Tuesday, September 25, 2007

posture at Communion

It seems to me that I read an article recently somewhere online (on a large blog? I mainly read large websites,) that clarified some point that we are supposed to stand throughout communion. (saying we don't need to.) However, I skimmed over it cuz it didn't seem applicable, but now I wish I had read it more closely. Does anyone either understand the argument and can provide more official clarification, or did anyone read the article I had read?

Monday, September 24, 2007


has anyone else ever noticed that "I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light" has a frightenly similar melody to the Kyrie from Missa de Angelis?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Active Participation"

(you all know exactly what this is referring to...)

"...Nor does ‘active participation’ necessarily require the grasp of all the words being spoken. As a proof of this point by its opposite, think how you may have recited the Creed in English with the rest of the congregation while your mind may have paid little attention to what you were saying. The use of the vernacular language is no guarantee of intelligent, much less devout, involvement."

-Fr. Perrone

25 OT C

Entrance: I Want to Walk as a Child (HOUSTON)
Offertory: (The Lord Hears) The Cry of the Poor (Foley)
Communion: Tu Mandasti
Alleluia, Sing to Jesus (HYFRYDOL)
Recessional: Lord Whose Love in Humble Service (just verses 1&4) (BEACH SPRING)

"By What Authority" -Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson

(reprinted from the combox. thanks Lisa!)

"Public worship to her had meant hitherto one of two things - either sitting under a minister and have the word applied to her soul in the sacrament of the pulpit; or else the saying of prayers by the minister aloud and distinctly and with expression, so that the intellect could follow the words, and assent with a hearty Amen. The minister was a minister to man of the Word of God, an interpreter of His Gospel to man.

But here was a worship unlike all this in almost every detail. The priest was addressing God, not man; therefore he did so in a low voice, and in a tongue as Campion had said on the scaffold, "that they both understood." It was comparitively unimportant whether man followed it word for word, for (and here the second radical difference lay) the point of the worship for the people lay, not in an intellectual apprehension of the words, but in a voluntary assent to and participation in the supreme act to which the words were indeed necessary but subordinate. It was the thing that was done; not the words that were said, that was mighty with God. Here, as these Catholics round Isabel at any rate understood it, and as she, too, began to perceive it, too, though dimly and obscurely, was the sublime mystery of the Cross presented to God. As He looked down well pleased into the silence and darkness of Calvary, and saw there the act accomplished by which the world was redeemed, so here (this handful of disciples believed) He looked down into the silence and twilight of this little lobby, and saw that same mystery accomlished at the hands of one who, in virtue of his participation in the priesthood of the Son of God, was empowered to pronounce these heart-shaking words by which the Body that hung on Calvary, and the Blood that dripped from there, were again spread before His eyes under the forms of bread and wine."

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sep. 14

went to Assumption Grotto last night for their first TLM. pretty cool. I saw a few people I know. Wore my mantilla :-)
I still hate the same things about the TLM that I've hated the other two times I went.
particularly, WHY can't I hear what the priest is saying? Am I actually not supposed to be able to?
And...I spend my professional life trying to make SURE that what is going on in the choir loft is perfectly coordinated with what is going on at the altar ("And so we join the choirs of angels..." "wait for it, wait for it...") and maybe it's just that I don't understand how connected everything actually is in the TLM (I honestly don't know whether it is or not,) but it actually upsets me, when the choir is singing away, "Kyrie eleison..." and then five minutes later the priest is like, "Kyrie eleison..." and I'm like wha? where the heck are we? Which is it?! (the friend I drove with tells me she just follows along with the priest and then it makes sense, and with that it would seem that the choir is just entertainment for the congregation while the priest is muttering, but I want so badly to know what the choir is doing and to have it make sense and be connected with the rest of the Mass!) so I guess that is what irritates me...

oh yes, and for those who have always wanted to know what i look like.... check out the pix at http://te-deum.blogspot.com/ . I'm towards the front on the far left in the white jacket and black mantilla. :-)

Friday, September 14, 2007

it's like...Christmas in September

Does anyone know why both the Adoremus bulletin AND Sacred Music came to me in the mail in the same day?! I mean, it's like great and everything, but kind of overwhelming, cuz I just want to read them both so much, and I don't even know where to begin...
I mean, couldn't they like stagger the delivery a bit? of all the days in the whole season...
then I could more slowly imbibe in my regular dosage of liturgical snobbery.

oh yes, and happy Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Choir lofts and mantillas...

