Skip to comments.Dramatic Changes in Music Rubrics for New Missal
Posted on 07/11/2011 2:47:29 AM PDT by markomalley
Some of the most advanced thinkers in the world of music and liturgy have long identified the critical problem in Catholic music today. They have pointed out that the Mass itself provides for the texts and the music for the Mass, but in the General Instruction on on the Roman Missal, there appears a loophole. Musicians can sing what is appointed, or (option 4) they can sing something else, and that something else is limited only by what the musicians themselves deem as appropriate. What this has meant, in effect, is: anything goes. This is why it often seems that when it comes to music at Mass that, well, anything goes.
Im happy to report that the legislative ground has just shifted, and dramatically so. The new translation of the General Instruction removes the discretion from the music team to sing pretty much whatever it wants. The new text, which pertains to the new translation of the Missal that comes into effect on Advent this year, makes it clear beyond any doubt: the music of the Mass is the chanted propers of the Mass. There are options but these options all exist within the universe of the primary normative chant. There can be no more making up some random text, setting it to music, and singing it as the entrance, offertory, or communion.
I have no doubt that the practice of singing non-liturgical texts will continue but it will now continue only under a cloud. If Im reading this correctly, any text other than an appointed text for the Mass will now fall outside the boundaries provided for by the authoritative document that regulates the manner in which Mass is to proceed.
We can be sure that gigabytes of digits will be produced with the intention of explaining to me and everyone why what we can clearly read below does not really mean what it seems to be saying, that there has been some mistake in phrasing, that taking this literally is only the penchant of traditionalists, and that the prevailing practice surely has equal normative status. Nonetheless, the text is there, clear as a bell, and will be printed in all editions of the Missal that is now in preparation.
Catholic musicians of the world, the GIRM would like you to meet a new friend: the propers of the Mass.
Let us compare old and new:
47. After the people have gathered, the Entrance chant begins as the priest enters with the deacon and ministers. The purpose of this chant is to open the celebration, foster the unity of those who have been gathered, introduce their thoughts to the mystery of the liturgical season or festivity, and accompany the procession of the priest and ministers.
48. The singing at this time is done either alternately by the choir and the people or in a similar way by the cantor and the people, or entirely by the people, or by the choir alone. In the dioceses of the United States of America there are four options for the Entrance Chant: (1) the antiphon from the Roman Missal or the Psalm from the Roman Gradual as set to music there or in another musical setting; (2) the seasonal antiphon and Psalm of the Simple Gradual; (3) a song from another collection of psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) a suitable liturgical song similarly approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.
48. This chant is sung alternately by the choir and the people or similarly by a cantor and the people, or entirely by the people, or by the choir alone. In the Dioceses of the United States of America, there are four options for the Entrance Chant: (1) the antiphon from the Missal or the antiphon with its Psalm from the Gradual Romanum, as set to music there or in another setting; (2) the antiphon and Psalm of the Graduate Simplex for the liturgical time; (3) a chant from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including Psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) another liturgical chant that is suited to the sacred action, the day, or the time of year, similarly approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.
61(d). [T]he following may also be sung in place of the Psalm assigned in the Lectionary for Mass: either the proper or seasonal antiphon and Psalm from the Lectionary, as found either in the Roman Gradual or Simple Gradual or in another musical setting; or an antiphon and Psalm from another collection of the psalms and antiphons, including psalms arranged in metrical form, providing that they have been approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop. Songs or hymns may not be used in place of the responsorial Psalm.
61(d). [I]nstead of the Psalm assigned in the lectionary, there may be sung either the Responsorial Gradual from the Graduale Romanum, or the Responsorial Psalm or the Alleluia Psalm from the Graduale Simplex, as described in these books, or an antiphon and Psalm from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, including Psalms arranged in metrical fonn, providing that they have been approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop. Songs or hymns may not be used in place of the Responsorial Psalm.
74. The procession bringing the gifts is accompanied by the Offertory chant (cf. above, no. 37b), which continues at least until the gifts have been placed on the altar. The norms on the manner of singing are the same as for the Entrance chant (cf. above, no. 48). Singing may always accompany the rite at the offertory, even when there is no procession with the gifts.
