Active Participation?

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ChrisC
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Active Participation?

Post by ChrisC »

Interesting piece which traces the development of the term 'Active Participation', which is currently in danger of being hijacked and pushed 'inwards' as a response to some of the daffier things that people have done in its name.

http://www.heythrop.ac.uk/images/stories/College/Staffdocs/cameron_mowat/liturgy_and_renewal.pdf

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VML
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by VML »

I always knew we should have had Morris dancers at JPII's Mass at Coventry, instead of some girls in red capes doing modern expressive dance. :D
How do we include the cultures - and/ or languages and music, of all the nations when there are just one or two families each from, say, Kenya, Jamaica, Singapore, Burma, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Philippines, Lebanon? And that is just in our medium suburban parish.

oopsorganist
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by oopsorganist »

That was a thought provoking read was that.

We had some dancing in our parish. It made people angry.

I've been dancing just a little bit today. I'm thinking. That music what we do, and the other thread about the Youth Mass Australia (which is beautiful but just a bit operatic, lots of organ terantera)...... er, shouldn't say this of course, but hey, why not..... most modern contemporary music is based on Black music traditions and we just don't get it going do we..... this exludes many people, of course it does. I think I've said this before.

What about clog dancing VML? Liturgical clog dancing of course.
uh oh!

asb
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by asb »

VML wrote:I always knew we should have had Morris dancers at JPII's Mass at Coventry, instead of some girls in red capes doing modern expressive dance. :D
How do we include the cultures - and/ or languages and music, of all the nations when there are just one or two families each from, say, Kenya, Jamaica, Singapore, Burma, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Philippines, Lebanon? And that is just in our medium suburban parish.


Simple - Latin Plainchant! What could be more Universal ? 8)

I may be missing a point here, but if I were living in, say, rural France (as one day I might) I would not expect, (or necessarily want) English music provided for me...... :?:

nazard
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by nazard »

asb wrote:Simple - Latin Plainchant! What could be more Universal ?


Audite, audite!

docmattc
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by docmattc »

VML wrote:How do we include the cultures - and/ or languages and music, of all the nations when there are just one or two families each from, say, Kenya, Jamaica, Singapore, Burma, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Philippines, Lebanon?


I don't think we need to focus on including cultures but rather including people. We have to make the people themselves feel part of the community and allow them to bring whatever gifts they have to our celebrations (if thats what they want to do). I wouldn't worry that the choir weren't leading any (for instance) Jamaican music, but I would worry if the Jamaican make up of the parish wasn't reflected in the choir.

oopsorganist
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by oopsorganist »

Did anyone really read it?

"Nostalgia is inherently selective, exclusive and elitist"

I enjoy the bit about benches. If they were not there we could dance! Wouldn't that be nice?
uh oh!

nazard
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by nazard »

Thank you, Oops, for reminding me that I should have read it. I'm afraid that two things struck me about the article.

1) It tends to make statements though they were revealed truth. It doesn't seem to have any doubts. In particular, it claims that the liturgical renewal post V2 was a success. In view of the mass attendance statistics, there must be at least some reason to doubt this.

2) It does not consider the possibility that we have a culture as catholics, and that after more than a thousand years of christianity, our culture is very much aligned with christianity. It is our culture to gather in rows on the nave side of an altar rail and sing plainsong.

All that said, it may well be a good idea to change the way we do things. Just do it slowly and carefully, guided by the Holy Spirit through the church, and don't use pseudo scientific arguments to justify things.

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VML
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by VML »

The Jamaican element in our parish is one much married mother and her son who is our most dignified server. I would have him in the music group like a shot: I taught him guitar for a while till family circumstances moved him on- a meticulous learner.

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contrabordun
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by contrabordun »

oopsorganist wrote:"Nostalgia is inherently selective, exclusive and elitist?

Yes, that was the last straw for me, too.

(Apart from the wholly predictable jibe at 'the organ playing Forty Days and Forty Nights', from somebody who appears to have read Art.119 without noticing the first sentence of Art.120)
Paul Hodgetts

alan29
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by alan29 »

nazard wrote:Thank you, Oops, for reminding me that I should have read it. I'm afraid that two things struck me about the article.

1) It tends to make statements though they were revealed truth. It doesn't seem to have any doubts. In particular, it claims that the liturgical renewal post V2 was a success. In view of the mass attendance statistics, there must be at least some reason to doubt this.

Morning,
I have seen and heard that assertion many, many times, but I have never seen or heard any research to back it up. I think it is much more complex than that - would contemporary un-churched know or even care about something that happened over a generation ago?
Alan

nazard
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by nazard »

Alan,

You are correct, it is as difficult to prove that liturgical reform is a success as to prove it is a failure. No proper controlled experiments are possible, where you change only one variable at a time and record the results. It just gets my hackles up when someone categotically states that litugical reform has been successful, and especially if they then propose making even more changes in a similar vein.