Well, I did it. I bought a mantilla. I am still full of many questions, however. A friend of mine who is half Mexican, (Alena) pointed out that here, people wear mantillas "backwards," at least compared to Mexico. They are worn like a bandana, but in Mexico, the point goes in front, so it doesn't slip off as easily. I tried it on both ways, and analyzed it in the mirror. Having the point in front really only affects the slippage when the point is so far forwards that it is almost to ones eyebrows, and looks a little silly, I thought. Otherwise, I think they are equally slippery. Does one pin it up? Or just tug at it regularly during Mass? However, I am still undecided about the actual prospect of wearing one myself. I shall certainly wear one when A and I drive to Assumption in Detroit on Friday, (for you-know-what!) I shall probably eventually begin wearing one to daily Mass, but I do want to ask my boss what he thinks of it. Because it is not cultural for us to wear one, I suspect that many people view women who wear mantillas as waving their piety around. (is that the word I wanted?) But I think that the kind of people who go to daily Mass wouldn't care so much, usually someone else there is.
But that brings me to the question of actually wearing one at St. P's during Sunday Mass. To begin with, I don't think I would, simply because of my visible (not literally,) position in the parish as the music director. I think our parish would have to take some more steps in a certain direction before I would feel alright doing that.
But...that brings me to consider, interestingly, the history of the choir loft.
This was discussed at the CMAA colloquium by Dr. Mahrt, and while he certainly wasn't talking about mantillas, it makes me think about them. I remember (correct me, or fill in info if I'm wrong,) that he talked about how originally the "choir" was designed specifically to remove the laity from the sanctuary? and, to extend that line of thought, then wouldn't I be, while in the choir loft, physically removed from the rest of the church in a way that no one outside the choir loft is? So wearing a mantilla would actually LEAST apply to me, in that sense.
And actual reasons TO wear one?
It was recently pointed out to me (and this in particular is really what got me thinking about this,) that the Code of Canon Law of 1917 or whatever did specifically say women should have their heads covered while in church, and that was never actually abrogated, so of course all of us liturgical snobs know that it still technically applies. However, it could certainly be pointed out that there is SO much of that stuff that we actually don't follow any more, this is really quite a small thing.
So we go back to the original reason that women were supposed to have their heads covered?
Of course, we know that men are more easily distracted by women's physical appearance than vice versa, (just go ahead and try to argue with me if you don't agree with that statement...go ahead...I dare you...) and I have noticed in everything from my own observations to classical literature, that hair is quite seductive, and therefore it seems helpful for men for women to cover it for the sake of modesty and less distraction for men during Mass. That seems like quite a plausible explanation to me. but...these mantillas that you buy? really, they are sooo lacy and sometimes even extravagant, it seems to me that kind of defeats the purpose! shouldn't we just wear like a simple black cloth?

After talking to A more last night, it seems that my mantilla is specifically designed to be worn with the point in back, because the Mexican mantillas have a much softer "point," so it doesn't look weird at all for them to be worn in front.

Monday, September 10, 2007

24 OT C

There's a Wideness in God's Mercy
Love Divine, All Love's Excelling
At that First Eucharist
I Know that My Redeemer Lives (Duke Street version*)

*p.s. when I was in London last spring, I discovered there really IS a Duke Street! I wonder what the hymn tune name has to do with that, if anything...

Friday, September 07, 2007

you know you have an amazing job when your boss is occasionally like, "Mara, do you need to go across the street to the church and pray for a few minutes?"

