Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

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Tom_Neal
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Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by Tom_Neal » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:31 pm

In a message dated 22 December 2003, in which (s)he welcomed everyone to this (then new) discussion forum, 'Musicus' referred to "pastoral liturgy and pastoral music". These are not terms I've heard used before. Is this standard terminology? If so, what does it really mean? What makes a particular type of music 'pastoral'? And in what sense do we mean the liturgy is 'pastoral'? Is there such a thing as un-pastoral music or liturgy? Looking forward to hearing your responses. God bless!

Southern Comfort
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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by Southern Comfort » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:41 am

You might start off with the 1972 document of the US Bishops, Music in Catholic Worship, which talks a lot about the pastoral dimension of worship. Paragraphs 25-41 go into detail on the "three judgments" that musicians need to make when determining the value of a musical element in a liturgical celebration: the musical, liturgical and pastoral judgments.

Concerning the pastoral judgment, paras 39-41 say this:

39. The pastoral judgment governs the use and function of every element of celebration. Ideally this judgment is made by the planning team or committee. It is the judgment that must be made in this particular situation, in these concrete circumstances. Does music in the celebration enable these people to express their faith, in this place, in this age, in this culture?

40. The instruction of the Congregation for Divine Worship, issued September 5, 1970, encourages episcopal conferences to consider not only liturgical music's suitability to the time and circumstances of the celebration, "but also the needs of the faithful who will sing them. All means must be used to promote singing by the people. New forms should be used, which are adapted to the different mentalities and to modern tastes." The document adds that the music and the instruments "should correspond to the sacred character of the celebration and the place of worship."

41. A musician may judge that a certain composition or style of composition is good music, but this musical judgment really says nothing about whether and how this music is to be used in this celebration. The signs of the celebration must be accepted and received as meaningful for a genuinely human faith experience for these specific worshipers. This pastoral judgment can be aided by sensitivity to the cultural and social characteristics of the people who make up the congregation: their age, culture, and education. These factors influence the effectiveness of the liturgical signs, including music. No set of rubrics or regulations of itself will ever achieve a truly pastoral celebration of the sacramental rites. Such regulations must always be applied with a pastoral concern for a given worshipping community.


More has been written about this subsequently, for example in the Milwaukee Document, paras 35 and 81-86.

The American National Association of Pastoral [sic] Musicians, NPM, entitles its journal Pastoral Music.

alan29
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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by alan29 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:54 am

For me it would mean liturgy and music rooted in and flowing from parish rather than monastic settings.

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VML
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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by VML » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:34 pm

SC's quote of paras 39-41 puts very well what I wanted to say.

Pastoral music is about enriching the liturgy and including the assembly,- getting them singing.
And getting people singing is one of the most important and rewarding things I know. That it is an integral part of Mass is a bonus.

I grew up with what I thought was traditional plainsong, all those things that are questioned as to authenticity.
So I actually know little of the 'real' chant, only Salve Regina, Mass viii & ix, and the Requiem Mass chant, Credo iii, Te Deum, and Pater Noster, litanies, Pange Lingua,…except one of the Gloria melodies our priests used to intone is actually on a painting in the Vatican, from early C16th. Authentic or not?
And we still sing at least the chant Alleluia at all Masses, weekdays included.

I am also a lifelong folk singer. Between ten years as a convent choir singer, and coming to leading parish music, I got involved in folk. So when our PP wanted psalms sung, I understood getting people singing choruses, and we had Chris Walker to imitate. I have to admit we mostly use the McCrimmon Psalm book, but our congregation do sing. And to me that is pastoral music.

OK, so hymns are not truly part of liturgy, but psalms too are songs/ hymns and we have no way of knowing what tunes were used originally.
There are always subjective judgements made in choices of style and instruments. Whatever is used, any accompaniment must serve the assembly, and the Mass. Even the most wonderful pipe organ is out of line if it drowns out the voices of the people. This goes for solo cantors too.

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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by Chris » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:16 pm

As an academic, I see ‘pastoral’ liturgical studies sitting alongside historical and theological enquiry.

Historical liturgical studies - why do we do things this way, how did we used to do it, what were the reasons for doing something?
Theological theological studies - what does this act mean, what does it tell us about our relationship with God, How do we understand what we are doing?
Pastoral theological studies - a focus on the actual worship life of the church, on the human / divine encounter, the actual physical act of liturgy

The pastoral consideration is the consummation of the historical and theological aspects of a problem with a real life liturgy.

The pastoral consideration is not an excuse for saying ‘anything goes’ or a reason to overlook the other two elements of the triad (history and theology.) A pastoral judgement made without consideration or reference to the historical and theological elements is incomplete and deficient. Equally a historical judgement being made on a contemporary liturgy without pastoral and theological consideration is incomplete and deficient. A liturgy planned with impeccable theology is meaningless if it doesn't connect with the real life people celebrating the liturgy.

