majority opinions have a lot of influence.


#6

Maybe they are just cheap? I don’t care for them either, but the odd thing is I can’t imagine using anything else because they are the only kind of missalette I’ve ever seen. Even when I’m on vacation and go to a different parish I usually see the same missalettes. Hymnals are diffferent, I usually see varying hymnals, though again a lot of OCP stuff. My biggest complaint with OCP missalettes is their lack of supplementary prayers. I don’t like having to tote along an extra prayer book just to have basic prayers like the Act of Charity or the Hail Holy Queen with me. Other than that, I agree their mass settings could use a little more variety but if you check their website you will see that they sell other mass settings separately, so it is probably related to profit. Besides, how many choirs actually use the mass setting provided in the pew hymnals/missalettes anyway?

My only other complaint is the complete absence of any artwork except on the cover, and the stuff on the cover is often annoyingly modernistic/surreal. I like to have a few good pictures to look at when I’m praying, and the churches built in the past few decades don’t provide much of those either.


#7

Aah, OCP, how I detest thee - let me count the ways.

  1. Vertical and horizontal inclusive language throughout, along with strong hints at feminist/pagan/Wiccan theology in some places.
  2. Hazy theology and certain cases of direct heresy (i.e. Ashes, The Supper of the Lord, Sing a New Church, Anthem, etc.)
  3. Alteration of (the few remaining) traditional hymns for "social justice" purposes.
  4. "Contemporary" musical styles completely at odds with the Church's teachings on sacred music - many are so hard to follow that people make the same musical mistakes from parish to parish. Many of the tunes are on a quality par with 1980's Muzak.
  5. Virtually no Gregorian chant, which should have "pride of place" in the liturgy according Vatican II documents.
  6. A tiny number of Latin hymns, deliberately mistranslated in some cases (Panis Angelicus).
  7. Mass parts which do not follow the approved texts (today this is mainly with the Spanish-language "Flor y Canto" hymnal, which has, for example, no correctly-translated Glorias).
  8. Their ready-made Prayers of the Faithful do not follow the GIRM guidelines for the General Intercessions - for one thing, there are almost never prayers for the dead.
  9. Floppy, disposable newsprint missals cheapen the Word of God and end up in the garbage when they expire.
  10. A company that has been known to badger and harass pastors and music directors when they cancel their subscriptions, especially those in their home Archdiocese.

#8

Probably because people don’t know any better and/or, perhaps, don’t care. Selective reading of Vatican II is not limited to the SSPX.


#9

:stuck_out_tongue: Didn’t expect you to say that!

Churches buy OCP material probably because they don’t know any other, and were probably raised in the guitar-swaying everyone’s-feeling-pink, we’re-on-a-permanent-picnic mentality of liturgical music. Many directors were never exposed to true music through it’s hardly a challenge with the internet, radio and TV of all things!

However, it’s about time there was a more public denunciation of the various heretical hymns included in the books they publish. GIA is no better, nor are many of the smaller hymnals. OCP supplies churches here too, not just ones in the US, which is unfortunate because it’d literally be cheaper to order the New English Hymnal or the Oratory Hymnal!

It seems a wee bit suspicious you know, to be so insistent on using contemporary hymns, but who knows. I’m not behind the scenes.


#10

[quote="LoyalViews, post:9, topic:311499"]
:p Didn't expect you to say that!

Churches buy OCP material probably because they don't know any other, and were probably raised in the guitar-swaying everyone's-feeling-pink, we're-on-a-permanent-picnic mentality of liturgical music. Many directors were never exposed to true music through it's hardly a challenge with the internet, radio and TV of all things!

However, it's about time there was a more public denunciation of the various heretical hymns included in the books they publish. GIA is no better, nor are many of the smaller hymnals. OCP supplies churches here too, not just ones in the US, which is unfortunate because it'd literally be cheaper to order the New English Hymnal or the Oratory Hymnal!