On the other hand, it is naive to think that going back to where we were at some date in the past would solve the problem. After all, we moved because at least some people were not happy.

oopsorganist
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by oopsorganist »

oh dear
it wasn't the last straw for me, I agree with it. (But then I do tend to believe everything I am told or read, even on the internet)

I wasn't joking about the benches either, I think that was interesting..... our church is Victorian and designed with benches but imagine if they were not there. Lots of babies and toddlers would avoid head injuries. Churches could be used for other things and not just heated up occasionally.....and so on. How do we become the Body of Christ while sitting in neat rows usually a safe distance from each other doing that personal thing in the Mass which the article mentions. How do we relate to each other and the action of the Mass. Cathedrals didn't have benches, the unwashed stood and the sick and frail sat around the sides....... so I am told. It has a link with other cultures too, twould take too long to have to think about it, but somewhere in the thoughts people have about how we should could might offer people from other cultures something with which they might identify or feel at home with or feel recognised by, but in the end that might just be a smile and a warm welcome not a music thing, and round we go again, same debate.

It has got all a bit stuck with Doc musing about having Jamaicans in his choir...... but he would not feel compelled to provide Jamaican music.... smiling at the idea of Doc suddenly doing rap for the Gloria...... off thread..... but also dancing.... now where is this going? Singing with a Gospel group this week was so great, but they were compelled to dance, it is an integral part of the culture and style.....watching children sing heartily and hearing a great noise, we don't really know so much about other cultures and inclusion, there's a long way to go....what do we offer, folkie style modern stuff from our nostalgia days (think age here) and Victorain sentimental grandeur (which is fine and goes well with the benches, the workers in their place) and the odd bit bit pilfered from another culture and Westernised, to people with a richer far richer and very different musical heritage and Polish people with a rich traditional Latin? liking, or not, do they actually hate that and want to sing How Lovely on the Mountains with us trying to learn English so they can cope with this new and frightening experience of migration... ... can we draw the circle wider, do we need to and why?

If I see any Romans at our church I will definately put something in in Latin. I would not want anyone to feel excluded. I would have to sing it to La. I would fully support their need for nostalgia. But then I would have to include something modern for young people...... are our Catholic schools teaching Latin? I don't know.
uh oh!

nazard
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by nazard »

I did once get as far as practising rapping Psalm 22 with the teenagers, "Da Lord is ma shepperd, der is nuthin ar shall want..." etc, but they chickened out of actually doing it at mass.

Reginald
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Re: Active Participation?

Post by Reginald »

Our school does teach Latin, but only as an after school thing. That said, by the end of the year virtually every one of our kids will have sung the Agnus in Latin (so far it's only 2/3) and, as I've said before, they sing it with gusto. They don't rival the Shiney Jesus Song in terms of decibels, but they certainly sing louder than they do for modern mass settings. The key thing for our kids is the catechesis that goes with it. When they know that our Church exists outside of time they perceive the value in singing the same words and tunes as their fellow Church members in the Communion of Saints going back 1000 years. Let them sing or say the Kyrie and tell them that they're the oldest words still extant in the Mass, words that unite nearly 2000 years of Christians and they develop a kind of enthusiasm for it.

I can't help not agreeing with the original article in that it seems to advocate a kind of 'activism'.

As Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict spurned the old Low Mass mentality of a congregation sat in silence going about their private devotions and not responding to the Mass, but also rejects the idea that everybody has to have something to do in order to participate actively. The multiplication of empty gestures and parrot responses is of no use in fostering active participation. With the kids at school I try to get them to enter into every prayer, be aware of what is being said, and get them to join with that prayer internally - I'm sure that's what the Council Fathers had in mind and it would certainly be consitent with the intentions of the 20th century liturgical movement.

As regards the place of chant and Latin. Obedience to the Church, to what Vat II actually said (as opposed to what people say that it said), and awareness of the fact that the Church is not just here and now, means that our school will find a place for chant and Latin as long as I'm there - and by the same token we'll, occasionally, find a place for Victoriana. However, we will always introduce new music (I know I seem like the arch-traditionalist here, but at school I get more complaints about there always being something new in every Mass "What's wrong with Bind Us Together and the Hopwood Mass?" they say)because the Church cannot be stuck in the past, it just has to remember that it has one!

Off-topic a little (unless, as I suspect, the article is a criticism of the Benedictine reform under way in Rome), but read Ratzinger and look at what's happening in Rome. There's no question of him wanting to turn back the clock to 1962 if you read him carefully (see how readily he's raised the bar for the SSPX over the Good Friday prayer for the Jews). For 40 years we have focused on the Church in the here and now, seeking a kind of ecumenical liturgy which is about harmony with other contemporary Christians and othe contemporary cultures. I don't think that Pope Benedict XVI rejects that, but wants us to focus also on the fact that we are a Church at one with our spiritual ancestors - a kind of reminder that our Church is built on rock and not on shifting sands. I think the phrase that Pope Benedict used to the Curia in 2005 was interpreting Vat II with a hermeneutic of continuity and not rupture.

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