Latin II

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dunstan
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Post by dunstan »

A quick look shows a freely copyable version of Jubilate Deo here:

http://www.ceciliaschola.org/pdf/jubilatec.pdf
It's not a generation gap, it's a taste gap.

oopsorganist
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latin stuff

Post by oopsorganist »

I am going to ask a question that I have already been shot down for in another discussion with others in church music.

Next time the powers give us advice and guidance could they release it on CD? Or on a Vatican website. It is very hard to get hold of basic repertoire music from where I stand. Not without my going and spending my own money or begging from kind people on the website. It's not that I can't read music or anything like that is is so that others can hear what it is we are on about. Notes would help too.

Or instead of Diocesan bods training award winning choirs, they give training to parishes, whole parishes, one a month demonstrating some simple liturgically correct music. Is it really to much to ask. A bit of modeling not a document somewhere that I have never seen.

When I say in my church oh well we aren't really having to sing any hymns you know, they just smile at me and shake their heads. The rubbish that crept into our Easter services in the past would frighten you, it really would.

Same goes for psalms. And if one parish begins a journey towards more correct Liturgical music then the next must do so too or people will vote with their feet for music which they prefer.

And how to build a choir from ashes of dissent, that would help too.

Any advice about how it would be possible for even the average primary school teacher to pick out melodies on the recorder in bed instead of reading Jackie Collins novels not appreciated, since I am an Irish nursery teacher therefore require special help. If it music/chant is not copyright then it should be possible to produce such guidance and this is the contemporary media for communication, go for it Bishops!
uh oh!

ChrisC
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Post by ChrisC »

At the risk of double posting: I think we can accept that we are the Latin Rite, and that the Council certainly requested that the people be able to sing the Creed and Lord's Prayer in Latin 'set to simple melodies,' and this list was extended over the years to include most of the Ordinary.

The provision of these lists do not exclude the vernacular - indeed, during the course of the reform in the 70s the Bishops seem to have conceded that the integrity of the rite is in fact impeded if we switch constantly from one language to another. Consequently, we got the complete Missal in the Vernaculars across the world.

I understand the artistic value of many of the Latin settings, and the pastoral issues raised when large numbers of Catholics gather - the Pope has said that the loss of this ability to recognise one another in something we have in common is a real cultural impoverishment.

It is a difficult area, and one which can get very heated. I made a post a few minutes ago on the Holydays thread concerning the value of congregational song, and I would add to that post that it is essential that people are able to comprehend what they are singing. Why else have we had the extended debate about the translation of the new Missal this time around? The work that has been put in to this translation seems to presuppose that the language of the people is one of the primary liturgical, pastoral, catechetical and missiological means to deepen our understanding of the mysteries we celebrate.

Why, then, are so many people spending so much of their time and energy arguing for an increase in a language that is not part of the faith of most of the people? Are we to detect a different agenda here?

Oh dear - that's quite a little bundle of observations. I hope someone is able to pick over it and make some sense from it!

C

oopsorganist
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Latin

Post by oopsorganist »

Oh yes, forgot thread.

Latin is hard because I cannot pronounce it by reading it.

Is there a little bit of looking to re establish authenticity of religion, not sure what I mean but recently I have been finding out more about Islam and talking to someone about it ....... they do it all in Arabic you know, and understand little so I am told.

A little bit of Latin I like because we should hand on tradition, and a little bit of modern, a few soppy old hymns and then quite a lot of silence. Would suit me fine.
uh oh!

Merseysider
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Re: latin stuff

Post by Merseysider »

oopsorganist wrote:...instead of Diocesan bods training award winning choirs, they give training to parishes, whole parishes, one a month demonstrating some simple liturgically correct music. Is it really to much to ask. A bit of modeling not a document somewhere that I have never seen.
...
Contact your diocesan music advisor or liturgy commission – there's bound to be something going on. If not, look to your neighbours. Here in Liverpool (OK, we're next-door-but-one but it's not that far down the M62) we've had four workshops for parish musicians so far this year and there are three more planned for the autumn – keep an eye on this message board or PM me your email address and I'll keep you informed.

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presbyter
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Post by presbyter »

ChrisC wrote: Are we to detect a different agenda here?


Here's the only agenda in the very first paragraph of the Constitution (the first document of the Council, setting out its aims and purpose; all the documents of the Council and subsequent ones to date should be interpreted in the light of this paragraph)

CONSTITUTION
ON THE SACRED LITURGY
SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM
SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY
HIS HOLINESS

POPE PAUL VI
ON DECEMBER 4, 1963

INTRODUCTION


1. This sacred Council has several aims in view: it desires to impart an ever increasing vigour to the Christian life of the faithful; to adapt more suitably to the needs of our own times those institutions which are subject to change; to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ; to strengthen whatever can help to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church.

