About this blogger:
Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward an STL in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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That the Mass is the central feature of the Catholic religion hardly needs to be said. During the Reformation (and always) the Mass has been the test. The word of the Reformers—“It is the Mass that matters”—was true. The long persecution of Catholics in England took the practical form of laws chiefly against saying Mass; for centuries the occupant of the English throne was obliged to manifest his Protestantism, not by a general denial of the whole system of Catholic dogma, but by a formal repudiation of the doctrine of Transubstantiation and of the Mass.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

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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.