Wednesday, August 31, 2005

on church choirs

The musical demands of the Mass are heavy. If the average church choir relies on pounding keys on the piano to get the choristers to learn new music, then with the limited rehearsal time, such a choir can't go beyond the usual five hymns (and recycling them!), and the occasional change in musical setting of the simple stuff, like the Alleluia. I have seen it first hand for myself. Choirs end up singing the same ordinaries year after year, regardless of the season or the occasion.

So the solution is to ask the choristers to develop some music-reading ability. I don't think this is an unreasonable demand - the altar servers train hard to learn the proper postures and procedures, the lectors ensure they read well, placing the proper stresses on the words, and know what they are reading about, so the musicians should be able to read music. A reasonable level is to be able to handle music with one modulation ie. change in key.

Of course we will not expect everyone to be able to read fluently - but those who are better than others will pull up the standard of the reading, and save the time previously used for pounding keys. The time can then be better used for more challenging music, and time can be reserved for sung prayer too - which will then contribute to the growth, both musically and spiritually, of the choir.

Monday, August 22, 2005

overuse of Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

At my parish, I continue to observe two priests and one Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC) distributing Holy Communion at weekday Mass. Given the size of the congregation(which can barely fill ten pews) it is obvious that this is in direct contravention of Redemptionis Sacramentum, paragraph 157:

If there is usually present a sufficient number of sacred ministers for the distribution of Holy Communion, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion may not be appointed. Indeed, in such circumstances, those who may have already been appointed to this ministry should not exercise it.
I do not see the difficulty in telling EMHCs to turn up for Mass on "standby", with the simple instruction that if there are two priests, don't come forward and distribute Holy Communion. I believe this is something that is quite acceptable to many, once you explain that priests are the Ordinary ministers of Holy Communion, as they alone can consecrate the bread and wine.

I was told that this is something that has to be implemented slowly. I am not convinced that this is is the case - after all it takes merely a simple instruction, as I have argued above. If the EMHC forgets, let the priest tell him to go away. If it is a problem for the EMHC to turn up for Mass only to find himself not needed, well - perhaps then some evaluation of priorities should be in order.

I think I am running out of patience - I came across an old copy of the Catholic News, dated July 2004 where a letter writer mentions this particular abuse. It seems that no one takes notice of these things. Perhaps, to many, liturgical abuses are not an important matter as compared to eg. singing hymns in a language you understand. Nobody protests when Holy Communion is distributed irreverently, they protest when parts of the Mass are sung in Latin. We have got our priorities wrong.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

N.O. Translations

40 years into the Council. Numerous translations of the same text. All for the liturgy in English.

Why is there translation after translation of the Novus Ordo Missae into English? Why all the hassle? Did they actually realise something is wrong/faulty with the current translation? If so, what?

The way I see it, this situation demonstrates to me that to have the Mass in the vernacular was not something that developed organically, but rather something that is forced on the liturgy.

If I may be audacious enough, I do not think they are getting to the root of the problem. Sure, a more precise and faithful translation of the Latin into the vernacular is a step in the right direction, but I pray that one day, in accordance with the intention of the Council Fathers, Latin - and Gregorian Chant - may once again play a primary role in the Ordo Missae.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

awaiting the new translation of the Novus Ordo

I have noticed that the Catholic News continues to run articles on the ongoing re-translation of the Mass according to 1970 rubrics (ie. "Novus Ordo"). In one recent article, it is reported that the bishops are insistent on having "and with your spirit" instead of "and also with you" for the Latin "et cum spiritu tuo". This is in spite of objections to "and with your spirit" as not being spoken as smoothly as the existing one.

I certainly hope that Priests will start talking about this in their homilies soon. Since a large part of the faithful are used to the vernacular, it will be a real shock to have to say "and with your spirit".There will be much questioning and doubts and protests over a mere four words. (Trust me - the people in my parish argue about how to approach the altar).

Start educating the faithful on the deficiencies of the existing translation, and tell them what the Latin means. Don't be afraid to tell people that the translation is faulty. Tell them that it is "und mit deinem Geistes" in Germany and "et avec votre Esprit" in France, and so it will be "and with your spirit" in the Anglophone countries.

Since many parishes use the projector, it is not a problem to have subtitles with English and Latin. Start telling choirs to sing the Latin Ordinaries, because when the new translation is released, there will be no musical settings with the new text (I expect the Sanctus to be reworded too).

There's still time. The translation is supposed to help people understand the Latin - not to replace it completely!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

only traddies will understand this

on IRC:

BoatBoy> *snake slithers up to Thurifer and goes "fssssp"*
Thurifer throws the FSSP snake back at BoatBoy
BoatBoy screams "ick!"

Sunday, August 14, 2005

New Catholic Outpost In The Far East, "Too Rite!" Says Trads

Well! It appears that the TCC* has a blog to call home! *dusts around the blog* While the other two romans and one eastern go about testing out the capabilities of this blog. I shall make my usual comments.

In my humble opinion, I had a bit of a laugh when I found out what the blog title would be. Sounds a bit like a pub/inn eh?

"How ya' goin' mate?"
"Just splendid, mate!"
"So waddya doin' for the arvo, mate?"
"Oh mate! I'm popping down to The Cassock and Cotta for a VB**!"
"MAAAATTTEEE! Too right!"

Its almost like we're cousins of The Prancing Pony!

Or maybe its like this, while the domers run The Shrine of the Holy Whapping up in the States, we run the pub of The Cassock and Cotta down here in the Far East. Now all we have to do is start some real good blogging!

*Traddie Catholic Club
**Victoria Bitter

Most Holy Mother of God, save us!
Υπεραγία Θεοτόκε σώισον ημάς!
Пресвятая Богородице, спаси нас!
Sanctissima Deipara, salva nos!

Let's see if the non-latin characters show!

let's see if it works for me too.

it works, it works!

maybe i should type properly when i blog here. never know when who might visit one day!


This is a test posting