Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Latin in our Mass by Cardinal Arinze

We should do our best to appreciate the language which the Church uses in her liturgy and to join our hearts and voices to them, according as each liturgical rite may indicate. All of us cannot be Latin speakers, but the lay faithful can at least learn the simpler responses in Latin. Priests should give more attention to Latin so that they celebrate Mass in Latin occasionally. In big churches where there are many Masses celebrated on a Sunday or Feast day, why can one of those Masses not be in Latin? In rural parishes a Latin Mass should be possible, say once a month. In international assemblies, Latin becomes even more urgent.
-- Cardinal Arinze, Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Can Music Really Be Sacred?
From the Winter issue of Sacred Music, volume 135, number 4

Our liturgical choices depend upon our understanding of what sacred means, particularly in music, because many contend that there is no such thing as sacred or non-sacred music. Many years ago, Msgr. Schuler contended that notes are not sacred, but it is the associations of music which bring to it the connotation of sacred. I would like to explore that notion, placing it in the context of "reception."
We have two similar words in English, but they have important differences: "Sacred" and "holy;" Latin has similar, but not quite identical words, sacer and sanctus. "Sacred" is a participle, expressing the object of some action; something sacred has been set aside, dedicated to a particular and noble purpose. Holy, on the other hand, refers to the intrinsic aspect of the other, a quality of being whole, complete, perfect, even health-giving, saving. We call a saint holy, but a bishop sacred, the Mass holy, but the liturgy sacred. "Sacred," then, emphasizes a substantial component of reception—things not naturally taken to be sacred can become so by usage; it concerns things that have been set aside for the service of the holy. But there is another consideration: Some things are more apt for the service of the holy than others; their characteristics are congruent with their sacred use.
The reception of sacred things can be one of two different kinds. Take, for instance, the vestment used for Mass, the chasuble. It was in Roman times a normal outer garment; presumably, it was worn by the priest when he said Mass. In the course of time, it became obsolete as a conventional garment but was retained by the priest celebrating Mass, and so ultimately it became received as an exclusively sacred garment. Thus, something originally secular can be assimilated to a sacred context by gradual reception. This is not all, however; the chasuble is apt for its purpose, because it is an encompassing garment, covering the whole body, symbolizing the transformation of the priest into an alter Christus. Moreover, in the process of sacralization of the garment, it takes on more sacred characteristics: its form becomes more ample, the materials chosen for it become more precious (traditionally silk), and it takes on sacred symbols. This is, then, a matter of the evolution of a gradual reception, a transformation of something secular into something unambiguously sacred.
The other kind of reception is of things perceived as always having been sacred, since time immemorial. Incense is an example of that. Incense was already used in the Hebrew temple, and in spite of the theories of some rationalists that its purpose was to cover the stink of animal sacrifice (which it may have done), its stated sacred purpose was to represent the ascent of prayer; see Psalm 140:2, dirigatur oratio mea sicut incensum in conspectu tuo (let my prayer be directed as incense in thy sight). It is apt for its purpose, because it visually ascends; its fragrance is unlike anything else, and so it can be easily recognized as set aside; it is a precious material, the immolation of which constitutes a worthy sacrifice, and its use is ample. There are those who would say that it came to the Western Church from the Byzantine court, which was a secular one; the Byzantine Emperor, however, was received very much as a sacred person, and the use of incense there must also have been sacred.
