AST WEEK, I posted a report on the Summer Sacred Music Workshop in Jasper, Georgia. At the workshop, Fr. David Carter, JCL, presented his paper as the keynote. Fr. Carter is the Pastor and Rector of the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He has been singing in choirs since his youth. While he was at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, he studied Sacred Music with Fr. Pierre Paul, OMV, choirmaster of Capella Giulia at St. Peter’s Basilica and Fr. Cassian Folsom, OSB, from the Monastery in Norcia. His talk was entitled: Re-discovery of the Church’s Sacred Tradition: II Kings 22. Here is a paragraph, on his discovery of the Church’s traditions, from his speech:
At first I felt betrayed by all this—why had they kept this such a big secret? Why did they hide this from me? When I expressed my amazement at the riches I was finding in these books and rubrics, I encountered people who were viscerally angry! Angry that I had found joy in our own tradition. Angry that I was ‘undoing Vatican II’; angry that I wasn’t buying what they had spent so much time and effort building.
Didn’t I know how bad the old days were? “No, I don’t. I’m only 35—Marty Haugen and Dan Schutte are the ‘bad old days’ for me! Now I get to sing awesome things like Ambrosian Hymns composed in the 4th century and Kyrie’s that are even more ancient. I get to sing Pange, lingua, gloriosi Corporis mysterium, and Adoro te devote, latens Deitas.”
It still boggles my mind that this was not taught to us as some of the greatest things we would every be able to utter on our lips! And yet here we are. With my own two eyes I have read what the Church asks of us and it is nothing short of truth, beauty, and goodness. How could the Church ask for less? What so many had relegated to the waste bin, I have come to see as some of the greatest treasures the world knows…
Fr. Carter spoke on the mystery in liturgy, the joy of tradition, and his experiences in parishes. He also offered practical wisdom for those who wishes to provide authentically sacred music for the liturgy.The PDF file of his whole paper is available for download:
HIS WORKSHOP is just the beginning. More workshops are being prepared for musicians in the South. The St. Ambrose School of Chant on the campus of Our Lady of the Mountains, Jasper, GA, will present a workshop for all those interested in learning the music that is an essential part of the Catholic Funeral Rites on Saturday, October 3rd. The Requiem Chants are some of the most beautiful and profound texts of the Gregorian repertoire and sadly they often go unheard. I will share more about this workshop when more information is released.