What's the difference..?

Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

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johnquinn39
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What's the difference..?

Post by johnquinn39 »

Q:- What's the difference between a liturgist and a non-liturgist?

A:- You can't negotiate with a non-liturgist.

I can't help thinking that whatever new translations and compositions are introduced, the end result will be parishes using the 'Clap hands Gloria', 'Israeli Mass' (and their CCM equvalents) to the exclusion of everything else.

Why is it that liturgists (people who have studied the CSL & GIRM etc. and have a wide knowledge of the repertoire and options available) are constantly ignored and over-ruled by non-liturgists (people who have no knowledge of the above)?

Alan
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by Alan »

johnquinn39 wrote:Why is it that liturgists (people who have studied the CSL & GIRM etc. and have a wide knowledge of the repertoire and options available) are constantly ignored and over-ruled by non-liturgists (people who have no knowledge of the above)?

I sometimes think that some of those "who have studied the CSL & GIRM etc" are too quick to call themselves liturgists, and perhaps too ready to divide the world (or their parish - same thing for many of them) into cognoscenti and non-liturgists. As the original quip (of which John's Q&A is a variant), puts it: you can negotiate with a terrorist (but not with a liturgist). Such people might be more convincing if they were just plain nicer.

Just my 2 cents. I'll get my coat...

johnquinn39
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by johnquinn39 »

Yes, this can be a problem. A little bit of knowledge cam be dangerous, and it is easy to become a self-appointed 'expert'.

However, I have found that the 'non-liturgists' are often utterly inflexible.

Psalm Project
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by Psalm Project »

Quote... 'Why is it that liturgists (people who have studied the CSL & GIRM etc. and have a wide knowledge of the repertoire and options available) are constantly ignored and over-ruled by non-liturgists (people who have no knowledge of the above)?...

Simple answer (well, two actually)... Empty Vessels make most noise!!!

AND... people who tend to be well informed and educated in such matters frequwntly lack the confidence to diplomatically assert themselves by saying NO!
Say NO! - look 'em straight in the eye without even flinching! Always works! If they want an explanation, take them aside privately and educate!!!

NorthernTenor
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by NorthernTenor »

There is an underlying problem here: the scope and approach of liturgical study, which the Council suggests is far wider and deeper than is generally taught or written of:

The study of sacred liturgy is to be ranked among the compulsory and major courses in seminaries and religions houses of studies; in theological faculties it is to rank among the principal courses. It is to be taught under its theological, historical, spiritual, pastoral, and juridical aspects. Moreover, other professors, while striving to expound the mystery of Christ and the history of salvation from the angle proper to each of their own subjects, must nevertheless do so in a way which will clearly bring out the connection between their subjects and the liturgy, as also the unity which underlies all priestly training. This consideration is especially important for professors of dogmatic, spiritual, and pastoral theology and for those of holy scripture.

(SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM, 16).

I suspect disagreement and misunderstanding often arise because we lack the remarkable perspective called for here. How many graduate-level qualifications are there, for example, in 'pastoral' liturgical studies, but one corner of this field?
Ian Williams
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Psalm Project
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by Psalm Project »

and when Jesus 'wrote' in the sand... I'm full sure a deep academic lesson was brewing!
Don't we get so bound up in rules and regulations that we lose sight of the simplicity of how it all should be...

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keitha
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by keitha »

This sort of thing intrigues me.

For example, last night I was at mass and the music was provided by a member of the parish 'folk' group and so we had the 'clap hands Gloria' (ie Mike Anderson's). I see that as a paraphrase of the text of the Gloria and so not usable as the Gloria for mass (other than, perhaps, for proper childrens' masses) - but if the celebrant is ok with it, who am I to argue - so I try to avoid being a 'liturgical terrorist'. Tomorrow night, I will be 'guesting' at a mass for St John Vianney. At the Agnus Dei they will be singing Paul Inwood's Litany for the Breaking of Bread, a piece I like very much. I would use it as a communion processional, but not as the Agnus as, again, the text is a paraphrase, but I will not be taking the point as (i) I am a guest and (ii) it has been approved by the celebrant. So I am being flexible for what I see as the greater good. If my views on these two pieces are correct, should I dig my heels in? Are my views correct ? None of us has a monopoly on wisdom!

