About this blogger:
Veronica Brandt holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. As editor, she has produced fine publications (as well as valuable reprints) dealing with Gregorian chant, hymnody, Latin, and other subjects. These publications are distinguished on account of their tastefulness. She lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband Peter and six children.
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“We wish therefore and prescribe, that all observe the law of the Church, and that at home or in the church they shall always wear the cassock, which is proper to the clergy. When they go out for duty or relaxation or on a journey, they may use a shorter [coat] which is to be black in color, and which reaches to the knees, so as to distinguish it from the dress of the laity. They should reject the more elegant and worldly styles of garments, which are found today. We enjoin upon our priests as a matter of strict precept that, both at home and abroad, and whether they are residing in their own diocese or outside of it, they shall wear the Roman collar.”
— Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884)

The difference between Anything and Everything.
published 9 May 2015 by Veronica Brandt

trolley of possibilities When anything is possible, then the temptation is to go for EVERYTHING!

This is one danger in home education. There is the temptation to think that the sky is the limit, then go off in a zillion different directions at once, then wonder why we never seem to get anything done. Taking on too much, many parents crash and burn. This is chaos.

The other danger is that of paralysis. There are so many choices available it can be hard to tell where to start. Some find the whole thing too daunting and stick with the same books they used as children or a particular package of lesson plans.

The same can be said of hymns replacing propers. Take this Thursday for instance. It is the feast of St Matthias, Apostle. It is also Ascension Thursday, although this has been transferred to the Sunday in my diocese. It is also the beginning of the nine days leading up to Pentecost which is credited as being the origin of all novenas. And it is the month of May, so we have to pick something for Mary.

We can look at the Readings and find Peter and the Apostles choosing Matthias by lot. The Gospel tells of Jesus giving the New Commandment of Love.

So, when it comes to choosing hymns, there are many different options open—more options than there is space to use them.

Have you seen all the hymnbooks Jeff uploaded the other day? There are thousands upon thousands of hymns out there! Even just one hymnbook usually contains a few hundred.

It’s worth noting that many Catholic hymns come from the Divine Office, especially Vespers. Looking at Vespers, each day has just one hymn. The main part of the Divine Office or Liturgy of the Hours is the Psalmody. The Psalms are your meat-and-potatoes. The hymn is your ice cream.

So, back to Mass. If we go with the Propers, then our choices would be far simpler. An Ordo can tell you which direction is the one to take. There is also still room for a hymn or two – before and/or after Mass and maybe even another if there’s time at Communion. The important things to sing are the Ordinaries which don’t change and the Propers which reflect the feast or season.

With the Propers you can see a path to take. Everyone can start on the same page. The element of personal preference takes a back seat and the Church’s treasury of sacred music comes forward.

In case you’re wondering about the photo, this is my 2 year old daughter. I planned to get a photo of her wanting everything and thought we could pile the trolley high with toys to illustrate the point. Instead she dismantled my efforts saying “One at a time”.