ChrisC
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Post by ChrisC »

Presbyter, I agree.

Problem is, there are persons coming from various corners who treat the ritual uniformity of the Latin Rite in all its elements as though it were the Gospel itself.

The Council itself is not something I would presume to question; I would quibble with some of the narrower interpretations, particularly in terms of music, that seem to be highly dubious.

'Smaller churches', who Jubilate Deo seems to address, are not the same across any country - still less across the continent. I am sure that the contents of Pope Paul's booklet would be welcomed alongside whatever other resources such Churches use. There is nothing, I am sure, in Jubilate Deo that is particularly onerous for a community willing and able to devote some energy in recovering this art which is ours by right, whilst it is done in communion with the best of whatever other music we have available.

This would, I hope, be true for many places in England; however, I am told (and am open to correction!) the standard of music, and of the Liturgy generally, in many Italian parishes leaves a great deal to be desired. This is perhaps a slightly different issue from 'what music is used' but it may provide a context for some of the less open comments that seem to have come from Rome in recent years.

Surely we are still required by the Council to test everything; the 'new treasures' mentioned in the Constitution make no explicit reference to preference of genre, though there is a vociferous minority who would make that judgement on our behalf; unfortunately, Liturgiam Authenticam and the the Cardinal Prefect are playing into their hands.

Have I missed it, or has everyone seen John Wilkins' account of the revision of the Missal these last 40 years?

C

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mcb
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Post by mcb »

Nick Baty wrote:It appears that the "Why" is for when people of many languages come together


Nick, I think you've got this wrong. It's not about the practicalities of a multilingual assembly. It's about a sacramental sign of the Church as a wider communion than the one made up of the people of your corner of North Liverpool, or my corner of inner-city Salford, in the year 2006. Singing in Latin connects us to the Church around the world and to the Church in the past and in the future (after all, given a few more centuries, our present day vernacular texts will be quaint and archaic if they are still intelligible to the person in the pew).

It's also a sign of communion between the earthly liturgy and the one going on in heaven. (I know they don't speak Latin in heaven, at least I hope they don't. But that's why we're talking about a sacramental sign rather than a link by webcam. :-)) Which makes it also an effective reminder that when we come together to celebrate the liturgy we're not creating something out of nothing, or making it up as we go along; rather, we're joining in something that's been going on since God made the angels.

I think there's a call to humility in that - the liturgy is in the end beyond our feeble creative resources and beyond our comprehension.

M.

dmu3tem
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Latin II

Post by dmu3tem »

Just a little bit of history concerning the linkage between plainchant and the Latin liturgy.

Plainchant in the Gallican Liturgies (many still in Latin) of C18th France was promoted as something for congregational singing. This theme was taken up by plainchant protagonists in the nineteenth century. See for example the introduction to Johann Benz' 'Cantica Sacra' of 1842 (I think). The same idea appears in early C20th Papal documents and it was a core plank of SSG policy in the 1930s. The significant feature is that such determined campaigning never achieved more than moderate success at parish level on the ground. No less a figure than Dom Gregory Murray, who actively promoted plainchant throughout the 1930s and into the early 1940s, rejected this policy (in his usual trenchant style) in the introduction to his 'People's Mass' claiming that plainchant designed for crack monastic choirs in the ninth-tenth centuries by definition was unlikely to achieve much success at congregational level. His solution was four part hymnody.

This potted history raises three questions:

(1) Was the absence of congregational take-up due to ingrained habits of non-participation in the English speaking world? Possible causes might include the devotional approach to the Mass displayed by the laity from Late Medieval times onwards. Most Primers (with the exception of Gother's publications and their successors) in Recusant times contained only paraphrases - not the exact text - in translation.

(2) If this can be set to one side (a dubious proposition in itself), was the absence of congregational take-up due to Latin as well as the difficulty of singing plainchant?

(3) If you had Latin texts sung in a non-plainchant idiom would people be more likely to sing them - assuming that the music was fairly decent (a highly subjective issue in itself)?

In this context it is relevant to note that Murray's People's Mass sold over a million copies and was later adapted for Anglican Holy Communion and the current English Mass. Note too that Murray himself admitted that the music was fairly ordinary.

In case this excursion into past history might be thought irrelevant, one might perhaps consider how much congregations actually participate in modern settings of Latin texts: a good example might be the Taize Book 2 settings. Note that many of these tend to be repetitive mantras; so perhaps a distinction might be drawn between these and settings of longer, non-repetitive texts.

This, in turn, seems to spell out the need to conduct objective statistical research instead of just repeating viewpoints based on one's limited personal experience or religious standpoint. Does anyone know whether higher ecclesiastical bodies have dared do anything like this?