I draw this distinction between those things always received as sacred and those whose reception evolves gradually, because the same distinction can be drawn with music. Gregorian chant has always been received as sacred; the early fathers of the church jealously guarded the sacredness of the music of its liturgy, and though this is pure speculation, its earliest stages were probably based upon Jewish precedent, also sacred. Over its history, it has maintained the distinction of being exclusively sacred; even though it may be quoted occasionally in concert music, its presence there serves to bring an element of the sacred to the concert. Moreover, its musical style is apt for sacred use: its non-metric rhythm conveys a sense of transcending the temporal limits of the here and now; its unison singing represents a unified voice, suitable to its sacred usage; its most melismatic forms are so ample as to preclude its employment for any mundane purpose; and its intimate link with the texts and actions of the sacred liturgy identify it with the sacred purposes of the liturgy. Its unambiguous sacred reception forms, then, a bedrock of the sacred in the liturgy.
Sacred polyphony evolved out of Gregorian chant, elaborating several voice parts upon the sacred chant melodies. But it had an important interaction with the secular; once the process of elaboration upon chant was developed, whether it was in a cantus firmus style or in thorough-going imitation, it was employed in both sacred and secular contexts. The interaction of the sacred and secular in music came to an important point with the Renaissance Mass, in which a secular piece, whether monophonic or polyphonic, was the basis of a Mass. This is often cited as evidence of a lack of distinction between sacred and secular in the Renaissance, but I would contend that it is evidence of a more important process. A Mass based upon the tune, such as "L'Homme armé," incorporates that tune in long notes—a cantus firmus, and in an intricate and learned polyphonic texture. It is no longer just the tune, but a part of a larger whole, whose sacred character is unmistakable. Thus, the secular has been sacralized, turned to a sacred purpose through an apt stylistic transformation.
This is entirely appropriate to a Christian world view. The sacred is not something simply merely separated from the world; rather the sacred transforms elements of the world to a transcendent purpose. The Eucharist is the most outstanding example: what was ordinary food for the Hebrews was transformed into the Passover meal; this, in turn was transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. Bread and wine, elements of natural nourishment, progressively became transcendent, supernatural, saving nourishment. In my study of the Medieval Sarum Rite of England, I concluded that, contrary to the theorists of comparative religion, who looked to the opposition of sacred and profane (in the sense of secular), the medieval (and Christian) sense of the sacred was that the important differences were between the more sacred and the less sacred, and the continuity of these was more important that their opposition.
In music, the transformation of elements of our ordinary world conveys the message that our ordinary lives can also be transformed. The hitch is: what if the incorporation of music into the liturgy does not involve a discernable transformation? What if the use of styles clearly identifiable with worldly and secular purposes retain their identity in liturgical use? Is the message, then, that there is no transformation? that the secular life-styles are all that there is? I would contend that this is the danger of the present use of secular styles, since the instruments they use, their vocal styling, their simplistic musical construction all retain their secular identity. Rather, it is crucial that whatever musical styles are used in the liturgy, there be clear elements of their sacralization, that their incorporation is unambiguously for the sake of transformation into something sacred. The regular use of a few pieces of Gregorian chant and of sacred polyphony can be enough to signal that difference, to inspire a congregation to higher purposes in their participation in the liturgy.
I am reminded of the principal Sunday Mass as a certain Midwestern cathedral; I attended it some five years ago, and there was a typical repertory of music in popular styles, some of the latest compositions for the Ordinary of the Mass, all accompanied by a heterogeneous and not particularly excellent instrumental group—piano, flute, drums, string bass, guitar—that gave a rather "scrappy" tone to the whole proceeding. It was clear that the musicians were dedicated, but the total effect was ambiguous and unfocused. I returned to that Mass last year, and heard an excellent organ in the loft played by an expert organist. The priest sang most of his parts, and a choir provided some worthy attempts at sacred polyphony. Much of the music was the same as the time before, but now the priest's singing, the organ accompaniment, and the presence of sacred polyphony gave a sense of purpose and focus that was entirely different. It was not the ideal, but in it the ideal was discernible, and in my view, that is real progress, a kind of progress we are now witnessing in many places.__________

