Friday, January 29, 2010

The Gregorian Institute on Gregorian Chant

The website of GIA (The Gregorian Institute of America) has a page on Gregorian Chant resources for parish use. It is fascinating in many ways….first that a company named the “Gregorian Institute” would only devote two or three pages of a several hundred page website to...well…Gregorian music. But more fascinating, and a bit disappointing, is how they treat the whole subject of Gregorian chant.

The information given is really not of much use, but then again I suspect it is not supposed to be very useful. The goal seems to be to actually discourage the use of chant while showing that they are at least abiding by the letter of the law in their publications.

From the GIA website….
(My emphasis and comments)

Gregorian Chant for the Congregation
The Second Vatican Council stated that the faithful should be able to sing the ordinary parts of the Mass in Latin (see Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, no. 54).(It actually says that “steps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them. This is important because it makes clear that the Latin language is the important issue, not the chant settings. What steps have been taken by GIA to achieve this?) Catholic congregations in most parts of the world sing at least a few chants in Latin.( “Look! It’s being done elsewhere so we don’t have to worry about it!) But in the U.S., for the most part we have a ways to go in fulfilling SC 54.(Perhaps the understatement of the century…) One need not look far to find resources for basic congregational Latin chant—every major Catholic hymnal or worship aid includes basic congregational Latin chants. ( they’re really token inclusions, but so what?) The easiest places to start are with the Kyrie (which in fact is in Greek) and the Agnus Dei. Then one might advance to the Sanctus and perhaps the Pater Noster. (Take note of the language here…”one need not look far”…”one might advance”…rather than “you can find”…or “you can then advance”. In other words, “one could do this if one were so inclined, but not YOU.) The Gloria and Credo are more difficult because of their length. (so…don’t ever attempt to sing them in Latin? We should never try anything difficult?) In any event, slow progress and pastoral sensitivity are advised. (Good Lord!…why would slow progress be advised? I don’t see any descriptions of works in their choral anthem catalogues claiming “One might sing this for the Sunday after Easter, but only after careful pastoral consideration. If one’s choir is successful in introducing this work, one might then advance to the more difficult selections, but do so slowly.”)

There are several collections with more extensive congregational repertoire: Iubilate Deo, Liber Cantualis, and Kyriale Simplex. (But since we just told you that it should take a long, long, long time to introduce even the basic congregational chants included in our fine hymnals, why would you ever need a more extensive congregational repertoire?)

GIA publishes an edition of an earlier version of Iubilate Deo in modern notation: Jubilate Deo.
(We’re not going to tell you what this is or why it might be useful….just that we do publish it. Notice that we replaced the difficult Latin "Iubilate" with the much more accessible "Jubilate")

Easier Gregorian Chant for the Choir
Many choirs will be looking for easier chant than is found in the Graduale Romanum and the Graduale Triplex(?), especially at first. (Well...if you were encouraging them to look for chant at all they might be doing this, but you just told them to make slow progress and be pastoral) A good place to start is with any of the major congregational hymnals. (But…don’t look in the Parish Book of Chant…stick with the major hymnals!) The Latin chants found there are intended for congregations, but it is likely that congregations are not (yet) able to sing them. (Way to be encouraging GIA, way to be encouraging! I especially like the parenthetical “yet”.) The choir might (why not say “can”?) sing easier Latin antiphons, Latin chant hymns, or chant hymns in English. Hymns are an easy place to start because the same melody is repeated for each stanza of text. Because the melody of a strophic hymn is formulaic and not intrinsically tied to the Latin text, hymns are the one part of the Latin chant repertoire that can be sung in any language. (Well…they wouldn’t really be Latin chant repertoire then, would they? If we sing “O Come All Ye Faithful” in English, we’re not singing a Latin chant hymn simply because it was originally in Latin, are we? This is essentially trying to say that singing vernacular hymnody is a great way to fulfill the call to sing Latin chant. What absolute nonsense.)

