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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Latin Mass is back? How about good music?

Captain Ed posts that The Latin Mass Returns, as the Times of London reports that Pope set to bring back Latin Mass that divided the Church
THE Pope is taking steps to revive the ancient tradition of the Latin Tridentine Mass in Catholic churches worldwide, according to sources in Rome.
That's fine with me, since the Mass in English or Spanish is very much a Protestant Mass, while the Latin Mass is not. If you're Catholic, be Catholic.

However, what I'd really like to hear is that the music performed during Catholic Mass will be classic religious music. Christianity has produced the most outstanding masterpieces of religous music in the history of mankind, and the Catholic Church, instead of using that, rejected it for lame and awful "folksy" songs strummed to cheap guitars by people with voices at least as bad as mine (and I sing like a frog). The stuff they play at the local Catholic church on Sunday is awful enough I've stopped going on Sundays and go to weekday Mass instead, which is without "music".

So please, let's hear some Bach, Handel, Mozart. And there's plenty of good music in the traditional hymnal, too.

And don't tell me playing awful tunes with a cheap guitar noise in the background is more practical than playing good music because you don't need expensive instruments. Gregorian chant developed exactly because of that. Before you ask, yes, I'd prefer to hear chant than some of the stuff they now sing on Sunday Mass.

A good classical song can be sung a capella by even the most inept singer like myself. All it takes is a little research.

Update The Anchoress ponders the issues.

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12 Comments:

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Kathleen Nelson said...

Latin mass is NOT a good thing, and I say this as a person who actually understands what's going on. I've been to one Tridentine mass in my lifetime (it was at a different parish other than my own, at seven-thirty in the morning, and the priest had been chastised many times by the Archbishop for holding it. It was also relatively unpopulated, I might add.) and I found it to be incredibly insulting. If we're there to take part in the sacraments, to receive the body and blood of Christ, it doesn't make much sense for the priest to turn his back when he's consecrating the Eucharist. You, as a congregant, are excluded from what I consider to be the most beautiful, most wondrous part of the Mass. I fail to see how hiding the consecration adds to the mystery and magisterium, when it's already on display. Anyone who doesn't get that, isn't thinking too much about the whole process to begin with. On the whole, I felt lesser for the experience, not to mention alienated. Particularly when one older lady took my father aside and lectured him about my not wearing something over my head. Because, you know, female hair is sinful, so it should be covered up.

That said, I'm with you on the music. We actually have a drum kit at my parish, and they use it with increasing regularity, much to my dismay. There's also electric guitars, basses, etc. It's disturbing. Recently, the Minneapolis/St. Paul diocese came down with a decree that there has to be music at all masses. Which is annoying. They could learn a thing or two from a parish in Omaha, St. Mary Magdalene's. They have what we jokingly call "drive-thru mass" because it's always over with in thirty-five minutes. There's no music, sometimes there's not even a homily, depending upon the English proficiency of the priest, but the church is always packed. It's standing room only, and this is a large church, replete with a balcony and a side chapel. You get more from it when the bells and whistles are stripped.

 
At 12:58 PM, Blogger Fausta said...

I don't see the reason for hiding the consecration, either, and I'm certainly not going to cover my head, either, unless the church is unheated in the dead of winter.

This, Minneapolis/St. Paul diocese came down with a decree that there has to be music at all masses is cruel and unusual punishment. And a drum kit - yikes!

The Mass I go to on weekdays mornings is a "drive-thru mass" as you describe. Thank goodness for that.

 
At 3:21 PM, Blogger Romegrot said...

Latin Mass is a GREAT thing. The reason the priest faces the altar is because G_d is usually in the tabernacle on the altar. Isn't that mysterious and wonderful And the reason women used to cover their heads was as a sign of humility. That would be humility to G_d and not the priest.

 
At 3:21 PM, Blogger Romegrot said...

Latin Mass is a GREAT thing. The reason the priest faces the altar is because G_d is usually in the tabernacle on the altar. Isn't that mysterious and wonderful And the reason women used to cover their heads was as a sign of humility. That would be humility to G_d and not the priest.

 
At 5:10 PM, Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

Put me down on the side of the modern, "vernacular" Mass, though, like Fausta, I'd appreciate a return to classical liturgical music.

In his book Why Do Catholics Do That? Kevin Orlin Johnson notes that the Mass was originally celebrated in Latin because the Church established its initial presence of significance in the Roman Empire -- and of course, ultimately Rome became the seat of the Papacy. In other words, Latin was the vernacular of the early Church. Today, a Church present in nearly 200 nations, where more than a thousand different tongues are heard, can afford more than a single "vernacular."

Alongside that, I must note that the Latin Mass, in which the Celebrant traditionally faces away from the congregation, departs in that respect from the incident the Mass is supposed to commemorate: the Last Supper. The modern Mass both respects the original rite and involves the congregation more directly.