Professor William Mahrt teaches musicology at Stanford University and is president of the Church Music Association of America and editor of Sacred Music. mahrt@standford.edu

Schola, Jan. Calendar

Regina Caeli Schola Cantorum, Jan. calendar

At OLPH (practice on Mondays at 7:30)
Jan. Saturday Mass (8:15AM) (Warm - up starts at 7:40)

Jan. 3,17, 31
Kyrie XI
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Puer natus (Jan.3) Qui manducat (Jan.17,31)
Alma Redemptoris Mater

At St. Martin's (Little Sisters of the Poor)
Jan. 18, Sunday, 10:30 (warm-up at 10AM)

Ave Maria(Prelude)
The Church's One Foundation (410)
Alma Redemptoris Mater (offertory-schola)
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Be Thou My Vision (388)
Now Thank We All Our God (204)

At Resurrection Church(practice on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM)
Jan. Satruday Mass (9AM) (Warm-up starts at 8:30)

Jan 10, 24
Kyrie XI
Sanctus VIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei IV
Puer natus (Jan. 10) Qui manducat (Jan.24)
Alma Redemptoris Mater

Children's schola (practice on Mondays at 1:30 at OLPH)
First Friday Mass, Jan 2
At OLPH 8:15 AM (warm up starts at 7:45 AM)

Kyrie XVI
Ave Maria(offertory)
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Puer natus (Communion)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What an 11 old boy says about Latin and Latin chants

CommentTime6 days ago edited

I think you will like to hear this.
A boy says we understand the words of the prayers in Mass when we use everyday language. When we use Latin, we don't understand everything, but it's like we don't understand many things about God, and we try to learn more. I think he is saying that it gives him the sense of the Mystery of our faith and reminds him of God more, how big He is. He also likes chant in the church than the songs that "shout."
Of course he is the one who studies and memorizes Baltimore catechism everyday, and reminds me of the Church's everlasting authority (when I need an assuarance). He has the most serious look when he says that the Church will not loose Her authority becuase Christ promised to protect the Church forever.
When you teach children it's amazing to see how much they can learn. They are like sponges. We might not see what they learn right away, but it's there somewhere. We really need to teach true catholic faith with the Church's tradition and her teachings.
They are our hope.
(Posted in CMAA forum)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Things that We are Thankful for

CommentTime2 days ago

From time to time, usually when things seem stressful, I like to stop what I'm doing and list all of the blessings in my life, and try to don gratitude for every aspect of it, the good and the not so good. There's a simple prayer, 'For all that has been thank you, and for all that will be, yes...' which is very Marian, but also extremely practical. So I thought now, being a busy time, might be a good time for us as a forum to count our CMAA blessings. I'll start...
I'm thankful for wide array or knowledge and the charitable attitude in which they are presented here on this board. I have learned so much through reading and trying to keep up with all of the discussions. So my thanks to all of you. Merry Christmas and peace to all of you.

CommentTime1 day ago

Humbug. I'm stuck in an apartment with water coming through the ceiling. And yet I'm thankful that my biggest problem is that the roof over my head leaks every now and then.

Organ student http://introibo-ad-altare.blogspot.com/

CommentTime1 day ago edited

I'll post what I'm thankful for (I hope you don't laugh).
Today is Christmas eve. I'm, first of all, thankful for CMAA and this forum that I actually 'study' eveyday. ;-)I'm also thankful to God who is almighty and bigger than the universe came down to us as a tiny baby. I was reminded today that it is the most amazing miracle to me.

My boy asked why three magi had to follow a small star, instead of something big like a big moon. It would have been easier. Made me think for awhile. It occured to me that we all have a small faith like that little star which leads us to find Jesus, our Lord in our long faith journey. We just need to be awake and don't loose the sight of that small star, even if there are somtimes clouds that cover it. I'm very greatful for that small star, and my small faith.

One more, all the musicians who worked so hard to fill this earth with beautiful music and glorify God on this Christmas.

On Christmas eve, 2008
Mia Coyne

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Dec. schedule

Regina Caeli Schola Cantorum, Dec. calendar
Mass in Dec.
At OLPH (practice on Mondays at 7:30)

Dec. Saturday Mass (8:15AM) (Warm - up starts at 7:40)
Dec.6, 20

Kyrie XI
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Veni, veni Emmanuel (communion)
Alma Redemptoris Mater

At St. Martin's (Little Sisters of the Poor)
Dec. 14, Sunday, 10:30 (warm-up at 10AM)
(notice the change of the date)

O Come ,O Come Emmanuel (#35)
Kyrie XVI
Ave Maria (offertory-schola)
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Veni, veni Emmanuel (communion)
People, Look East (#46)

At Resurrection Church
(practice on Tuesdays at 7:30 PM)

Dec 8 (Immaculate Conception)
Mass at 7:30 PM (warm-up at 7 PM)

Alma Remptoris Mater (prelude)
Kyrie XI
Ave Maris stella
Sanctus VIII
Agnus Dei IV
Ave Maria(communion)

Dec. Satruday Mass (9AM) (Warm-up starts at 8:30)
Dec 13,

Kyrie XI
Sanctus VIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei IV
Veni, veni Emmanuel (communion)
Alma Redemptoris Mater

Dec 27

Kyrie XI
Sanctus VIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei IV
Puer natus in Bethlehem (communion)
Alma Redemptoris Mater

Children's schola (practice on Mondays at 1:30 at OLPH)
First Friday Mass

At OLPH 8:15 AM (warm up starts at 7:45 AM)

Kyrie XVI
Ave Maria(offertory)
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Veni, veni Emmanuel (communion)
Agnus Dei XVIII

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Images of Liturgy

CommentTime4 hours ago

I apologize for the long post (feel free not to read it), but I wanted to put something out here that I think encapsulates a lot of discussion about liturgy.
Have you not noticed that, when it comes to discussing liturgy, people tend to revert to certain parables and images as touchstones for their positions? Perhaps you’ve heard some of these:

Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp! Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs! Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals!

