Thursday, August 26, 2010

an edit on "new translation."

well, perhaps my excitement was a little premature about being able to sing the Mass in Latin and not having to worry for a while about teaching the congregation a new musical setting.

However, I received an email from the Office of Worship in our diocese, and among other things, it said, "Bishop has expressed his desire that all parishes of the diocese learn ONE Mass setting for six months, so that we might all be able to sing together. After that, feel free to introduce your parishes to other settings."

hmmm...I wonder if that will be a requirement *excluding* use of a Latin setting? But...perhaps I was too excited prematurely for other reasons also...a year and a half is a looooong ways away. I could be...on the other side of the world. Who knows what St. P will look like...
Churches (and music programs) have been torn down in far less time than that!

(also, the email didn't say anything about HOW the new setting would be chosen. This could be interesting. Almost something should be organized by a very high/national authority. Like how all Catholics pretty much know the "Mass of Creation?" What will be the "universally accepted setting" with the new translation? Who will decide? The big publishers? Or someone with a little bit more of a sense for the sacred... Well, I guess we could just all learn the Missa Jubilate Deo...ha!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

new translation!

yay! the new translation has been approved and scheduled for implementation on the First Sunday of Advent!

(yes, I know I'm a few days late with this but I was just reading another blog and this issue was pointed out...)
that while it is still unclear whether permission will be given to teach/use/practice musical settings of the Mass Ordinary, the first time that the congregation will be singing the GLORIA in the new translation will be (besides Immaculate Conception,) CHRISTMAS EVE! So, you're not exactly going to be teaching music to the congregation before Mass on that day.... but the congregation at St. P won't care, because they already know it in Latin! :-)

so I'm delighted that mine and Fr. G's efforts to introduce various Latin parts of the Mass to the people, and planning ahead!, will truly pay off, since for every part that they sing in Latin, they will notice one less immediate "change!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

piano students who can't read music

I occasionally get a new piano student who "took lesson before" from someone else, and about half the time, I am absolutely horrified by how the student cannot ready music at ALL. Then, as soon as I discover that, I try to see if they know the names of the notes on the lines and spaces...then if they don't remember those very well, I try and figure out if they even know the names of the notes on the *keyboard,* and I am sometimes shocked when they don't even know that! I'm sure it's at least somewhat related to how long ago they had their last piano lesson, but I have had students who had recent lessons and were as described!

My point being; I wonder if my students would be like that.

I hope not, but wow, I can't believe how sad that would be, how much one would be failing their students if that were the case.

so, is it that students just forget these things? Or that the teachers neglect to adequately teach them? Or that the teachers never taught them?! Or that the teachers just forget to regularly reinforce these? (the last one is most likely in my case!)

Maybe I'm just wondering whether I get to *judge* and *disdain* the previous teachers of my certain piano students (haha!) or I'm terrified that some future piano teacher will say the same of MY current students! :-o

Monday, August 09, 2010

Organ music for Assumption of Mary

so I'm trying to find a couple pieces of organ music to play for the Assumption this Sunday, and I'm just struck by how little of it I have among my loads and loads of books of "Preludes and Postludes."
Pretty much zero.
The reason? All the books I have are written by and for Protestants! argh! :-D

I'll use the Langlais Ave Maria, Ave Maris Stella as a prelude, but I'm still looking for a good Mary-based postlude. hm. Maybe I'll have to give up on that one.

Friday, August 06, 2010


I'm finding myself a bit intrigued/baffled/saddened/interested by a discussion going on over at PrayTell

While some of the comments are getting into some of what sounds like rather deep theological discussion and quoting of documents, etc, I'm mostly disgusted by the swiftness with which people take offence at "I know that my church is right and yours is wrong."

Allow me to explain.

I know that the earth is round. Have I actually flown around it, or do I completely comprehend the scientific explanations of how we know it's round? No.
But I do believe that it is round based on others evidence and explanations. And if someone were to come up to me and insist that it is flat, I would have to shrug my shoulders, and say, "I'm sorry, but I believe you are wrong. The earth is round."

I also believe that the Catholic Church holds the fullness of Truth. As a matter of fact, I believe that I have more *personal* evidence of that than that the world is round!
WHY would it be offensive for me to tell that I believe that to someone who didn't agree with, that statement?

