About this blogger:
Gwyneth Holston is a sacred artist who works to provide and promote good quality Catholic art. Her website is gwynethholston.com.
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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

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Archbishop Sample’s Letter On Sacred Music (8 of 8)
published 23 June 2014 by Gwyneth Holston

GWYN_oliver T WAS WITH A GREEDY HEART that I read Bishop Sample’s Pastoral Letter on Sacred Music in Divine Worship “Rejoice in the Lord Always.”

      * *  Archbishop Sample Letter (2013)

Rather than enjoy a moment’s contentment with the professional musical standards he put forth for the Diocese of Marquette, all I could do was eagerly dream of a similar document for sacred artists.

To save Bishop Sample the trouble, here are a few recommendations that I wouldn’t mind seeing promulgated to my own diocese:

• All tabernacles should be restored to a central position over the high altar immediately;

• Any statues or artworks that are theologically incorrect or obviously in poor taste should be removed immediately;

• Churches built prior to 1950 may not be sold, demolished or renovated without just cause;

• When renovation is necessary, stylistic continuity should be maintained with the intent of the original architect;

• Fresh flowers should be given “pride of place” on the altar over artificial flowers or dentist-office plants;

• The diocese should have a directory of recommended sacred artists;

• The diocese should have a dossier of the original historical architectural documents of each church to facilitate restoration projects;

• Classes on sacred art, music, and culture should be offered as part of the catechetical program to children and adults.


This is part of an 8-part series on Archbishop Sample’s historic letter:

FIRST REFLECTION • Jeff Ostrowski

SECOND REFLECTION • Aurelio Porfiri

THIRD REFLECTION • Andrew Motyka

FOURTH REFLECTION • Peter Kwasniewski

FIFTH REFLECTION • Richard Clark

SIXTH REFLECTION • Veronica Brandt

SEVENTH REFLECTION • Fr. David Friel

EIGHTH REFLECTION • Gwyneth Holston