Reference to Psalm 150 is often used to justify the presence of any kind of instrument in Church, liturgical dance, and a general carrying-on in celebratory mode.
What the justifiers tend to forget is that this is a psalm of David, who sang it in a totally different liturgical context than the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Sing to the Lord a new song, etc.

This is often cited as justification for sheer musical novelty and/or the necessity of making the music of the Mass expressive of a particular, time-specific aspect of secular culture. After the Resurrection, however, it really means that we are to sing the “new song” of our new life as baptized Christians, to sing the song of our new, sanctified nature.
Obviously, the sheer novelty of a song does not guarantee anything about its sanctity.

David dancing before the Lord

Again, forgetting that David was dancing before God became Man and was crucified to atone for humanity’s sinfulness. The Mass, which re-presents this Sacrifice, is categorically different than the worship of Israelites in the Temple. Please note that I am not saying that there is anything inherently wrong with dancing for God and celebrating outside the Mass. On the contrary!

Strike up the guitars and tambourines! Just not at the Holy Mass, which is a special circumstance.*

The Widow’s Mite and The Little Drummer Boy

This has great resonance with many people because it appeals both to our humility and our understanding that God is kind and merciful. Isn’t God pleased with whatever we offer to Him with sincerity? Did not the Christ child smile when the little drummer boy “played his best for him”? Well, yes to both. God loves both our sincerity and our best efforts!
However, appealing to these stories obscures another terribly important fact, which is that, at the Mass, we do not offer things as individuals, but as the collective Body of Christ. What is our “best” as a collective Body? What are our Catholic communities really capable of offering? Are we ever settling for second-rate, or third-rate, when we should be cultivating and offering something first-rate? Is God pleased with the lukewarm efforts of His people?

The Last Supper

This is a big one. With the priest facing the congregation, and lots of servers and Extraordinary Ministers gathered around him, the Altar looks a lot more like the Last Supper than Golgotha, doesn’t it? But is that image of the Last Supper the fullest expression of what the Mass really is? Hardly. The Mass is infinitely more than a supper. I think some people really like this image of the supper because it is safer. It is safer to imagine you’re at a happy little supper than to imagine you are present at the dark sublimity of Golgotha, just as it is safer to imagine “breaking bread” than to imagine the total transformation of the substance of bread into the Real Presence of Christ Himself among us, in our humble abode. But are we not called by Christ to believe this? And if we are, shouldn’t our default posture at Mass be genuflection, even prostration?

The image of the Multicultural World at Prayer

There are wonderful pictures around of people of all races gathered around Christ’s table, and they are wonderful for a good and true reason: God is God of all of us. Sometimes this image is used to justify some pretty silly things, though. I used to worship with Protestants in the upper midwest of the USA. There simply weren’t many people up there with African ancestry. And yet, time and time again, we would sing songs of African ancestry and give it our best shot. It was, well, less than musically successful, but we felt good about our mild expression of solidarity. Is this really necessary? Isn’t it much more important to express our solidarity in other, more productive ways? If people are so concerned about this, why don’t they invite these other people to their celebrations, and let them sing? More often than not, the “multicultural” impulse is superficial, and trivializes true charity.

Christ driving out the money-changers from the Temple

Lest you think I’m too hard on so-called “progressive” attitudes about liturgy, let me address this popular image. This is sometimes used to justify liturgical severity, very close to Puritanical zeal, the banishing of all joy and creativity whatsoever from the Mass. This, too, is a mistake. Human creativity is good, but as we all know, human creativity without limits will quickly careen into sinfulness if it is not properly subordinated and guided. Christ cleared the market-place outside the Temple because He saw into people’s hearts and saw a lack of real contrition, a void, into which sinful impulses eagerly took up residence. This was His point.
Can you think of other images and parables similar to these? I’m sure there are others.

