USY HOMESCHOOLING SIX rambunctious children, I never expected to be involved with the upper echelons of sacred music in the United States. But God had other plans! Recently, I’ve had the honor to meet with high officials of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. I’ve been in charge of deciding whether to accept applications for organists at major cathedrals. I’ve consulted with choir directors who run diocesan liturgical offices. And last summer, much to my surprise, I briefly served as translator for the Sistine Chapel’s top musician!
New Lectionary in 2028 • In 2012, the USCCB made public their plans for a new Lectionary. I recently received information from one of the highest authorities on liturgy in the United States: the new Lectionary will perhaps arrive during 2027 or 2028. A document (see below) from MARY E. SPERRY, Associate Director of USCCB Publishing, seems to confirm this by its mention of “the next five to seven years.” Furthermore, searching online one discovers a relevant statement by FATHER ANDREW V. MENKE, Executive Director for the Secretariat of Divine Worship for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“Work hasn’t even begun on the next Lectionary, and there’s nothing definite about 2028 as a date. It depends on many factors, including the completion of the revision of the NAB, the preparation of the non-Scriptural elements of the Lectionary, approval by the USCCB and the Holy See, and the publication process.” (SOURCE)
—Father Andrew Menke (13 December 2022):
Resp. Psalms Released • Searching the internet, it appears the USCCB has been releasing the new Responsorial Psalms that will supposedly appear alongside the new Lectionary in 2028 (or whenever it appears). A more thorough search would probably turn up more instances, but here are some websites who have posted the 2028 Responsorial Psalms:
“Fool Me Once…” • Only time will tell whether a new Lectionary gets approved and (if so) when it will see the light of day. There’s an old saying: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Around the year 2011, we were told the REVISED GRAIL PSALTER would appear in lectionaries; but it never did. That means pew resources which tried to ‘get a liturgical leg up’ by including that translation—such as GIA WORSHIP IV HYMNAL and the LUMEN CHRISTI MISSAL—used lyrics for their Responsorial Psalms that never appeared in any Lectionary and never will. Somewhere, there’s a rule that says the Responsorial Psalm need not match what’s printed in the Lectionary, provided it’s being sung. If a reader could please remind where it says that, I’d be grateful. I admit that in some ways it’s silly to talk about ‘approval’ in light of the 12/20/2012 ruling by the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy…but deeper discussion will have to wait for another day. I’m curious: When someone sings a Responsorial Psalm from GIA Worship IV, do people in the congregation get upset because its lyrics don’t match the translation in the Lectionary?
$250 Billion • Although my family currently attends the Extraordinary Form, I have nothing but affection for my friends and relatives who attend the Ordinary Form. I want the very best for them. To learn what’s been done to the music at the Ordinary Form (ever since Vatican II) has been gut-wrenching. It is deplorable that our Mass texts are being sold by the different companies. The Mass texts are indulgenced prayers; therefore, they are not to be sold. Currently, each Mass is ‘owned’ by no fewer than three companies. For instance, the refrains for the Responsorial Psalms are sold by one company, but the psalms themselves are sold by another! I recently published an ADVENT BOOK for my parish here in Las Vegas, so I have some idea about the complexities of publishing. It’s made even more difficult when the Mass texts are being sold by different companies. I believe this reprehensible situation will lead more and more people to abandon the Ordinary Form and take refuge in the Extraordinary Form, which does not attempt to sell its texts. Each year (according to some estimates) the Catholic Church in the United States brings in about $250 billion. The notion that our Church must sell the indulgenced Mass prayers is ludicrous. Here is an important article by Jeffrey Tucker, written during his 8-year tenure as managing editor for SACRED MUSIC (Church Music Association of America):
* PDF Download • Pay to Pray: The Church’s Simony Problem
—Published on 6 February 2009 by Jeffrey Tucker (Church Music Association of America managing editor).
