Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

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johnquinn39
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Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by johnquinn39 »

There seems to be a great deal of interest in Latin, plainchant, and the EF Mass in the RC blogshpere and elsewhere at the moment.
However, does this have anything to do with liturgy?

Is there a danger of obscuring the Word of God if we sing and pray exclusively in Latin? Surely the policy at V2 was to translate from the original text to the vernacular.

Also, what is to be gained by reducing the number of NT readings from 71% (current lectionary) to 17% (EF lectionary)?

Will it really bring about the Kingdom of the Lord by 'banning' altar girls, and receiving communion on the tongue (rather than in the traditional way in the hand)?

If the music of the last 40 years is to be ignored, what is replacing it?

To be sure, plainchant can be very beautiful, but if all is sung in Latin will it mean anything at all to the person in the pew (and the organ loft) who has been singing, praying and playing gems like 'One bread, one body' (Foley), 'As the deer longs' (Hurd) and the psalms of Gelineau, Bevenot, Murray, The St Thomas More Group, Farrell etc.? (Please, do not get me wrong, at my parish we always sing the benediction hymns in Latin, and not infrequently sing the plainsong Kyrie and Agnus Dei).

If we are going to sing (more) choral music, surely the music of for example Arvo Part, or even Bob Chilcott, is more advanced than that of Monteverdi or Palestrina?

Is there a danger of completely ignoring the music that has developed since V2, and introducing a sort of 'year 0' policy, that has nothing to do with anything that went before?

asb
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by asb »

johnquinn39 wrote:
Is there a danger of obscuring the Word of God if we sing and pray exclusively in Latin? Surely the policy at V2 was to translate from the original text to the vernacular.



NO, and NO :!: :shock:

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contrabordun
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by contrabordun »

I think the question doesn't distinguish sufficiently between what takes place at EF masses, which by nature are going to be pretty much Latin all the way and what takes place at OF masses, where the question of Farrell-or-Farrant may be more real.

Now I personally don't much care what happens at EF masses. I've never been to one, and don't particularly intend to either, though I might, out of curiosity, if one came along. I don't understand why the knowledge that some people are attending them makes other people worried.

I just think they're irrelevant in the big picture. I can't imagine that a church that switched its main Sunday masses to EF would hold on to much of a congregation (but on the other hand, if that was what people wanted in a particular place than I wouldn't get too worked up about that, either).

As regards OF masses, though, I think it's pendulum time. First it swung out one way, now it's coming back. It won't swing back to where it started from and it won't even swing as far back as it swung out (arguably, we've had one year zero already). Then it'll swing out again, but not as far and eventually will settle. But as V2 begins to fade into history - and you'd now need to be in your fifties to have a clear recollection of life before it, let along an adult knowledge of the pre-conciliar liturgy, we should acknowledge that - as with any period of history - the truly great music of the past half century is only a tiny fraction and even the good is only a small one, of what has been written and published. It isn't surprising that people look at this corpus in the context of the vast array of liturgical music and wonder how much of it to include. Especially so as technology puts high quality recordings of anything we want to hear at our fingertips, and resources such as the cpdl give free access to what is in effect thousands of pounds worth of music library.
Paul Hodgetts

nazard
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by nazard »

I think that a lot of traditionalism is the only way to protest about the trivialisation of liturgy. I have been to our liturgy Komissariat and asked for reverend masses with in tune music, but I got a point blank refusal. Being in tune would be a good first stage in improving the music, but there are people whose idea of heaven is "Father God I wonder" sand hideously out of tune accompanied by a keyboard with touch sensitivity turned of and an autobeat selected which the performers ignore.

I am quite happy to join in contemporary music singing, playing the trumpet or the organ, but when I really need to pray then the tridentine rite is where I go.

As for Latin, in the face of the translations we have, or even those which are proposed, the latin is clearer. You will search in vain for "...which the earth has given..." in the latin. If you can't understand a little latin, then learn some as a matter of urgency. It will open up the wisdom of the church to you.

My favourite latin phrase must be the one they forgot in the Gloria, "ad te levamus manus in altum..." (clap, clap)

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contrabordun
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by contrabordun »

reverend masses with in tune music[...]but I got a point blank refusal

but when I really need to pray then the tridentine rite is where I go

As for Latin, in the face of the translations we have, or even those which are proposed, the latin is clearer


In this as in anything, the key to success is fixing the right problem. Y'see, what these quotes tell me is that the problem isn't with the (now not so) Novus Ordo - which is of course available in either language - per se, but with (some of) the people charged with carrying it out. If all those who care about such things, as I do and as Nazard does, put our weight, in our own small ways in our own places, into improving what we've got, then there should be no need to go anywhere to really pray but the 10.30 parish mass on a Sunday morning.