On the other hand, my heart warmed on Laetare Sunday when I overheard the following conversation after mass:

Angry lady of a certain age: "What was the idea of having Mothering Sunday mass without a hymn to Our Lady?"
Middle-aged female chorister: "Today is the 4th Sunday of Lent and Laetare Sunday - and that's what the music was about."

So they do listen to me!
Keith Ainsworth

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Nick Baty
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by Nick Baty »

We have to remember that we are liturgical musicians and, therefore servants of the rite, the music, the people. The moment we cease to serve then we've lost it. Those who argue their cases simply from dry documents won't get anywhere.

I remember arriving in a new parish, when the world was younger and I was an even more arrogant little *beep* than I am now. The PP was someone I respected as a musician and composer and I was delighted to be working for him. He showed me what we were singing on one week and I showed all my youthful ignorance by saying, "Can't! Won't! Wrong!". He looked at me very sternly and said, "Nick, this is where we are up to now. We hope you will come with us on our journey. But if you are not willing to start where we're at, then you're free to leave." Needless to say I stayed and it was a superb five years during which many Benson & Hedges were smoked and much scotch was consumed. In that time I heard the parish repertoire grow and witnessed the liturgy developing.

In the next parish I inherited a hymn trifle. Thankfully, I'd learned my lesson. So, instead of arguing, I spent quite a few months introducing a Holy, Alleluia, Amen, psalm, then using one of those psalms for a communion or gathering song. Doing things slowly worked. I'd have hated most of the readers of this board to have witnessed those early weeks. But, I suspect, if you'd come along later on you'd have felt at home with what we did.

So much of what we do relies on people skills – just as with the priest, the deacon, the youth worker, the elderly sister who takes communion to the old folks home. Yes, we are informed by the many documents we've read but we have to apply that knowledge in a pastoral situation. As my parish priest often reminds me: "It would be easier without people, wouldn't it." :D

NorthernTenor
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by NorthernTenor »

Psalm Project wrote:and when Jesus 'wrote' in the sand... I'm full sure a deep academic lesson was brewing!
Don't we get so bound up in rules and regulations that we lose sight of the simplicity of how it all should be...


I couldn'r agree more. Hence the quote from the Council Fathers, who understood that the Liturgy, through which we experience God, is more than a set of rules and regulations: it is a many-faceted thing that has grown organically over the centuries, and will continue to do so. Individuals come to it from many backgrounds and experiences, and do not need an academic understanding to do so. But we who explore liturgical practice, and more particularly music as part of the liturgy, will do well to consider it from as many perspectives as possible, not just one or two. The more we limit our reading and considseration, the more likely we are to misunderstand the liturgy and each other.
Ian Williams
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Southern Comfort
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by Southern Comfort »

keitha wrote:For example, last night I was at mass and the music was provided by a member of the parish 'folk' group and so we had the 'clap hands Gloria' (ie Mike Anderson's). I see that as a paraphrase of the text of the Gloria and so not usable as the Gloria for mass (other than, perhaps, for proper childrens' masses) - but if the celebrant is ok with it, who am I to argue - so I try to avoid being a 'liturgical terrorist'. Tomorrow night, I will be 'guesting' at a mass for St John Vianney. At the Agnus Dei they will be singing Paul Inwood's Litany for the Breaking of Bread, a piece I like very much. I would use it as a communion processional, but not as the Agnus as, again, the text is a paraphrase, but I will not be taking the point as (i) I am a guest and (ii) it has been approved by the celebrant. So I am being flexible for what I see as the greater good. If my views on these two pieces are correct, should I dig my heels in? Are my views correct ? None of us has a monopoly on wisdom!


Correct on the Gloria, not on the Agnus.

Before we say "It doesn't match what's in the Missal", it's always a good idea to check the facts, so thanks to keitha for doing this.

The Anderson Gloria is a very loose paraphrase and is not permitted.