Tucker Ignored • Writing for the New Liturgical Movement blog in 2008, Jeffrey Tucker said rightly: “Think of it: A private company using a legal monopoly to sell at a profit the Psalms we are mandated to sing and using the state to crack down on all who attempt to compete or give them away for free.” Dr. Jerry Galipeau wrote: “I cannot understand why a private family (the owners of GIA Publications) can be granted a position as WORLDWIDE AGENT for the official prayers of the Church. […] This is bad news for composers, and very good news, of course, for GIA Publications.” But these warnings by Jeffrey Tucker were ignored; instead, it was business as usual.1
David Haas • Any rational person knows it’s wrong for a private company to have an exclusive monopoly on the psalms Catholics are mandated to pray during Mass. These liturgical music companies have done such harm over the years! Why are we singing lyrics by men like David Haas, who’s been accused by more than 44 women of horrific sexual crimes going back to 1979? In 2016, David Haas publicly released his Creed, which included statements like “ministry is not about whether one believes in God…” and “ministry is not about striving to be holy…” As far as I can tell, GIA Publications took no action against David Haas, even after his “Creed” was released. Alec Harris, President of GIA Publications, said publicly on 30 September 2016: “I’ve had the honor to work with these three wonderful people [Marty Haugen, Michael Joncas, and David Haas] for more than 30 years, and I can’t overestimate the profound impact that they’ve all had for me personally, for everyone at GIA Publications, and for the worshiping church at large.”
The List Goes On • Again I ask: Why are we singing lyrics by these people? What happened to only singing Church texts such as PANIS ANGELICUS, the Mass propers, ADORO TE DEVOTE, and all the good old Catholic texts? Why did those have to be gotten rid of? Why was it so important to get rid of the Catholic hymns and replace them with ditties like “Sing of the Lord’s Goodness” (©Oregon Catholic Press), written by a man who committed suicide just hours before police showed up at his house to arrest him on sex crimes? My colleague, Andrew Motyka, wrote: “Always be careful what words you put into the mouths of the people of God.”
GIA Not Alone • GIA Publications was not alone in promoting David Haas. A notoriously dissident publisher (Collegeville Liturgical Press) gave him a platform for years on their blog, and then—when the allegations came out—immediately deleted all his articles like he never existed. (They seem not to realize that things posted online can be recovered.) Would it not have been more honest to make some sort of statement? Again I ask: Why are we singing lyrics by these people? Along those same lines, that blog’s creator, Fr. Anthony Ruff, was part of a failed effort to eliminate the 2011 translation of the Roman Missal. Earlier, he had been allowed to chair the committee that composed the English chant melodies (for that same 2011 Roman Missal) for all the English-speaking countries. On 22 June 2016, Fr. Ruff said publicly: “I think there has to be a place [at Mass] for Jazz and a place for Evangelical and all of that. […] On theological grounds, I do think we need interaction with the culture at the level of high art or at the level of more commercial pop culture.” Are there lessons to be learned here?
My Hopes Going Forward • I’ve gotten away from the topic at hand, so let me bring this article to a close. The NEW LECTIONARY, if it ever arrives, must not ‘play favorites’ with certain publishing companies. Its texts must not be sold. Rather, it must be placed under a CREATIVE COMMONS license. It must be made freely available to all. Mary Sperry, director of USCCB Publishing, claimed in 2009 they can’t release the Lectionary online because it would take up too much server space. However, I volunteer to give them, completely free of charge, a thumb-drive capable of storing 8,000,000 lectionaries. There’s no excuse not to place the new Lectionary online. I personally know (and have worked with) the following composers: Richard J. Clark, Dr. Alfred Calabrese, Kevin Allen, Jeff Ostrowski, Fr. David Friel, Christopher Mueller, Corrinne May, Dr. Gregory Hamilton, William Fritz, and so forth. All of them should be given free access to the new texts as soon as they’re ready. May it be so!
1 Just today it was announced on the CMAA website that GIA Publications was chosen as (exclusive?) publisher for the new ICEL translation of the Liturgy of the Hours. Was this appropriate in light of the 30+ year relationship GIA Publications had with David Haas? The president of GIA Publications announced publicly that “for more than thirty years” the “profound impact” David Haas has had on GIA Publications “cannot be overestimated.”