About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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The “Nova Organi Harmonia” demanded from each of us an unusual commitment; we have dedicated to it the best of our energies. Would it be, therefore, presumptuous on our part to be satisfied with the result and to expect its welcome reception in the musical world?
— Msgr. Jules Van Nuffel (circa 1940)

How Well Did Your Parents Know The Mass?
published 17 December 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

556 Crown Hymnal 1912 RECENTLY had occasion to reproduce comments by Paul Inwood, one of the leading composers of Church music in the postconciliar years. Mr. Inwood explained the small percentage of postconciliar Catholics who attend Sunday Mass by saying Catholics have become a “thinking” people. He went on to say:

I think it’s fair to say, without too much caricaturing, that before the Council Catholicism was largely a gut thing, sentimental if you like. You didn’t have to know anything, but merely recite parrot-fashion the answers to catechism questions. You certainly weren’t expected to think about anything. The faith of many was quite infantile, I would say.

Consider, however, the following example, excerpted from The Crown Hymnal, produced in 1911 primarily for school children:

      * *  PDF Download: Crown Hymnal (1911) «ORDO MISSAE» For School Children

A.V.B. correctly pointed out that two pages are missing. If anyone can obtain them, please contact us by means of the button at the top. Thanks!

Notice the emphasis on explaining the ceremonies to these young Catholics alive during the reign of Pope Pius X. Generally speaking, the commentary is very good, although occasionally a statement might be questioned, 1 since we’ve had the benefit of 100+ years of scholarship.

Technology has improved since 1911, and today’s Catholics can now utilize the Campion Missal when following the Extraordinary Form. The Campion «ORDO MISSAE» contains 120 full-color pages, and here are samples:

Those who attend the Ordinary Form can take advantage of the Jogues Illuminated Missal, which is basically the same thing, except corresponding to the Novus Ordo.


1   For example, it might not be perfectly correct to assert that “the object of the Gradual was to occupy the attention of the people while the procession for the Gospel was forming.”