I suppose the difference would be that the earth being round is an acutally scientifically provable point, perhaps the Truth of the Catholic Church isn't.

ok, so what if I try the example of something a bit more arbitrary? (I admit, I haven't totally thought this through, I'm kind of just typing as I think :-)
What if I said, "I believe that my recipe for brownies tastes better than your recipe. While I admit that it wouldn't be the nicest thing to say, taken right out of context, but let's say you and I were trying to figure out which recipe we should enter in a contest? A very important decision! Then why would it be wrong for me to assert that my recipe is the best? It would certainly be necessary to the conversation!

If there were an even more important decision to make, then why I should I not make the statement, "I believe that [this particular statement,] which you hold to be only an opinion of mine, is factually the highest truth."?

And that is, of course, what Catholics are saying when they say that their Church is "completely right" or something to that effect. (sorry, this is where my lack of "theological terminology" comes into play!)

Coming at this from another angle; I have often wondered why more non-Catholics don't make the same claim: "My religion/church holds the fullness of salvation/truth."

I would not want to belong to a church that was "not sure" if it was completely right, at least in the main doctrines.

And if I myself wasn't sure what I or my church believed about any of the main disputes among Christians?

well, I would certainly not stop seeking until we had figured that out!

and, to flip it around? If someone were to say to me, "I believe the fullness of truth is found in my church." I'd say (or think,) "well, that seems a bit arrogant, but not really, cuz I actually think that same thing about MY church, so obviously, *one* of us is wrong..." but I'm not going to be like offended... (maybe cuz...I actually KNOW that I'm right? :-D )

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

"Revised" Mass Settings

I'm finally getting around to looking through the (mostly) awful music from the "music reading packets" at the NPM convention. I find the "revised Mass settings" rather interesting.

first of all, I think most people would much rather learn a totally new musical setting, instead of one with different words that sneak up on you or are awkward to sing

and secondly, since when did the publishers start caring whether or not they used the right text?
for example, I'm looking at the "Mass of Light" right now, and instead of where it used to (incorrectly) say "Glory to God in the the highest, SING, Glory to God," it now says "Glory to God in the highest, glory to God..." was ok to add/change words in 1988...I wonder what changed now? :-/

(I suppose I should be *glad* that they have realized the importance of using the correct text, but...I am still skeptical of their motives.)

edit: actually, I'd like to modify a bit of what I said. I'm looking through this booklet, and it seems to me that the infamous "Mass of Creation" (or the Gloria at least, cuz that's as far as I've gotten,) may actually be an improvement on the old version! and the parts that are different are different enough that it's not hard to sing, cuz it's like a new verse!

Charismatic Worship during Mass

I found a good quote that puts into words what has perhaps been my biggest discomfort with charismatic worship during Mass.

It's from Romano Guardini's "The Spirit of the Liturgy," p. 19
This was written in response to much of the "popular piety" at Mass prior to the Second Vatican Council, but I believe it is certainly applicable to charismatic worship.

"The primary and exclusive aim of the liturgy is not the expression of the individual's reverence and worship for God. It is not even concerned with the awakening, formation, and sanctification of the individual soul as such. Nor does the onus of liturgical action and prayer rest with the individual. It does not even rest with the collective groups, composed of numerous individuals, who periodically achieve a limited and intermittent unity in their capacity as the congregation of a church. The liturgical entity consists rather of the united body of the faithful as such--the Church--a body which infinitely outnumbers the mere congregation. The liturgy is the Church's public and lawful act of worship, and it is performed and conducted by the officials whom the Church herself has designated for the post--her priests. In the liturgy God is to be honored by the body of the faithful, and the latter is in its turn to derive sanctification from this act of worship. It is important that this objective nature of the liturgy should be fully understood."

Monday, August 02, 2010

piano student

So I have a little piano student, and he is all fascinated by Gregorian Chant. I've given him some books to read, and had him learn what I could think of on the piano that will help with singing chant. He's also a little ambitious composer. At his last lesson, however, he was more of an "artist."
He had "written" a piece of gregorian chant (I think he used the text Ave Maria Stellis or something,) in chant notation, and while it looked quite lovely, and incorporated all sorts of neumes, when I asked him to play or sing it, he could do neither!

he had just written the notes down!
hehehe... (don't worry, I definitely gave him an assignment for his next lesson... "ummm...well, how about if you find out what you wrote sounds like?")