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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward a doctorate in liturgical theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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"The Consilium is merely an assembly of people, many of them incompetent, and others well advanced on the road to novelty. The discussions are extremely hurried. Discussions are based on impressions and the voting is chaotic. […] Many of those who have influenced the reform […] have no love, and no veneration of that which has been handed down to us. They begin by despising everything that is actually there. This negative mentality is unjust and pernicious, and unfortunately, Paul VI tends a little to this side. They have all the best intentions, but with this mentality they have only been able to demolish and not to restore."
— Contemporary account of the Consilium by Cardinal Antonelli

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A Criticism & Good News
published 26 April 2015 by Fr. David Friel

HEN I wrote last week about Fr. Samuel Weber’s new publication, it was not my purpose to give a thorough review of the book. Nor do I plan to do so today. But I will share one criticism and a bit of good news.

As I wrote last week, this volume has made the singing of Mass propers in English accessible like never before. The Proper of the Mass is simply unprecedented. With the four different versions supplied for virtually every chant, Fr. Weber has made proper chants a viable option for nearly every choir in nearly every parish.

I am grateful that the book is printed in chant notation, since it is so much more precise than modern notation. (Also, I can’t say enough good things about the brief introduction to chanting offered at the outset of the book—a truly excellent summary!) But the unfortunate consequence of using chant notation is that most organists are not proficient in accompanying from it. Thus, the only criticism I would dare to offer is that this work lacks an organ accompaniment edition.

The bit of good news is that Fr. Weber is already working on the organ accompaniment at this time. The accompaniment version, I believe, will extend the book’s accessibility even further. Once it is completed, it will be almost untenable for a parish priest or music director to claim that singing the propers is beyond reach.