Thomas Muir
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dunstan
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Re: Latin II

Post by dunstan »

dmu3tem wrote:(3) If you had Latin texts sung in a non-plainchant idiom would people be more likely to sing them - assuming that the music was fairly decent (a highly subjective issue in itself)?

As Tom will remember, at Stoyhurst in the late 70's/early 80's, both the Niedermeier (sp?) Pater Noster and the hymn "Sit Laus Altissimo ... Te Laudo Dominum" were sung with gusto by 500 teenage boys.

Looking from the opposite direction: Why has recorded plainchant become (somewhat) popular as "ambient" music?
It's not a generation gap, it's a taste gap.

dmu3tem
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Latin II

Post by dmu3tem »

Many thanks for this example, which I can confirm is quite correct. However, in this case, other readers might note that such results were only achieved in the context of compulsory weekly practices conducted in a ruthlessly efficient - and highly impressive - manner. It also built on a long tradition of congregational singing going right back to the 1920s, when the first versions of John Driscoll's Cantionale were introduced and there was a very large choir (40 plus)(again extensively trained - 2-3 practices a week in the 1920s to the early 1960s) to give support. I imagine that this sort of thing happens in similar establishments (e.g. Ampleforth and Downside). The key question, though, is whether such singing occurs in parishes where, by definition, compulsory practices of the congregation are unavailable and where a tradition of congregational participation of this sort of antiquity never existed.
People might also note that, despite this very specific example, we are still in the realm of isolated cases drawn from personal experience. What is required, surely, is objective statistical evidence based on carefully planned standardised questionaires from a large number of centres (50 plus). Moreover, in each instance, you would need to get such questionnaires filled in by a cross-section of people in the congregation, given the wide-ranging nature of personal preferences in a multicultural society. This is a huge task; but without it people are simply beating around in the dark. Has anything of this sort been done?

Thomas Muir
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Alan
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Re: Latin II

Post by Alan »

dmu3tem wrote: People might also note that, despite this very specific example, we are still in the realm of isolated cases drawn from personal experience. What is required, surely, is objective statistical evidence based on carefully planned standardised questionaires from a large number of centres (50 plus). Moreover, in each instance, you would need to get such questionnaires filled in by a cross-section of people in the congregation, given the wide-ranging nature of personal preferences in a multicultural society. This is a huge task; but without it people are simply beating around in the dark. Has anything of this sort been done?

Thomas is quite right, of course. Perhaps this is something the SSG Trustees might consider asking/commissioning someone to do. (Not me, I hasten to add!)

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What are they up to?

Post by Mancunian »

Merseysider wrote

"But I can think of one or two cathedrals who promulgate the use of Latin, chant and polyphony, to the exclusion of the assembly. I'd love to know what they're up to. "

I've been trying to sit on my hands in response to various comments about cathedrals, but I finally felt obliged to respond. This sounds rather like the cathedral where I worship and I don't want it changed to resemble the worship at my local parish church!

Having sung tenor in the choir of my local parish church for a number of years, I finally gave up in despair at Easter and joined the congregation of my local cathedral. At my parish church, the choir was being steadily marginalised by the latest parish priest and told that at all festivals we would in future sing jointly with the 'Music Group - for the young at heart' and their guitars - which effectively meant that we had to sing their choice of music. We had to sit on fold-up chairs squeezed into a small corner of the church with our backs to the sanctuary, as we were banned from the choir loft (where we had room for our music and could see the altar) at the same time as our parish priest arrived. As a result we never saw the altar during the service, and it was impossible to pick up the next piece of music without risking becoming excessively intimate with the contralto on the chair in front. The last straw was the pseudo-pop music we were required to sing for the Easter vigil. I felt that it was totally inappropriate and unable to participate (as did as far as I could see the majority of the congregation). So I went to the Cathedral.

I strongly suspect what those cathedrals are 'up to' is providing what their congregations want. Do I feel 'excluded' as a mere member of the 'assembly'? No, I do not - and I believe that the vast majority of the congregation feel the same way. We consider that we participate, and I actually feel far better able to participate and worship at the Cathedral than I ever did at my parish church. If we as the assembly feel that we are participating, why should someone from outside the assembly presume to tell us that we are wrong? And if any of us wanted the sort of approach that I suspect is favoured by Merseysider, we could find it by going to any of the local parish churches.

Can we, the cathedral assemblies, please be left to get on with participation in worship in our own peculiar way, however strange this may seem to those used to a different approach?

Mancunian

Merseysider
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Re: What are they up to?

Post by Merseysider »

Dear Mancunian residing in Nottingham,

You are quoting me from an altogether different thread. Although, judging from this one, I am not alone in my thoughts.

However, your cathedral is definitely not one of those I had in mind. In fact, the reports I've heard of music at your new place of worship have been nothing but good.
Mancunian wrote: Can we, the cathedral assemblies, please be left to get on with participation in worship in our own peculiar way, however strange this may seem to those used to a different approach?