Sadly the phrase ‘pastoral’ liturgy has often been misunderstood. The eminent English born liturgist Mark Searle (RIP) remarked that liturgy

suffers from the attentions of a lot of uninformed opinion and unscholarly punditry. It is precisely to protect the worship life of the church from ill-advised experimentation and unhelpful advice that the development of scholarly research under the umbrella of pastoral liturgical studies is so important.


[New Tasks, New Methods: The Emergence of Pastoral Liturgical Studies Worship 57 (1983) 291-308]

The number of times we see and hear people advocating positions and making decisions under the guise of being ‘pastoral’ is very disheartening. Even more disheartening is the fact that in many cases these people are simply unaware or dismissive of the other two elements of the liturgical triad (historical and theological.) Making decisions based only on one the triads will end up with a very one dimensional act of worship. Good liturgical decision making is taken by considering the theological, historical and pastoral viewpoints.

Take for example the thread that was recently discussing the music to be used during the entrance rite. We might (very briefly) look at the problem from three perspectives

Historial: The introit/ entrance antiphon has been a part of Roman rite worship for a long time and is intrinsically connected in both word and text with the liturgy

Theological: The best way of ‘gathering’ the congregation is by singing a strophic hymn as it brings everyone together.

Pastoral: How can we best enable the human to enter into an encounter with the Divine at this particular time and in this particular place.

The pastoral decision will consider both the historical and theological perspectives, but also the human dimension.

Therefore, the pastoral decision to this problem could equally be

a) singing the Latin gregorian introit
b) singing a strophic, vernacular, hymn

Rather than answering the questions

What do I want to sing
What do I like singing
What style of music do i want
What form of music do I want

the pastoral question asks ‘How can we best enable the human to enter into an encounter with the Divine at this particular time and in this particular place.’ Taking into account the historical and theological context, the pastoral decision for the local context may then be made.

(This is merely a briefly worked out example, which could be fleshed out in many ways)

alan29
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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by alan29 » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:39 pm

I'm not about to disagree with Chris, but it seems to me that equal consideration must be given to the musical talents available, the resources in terms of the equipment and spaces available, and the profile of that given congregation or event.
Badly done or inappropriate music can be deeply unedifying and can be a barrier to the encounter you describe.

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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by Chris » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:06 pm

alan29 wrote:I'm not about to disagree with Chris, but it seems to me that equal consideration must be given to the musical talents available, the resources in terms of the equipment and spaces available, and the profile of that given congregation or event.
Badly done or inappropriate music can be deeply unedifying and can be a barrier to the encounter you describe.


Absolutely these are factors which would influence the 'pastoral' element of a liturgical decision as they will play a role in answering the pastoral question I posed (‘How can we best enable the human to enter into an encounter with the Divine at this particular time and in this particular place.’) Poorly resourced/ performed music is likely to have a detriment effect on the liturgical encounter, and therefore is an element in the pastoral consideration.

Tom_Neal
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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by Tom_Neal » Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:48 pm

Just a brief note to thank the contributors so far, and to apologise for my silence. I'm in the middle of an incredibly busy week, but I look forward to rejoining the discussion in a few days. :D

johnquinn39
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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by johnquinn39 » Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:22 am

"Is there such a thing as un-pastoral music or liturgy?"

I think so, yes. Any music, translations and rituals that people cannot connect with (in the long run) are "un-pastoral".

Tom_Neal
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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by Tom_Neal » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:41 pm

johnquinn39 wrote:"Any music, translations and rituals that people cannot connect with (in the long run) are "un-pastoral".


That's a VERY interesting point there, John. I'm particularly interested in your use of the phrase "in the long run". Could you expand on your thoughts?

oopsorganist
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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by oopsorganist » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:06 pm

The phrase "in the long run" means over a lengthy period of time.
uh oh!

Tom_Neal
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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by Tom_Neal » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:31 am

What I meant was: I'd be interested to hear John's (indeed everyone's) thoughts on what "people connect with in the long run".

alan29
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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by alan29 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:39 am

Tom_Neal wrote:What I meant was: I'd be interested to hear John's (indeed everyone's) thoughts on what "people connect with in the long run".

Plain meaning, Tom.
Stuff that lead a community to worship together and live transformed lives.

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keitha
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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by keitha » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:06 am

Knowing John a bit, I would imagine that he is also looking to disregard the ephemeral in favour of matters that stand some reasonable test of time.
Keith Ainsworth

johnquinn39
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Re: Pastoral liturgy and pastoral music

Post by johnquinn39 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:47 am

Hi Keith & Tom.

In my view -- people can really take ownership of quality texts & music over a period of time -- for example -- the 42 years in
which the Grail Psalms have been sung at the church where I serve on music team.

Further to this -- a great deal of music has proved to be more than epehmeral -- for example -- the Gelineau tones, and the music of
the St. Louis Jesuits.

I am not convinced that the 'new traslation' will prove to be more than ephemeral -- and I do not think people will take ownership of it.

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