87. In the dioceses of the United States of America there are four options for the Communion chant: (1) the antiphon from the Roman Missal or the Psalm from the Roman Gradual as set to music there or in another musical setting; (2) the seasonal antiphon and Psalm of the Simple Gradual; (3) a song from another collection of psalms and antiphons, approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) a suitable liturgical song chosen in accordance with no. 86 above. This is sung either by the choir alone or by the choir or cantor with the people.
87. In the Dioceses of the United States of America, there are four options for singing at Communion: (1) the antiphon from the Missal or the antiphon with its Psalm from the Graduale Romanum, as set to music there or in another musical setting; (2) the antiphon with Psalm from the Graduale Simplex of the liturgical time; (3) a chant from another collection of Psalms and antiphons, approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop, including Psalms arranged in responsorial or metrical forms; (4) some other suitable liturgical chant (cf. no. 86) approved by the Conference of Bishops or the Diocesan Bishop.
Now, I know what you are already thinking. You see a way around all this. Any pastor or musician can just decide to call the groovy tune that is chosen a chant. Heres my chant, says Lady Gaga. Its true that you could ignore the whole of English usage and call anything a chant, and I can also call my hat a banana and no one can stop me.
In like manner, you can ignore all the clear import of the mandates here pounce on the slight bit of liberality and say, hey, whos gonna stop this? All of that is true. And so it is when dealing with children when you step out of the house for a bit: you can give the clearest instructions possible, a comprehensive list of dos and do nots, and yet somehow they will find a way to get around the rules. All of this is true.
In other words, it will still not be possible to bring an end to the pop music with random texts at Mass by waving this at your pastors face. It seems to me very clear that vast swaths of existing music used in the English speaking world are soon to be regarded as illicit. I dont think there is any other honest way to read the new GIRM. There is very little if any room for anything now but the propers of the Mass.
Im not naive and neither are you: the other songs will continue. Even so, they are not long for this world. The Church now speaks and sings with a clear voice; we can choose to sing along or sing some other song of our choosing.
Here is a fair-use excerpt scan sent my way.
The Requiem IS a Mass.
In the classical music sense, yes. Really, though, and having performed it more than once with multiple interpretations, it's really more theatrical than reverent and was part of a movement that was corrected in the 19th century when chant was once again emphasized over "performance" level pieces, which the Mozart Requiem clearly is. This is part of the reason that classical music doesn't have so many Masses in the eras since.
Heh. That line's a keeper. I tend to stay out of these music conversations. This is my church choir, http://www.cantoresinecclesia.org/pages/main_pages/about_us.html
Agreed, this also tosses Gounod, et al, out of the picture.
My larger point is that there is a definite place for Gregorian and other forms of chant and there is a definite place for hymnody, regardless of the Christian source. My own hymnal has hymns from Ephraem Syrus, Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Ralph Vaughn Williams, Charles Wesley, Martin Luther and many many Roman ones. I am happy to see the Roman congregations being encouraged to move from the trivial show tunes now in use back toward reverent hymans. I am not so happy to see the Roman Church use this as one more way to exclude anything not explicitly produced by a Roman. It’s just not charitable and it really does rule out some of the most beautiful and reverent music ever composed.
No, but, leaving the late 20th century crap out of the argument, from time to time there are pieces that fit the Mass of the Day better than anything else that are not Catholic in origin. I.e., ANYTHING by Felix Mendelssohn who wrote a beautiful oratorio called "St. Paul" that has more than one movement that's in the standard repertoire. There's other pieces of his, including Hark, the Herald Angels Sing that work just fine and not many people complain about them. Most of them are done as anthems, or special pieces, not hymn singing. Doing without the spirituals and that sort of thing is probably not going to hurt anything.
If the goal here is pure, Catholic chant, it's going to be a bit of an uphill battle unless the parishes are willing to spend the money on musicians who know what they're doing. It's not as easy as it looks and after singing other genres accompanied, learning to connect the line and maintain pitch a cappella ain't easy. It takes a while to make it sound inspirational and there are choirs that can wreck chant. I heard it earlier this year and it was bad enough that there was banning involved.