Thursday, September 06, 2007

ugh. I now hate OCP also.

ok, there's a lot of irritation (my own) floating around this blog, BUT, that's what the blog is for, right?
so usually like OCP, and I actually use "Today's Liturgy" to help me a LOT with music planning.
up until the current issue, I have really appreciated the summaries of the readings, and sometimes the music suggestions.
until now.
I am SURE there is a completely different person who has started writing the summaries. some of them are making me want to gag.
here's a few examples:
"Amos, God's prophet, rejected the individualistic, consumerist values of lazy greedy and unjust people who ignore the rights of the poor. Their life of ease will be ended." (Amos 6:1a, 4-7)
consumerist? individualistic? where in the Bible are those words located? I think my main problem with this kind of translating, is that because (I think) I know the Bible pretty well, and when I hear a verse that is more of a shortened Living Bible translation than anything, I can't even connect which verse it is!
That would be in the case with a summary like this, "Jesus taught a lesson about the power of persistent prayer by telling the story of a pushy widow who wore down a corrupt judge by continually demanding her rights. The judge issued a settlement in her favor, lest she do him in." Luke 18:1-8.

hm. Dumbed-down texts. sound familiar?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

ugh. those DARN US bishops!

so. responsorial Psalm for 26 Sunday in Ordinary Time, year C. (September 30, 2007.) Psalm 146.
" Blessed he who keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free."

ok. so that's the translation that they want to use. fine.
except that...
about a year ago, when the exact same Psalm was used, the first verse began "The God of Jacob keeps faith forever..." and then continued exactly the same as the aforementioned.

so, now when we have to sing this in a couple weeks, do I try and awkwardly squeeze those words in to fit the music in this same place? (I happened to use a setting of this I wrote a year ago, because I couldn't find any other usable ones.)

my point is, I'm all about following the Lectionary and doing what the bishops tell us to (when it's reasonable?) but really, MAKE UP YOUR MINDS! Which translation are you using?!

The example I gave is rather extreme, and is so different within the first line, it makes me wonder if they really were actually using a different verse. But, a more ridiculous example is the Psalm "He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord..." (I can't remember the exact citation,) in some instances of it in the Lectionary, we have to say "The one who does justice..." and that's the refrain! let's see if that confuses the congregation just a little bit...

ok, so until the US bishops get their act together and decide which translation they are going to use, must I really bend over backwards to concede to their whim of whether or not to be gender-inclusive on that particular week?!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Scripture and hymns

Why IS it that when I try and stick to "traditional" songs/hymns, I can't find any that "match" the readings?

well, I know why, so I'll tell you.

It is clear from simply glancing through my hymnal, that the "protestant" hymns are rarely directly based on scripture. The notation at the bottom of most hymns rarely includes a Bible reference. Think: I Heard the Voice, Holy Holy Holy, How Great Thou Art, Joyful Joyful, Be Thou My Vision. I could go on. Of course there are exceptions, mostly obvious (The King of Love My Shephered is-Ps. 23, All People that On Earth-Ps. 100[99]-Old 100th, duh) but in general, protestants just seem to write hymns that are just generic praise songs?

However, contrast that with the "contemporary" Catholic "hymns," in that they are almost ALWAYS based on specific scripture(which, in the precise sense I am discussing here have been compared to Gregorian Chant...)
Just glancing through the hymnal: Here I Am Lord-Isaiah 6, Eye Has Not Seen-1 Cor. 2, On Eagle's Wings-Ps. 91, Be Not Afraid-Is. 43/Luke 6, and of course the inevitable Blest Are They every time any readings come up that are like the beatitudes, cuz there are no other songs like that!

It's amazing how when I often look at the propers for the day, wondering if by some rare chance we might have a musical setting (a song) even if an imperfect translation, of that proper, we usually have one! but for other reasons, which I am sure I have written about before, and could merit loads and loads of other posts, I won't use most of those songs. (as someone pointed out to me yesterday, although he said it much more clearly articulate than I will summarize-It may not be that there is anything intrinsically wrong with individual songs, it is more a problem with the general attitude of a particular cultural/religious/social movement.)

(good grief, sola scriptura? why don't they just quote more scripture in their hymns?)

and yes, I know how we ought to me even moving away from hymns and towards chant...am working on that!

23 OT C

Entrance: Take Up Your Cross (Erhalt uns her er or whatever)
Offertory: O God Our Help (St. Anne)
Communion: Vovete, et reddite
Let All Mortal Flesh (Picardy)
Closing: Lift High the Cross (Crucifer)