ISHOP JOHN DOERFLER of the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan, just released an Instruction on Sacred Music in Divine Worship entitled, Sing to the Lord, All the Earth. The bishop said that the new Instruction is based on his predecessor, Archbishop Alexander Sample’s pastoral letter on Sacred Music. The letter, Rejoice in the Lord Always, was written in 2013 and there was a series of reflections on our blog. To build on the foundation laid by Archbishop Sample, the new Instruction is issued to “elucidate the steps to be taken to promote Sacred Music in the Diocese of Marquette over the next five years”. These directives are to be implemented in all the parishes and schools throughout the diocese by December 31, 2020.
I think the bishop is taking a very brave step to restore Sacred Music and to implement what Vatican II called for. There are five main points in the Instruction:
1. Parishes and schools will chant the Ordinary parts in the Roman Missal;
2. Parishes and schools will chant the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei from the Missa Jubilate Deo;
3. Parishes and schools will chant the Communion Antiphon in English to a very simple tone;
4. A Diocesan Hymnal will be used to ensure the musical quality and doctrinal integrity;
5. The Diocesan Director of Sacred Music will provide workshops for parish musicians to assist them in the implementation.
The full Instruction is available for download here:
I think these are necessary step to take in order to restore the Sacred. It will be interesting to see how the implementations turn out. Publishing a diocesan hymnal and eliminating the other hymnals is not an easy task. Let’s pray for all the faithful in the Diocese of Marquette and the success of implementations.