* I think a deep part of our liturgical problems have to do with the Mass being the only time Catholics ever congregate as Catholics. Perhaps some people think "it's now or never," and that the Mass must therefore encapsulate everything in Catholic culture in no more than 45 minutes. Consequently, Mass ends up looking like the Catholic Variety Show. Is this what our Pope and bishops want?

"All are Welcome?"

CommentAuthordavid andrew
CommentTime1 day ago

What's so bad about "All Are Welcome"? I'll tell you . . .
Let us build . . .
Let US build . . .
Let US build . . .
Let US build . . .
Get it? It's all about US building an edifice that includes God as some kind of part of the accoutrements. Look at the text! God had nothing to do with it, we simply call him to be a part of what WE'VE built, what WE'LL do in it after we've built it.
Aint it grand?!?
Compare it to the text of Locus iste. And then wonder how we got from God being the principal resident of the sacred space to us being the landlords.

CommentTime22 hours ago

It's all about US! This is fun!
No seriously, your rationale is off but you're dead on. I turned down a job on the sole basis that they use this at Mass. And not just for Lateran. The issue isn't the presence of the word "us", it's the ABSENCE of any action of God in the hymn. What action happens in it? People build a house.. where others are welcomed... apparently at one point they have intercommunion. Where is God in this? "Here the love of Christ will end division." Well fine if that's a BASIS for a text, then you've got Ubi Caritas. Unfortunately, that's just a passing reference in this Song to Ourselves. I'm always saying that we need to realize that these texts don't always mean to everyone what we think they mean. But there's no way to view this as much more than a moralistic Hymn to Diversity and Ego. Stop telling me I have to do things that have nothing to do with scripture or the teachings of the Church. I don't want to build your house, I want to praise God.
As I said to a more moderate church musician, "It doesn't belong at Mass. It's not a hymn. It's a nice song about people being welcomed, but it's not a hymn.

"Organ student http://introibo-ad-altare/.

CommentTime20 hours ago

I'm going to side-step discussion of the Haugen because it's one of the most annoying pieces I know. It sounds like the intro to Romper Room or a spirit team tune for a pep rally.

Do we still remember that The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the perfect offering of Christ?

CommentTime3 days ago edited

To me it has become crystal clear in the last 15-20 years. This music (P&W) is all about emotion, and MY feelings about God. That may have a place in your personal prayers, or in a gathering of Christians wishing to express devotion to God. But as Steve noted, the liturgy is a RITUAL. And the ritual is completed by the priest. The people need not even be present for there to be the remittance of sin which is the primary reason why the Mass is celebrated.

Hanc ígitur oblatiónem servitútis nostræ, sed et cunctæ famíliæ tuæ, quæsumus Dómine, ut placátus accípias, diésque nostros in tua pace dispónas, atque ab ætérna damnatióne nos éripi, et in electórum tuórum júbeas grege numerári. (Jungit manus.) Per Christum Dóminum nostrum. Amen.
Quam oblatiónem tu, Deus, in ómnibus, quæsumus,
We therefore beseech thee, O Lord, to be appeased, and to receive this offering of our bounden duty, as also of thy whole household; order our days in thy peace; grant that we be rescued from eternal damnation and counted within the fold of thine elect. (He joins his hands together.) Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Which offering do thou, O God, vouchsafe in all things.
He makes the sign of the cross three times over the offerings.
benedíctam, adscríptam, ratam, rationábilem, acceptabilémque fácere dignéris:
to bless , consecrate , approve , make reasonable and acceptable:
He makes the sign of the cross once over the host and once over the chalice.
ut nobis Corpus et Sanguis fiat dilectíssimi Fílii tui Dómini nostri Jesu Christi.
Qui prídie quam paterétur (accipit hostiam), accépit panem in sanctas ac venerábiles manus suas (elevat oculos ad cœlum), et elevátis óculis in cœlum, ad te Deum Patrem suum omnipoténtem, tibi grátias agens,
that it may become for us the Body and Blood of thy most beloved Son our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who the day before he suffered took bread (he takes the host) into his holy and venerable hands (he raises p. 467 his eyes to heaven), and with his eyes lifted up to heaven, unto thee, God, his almighty Father, giving thanks to thee,
He makes the sign of the cross over the host.
benedíxit, fregit, dedítque discípulis suis, dicens: Accípite, et manducáte ex hoc omnes.
he blessed , brake, and gave to his disciples, saying: Take and eat ye all of this,
Holding the host between the first fingers and thumbs of both hands, he says the words of consecration, silently with clearness and attention, over the host, and at the same time over all the other hosts, if several are to be consecrated.
Hoc est enim Corpus meum.
For this is my Body.
As soon as the words of consecration have been said, he kneels and adores the consecrated host. He rises, shows it to the people, puts it on the corporal, and again adores. Then, uncovering the chalice, he says:
Símili modo postquam cœnátum est,
In like manner, after he had supped,
He takes the chalice with both hands.
accípiens et hunc præclárum Cálicem in sanctas ac venerábiles manus suas, item tibi grátias agens,
taking also this excellent chalice into his holy and adorable hands; also giving thanks to thee,
Holding the chalice with his left hand, he makes the sign of the cross over it with his right.
benedíxit, dedítque discípulis suis, dicens: Accípite, et bíbite ex eo omnes:
he blessed , and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take, and drink ye all of this;
He utters the words of consecration over the chalice silently, attentively, carefully, and without pausing, holding it slightly raised.
Hic est enim Calix Sánguinis mei, novi et ætérni testaménti; mystérium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundétur in remissiónem peccatórum.
For this is the Chalice of my Blood, of the new and eternal testament; the mystery of faith: which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins.