It seems a wee bit suspicious you know, to be so insistent on using contemporary hymns, but who knows. I'm not behind the scenes.

[/quote]

Meh, they are out to make money. They have bills to pay and will sell what sells.


#11

[quote="Cavaille-Coll, post:7, topic:311499"]
Aah, OCP, how I detest thee - let me count the ways.

  1. Vertical and horizontal inclusive language throughout, along with strong hints at feminist/pagan/Wiccan theology in some places.

[/quote]

My disgust and revulsion for OCP came to a head this Christmas season. I own several hymnals for personal use, and I have recently purchased a new edition of the Adoremus hymnal, which had the immediate effect of cursing both choirs I am in and causing them to jettison all use of it. When I traveled to my visiting parish for Christmas, unaware of this, I brought only my Adoremus book (not much space in luggage for lots of hymnals) and left Choral Praise at home. Well, the choir director used Music Issue for 100% of the selections until Epiphany when he drew "We Three Kings" alone from Adoremus. Since all I had for material was Music Issue's monophonic settings, I sought harmony parts in Adoremus and cross-referenced the hymnal numbers so I could go back and forth. But when I began to check verses closely I realized just how much OCP had tampered with all the language of even the most traditional carols. The vast majority of the tampering was for horizontal "inclusive language". We even had "Good Christian Friends Rejoice" - ugh, puke. I painstakingly noted each change in words and each corresponding verse so that I could sing them accurately in harmony from Adoremus. Obviously, I used sticky notes rather than sully my beautiful hymnal with those repulsive words. A fellow choir member was quite amused at my notes, which borrowed from my mom, had the legend "Guess what hit the fan while you were out?" across the bottom.

When I was done, I noticed that "Silent Night" alone had escaped the chopping block. Two carols that really took the cake were "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" which changed "As prophets long have sung" -> "As those of old have sung" and "It came, a flow'ret bright" -> "It came, a flower bright" and "The Rose I have in mind -> "This Rose I have in mind". Talk about destroying poetry. And then we have "Angels We Have Heard on High" with the inexplicable changes: "Echoing their joyous strains" -> "Echo back their joyous strains" and "Whom the choirs of angels praise" -> "Whom the angels praise above" and "While our hearts in love we raise" -> "While we raise our hearts in love" - this last change I can only imagine as an effort to avoid a "Yoda phrase" as my old director put it, but it also tramples on a key piece of theology and sacred imagery: choirs of angels.

I would like nothing more than to launch OCP and all its slaves into the sun, never to be heard again. But it won't happen in my lifetime unless we get some really Nazi bishops around here. I don't know about my visiting diocese, but my bishop at home has made some very clear steps to "clean up" sacred music and put us on the right path. Any bishop or pastor who breaks the mold of OCP and does what the Church wants is worthy of great praise because he will probably catch a greater amount of flak from OCP-lovers who cling desperately to the status quo and the so-called "Spirit of Vatican II" that started with, I kid you not, Peter Paul & Mary songs for the liturgy "because we hadn't written anything of our own yet" (Haugen & Haas quote.)


#12

Yup.

Most people don’t really care. Believe it or not, CAF is by no means representative of the average Catholic population. Not by a long shot.


#13

[quote="NovusAugustus, post:6, topic:311499"]
Maybe they are just cheap?

[/quote]

In more ways than one.


#14

[quote="Cavaille-Coll, post:7, topic:311499"]
Aah, OCP, how I detest thee - let me count the ways.