I've said I'm not bothered by what other people do in their own time, and I'm not. But reading around the internet (always a questionable way to spend time, but I'm stuck in a German hotel in in the middle of nowhere) and the blogs on the subject, one gets the impression that a lot of people, apparently suffering a nasty case of post hoc ergo propter hoc, believe that if only it hadn't been for V2 we'd still have the churches full for Benediction every week, probably preceeded by a good ol'Blessed Sacrament procession round the parish to the accompaniment of hymns to the BVM for the reconversion of England, with none of this nonsense about tolerating (or worse, marrying) non-Catholics or being gay or anything. I don't myself fancy being part of this.

Oh, and by the way, while I'm here: if you're in Birmingham city centre on Friday 19th, I'm giving a lunchtime organ recital at the Anglican Cathedral (are we allowed to call it that here, or does that imply they might have actual bishops?). 1.10 to 1.50, Cocker, Bach, Pachelbel and Franck. Free Admission. Shameless plug. Sorry...
Paul Hodgetts

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sidvicius
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by sidvicius »

Sorry to be a dumbass, wot's a EF/OF mass?

I just about never read blogs, can't believe it when so much notice is taken of them.

I don't speak latin either. It would be good if everyone could have some latin that they could understand and pray in church, maybe 'the main bits', for global unity, but it might take some effort to install it. English/Latin prayer cards anyone?

docmattc
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by docmattc »

sidvicius wrote:Sorry to be a dumbass, wot's a EF/OF mass?

EF- Extraordinary Form. What is now the correct terminology for what we used to call Tridentine. OF- Ordinary Form. Novus Ordo, what most of us do most of the time.

contrabordun wrote:As regards OF masses, though, I think it's pendulum time.
I couldn't agree with you more. But I think its true of the church as a whole not just OF.

johnquinn39 wrote:Is there a danger of completely ignoring the music that has developed since V2, and introducing a sort of 'year 0' policy, that has nothing to do with anything that went before?

For those that believe that V2 was basically a mistake and would like to turn the clock back, there's definitely a danger of this, but fortunately these are but a minority, all be it a very vocal one. Contrabordun covers this most eloquently. There is equally a danger though from the other perspective of introducing a year zero policy and completely ignoring anything that was in use before V2.

The Extraordinary Form will remain just that, extraordinary. There is plenty of opportunity in the Ordinary Form to use all that the Spirit has inspired in vernacular composers over the past 40 years

I suspect that my post here prompted this topic. To put things in perspective, there has been a suggestion my choir might like to be involved in an EF Mass my church is hosting at some unspecified point next year. The request for it has not come from within the parish, but from a group who, I beleive, move around the diocese, possibly with an evangelical agenda for the EF, I don't know. Before we say yes or no to this one off event, I want to be perfectly clear what is entailed and what will be required of the choir according to the rubrics. I've never been to an EF Mass, and have no great desire to do so, but if the choir feel it worth putting in the effort to learn so many pieces for a one off, I will teach them- as long as I am still around next year.

alan29
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by alan29 »

It is all in the attitude isn't it.
I have strong memories of pre Vat 2 celebrations. I was at a junior seminary where there was daily morning Mass - not concelebrated. So all the staff were at the side altars. They used to race to get to the refrectory before the breakfast bacon got too cold. This is the standard to which were meant to aspire. I remember a parish where this was announced "Thursday is Corpus Christi, a holy day of obligation. Mass will take no more than 20 minutes, so make sure you are there." I remember backs to the people and much use of the rosary and various prayer books - not missals. I remember mangled plainsong, atrociously accompanied. I remember that people went to novenas and benediction and stations as comprehensible alternatives to eucharistic celebrations that were largely a closed book to them. This was our weekly diet, not exquisite liturgy beautifully celebrated. I wonder what response I would have got from the clergy and musicians, had I made suggestions about the quality and standards they were aspiring to?
And I remember the excitement that some more suitable was being devised. The revision was sorely needed. They were abuses, serious ones, as sacriligeous as some of the present day ones that are too often quoted.
I suspect that the reason that EF celebrations seem so much more "prayerful" is that they are carefully prepared because they are seen as special, occasional celebrations that require special preparation and careful execution. I wonder if that sense of specialness would survive week in week out use.
Finally, I too sometimes look at traditionalist blogs/web-sites. They leave me feeling diminished and saddened. While there is detailed knowledge of the externals of liturgical celebration, all too often there is a complete absence of christian charity. The gospel saying about knowing them by their fruit springs to mind.
Alan

johnquinn39
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by johnquinn39 »

asb wrote:
johnquinn39 wrote:
Is there a danger of obscuring the Word of God if we sing and pray exclusively in Latin? Surely the policy at V2 was to translate from the original text to the vernacular.