This is why the overly-stressed importance of active participation is a weak argument. The ritual is complete and is fully composed with all of its music in the official books of the church. NO ONE has anything to add to the Mass. It is perfect in itself, by itself. As a composer of sacred music, the best I can do concerning the Mass might be to compose a new setting of the ordinary in polyphonic form. Other than that, anything else seems like a vane effort. I don't believe that anyone's music and singing, including my own, have any bearing whatsoever on the efficacy of the ritual and the remission of sin. Period. I might even go so far as to say that most of the music (and the preaching) these days is no more than a tickling of the ears. We seem to write music and words that only try to convince ourselves of our great goodness and holiness in the sight of God and assure ourselves of his love for us when in truth the main thing that pleases him is our obedience to him, and in partaking in the sacraments, especially confession and the Mass.
"For there shall be a time when they will not endure sound doctrine but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Now to contradict myself, I will also say that God is pleased that we worship him, but we should worship him as He desires, not as we think. And that, my dear friends, is where this type (P&W) of music falls short.

What We Minister with Our Music

At the table of the world, some have plenty, some have none.At the table of our God, all are plentifully fed.
R. Blow among us, Spirit of God,fill us with your courage and care!Hurricane and Breath, take us on a journey of love!
At the table of the world, some have honor, some have scorn.At the table of our God, all are welcomed and acclaimed.
R. Blow among us, Spirit of God,fill us with your courage and care!Hurricane and Breath, take us on a journey of love!
Set the table of our God in the Church and in the world,Till the children, fed and loved, taste and see that life is good.
In the old days, hymns used to be about praising God and asking for mercy.
This hymn seems more to be about saying, "Hey, everybody: no matter what you think or do, you are wonderful. Chill out: Life is good!"
It uses a poetic style that would be very good for Sesame Street.
(Am I wrong?)
St. Don Bosco, pray for us!

CommentTime21 hours ago

Hurricane and Breath, take us on a journey of love!
I rarely post anything negative, but this demands it. I was in Louisiana during hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Both were, obviously, utterly devastating. To use "hurricane" as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit is not only ridiculous but obscene.
It is also completely indicative of the kind of anarchic literary libertinism that appears to reign in certain quarters: if I just "feel" enthusiastic enough, then it must be the Holy Spirit, so it doesn't matter what metaphors I use! How dare you criticize my sincerity! I'm feelin' the Spirit! Etc.
At the table of our God, all are welcomed and acclaimed.
Even unrepentant sinners, presumably.
Absolute rubbish. It would be a pleasure to throw this forcibly into the wastebasket where it belongs. It's not like we're not swimming already in a sea of alternatives.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

