Few parishes are willing to sing Gregorian Introits for the Entrance Procession, but it is SIGNIFICANT that the very first Introit of Lent sings of God’s infinite MERCY.
He described a sense awe that overwhelmed him during the liturgy. His conclusion at the time was that he should no longer continue with RCIA. Was this a failure of the RCIA program? No, this was success!
In cases of constant crisis, diplomacy yields far more fruit than ideology. Demanding the ideal will usually get you nothing but a pink slip.
Disparagement is not catechesis. It is destructive. If we are to catechize and evangelize, we must put God first, not our own preferences. Meanwhile, we must catechize and strive for the ideal.
Musicians and liturgists are something of a perfectionist lot. We often berate ourselves for lack of perfection and are highly critical when liturgy falls short of rubrics or expectations.
Demand within the Church for beautiful sacred music is low leaving a surplus of highly qualified musicians quite capable of offering such beauty. How many Catholic musicians do you know work for other denominations because that is where their skills are valued?
“Southie” is a section of Boston better known from the films “Good Will Hunting” and “The Departed.” It is also infamous for the convicted murderer and gangster, James “Whitey” Bulger. But, yes, glorious Gregorian Propers, polyphony, and hymnody at a Nuptial Mass in “Southie.”
A close friend, a priest once told me years ago something I’ve never forgotten. “The people don’t need to know what it is to understand it.” They will understand the prayer interiorly if not in words. Since hearing that, I have always thought it important to play and pray music related to a relevant text.
But blessings come and go. Crosses are plentiful. Uncertainty makes life scary. But, no matter who you are, rich or poor, lowly sinner or saint, these words are prayed (hopefully sung) in the funeral mass: “In Paradisum…”
“The priest would listen to this heavenly music over and over, crying while listening to it. He was brought great comfort through the ministry of this music. He passed away earlier this fall.”
Have a blessed Christmas, and know the Light of Christ shines upon you and dwells within you!
Mæstro Edmund Murray directs a special Festival at Our Lady of Atonement in San Antonio, TX.
As a child growing up in the 1970s, I was well aware of the utter incompetence I was hearing on Sundays. As you can tell, I am still pretty upset about it.
Leadership and authority are two very different things. Some with authority do not command respect. A Servant Leader will usually earn the respect and trust of others. Do so, and you can change the world.
Chris Mueller has a very unique collection of Offertory Propers in English. He refers to them as “miniatures”, but each is unique revealing a depth of character that gives them lasting power.
I have a challenge to the “Big Three” publishers. The propers are the new frontier of liturgical composition. I propose that they get ahead of the curve now.
I confront a challenge most musicians of sacred music face: the battle between the Word and musical “feel.” From the Word, emanates a life: all that is love, all that is beauty, all that is sacrifice and service to God.
Architecture? Incense? Piano? Guitar? Organ? Chant? Old translation? New translation? Latin? Inclusive or non-inclusive language? All the above sometimes have emotions assigned to them distracting from prayer. Putting God first is counter-cultural, but it should be apolitical.
We are called to be saints. Does this sound crazy? I am more and more convinced it is not. Perhaps there is a roadmap to sainthood that we’ve known all along.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being pruned. Ultimately, this pruning leads to a refinement of the soul.