  1. Vertical and horizontal inclusive language throughout, along with strong hints at feminist/pagan/Wiccan theology in some places.
  2. Hazy theology and certain cases of direct heresy (i.e. Ashes, The Supper of the Lord, Sing a New Church, Anthem, etc.)
  3. Alteration of (the few remaining) traditional hymns for "social justice" purposes.
  4. "Contemporary" musical styles completely at odds with the Church's teachings on sacred music - many are so hard to follow that people make the same musical mistakes from parish to parish. Many of the tunes are on a quality par with 1980's Muzak.
  5. Virtually no Gregorian chant, which should have "pride of place" in the liturgy according Vatican II documents.
  6. A tiny number of Latin hymns, deliberately mistranslated in some cases (Panis Angelicus).
  7. Mass parts which do not follow the approved texts (today this is mainly with the Spanish-language "Flor y Canto" hymnal, which has, for example, no correctly-translated Glorias).
  8. Their ready-made Prayers of the Faithful do not follow the GIRM guidelines for the General Intercessions - for one thing, there are almost never prayers for the dead.
  9. Floppy, disposable newsprint missals cheapen the Word of God and end up in the garbage when they expire.
  10. A company that has been known to badger and harass pastors and music directors when they cancel their subscriptions, especially those in their home Archdiocese.

[/quote]

This is an excellent summation of most of my gripes with them as well. Their resources simply are not of good quality. It's just a mess.


#15

But don’t forget that the majority is sometimes wrong, especially in the turbulent time after a council. This is true in so many different areas.

For example, the Vatican has explicitly said that no minister of holy communion, ordinary or extraordinary, is to give any sort of blessing in the communion line (Prot. N. 930/08/L). It still happens in most parishes. Redemptionis Sacramentum said that hand-patens (the ones held by the servers), are to be used (no. 93). They rarely are. “Word and communion” services without a priest shouldn’t be held on weekdays. They often are. The texts of the Mass are not to be modified. While this has calmed down, most parishes in the last 10-15 years were using ordinaries that did not match the missal’s text, and many priests would improvise as well. Wrong again.

Just a few examples, off the top of my head.


#16

When our new rector came to town, he got rid of the OCP stuff. He scrounged a bunch of Adoremus hymnals from another church’s basement. Then we found donations to buy Vatican II hymnals for the pews, Simple English Propers and the Parish Book of Chant for the cantors, plus sufficient Graduale Romanum, etc.

When he got rid of those heretical hymnals, you should have heard the screaming. One woman told him, to his face (I was sitting there) that she felt as though she had been raped when he removed those beloved hymnals. That family, and several others, left the parish over the issue. And of course, they told the bishop that they were leaving, and why, and that they were taking their donations with them.

Maybe that’s part of why pastors don’t get rid of the garbage. It’s a tough, tough fight. Liberals and heretics will kick and scream to hold on to their heresy. And pastors do have to pick their battles.

We have also started using communion patens (I bought and donated them), massive incense (the rector is an incense fiend; again I bought 10 kilos in Jerusalem and donated), chalice veils and burses (our altar linen ladies are sewing like mad), and Roman vestments and maniples (more mad sewing!!).

It takes bold leadership. But bold leadership is easier for your pastor if he knows that he has solid support, in talent, time, and treasure.


#17

[quote="anp1215, post:12, topic:311499"]
Yup.

Most people don't really care. Believe it or not, CAF is by no means representative of the average Catholic population. Not by a long shot.

[/quote]

Yes, and most don't believe in the Real Presence, confess mortal sins, and understand the significance of the Mass. Not exactly a point in your favor.

EDIT: I was upset that for the Feast of the Holy Family, OCP's "Today's s Missal" used the alternative readings for that day rather than the standard ones. I guess they didn't want to "rock the boat":rolleyes:


#18

[quote="JuantheTuba, post:17, topic:311499"]
Yes, and most don't believe in the Real Presence, confess mortal sins, and understand the significance of the Mass. Not exactly a point in your favor.

[/quote]

great point.


#19

Sounds like he’s doing a great job, and you are too. Keep up the good work.

:clapping: :clapping:


#20

[quote="JuantheTuba, post:17, topic:311499"]
Yes, and most don't believe in the Real Presence, confess mortal sins, and understand the significance of the Mass. Not exactly a point in your favor.

[/quote]

In my favor?


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