God's Grace on My Brother's Funeral

This is a beautiful story posted on CMAA forum

[My brother, who] was the oldest of our 11 siblings, had been a server when the changes to the Mass came, and stilled mourned the older form of the Mass, and attended whenever he could. Because he was career military he moved a traveled a great deal, and was hardly ever lucky in finding a good parish to attend. He had even gone to a sedevacantist chapel at one fairly long posting, until he realized from some literature in the vestibule that they were not in union with Rome.We weren't especially close, (personalities and politics,) but because I was involved in Church music, when the motu proprio was issued we actually developed a stronger bond, Liturgy in general and funerals in particular, including what we wanted for our own were something we had discussed in long phone conversations.When he died very suddenly, I told the family what he wanted, and I was asked to be the "point man" in dealing with the parish from which he would be buried, which was almost a thousand miles away.Understand, I am NOT an EF [Traditional Latin Mass] partisan, particularly, I'm more of a Reform of the Reform type, and don't really know a lot about the older rite, especially not the Requiem.None of us had lived in our hometown parish for 15 years, there had been two changes of pastor since then, new music ministers, etc.I had no expectation of success when I spoke to the parish secretary, saying that I needed to ask the pastor if there could be an EF Requiem Mass, as she said the musicians were in charge of all the planning, and would be the ones to contact me. When I told her that they could hardly be in a position to know whether the pastor would allow or was even capable of presiding over the Extraordinary Form and she didn't know what I was meant and gave me the cantor's phone number, I lost what little hope I had. Lo and behold, next day the pastor called me, and said he knew a priest who could say the Mass, knew where black vestments could be gotten, had already set the musicians to organizing what would be needed. etc. The cantor turned out to be someone I had worked with in another lifetime, had sung a zillion Requiem in concert (after the proper at Communion she gave a beautiful rendition of the Faure Pie Jesus,) and was familiar with all the chants except the Dies Irae and In Paradisum/Chorus Angelorum, for which I faxed the Bragers accompaniments to her. A Protestant musician for whose children I used to babysit coached her through them, and helped support the congregation's sung responses. The organist learned everything necessary but was perfectly unobtrusive. During his sermon, the pastor actually thanked US for allowing them the privilege and opportunity of doing something that that parish had not seen fro perhaps 35 years. The musicians were also gracious in thanking the family for the chance to do this.There may have been a little blurring of the forms, (as you can tell, I wouldn't be able to notice the details,) but I'd like to think it was... organic?Congregation responses, posture, etc. was better than at many vernacular OF funerals
It all went off very beautifully, it really was extraordinary as well as Extraordinary.
Almost more than the Mass itself, it was the series of coincidences that made it possible that I find extraordinary. Without the motu proprio, (which in Church time has just been issued,) I would not have felt "entitled" to ask for this for my family, (nor, probably, would I have ever discussed funerals with my brother Michael.) The Parish Book of Chant which we all had just acquired this spring made programs for the faithful possible on short notice (photocopied at 94% its pages fit a tri-fold legal sheet beautifully, incidentally. For future reference.)The young pastor, Fr Brian Plate (he doesn’t look 40,) who was so accommodating and gracious, had just arrived at the parish this summer. (I know many a pastor who would have simply refused the request, especially from people who were no longer parishioners.)The older priest, Msgr. Donald Guenther, who was able to say the Mass had just taken up residency at their rectory.The beautiful vestments that were borrowed for Michael's funeral had just been purchased for the funeral of the mother of a priest of the diocese. I had just, less than three weeks previously, acquired the Bragers book of accompaniment for the Kyriale on eBay, really on a whim. A friend at my parish had just told me of coming across the old black velvet funeral pall in the basement among the discarded burlap and felt banners, (I took it with me in my carry-on when I flew.)The previous pastor had just restored part of the communion rail.
But perhaps most providential of all, I, who otherwise would have had no idea of what to ask for, or do, or expect, had just been able to attend the CMAA colloquium for the first time this year, (although I was so focused on singing i don't remember many details of the Requiem,) and more helpfully had just attended the solemn All Souls' Mass at St John Cantius. Had All Souls, (my brother's birthday, by the way,) not fallen on a Sunday this year, it would not have been transferred to the next day, in the old calendar, and my parish duties would have prevented my attending that. I am so grateful to have been able to do this for my brother, and so grateful to everyone who made it possible. I have some new heroes, and I have new hope for the restoration of the sacred.
(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)