But get those BLEEP!ing guitars and that dreary Orange Catholic Press music out of my earshot before I go terminally insane!

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger Matthew said...

I'd prefer KJV to vernacular. I'd go to a Latin mass over an English one though, I like tradition. Tt'd also make me feel a little smarter.

 
At 11:02 PM, Blogger Banshee said...

No, it's not to hide the consecration. No, it's not to face the tabernacle.

From the days of the earliest Christians, the priest has faced east, because that is the direction of the risen Lord, and the direction Jesus is supposed to come back from. (This is why the tabernacle is there, and that's why Christians are traditionally buried facing east.) The early Christians all wanted to pray facing east; on occasion, if the church/house/catacomb tomb was inconveniently west-facing, the people would face east turned away from the altar, and the priest would pray towards their backs. (Eventually, this got to be a pain in said ancient Roman churches, so exceptions to the usual procedure of facing east were made -- the priest still faced east, but the people were allowed to turn around and face him. Though don't quote me on that.)

Anyway in the Mass, traditionally, the priest is facing Jesus, performing sacred acts to God's face. (If you really want hidden, go to an Eastern church, where the consecration is still performed with the altar behind a roodscreen, and varying degrees of visibility occur.) It is worship of God, and so God is the one who most needs a clear view.

Nowadays, we emphasize the supper more than the sacrificial portion of the Mass. But that hasn't gone away. The priest is still standing at the head of a group of the people, performing sacred acts on their behalf, and God's still the one who's the main subject and object of the proceedings. We are benefitted by them, but even if we weren't, God would still deserve our worship and praise.

It's not about what we get out of it; it's about the privilege of putting ourselves into it.

 
At 11:43 PM, Blogger Old Hound said...

Interesting debate! I am not Catholic, {I belong to the Church of Christ}, but even our worship services in the last 30 years have suffered from terrible song writing. The whole Christian world seems to be suffering from this problem. What happened?
Instead of great old hymns like the "Old Rugged Cross,"I come to the Garden Alone"
"The Lords my Sheperd", Amazing Grace", etc. we get stuff that sounds like a couple of girls around a campfire at Kumbaya Camp.
Why? Can't anyone, somewhere write lovely, moving hymns and gospel songs anymore? We don't sing Gregorian chants, {although they are among the most lovely music ever written} in our churches, But we have very similer discussions about the lousy music choices we have.

 
At 8:36 PM, Blogger Fausta said...

we get stuff that sounds like a couple of girls around a campfire at Kumbaya Camp
A couple of tone-deaf girls, at that.

 
At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tridentine Mass is vertical, that is to say it's directed upward to God - - this may be uncomfortable to some modern Catholics. The New Rite is horizontal that is it's directed to a community of worshippers. The old mass is far more reverent and focuses on the mystery of God. The new mass is little more than a community gathering and is usually more about the personalty of the priest who serves as the M.C. than about our Lord Jesus Christ.
Actually, the tradition of the priest facing the altar dates to the earliest days of Christian worship in the catacombs. The priest leads the congregation and acts in the person of Christ to form a bridge to God. In Western Churches the altar was traditional positioned so that the priest would be facing the East as the Mass was chanted.
In view of the global statistics and the continuing decline of the Catholic Church, a change which permits wider observance of the old ways may be the solution we're hoping for.

 
At 10:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Learning to Serve at the Altar: The Traditional Latin Mass
9/8/2007 - 14:46 PST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY
Catholic PRWire

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 8, 2007 - The new website of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius of Chicago (www.SanctaMissa.org)has just launched a new tutorial in how to serve the Tridentine Latin Mass.

Just as priests need to learn to offer the Mass according to the Rubrics of the 1962 Missale Romanum, Altar Servers must diligently study the rubrics and prayers of the Traditional Latin Mass.

This "Tutorial for Altar Servers" provides a:
1) a flash video demonstrating a Low Mass with one server
2) a cheat-sheet for Altar Servers learning the Mass in a downloadable PDF file format
3) Father Calnan's classic Server Manual
4) an introduction to the Knights of the Altar
5) the superb serving Manual of the Archconfraternity of St. Stephen.