However, our Bishops' Conference many years ago gave permission for troped settings of the Agnus to be used (when sung), of which several Inwood settings are good examples, including the one you mention, not to mention Marty Haugen's Mass of Creation setting and many others. They also gave permission for the ICET translation to be used (when sung), of which Inwood's Millennium Mass setting is a slightly-altered version. So - none of these settings is a paraphrase.

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Nick Baty
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by Nick Baty »

I pray this permission for tropes remains. It gives a feeling of wholeness when the fraction song is troped; reminds us of the theme of the day, mirrors Penitential Rite III, and can link directly back to the Gospel. But will the ICET Agnus now have to go? We'll miss it.

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keitha
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by keitha »

Thanks for the enlightenment SC. I was pretty sure of my ground on the Anderson, less so on the Inwood. A noted liturgist in these parts vetoed the Inwood piece when I put it forward as an Agnus on the ground that, strictly, it was not a trope, so I wimped out! It won't happen again!!

I'm entirely with Nick on tropes - I use them whenever I can. I was never sure that, strictly, the Bishops' Conference permission was ever needed as tropes have a very ancient history and add to, for example, an Agnus Dei, but still using the authorised text. I would imagine there would be no problem in continuing with them. I'm not so sure about the ICET translations.
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johnquinn39
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What's the difference..?

Post by johnquinn39 »

Sorry, this is another winge at non-liturgists.

Where we were:-

In the mid 90's, in many Birmingham parishes, we had what what was approaching 'a proper sung Mass, where we sing the psalm and everything'.

We used the music of Damian Lundy, The St Louis Jesuits, Newman hymns, Jubilate hymns, Bevenot / Gelineau / Murray / Monaghan psalms, St Thomas More Group settings, Haugen / Haas, SSG music, self-composed , Taize, Iona etc. Much of this became popular and people sang.

This was replaced overnight (I think circa 1996) by the non-singing of the above, and the introduction of happy-clappy paraphrases and dubious texts.

Would it be better to go to where we were, than where we are?

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keitha
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by keitha »

johnquinn39 raises a fair point, but I do not think the Birmingham situation is quite as bad as he fears. Much of the stuff that he mentions is still being used in parishes in the Archdiocese.

I think the problem is that CJM Music came along and provided a lot of music for the schools in the archdiocese and they have done an excellent job in that many of our primary schools now sing liturgically rather than singing some of the dreadful stuff that was being done before they came on the scene. Mike Stanley and Jo Boyce (CJM) work hard at providing a liturgical foundation around what they do. IMHO however, we are finding that, because they have been so successful in schools CJM has, almost by default, become the 'standard' in many parts of Birmingham (coupled with a lot of inferior stuff from others). For example, I heard of a recent conversation about the diocesan mass at Oscott closing the year of St Paul/opening the year of the priesthood where all present assumed that CJM would provide the music (they did not).

My 'gut feel' (based upon my own experience) is that there is a huge lack of religious musical education in most of our secondary schools, where there is little formal liturgical musical training and a tendency to fall back on the stuff the kids learned when in primary school. In addition, there is rarely any liturgical formation among school staff, so we often have the issues that this thread is all about. We are also, of course, losing the kids, who are rarely at mass.

Somehow I think we need to do more to encourage 'grown up' liturgy in our secondary schools and provide them with more sympathetic help and support. The Leeds Diocese is doing much with Diocesan youth choirs. That may or may not be the answer, but at least it is something.

So maybe we would diminish the 'difference' in the future if we could address some of these issues. Maybe we could have an SSG project of some kind to focus on our schools? What do we think?
Keith Ainsworth

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presbyter
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Re: What's the difference..?

Post by presbyter »

Southern Comfort wrote:However, our Bishops' Conference many years ago gave permission for troped settings of the Agnus to be used (when sung)


True. Note that the US Bishops continue to give permission: When the Agnus Dei is sung repeatedly as a litany, Christological
invocations with other texts may be used. In this case, the first and final invocations are always
Agnus Dei (Lamb of God).
- Sing to the Lord 188

Martin Foster's draft Guide for Composers hints at model texts but they have yet to appear in the appendix.We await our own Bishops' decision.

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