Oh Vox is in the mood for a rant!
Of course the good news is that the corrected translation of the 2002 Roman Missal will implemented in Canada in November on the First Sunday of Advent.
The bad news is the musical setting of at least one of the Masses commissioned by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
If you can stand any more than about 20 seconds, I'll be surprised.
Go here and listen.
Yeah, that's what I thought you'd do.
The most fundamental papal document about sacred music is the Motu proprio of St. Pius X, Tra le sollecitudini of November 22, 1903 in which the Saint wrote:
“Sacred music must, therefore, possess in the highest degree the qualities which characterize the liturgy. In particular it must possess holiness and beauty of form: from these two qualities a third will spontaneously arise—universality.”
This composition is as far from this sentence as one can get!
As someone who has worked for twenty-five years in church music and its restoration, as someone who is published and who is educated in what the Church desires in Her worship, this is not it.
The Gloria in particular is simply unsingable by a congregation; then again, I did not get past the first 30 seconds because I couldn't stand it. Where is the "actuoso participationem" in this musical drivel?
I will attend the Toronto workshop in a few weeks to see and hear for myself the rest of these settings. If these are no better than this piece of banal musical garbage that the so-called "professional liturgists"at the CCCB think is in keeping with sacred music then they should be literally, fired for incompetence.
To think, royalties from your parish will be paid to the composer of this trash.
Now what do I know, after all, according to an American-born, Toronto-based Toronto media cleric, I am not a "professional liturgist" so what do I know.
I will not sing or promote this trash and if the other two compositions are of the same calibre it will be another ajbect failure on the part of Canada's bishops to restore the liturgy.
Instead, it will be up to young Priests, Cantors and Choir Directors to be strong and motivated to do that which is in harmony with the mind of the Church and it is not this musical drivel.
So, at the parish in Toronto where I provide the music as Cantor for the Ordinary Form, this is the plan.
1. Concentration on the ICEL setting which are based on the Gregorian tones and only ICEL settings of the Memorial Acclamations.
2. Continued use of existing Kyrie and Agnus Dei from Father Somerville's New Good Shepherd, Proulx's Community and Togni's Parish Masses.
3. Easy adaptation of "power and might" to "hosts" in the Sanctus of all three. In fact, the Good Shepherd and Parish Mass were originally scored for "hosts" for the 1965 Missal and had to be adapted for the incorrect translation we've been forced to endure for forty years.
4. A re-introduction of Father Stephen Somerville's original Good Shepherd Gloria from 1965 (I am fortunate enough to have a copy) with the change of one word, "men" on a quarter note to "people" on two eighths. This Gloria was always the correct translation.
5. Slow and cautious introduction of new compositions which follow the principles of sacred music so much of which is offered for free by the Church Music Association of America and Corpus Christi Watershed.
Now, in case you are wondering what it should sound like as far as chant is concerned which can be best described as "sung prayer" here is an example of the Gloria, lovingly sung, to the tone from Mass XV which will be in the new Missal. This is based on the ancient Gloria and is the oldest known of all Gregorian settings from the 900's. Yes, you read that correctly, the tenth century.
Now, did you listen to this? Can you compare it to that composed by Dawson?
Which to you evokes prayer and worship and solemnity and devotion and the Catholic liturgy?
Now, my question for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, John Dawson and the other "professional liturgists" out there, of which I am not one is this: "If this is actually in the new Roman Missal and it has been available on the web from ICEL for almost a year, why did you not consider that this in fact, is the style of music most suited to the Roman Liturgy? Or, did you actually consider it and you chose simply to ignore it?
Priests, friends and colleagues in Church music. You don't need the CCCB's settings. You don't need the banality of this pulp. You don't need any more ugliness. You can find everything you need for the liturgy, free on the web and above are just some of the links.
Now, my next question; "Where are the Propers?"
Oh, they're here in the Simple Propers Project which I use every Saturday Vigil Mass in Toronto.
For something more elaborate; feast your eyes and ears on this soon to be published gem.