Beware of idealizing this. It's a lot of work and it's going to take the bishops' taste to change before it all gets worked out.
As a bonus, include that insipid hymn that re-uses the theme from the 4th Movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony (Joyful, joyful, or some such title). Why somebody would use a melody written to support a poem by Schiller as the basis for a "spiritual" song is beyond me. (And, yes, I dearly love the symphony, but within a Catholic Church? Really?????) -- read up on Schiller a little bit and my objection may not seem so ridiculous.
Secondly, after decades in being in church choirs - some really good, some not - the protestant stuff, for the most part, but not all, really doesn't fit and a lot of times the lyrics are theologically wrong. Nothing against the music, it's just a reality.
The point in this thread is that there are parts of the Mass that have been suppressed in the last 50 or so years - the Introit, the Offertorio and the Communio - that the General Instructions now state MUST be put back in and the preferred musical conduit is chant. These are not hymns. They are antiphons with psalm verses. Hymns are to take a back seat. The article says nothing about the recessional, so I suppose hymns can be sung there, but the antiphons are not to be replaced.
My current choir has a director that has a HUGE collection of music and we actually did gorgeous settings of the Offertory Antiphons during Lent. There's also several standard chant settings for all of it.
It'll be interesting to see how this all shakes out.
I've seen several different sets of lyrics for this one - and, yeah, it's not really religious. I like to call it the Illuminati Theme Song.
David Haas has a couple that aren't bad. I'd add Richard Proulx to the list. Half the time he just set words to tunes we already know. Lazy, lazy.
Every Catholic should know the Gloria by heart and say or sing it joyfully. The entire thing! More of us would if they didn’t keep changing the tune and the words so we can’t feel familiar and comfortable with them.
My latest Mass misadventure: I have begun resisting pressure by not holding hands during the Our Father. I just hold my hands up in front of me, put my head down, close my eyes, and pray it. Last week, while in this posture of prayer, I had a fellow parishioner come across the aisle and tap me on the arm and make me hold his hand!
Why on Earth do our bishops tinker with custom like this? We should all be using our bodies in the same way at every Mass in the country. Isn’t it incorrect to hold hands during the Our Father?
” ... the wor - or- orld ... “
Now, that’s funny! My dear eldest daughter cannot abide the modern music in Mass. Wherever she goes, I hear her ratings of the Masses she has attended and the music in Mass has a deep influence on her. She selects her parish based on the experience in the confessional and the music.
“Im just praying for a local Anglican parish with a dignified reverent liturgy to cross the Tiber. “
I’ve been searching and waiting for the same thing. I recently visited Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Now that’s a church! It is gloriously artistic and showcases man’s ability to praise God through architecture. The music was beautiful and they still kneel. I felt wonderful there. One Mass there fed my soul for a month.
Now if only I could find that in my hometown. Our bishop, meanwhile, is talking about buying the Crystal Cathedral!
Holding hands during the Pater is some sort of Protestant custom imported by Charismatics. I don't think you can really blame the bishops for it, except to the extent that they've tolerated it or given a bad example by doing it themselves.
And no, it's not required, and it's wrong to try to impose it on people -- even if it's lay people imposing it on other lay people.
We never held hands when I was Protestant, but then, it was Presbyterian, and rather stiff. However, I’ve never been in a Catholic parish that did not, although I’ve probably visited some. Doesn’t bother me either way. I’m nearly always holding onto my kids, anyway.
Be ready for the text change the first week of Advent. It's creeping up on us.
I have begun resisting pressure by not holding hands during the Our Father. I just hold my hands up in front of me, put my head down, close my eyes, and pray it. Last week, while in this posture of prayer, I had a fellow parishioner come across the aisle and tap me on the arm and make me hold his hand!
When the choir is off, I do what the sisters do - lace my fingers at my waist and bow my head. I assume they're correct. Not that we hold hands at my parish.
