Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Ad orientem and versus populum - which side of the altar does the priest stand on

A handy reference to both sides of the story, with not too many comments from haters of either stripe.

Let's hope the whole thing has blown over before Advent rolls around.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

God as King? I don't think so ...

To someone from a democracy, in which the Queen is s figurehead living in a far-away country, the idea of God as King has always been a bit foreign.

This post from Rory Cooney, sharing the back story of one of his recent hymns has some interesting quotes:
" the image of God we've inherited from monarchy and haven't shaken off,an image of God derived from power"

Since moving to Ireland, I've been struck by the extent to which monarchy is the model of church for so many people: bishops are princes, and the Pope is the king.    Even though this is a republic, for many it's like the monarchy is still a deeply ingrained part of how the world works, which has to apply to both church and state.

Me, I'm not having a bar of it.

Church choirs exist to lead and sustain everyone's singing - not to do it all themselves

A quote from the General Instruction to the Roman Missal (GIRM):
Among the faithful, the schola cantorum or choir exercises its own liturgical function, ensuring that the parts proper to it, in keeping with the different types of chants, are properly carried out and fostering the active participation of the faithful through the singing. It is fitting that there be a cantor or a choir director to lead and sustain the people's singing.

When in doubt, give people the benefit of the doubt

A good phrase to remember from the Catechism of the Catholic Church - which maybe some people have difficulty remembering:
2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favourable way:
Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

The same locus of faith

It's not often I find gems worth keeping on the Chant Café.

But there's one today here:
On the other hand, when those who take the responsibilities of liturgical office arrive at some belief that the vagaries of propriety and canon mitigates and dismisses all other concerns that are part and parcel of ritual and worship by HUMAN BEINGS, then they risk not recognizing Christ at their own doors. They put on blinders to the reality that those whom they serve are not likely all at the same locus of faith.

Just to repeat the key phrase:
"those whom they serve are not likely all at the same locus of faith"

A mature adult faith may well be nurtured by does of dignified, beautiful Latin hymns delivered in a measured pace with decorum.

But to the average child or teenager (not the musical prodigy, just the average one) such treasures will be the aural equivalent of eating sawdust.

Keep the polished gems for sure. But be aware that they weren't the church's music in Jesus time, and they're not necessarily Jesus voice for the youth (and indeed many adults) of today, either.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Why parish musicians do what they do

"Our parish musicians ... are not here to put on a show or delight us with their musical talents. They put their talents at the service of those of us in the pews. And the greatest way we can respond ... is by raising our voices in song with those around us."

Monday, 9 November 2015

Bad Catholic Music is not a thing

Some conservative Catholics have an amazing inability to comprehend just how wide their church is, and that their sensibilities are not the same as everyone else's.

This guy has a rant about what he calls "Bad Catholic Music" (BCM allegedly).

He has not problem with saying that he stopping going to Mass for a while because he didn't like the music.
"I don’t recommend it – but it worked, because the only place you encounter those smug, gloopy songs is a modern Catholic church"
I think this gives a pretty good insight into the role that Eucharist played in his spiritual life at the time: he could have easily enough found a music-less Mass, or even just offered-up his sufferings for the greater good: Instead, he stopped going and blamed it on other people's music choices, rather than take responsibility for his own spiritual state. Now he's found places that play the chunes he likes, he's back again - arguably to worship Hayden, Byrd, and whoever else.

Good for him.   I hope God can work effectively in his life, using the means that God has for communicating with him.

But I cannot agree that his "high art" musical tastes represent everyone else's pathway to God too. God is just too big to be limited to one genre, one motif, one groove.

And do not even start me on how a song can "be" Catholic.