This morning (well...last night at the anticipated Masses actually...) we began our parish's discovery of chant at Mass. Humble, to be sure, but a beginning. And we at least have a plan...first the Agnus Dei, then the Mass XVIII Kyrie and the Agnus Dei. Next, the Sanctus will be introduced either this coming Spring (Lent) or the Fall of 2010.
It seems like such a dragging out of something that should be so simple, but I have come to realize the wisdom of taking time. Within this time, we will also begin forming a Schola, learning a Mass setting and perhaps a few Chant Hymns at first, and then maybe moving on to Introits and Communion Antiphons. All of this...probably in a period of three years or so. Maybe by the time the new translation is introduced they could be singing at Mass.
Perhaps within this time there will be some kind of reforms made from "up above" as well....if so, that will move things along that much faster, but even if not, things will be moving along. Perhaps the most important aspect of all of this is the support from the Priests. I truly believe they want better and more reverent liturgy. They have been led in all directions by liturgists, musicians and well meaning but misguided advice. It is time to "take the reigns" and lead in another direction.
I was speaking with another parish musician the other day, who cautiously commented ..."I think the days of bad music are starting to come to a close...". I would at least partially disagree.... I think they have already come to an end, but there are still stragglers who haven't kept up with the pack and are now so far behind that they can't see where we are now. The church has been led in a new direction these past several years; we need to follow that lead.