In a nutshell, no. I've always had this strange idea that our cathedrals should set an example. And quite a few do (I've cited Brentwood, Clifton and Salford elsewhere).
Mancunian wrote: the sort of approach that I suspect is favoured by Merseysider
As several people have professed on other threads to know exactly what Merseysider favours, let's spell it out. What Merseysider would expect in any church, be it the greatest cathedral or the tiniest chapel is this:
1 gospel greeting and eucharistic acclamations sung by the assembly – where possible adorned by choir harmonies and/or musical instruments but never by the choir alone.
2 A psalm in response to the first reading sung by a cantor from the lectern with the assembly responding.
3 A gathering song, most frequently sung by the assembly or by the choir alternating with the assembly or by the choir alone.
4 A psalm or other suitable song during the communion procession, led by a cantor, music group or choir with a simple refrain for the assembly.
This leaves plenty of "slots" for more choir music (polyphony, plainsong or whatever style best helps the assembly to pray) and/or more songs for the assembly.

As to the situation in your parish church, then I consider it a disgrace that an established musical tradition had been broken for no good reason. Most parish music groups need an occasional injection of fresh blood but this sounds like a case of throwing out the baby with the bath water. And that fact that your parish has lost a tenor is almost sinful. We are desperate for such a rare breed – I have to rescore everything for SAB.

I would agree that choir lofts are no place for choirs – at least, in the last 30 years I've never successfully worked with a choir in a loft – difficulty of co-ordination between the MD, the assembly and the choir to say nothing of time lags. I recently directed music at a church where the organ was in a very high gallery and, even with the aid of a two-way talkback system, I found it impossible to keep organ, choir and assembly together. However, it's plainly stupid to situate you where you have your backs to the altar and I well understand you complaint.

Despite my own preferences, I would hesitate to be proscriptive on the question of styles and genres. However, I reiterate my question: why should (some, and I stress some) cathedrals ignore the guidelines which parish musicians are expected to follow?

But Merseysider is aware the he is becoming an old git who is increasingly intolerant of some of the younger fogeys around. Still, there were plenty of folk who were intolerant of me when I was a young fogey.

And if Merseysider goes missing for a while, he can found in a corner of his garden shed, chanting quietly from his Liber Usualis.

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presbyter
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Post by presbyter »

Benevenio wrote:Just as with children "because I say so" is a very weak argument, that they soon see through. Simply saying "because the documents of Mother Church says so" is equally limp.


You know, we can all plunder Roman documents in a somewhat fundamentalist way. In so doing, we can not only miss the spirit of the law but we can also miss what is indeed strict law.

Rather than pointing to sentences which seem to say at first glance, "you must do this at all costs" - the whole assembly must sing the Sanctus; you must sing some Latin - try to be a bit more grey than black and white.

Strict (absolute) liturgical law concerns the validity of the celebration as authentic Christian worship. Contravention of these statutes will somehow negate God's saving work. Thus we do not omit the Gospel and in its place read the pretty poem little Sandra has written in memory of her "Nan" at the Funeral Mass. We use bread and wine, not chips and ale, to celebrate the Eucharist.

Other laws concern liceity and admit flexibility in their interpretation and application, remembering always the supreme law, the salvation of souls.

So one might argue that it is illicit if a congregation never has the opportunity to sing in Latin, or if they are deprived of vocal participation in the Sanctus through a purely choral setting occasionally. But is this so?

Not necessarily. I think GIRM has been promulgated (forgive the technical term) in forma communi (in general form). It is an Instruction from an executive, not a legislative body - the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship.

So who is the legislative body? Our Bishops and more specifically, the individual diocesan Bishop (who is, after all, Vicar of Christ for his diocese).

So if, for example, the Bishop judges that the pastoral effectiveness of the celebrations in his cathedral is best served through never a word of Latin being uttered, that is up to him. If he judges that certain elements of so-called "traditional" celebration (e.g. use of the Kyriale and Graduale - even entire polyphonic Mass settings and motets) are fitting in his cathedral for the Sunday "High Mass" - that is up to him too.

There's room in the Church for the St Thomas More Group and Plainsong and Palestrina isn't there? And who's to say that those who worship through the "High Art" and rather ceremonial approach to the Mass at the Birmingham Oratory (where everything except the readings and the homily is in Latin) are not participating as actively (actually) as those a few miles away who are singing "In bread we bring you Lord..."?

I have read today the address given by then then Cardinal Ratzinger on the occasion of the retirement of his brother from the directorship of music at Regensburg Cathedral. The Cardinal's defence of his brother's illicit 30 year practice of shifting the sung Agnus Dei from its "proper" place is a joy to read and is an object lesson in how to interpret and apply liturgical law.

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