Friday, October 26, 2012

Schola: November calendar

Saturday Mass (8:15AM) (Warm - up at 7:40)
Nov. 3, 17

Kyrie VIII
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Lux Aeterna
Panis Angelicus
Salve Regina

At Resurrection Church
Saturday Mass (9AM) (Warm-up starts at 8:30)
Nov. 10, 24

Kyrie VIII
Sanctus XVIII
Mysterium Fidei and Amen
Agnus Dei XVIII
Lux Aeterna
Panis Angelicus
Salve Regina

Requiem Mass, Missa Cantata at the Our Lady Center, Ellicott city
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 6PM (Warm-up starts at 5:30 PM)
Nov. 10, 24

Introit: Requiem Aeternam
Gradual:  Requiem Aeternam
Tract:  Absolve Domine
Sequence:  Dies Irae
Offertory:  Domine Jesu, Christe
Communio:  Lux Aeterna
Responsory: Libera Me

Children's Schola

First Friday Mass at OLPH (All Souls)
Nov. 2  8:15 AM (Warm-up starts at 7:45 AM)

Thursday Masses at St. Paul 
8:00 AM (Warm-up starts at 7:45 AM)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Whither Latin?

"The Pope’s idea to establish a new Pontifical Academy is an important sign of renewed focus on the significance of Latin. Fr. Nicolini – who distributed ten thousand copies of a free introductory booklet to the Latin language in middle schools and is sending out an appeal for it to be included again in school curriculums – stated: “Latin teaches us to show respect for beautiful things and it also teaches us to value our roots.”

The Liturgy is a dialogue with God; He has given us the right words to address Him

Pope Benedict XVI gave a catechesis on "The liturgy as a school of prayer" in his general audience today. While he didn't address sacred music directly, his theological reflection has immense and compelling implications for the nature of the music of the liturgy.

Here are a few highlights with added emphasis and commentary on the report from VIS:

Vatican City, 26 September 2012 (VIS) - The liturgy as a school of prayer, as a "special place in which God addresses each one of us ... and awaits our response", was the theme of Benedict XVI's catechesis during his general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square. 
Quoting again from the Catechism of the Catholic Church the Pope affirmed that "a sacramental celebration is a meeting of God's children with their Father, in Christ and the Holy Spirit; this meeting takes the form of a dialogue, through actions and words'. Thus", he explained, "the first requirement for a good liturgical celebration is that it be prayer and dialogue with God, first listening then responding. ... Sacred liturgy offers us the words, it is up to us to enter into their meaning, absorb them, harmonise ourselves with them. ... One fundamental and primordial element of dialogue with God in the liturgy is concordance between what we say with our mouths and what we carry in our hearts", he said. 
What the Holy Father describes here is perhaps one of the strongest theological arguments for Gregorian chant and authentic sacred music: The entire form of the liturgy is a dialogue; its form is antiphonal. As participants in the liturgy, our first task is to listen, and then to respond. The words that we use are not of our own creation or selection – they are offered to us by the sacred liturgy itself. Our participation in responding to God with the words of the liturgy is to enter deeply into them, harmonizing our minds, hearts and voices into one. 

Could there be a better description of what Gregorian chant DOES, and enables the Church to do in her celebration of the sacred liturgy?
Our hearts, the most intimate part of us, must open meekly to the Word of God and join the prayer of the Church, in order to be oriented towards God by the very words we hear and pronounce". 
"We celebrate and experience the liturgy well", the Pope concluded, "only if we maintain an attitude of prayer, uniting ourselves to the mystery of Christ and to His dialogue of a Son with His Father. God Himself teaches us to pray. ... He has given us the right words with which to address Him, words we find in the Psalter, in the great prayers of sacred liturgy and in the Eucharistic celebration itself.
Our proper disposition in the liturgy is one of openness and receptivity. We are not the creators of our liturgical prayer, or of our liturgical song. Our job is to open ourselves to the presence of God and enter into the prayer of the Church that is taking place in our midst. 

Note that the Holy Father does not list first the texts of the Order of the Mass, or even the Ordinary, but lists the Psalter – the primary source for the Proper of the Mass. These are the prayers that God through His Church has given us to pray. They are not of our own invention or inspiration. They have been given to us, and our role is to receive them, to make them our own, and to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray through them.

In conclusion, the Holy Father says:
Let us pray to the Lord that we may become increasingly aware of the fact that the liturgy is the action of God and of man; a prayer that arises from the Holy Spirit and from us; entirely addressed to the Father in union with the Son of God made man".
Amen. This is what active participation in the liturgy is. Thank you, Holy Father, for your clear and beautiful teaching on the sacred liturgy.

Please read the entire piece at VIS.

A Superb Essay on Sacred Music

Stop what you are doing and either bookmark this or go to read this essay right now.  HERE

 Disintegration: What the ‘Folk’ Style Hath Wrought
Benedict XVI makes a startling observation in suggesting that the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy has produced an attitude of opposition within the Church–a partisan and opposing church tearing herself apart (A New Song for the Lord, 142). The Matthean verse, “where two or three are gathered together in my name (Mt 18:20) is used to oppose the institution and every official program of the Church. This verse becomes the place of origin for the liturgy. The group arises on the spot from the creativity of those gathered (Ibid, 145). The institution and the clerical Orders represent a negative image of bondage, opposed to genuine freedom. This new attitude is expressed through the new music by the people of God, and it is the music which gives identity to the group.
The new music is the characteristic of the group’s identity, the emergence of another church. For this group, the content of Pope St. Pius X’s motu proprio on church music is called a “culturally shortsighted and theologically worthless ideology of sacred music” (Ibid., 144). Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony symbolize the power of the institution and the clergy–the other church, which curtails the group’s freedom. The pontiff writes that the “treasury of musica sacra, the universality of Gregorian chant handed down through the ages, now appears as an outmoded and quaint practice of the pre-conciliar Church for the purpose of preserving a certain form of power” (Ibid).
Disintegration is not a pretty word, but Benedict XVI uses it to capture the liturgical crisis in the Church today. A thing deteriorates when its natural form is so disfigured that the purpose for which it was intended is no longer recognizable. It is not simply irreverent music. At issue is that the faithful have become the Church, and they are celebrating themselves through the folly of faddism.

66 Responses to A superb essay on Sacred Music

  1.   Scitoviasdomini says:
    What we need is a saint to lead us out of this wasteland of tone-deafness and back into a communion with the joyous symphony of the angels. May I suggest that our soon-to-be newest Doctor of the Church, St. Hildegard of Bingen, might be the one to help?
    We could call her the Symphonic Doctor, not only to honor her own superb compositions, which topped the classical music charts years before theologians got around to rediscovering her, but for the extraordinary theology of music she provides. St. Hildegard weaves the music of the Opus Dei into the very fabric of salvation history, seeing within it a most powerful tool against the Devil because it reflects the musical harmony of paradise. For her, music rises almost to the level of a sacrament, channeling the perfection of divine grace from the heavenly choirs down to us, where we reflect the symphony in the blessed joy of song.
    If only that were how our church musicians today approached their sacred craft…
    wmeyer says:
    I love the comments on the offerings from OCP, including this:
    3) Songs with jerky, heavy, frenzied rhythms, or dance rhythms found in popular culture: #302, Gather Us In; #374, City of God; #447, Though the Mountains May Fall; #452, Blest Be the Lord; #495, Let There Be Peace on Earth, the perfect song for Bette Midler; #548, Sing to the Mountains, Sing to the Sea; #578, Sing a New Song Unto the Lord; #548 and #578 are cast in the style of a brindisi, a drinking song similar to that sung in Verdi’s La Traviata.