EADING THROUGH ARCHBISHOP Sample’s letter is refreshing. There is so much good sense here. Watch how he moves from the principle with a quote from Pope Benedict XVI “Nothing can be too beautiful for God” to the practical application of aiming high, making sure musicians are trained and prepared.
* * Archbishop Sample • 2013 Letter (PDF)
Not one for vague exhortations, the Archbishop gives concrete guidance in the form of a minimum practice time. Under Practice and liturgical discipline Archbishop Sample writes:
“Every hour of worship should represent at least two hours of structured preparation at a time and place apart from the congregation.” (page 11)
This may seem excessive for a four hymn sandwich. But the aim here is not to sing at Mass, but to sing the Mass – including the propers!
Reading further along is the wonderfully catchy heading: Preparation not planning. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The Church already has a wealth of music come down to us.
Much of our artistic culture today suffers from a perceived need for originality. But God does not require novelty in our worship. All the music is there, and if we’re not quite up to it yet, then it’s time to get to work!
This is part of an 8-part series on Archbishop Sample’s historic letter:
FIRST REFLECTION • Jeff Ostrowski
SECOND REFLECTION • Aurelio Porfiri
THIRD REFLECTION • Andrew Motyka
FOURTH REFLECTION • Peter Kwasniewski
FIFTH REFLECTION • Richard Clark
SIXTH REFLECTION • Veronica Brandt
SEVENTH REFLECTION • Fr. David Friel