Visit www.SanctaMissa.org today!
Contact: Canons Regular of St John Cantius
http://www.sanctamissa.org IL, US
Rev Scott Haynes - Website Administrator, 312-243 7373

http://www.catholic.org/prwire/headline.php?ID=4076

 
At 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ST. JOHN CANTIUS
Upcoming Special Events
www.cantius.org



September 13, 2007—Thursday

COMMEMORATION OF THE 90th ANNIVERSARY
OF THE APPARITIONS AT FATIMA
7:30 p.m.—Tridentine Mass
8:30 p.m.—Candlelight Procession with the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament until Midnight

September 14, 2007—Friday
The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross
In Celebration of “Summorum Pontificum” of Pope Benedict XVI
7:30 p.m.—Tridentine High Mass
Solemn Procession after Mass

Messe Basse
Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
Vexilla Regis
Gregorian Chant
Tantum Ergo
Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
Maria, Mater Gratiae, Op.47, No.2
Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
Cantate Domino Choir

September 23, 2007 — Sunday
Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost
12:30 p.m.—Tridentine Latin High Mass

Missa Il Ne Se Trouve En Amytie
Claude Goudimel (1514 – 1572)
Ubi Caritas
Maurice Durufle (1902 – 1986)
Dixit Dominus
Roland Lassus (1532 – 1594)
St. Cecilia Choir

September 30, 2007 — Sunday
Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:00 a.m.—Missa Normativa (Latin)

Messe Basse
Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
Vexilla Regis
Gregorian Chant
Tantum Ergo
Gabriel Faure (1845 – 1924)
Maria, Mater Gratiae, Op.47, No.2
Gabriel Faure (1845 – 1924)
Cantate Domino Choir

October 7, 2007—Sunday
Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:00 a.m.—Missa Normativa (Latin)

Missa Prima Sexti Toni
Giovanni Croce (1557 – 1609)
Ave Maria à 8
Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548 – 1611)
Os Justi
Anton Bruckner (1824 – 1896)
St. Cecilia Choir

October 13, 2007—Saturday

COMMEMORATION OF THE 90th ANNIVERSARY
OF THE APPARITIONS AT FATIMA
5:00 p.m.—Anticipated Mass (Missa Normativa in English)
6:00 p.m.—Vespers & Compline
6:45 p.m.—Candlelight Procession with the Statue of Our Lady of Fatima
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament until Midnight

October 14, 2007 — Sunday
Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:00 a.m.—Missa Normativa (Latin)

Missa No. 6 in G Major
Bernhard Hahn
Panis Angelicus
Cesar Franck (1822 - 1890)
Ave Verum Corpus , K 618
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)
Sonata for Trumpet and Strings
Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695)
Resurrection Choir and Orchestra

October 17, 2007 — Wednesday
Memorial of Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr
Missa in Cantu: A Seminar in the Sung Mass for Celebrants
Sponsored by the Church Music Association of America
4:00 p.m.—Missa Normativa (English)

Kyriale VIII
Gregorian Chant

October 17, 2007 — Wednesday
Feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Missa in Cantu: A Seminar in the Sung Mass for Celebrants
Sponsored by the Church Music Association of America
7:30 p.m.—Tridentine Latin High Mass

Christchurch Mass
Malcolm Archer, (1952—)
Ave Verum
Francis Poulenc (1899 - 1963)
Ave Maria
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921)
Cantate Domino Choir

October 18, 2007 — Thursday
Feast of Saint Luke
Missa in Cantu: A Seminar in the Sung Mass for Celebrants
Sponsored by the Church Music Association of America
4:00 p.m.—Missa Normativa (Latin)

Mass of St. Theresa
Healey Willan (1880 - 1968)
Schola Cantorum of St. Gregory the Great

7:30 p.m. Tridentine Latin High Mass

Missa Secunda
Michael Haller (1840 – 1915)
Chorus Innocentium Sanctorum

October 19, 2007 — Friday
Memorial of Saints John de Brebeuf & Isaac Jogues and Companions
Missa in Cantu: A Seminar in the Sung Mass for Celebrants
Sponsored by the Church Music Association of America
12:00 p.m.—Missa Normativa (Latin)

Kyriale IV
Gregorian Chant
Schola Cantorum of St. Gregory the Great

7:00 p.m.—Latin Holy Hour
Holy Hour, Rosary and Solemn Benediction

Lauda Sion
Felix Mendelssohn (1809 – 1847)
St. Cecilia Choir

October 20, 2007 — Saturday
Solemnity of Saint John Cantius
9:00 a.m.—Tridentine Latin High Mass

Messe Basse
Rev. Scott Haynes, S.J.C. (b. 1971 –)
Beatus vir
Orlandus Lassus (1530-1594)
Ave verum , Op. 65 No. 1
Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
Cantate Domino Choir

October 21, 2007 — Sunday
Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
11:00 a.m.—Missa Normativa (Latin)

Messe Basse
Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
Tantum Ergo
Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
Maria, Mater Gratiae , Op.47, No.2
Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
Cantate Domino Choir

October 21, 2007 —Sunday
Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost
Music Presented in Honor of Blessed Karl of Austria on his feast day.
12:30 p.m. Tridentine Latin High Mass

Missa Brevis in C – “Spatzenmesse” , KV 220
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756 – 1791)
Sine Nomine Choir and Orchestra

Also check our full schedule for sacred music at St. John Cantius.

www.cantius.org

Catholic liturgy can be restored with quality Latin liturgical music.

St John Cantius in Chicago is the proof.

 

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