NO, and NO :!: :shock:


Surely Yes, and Yes:-

'... since the word of God should be accessible at all times, the Church sees to it that suitable and correct translations are made into different languages, especially from the original texts of the sacred books.'
- taken from 'Dei Verbum' (1965)

johnquinn39
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by johnquinn39 »

contrabordun wrote:I think the question doesn't distinguish sufficiently between what takes place at EF masses, which by nature are going to be pretty much Latin all the way and what takes place at OF masses, where the question of Farrell-or-Farrant may be more real.

Now I personally don't much care what happens at EF masses. I've never been to one, and don't particularly intend to either, though I might, out of curiosity, if one came along. I don't understand why the knowledge that some people are attending them makes other people worried.

I just think they're irrelevant in the big picture. I can't imagine that a church that switched its main Sunday masses to EF would hold on to much of a congregation (but on the other hand, if that was what people wanted in a particular place than I wouldn't get too worked up about that, either).

As regards OF masses, though, I think it's pendulum time. First it swung out one way, now it's coming back. It won't swing back to where it started from and it won't even swing as far back as it swung out (arguably, we've had one year zero already). Then it'll swing out again, but not as far and eventually will settle. But as V2 begins to fade into history - and you'd now need to be in your fifties to have a clear recollection of life before it, let along an adult knowledge of the pre-conciliar liturgy, we should acknowledge that - as with any period of history - the truly great music of the past half century is only a tiny fraction and even the good is only a small one, of what has been written and published. It isn't surprising that people look at this corpus in the context of the vast array of liturgical music and wonder how much of it to include. Especially so as technology puts high quality recordings of anything we want to hear at our fingertips, and resources such as the cpdl give free access to what is in effect thousands of pounds worth of music library.


-At my parish we sing both Richard Farrant and Berdnadette Farrell.

johnquinn39
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by johnquinn39 »

nazard wrote:As for Latin, in the face of the translations we have, or even those which are proposed, the latin is clearer. You will search in vain for "...which the earth has given..." in the latin. If you can't understand a little latin, then learn some as a matter of urgency. It will open up the wisdom of the church to you.

Again, I'm not sure about this. No matter how good the translation is, it remains a translation of a translation (as latin is not the original text).
The proposed translations are in my view, in places, rather opaque - utilising obscure words like 'ineffable', 'constubstantial' etc.

asb
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by asb »

johnquinn39 wrote:
asb wrote:
johnquinn39 wrote:Is there a danger of obscuring the Word of God if we sing and pray exclusively in Latin? Surely the policy at V2 was to translate from the original text to the vernacular.

NO, and NO :!: :shock:

Surely Yes, and Yes:-
'... since the word of God should be accessible at all times, the Church sees to it that suitable and correct translations are made into different languages, especially from the original texts of the sacred books.'
- taken from 'Dei Verbum' (1965)

It depends on what "policy" one is referring to. I was thinking in terms of the celebration of the Mass.
As I understand it, putting it VERY simply, V2 did not say "no more Latin Mass", but rather, in effect," Latin is still the norm but you can say vernacular masses if you want".

johnquinn39
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by johnquinn39 »

asb wrote:It depends on what "policy" one is referring to. I was thinking in terms of the celebration of the Mass.
As I understand it, putting it VERY simply, V2 did not say "no more Latin Mass", but rather, in effect," Latin is still the norm but you can say vernacular masses if you want".

Yes, of course this is true. The vernacular remains optional. However, should '... the word of God be accessible at all times', except during the Eucharist?

alan29
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by alan29 »

However that may be, Pope Paul VI authorised subsequent liturgical developments which (according to the most traditionalist ecclesiologies) he had the authority to do. He was (in)famous for ignoring the outcomes of liberalising working parties (Humanae Vitae) so he presumably meant what he permitted in the liturgy. Of course there are those who see the whole thing as the work of apostates, but I am sure that view is not to be found among our members.
Alan

docmattc
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Re: Not sure about all this 'traditionalism'.

Post by docmattc »

johnquinn39 wrote:Is there a danger of obscuring the Word of God if we sing and pray exclusively in Latin?


Remember that in the current rubrics, the Word of God may be proclaimed in the vernacular even in the EF

"In Masses celebrated in the presence of the people in accordance with the Missal of Bl. John XXIII, the readings may be given in the vernacular" - Summorum Pontificum

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