Why on Earth do our bishops tinker with custom like this? We should all be using our bodies in the same way at every Mass in the country. Isnt it incorrect to hold hands during the Our Father?
I don't know that it originated with the bishops. They just haven't corrected it.
That's Cardinal George's influence. Before he went there, word is kneeling was not done. I would imagine the music, too. Bernardin was into the banal stuff.
It was the non-Catholic Taize chanting source which HELPED me both discover and appriciate the older Catholic sources of liturgy music. This is very important because I grew up, as a child of the VC II NOT knowing ANY of the older Catholic sources in regards to music. I have on my iTunes music roster chants from the Spanish Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos.
That is why, I say that Taize should be given CREDIT where CREDIT is DUE, for honoring this RICH music heritage. For this is why I say it is a begining level to chant.
Plus there are people like myself, who grew up under the shadow of VC2, and even in the music ministry that I am in, the minister that has just retired and the one coming in, did very mininmal Latin-related chants at best.
Unaffectionately known as the "Massive Cremation".
-- written by Marty Haugen....a Lutheran.
Hah! We wish Marty Haugen were a Lutheran. He's an ex-Lutheran; a member of the United Church of Christ.
Thanks. That makes more sense than I can possibly explain on a caucus thread.
I don't see that as the typical reaction...but if, in your case, it worked, fantastic.
You do realize that, other than the articles I post and any Magesterial source I cite, all posts are IMHO and most definitely FWIW. Therefore, it should go without saying, YMMV!!!!!
The choir at our Parish sings the Gloria verses, in four part harmony, but if folks want to sing along with the melody, we’re happy to have them do it. We sing the same one, during the whole liturgical season, so they are certainly familiar with it, as they are will all the other parts of the Mass.
Ialways thought Gounod was the Catholic Ave Maria and that Schubert was the one to be avoided.
WELCOME BACK Salvation!
>>I have begun resisting pressure by not holding hands during the Our Father. I just hold my hands up in front of me, put my head down, close my eyes, and pray it.<<
Stop that orans position. In the GIRM it is reserved for the priest and deacon only. It is never allowed for the laity and part of your problem. I left “Lib city” church and know just what you’re going through.
Fold your hands and close your eyes. If someone taps you, ignore it. If it happens again, ignore it again. If they call your name, ignore it. With your hands folded, no one can grab your hand. If they come up to your and ask about it after, Open your eyes wide and exclaim, “I was PRAYING!” That solved my problem. Eventually, a whole group of us (starting with the men who hate the hand holding anyway) folded our hands for the Our Father. I think that if I had stayed, many more would have.
Here is an excellent statement from Karl Keating, of Catholic Answers.com. I wish that we could get this out to all Catholics to make them understand. It DOES take away the meaning in other parts of the mass. You would be amazed at how many people will drop their hands when a few in the pew do.
May 23, 2004, 04:50 PM
Karl Keating Karl Keating is offline
President, Catholic Answers
Join Date: April 1, 2004
Location: San Diego
Default Re: Holding hands at the Lord’s Prayer
In America, we shake hands with one another at the sign of peace. In Japan parishioners bow to one another. In other countries there may be other conventions.
At the sign of peace we’re saying “I’m at peace with you” or “I feel reconciled to you.” We convey that through words (”The peace of Christ be with you”) and through an action that is friendly but not intimate or intrusive (since most of those around us likely will be strangers).
This act of demonstrating reconciliation is undermined by holding hands at the Our Father. That prayer comes immediately before the sign of peace. In those parishes where people hold hands during that prayer, they are engaging in an action that is much more intimate than a handshake.
If we hold hands during the Our Father, it undercuts the significance of the following act, since holding hands trumps shaking hands. The sign of peace withers. A prescribed part of the liturgy (the sign of peace) loses much of its significance (much of its “sign value”) when parishioners hold hands at the Our Father.
(It’s good to say “I love you” to your spouse, but if you say that to everyone you meet on the street, your spouse will feel your words have been devalued.)
Another point: In our culture, hand-holding is approved of when adults hold the hands of young children, when boyfriend and girlfriend hold hands, and when married couples hold hands (though this commonly stops a few weeks after the honeymoon ).
