Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I am not quite sure what Pope Benedict means here...

It is true that splitting the Sanctus and the Benedictus is not necessary, but it makes a lot of sense. if the choir sings the Sanctus and the Benedictus together, then the break between the Preface and the Eucharistic Prayer can indeed be too lengthy. When this happens, it no longer serves the congrega­tion’s silent, yet cooperative entering into cosmic praise because the inner tension is not sustained. On the other hand, if a filled silence and an interior greeting of the Lord along with the choir take place after the consecration event, it corresponds profoundly to the inner structure of the occasion. The pedantic proscription of such a split, which came about not without reason in the development, should be forgotten as quickly as possible. [A New Song for the Lord, (NY: Crossroad, 1995) p 145]

It seems to me that he first praises it, but then calls it a "pedantic proscription" to split it, which should "be forgotten."

So... is it, or is it not ok to split it? (In the Novus Ordo at least, is all I care about at the moment.)

And this one:

A Choral Agnus Dei

Now just a word about the Agnus Dei. In the Regensburg cathedral it has become a tradition that after the Sign of Peace the Agnus Dei is first spoken three times by both the priest and the people and then continued by the choir as a communion hymn during the distribution of Communion. Over against this custom it has been asserted that the Agnus Dei belongs to the rite of the breaking of the bread. Only a completely fossilized archaism can draw the conclusion from its original purpose of accompanying the time of the breaking of the bread that it should be sung exclusively at this point. As a matter of fact, it became a communion song as early as the ninth and tenth centuries when the old rites of the breaking the bread were no longer neces­sary because of the new hosts. J. A. Jungmann points out that in many cases in the early Middle Ages only one Agnus Dei was sung after the Sign of Peace while the second and third ones found their niche after Communion and thus accompanied the distribution of Communion where there was one. And does the request for the mercy of Christ, the Lamb of God, not make sense at that exact moment when he defenselessly gives himself into our hands again as Lamb, the sacrificed, yet triumphant Lamb who holds the keys of history in his hands (Revelation 5)? And is the request for peace made to him, the defenseless yet victorious One, not appropriate especially at the moment of receiving Communion since peace was, after all, one of the names of the Eucharist in the early Church because it tears down the boundaries between heaven and earth and between peoples and states and joins humans to the unity of the Body of Christ? At first glance, the Regensburg tradition and the conciliar as well as post­conciliar reform seem to be two opposite worlds, which clash in harsh con­tradiction. Whoever stood right between them for three decades was able to experience the severity of the posed questions for himself. But where this tension is endured, it turns out that all this belongs to the stages of one single path. Only if one holds these stages together and holds out will they be correctly understood and will true reform flourish in the spirit of the Sec­ond Vatican Council—reform that is not discontinuity and destruction but purification and growth to a new maturation and anew fullness. The cathe­dral choirmaster who has borne the weight of this tension deserves thanks: This was not only a service for Regensburg and its cathedral, but a service for the entire Church. [A New Song for the Lord (NY: Crossroad, 1995) p. 145]

(I've read it now a couple times, and I'm STILL not sure what conclusion he makes about a "choral sanctus!")



Jonathan said...

Hey Mara, this is a month late (an eternity on the internet), but I think the answer to your question lies in the meaning of "proscription", which is similar to prohibition.

Jonathan said...

I forget though -- if it is split, when (in the NO) does the Benedictus get sung?

Mara Joy said...

oh, wow, I totally just looked up the definition of "proscription" -- I assumed it meant the same as "prescription!" haha, oops! (that makes so much more sense now!)

When they are split in the NO, I have seen the Benedictus be sung in place of the Memorial Acclamation.