We do not hold hands with strangers to whom we are introduced. We shake hands instead. Holding hands in such a situation would be perceived as too intimate. And in some cases, holding hands even suggests something unsavory, as when we see two men holding hands as they walk down the sidewalk.
Can anyone think of any situation, other than at the Our Father during Mass, in which people commonly hold hands with strangers? I can’t, and I think there is a reason: Hand holding is a sign of a certain intimacy. It’s not something we take lightly.
To hold hands with strangers at Mass strikes me as artificial, and it has become a detriment to a proper appreciation of the liturgy. Yes, it is easy enough to avoid, but I think it remains a problem. It is one kind of problem for those who don’t wish to hold hands, and it is another kind of problem (the problem of not understanding the role of signs in the Mass) for those who like the practice.
Gounod was Roman, so far as I know. And I see no problem with the Schubert, which is just about the modern classical standard setting. Unless it is utter bigotry for anything not written by a professing Roman Catholic, I’m really failing to see the point of excluding great works for liturgical use written by Anglicans or Protestants (not at all the same thing).
Thank you so much for that great response. I’ll try it.
When you say you fold your hands in front of you, are you lacing your fingers together and folding them tightly or are you placing your palms together with the fingers straight up?
What are you doing when we say, “For the kingdom, power, and glory are yours...”? Are you lifting your hands up toward heaven?
It's lieder, an art song, not sacred, so technically it's not supposed to be used. I wish people would consider the Faure. Much more beautiful setting.
Brilliant simile. THANK you.
Joyful, joyful makes me vomit. I have learned to hate this tune ...
(Yes, it matches the meter.)
I would have no problem with any of the three we’ve been discussing. I can’t see why you make the distinction, other than Schubert’s denomination (I’m guessing Lutheran). Deprive yourselves all you want. We won’t. We happily use Gregorian chant, Roman hymns, etc, and think them easily as beautiful and reverent as anything our home team composed.
Charity, it’s not just for money anymore.
Deprivation has nothing to do with it. Maintenance of theological integrity does - and that outweighs ephemeral taste when it comes to sacred music.
>>When you say you fold your hands in front of you, are you lacing your fingers together and folding them tightly or are you placing your palms together with the fingers straight up?<<
I lace my fingers and have taught my children to do the same. To me, that is a universal posture that says “leave me alone, I’m praying.” Most people get it. If they don’t, they deserve to be ignored.
>>What are you doing when we say, For the kingdom, power, and glory are yours...? Are you lifting your hands up toward heaven?<<
I don’t, but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t. While the “hands extended” (orans) position is truly reserved for the Priest and Deacon, folding one’s hands is the laity’s posture. Personally, I don’t do any of the “Catholic Calisthenics” that the innovators have added. No swaying, no “Lift up your hearts” freethrow toss, no handholding. AND when we travel through the summer and go to different parishes, I put my girls between my husband and myself so they don’t have to deal with anyone.
The Our Father is during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. We should be concentrating on Jesus, right there on the Altar. I always say to people, “If Jesus appeared standing on the Altar, would you be grabbing for your neighbor’s hand? I sure wouldn’t. I’d be on my face, begging forgiveness. Well he is right there on the altar. Body and Blood, soul and divinity.”
I don't do the NAZI salute blessing either.
>>I don’t do the NAZI salute blessing either.<<
I was in SHOCK the first time I saw that.
The laity should not be blessing anyway. My EMHC husband was taught NEVER to bless children when they are brought up for communion. He holds up the host and says, “May God bless you.” The laity blessing is back to the old lib thought of “we are all priests/we are Church”. Ugh.
The Nazi deal is downright scary. For heaven’s sake, don’t these people see themselves?
Thanks so much. I will try it. I was pretty unnerved by the parishioner who came across the aisle to make me hold his hand. Perhaps this posture will make it clearer to the “manual meddlers.”
I be praying for you!!!!
Who knows, you may just start a trend.
Make that “I’ll be praying...”
(sheesh, we need a delete button here)