Other easier collections for choir are Graduale Simplex and Cantus Selecti.
(We’re not going to tell you what these are either, but they are easier)

Gregorian Chant for the Choir (but not the easier stuff like above)
Much of the Latin chant repertoire was written for a trained choir.( choir isn't "trained"?) Being more difficult, it was sung primarily in monasteries (not like your parish), cathedrals (not like your parish either), colleges (not a parish, so not like you either), and parishes with more extensive resources (more extensive resources than your parish, that is!) In the right circumstances (not gonna tell you what these might be, but they aren't circumstances that apply to your parish) , parish choirs can still sing some of this chant.

Graduale Romanum, Gregorian Missal for Sundays, Graduale Triplex.
(We’re not even going to tell you why we have these books listed here…but they contain some of the chant that you might be able to sing in the right circumstances at a monastery, cathedral, college or extensively resourced parish.)


So….that is, in a nutshell, what GIA wants to tell you about the music for which their company is named. If you were a truly inquiring Director of Music trying to live up to the Church’s call to sing the music of the Roman liturgy, would this encourage you to do so?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Some Thoughts About "Turning Back the Clock"

I've done a lot of reading (mostly blog discussions) about liturgical reform lately. This is the big topic right now. I mean, it's always been something of a hot topic, but it is now in the forefront in a way that it hasn't been before. Beginning with Summorum Pontificum and continuing with changes to the Papal Liturgies including ad orientem celebrations, Gregorian chant, communion kneeling and on the tongue many Bishops following suit...and then the new translation of the Roman Missal coming to us soon, it has become apparent that the "reform of the reform" is no longer a hypothetical thing, but is now a reality.

Just last week, the Pontical Master of Liturgical Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini addressed the Priests of the International Conference of Clergy in Rome. The topic was the "reform of the reform"... a well organized presentation on 5 points central to liturgical reform:

The Sacred Liturgy, God’s great gift to the Church

The orientation of liturgical prayer

Adoration and union with God

Active Participation

Sacred or liturgical music

However, the presentation was less an academic examination than an instruction, laying out an interpretation of the post-conciliar liturgy that is decidedly orthodox, drawing together many of the issues that have been addressed seperately up to now and creating a coherent foundation for liturgical development going forwards.

And that is what I see as the most important point: This is a forward looking vision for the liturgy, an interpretive foundation for the Missal of Paul VI which brings it out of the morass of inculturating adaptations, innovations and experiments and seeks instead to set it within the liturgical traditions of the Church. This has been the point of Pope Benedicts reforms up to this set the Missal of Paul VI within the context of the Church's liturgical tradition.

And yet, the reactions to Msgr. Marini's address and to Pope Benedict's initiatives all too often appeal to the well-worn cliche: "Let's not turn back the clock".

This is usually followed by noting that things were far from perfect "back in the day" - and the criticism is most often that Priests rushed through Mass and that the people in the pews just sat and watched, oblivious to what was going on until it was time to receive communion, after which they left. And that may have been true in many instances "back in the day".

But I know a great many Catholics who consider themselves Traditionalists, and I attend Mass in the EF on Sundays (8:30AM Low Mass) and have yet to find a single person who wants to return to that way of celebrating the EF Mass. And I have yet to attend an EF Mass in which the Priest desires to rush through as quickly as possible. The Mass this past Sunday was a Low Mass and it took about 55 minutes, including an excellent homily. The faithful followed carefully in their Latin-English Missals (including the children who make up perhaps 1/4 of the assembly), very much engaged in the liturgy. This is the state of the Extraordinary Form in 2010. It has nothing to do with "turning back the clock" and everything to do with moving forwards. There are new churches, new religious orders, new Priests and new faithful, young and old celebrating in the Extraordinary Form.

And so, if the current celebration of the EF isn't "turning back the clock", then how could celebrating the Ordinary Form liturgy, even in the most orthodox of settings, be "turning back the clock"? I have seen Masses celebrated in the Ordinary Form where one gets the impression that the Priest is trying to "move things along", and the now ubiquitous use of an army of EMC's at most Masses can only be explained by a desire to finish communion as quickly as possible- despite all of the rhetoric that it is the "center of our faith journey". There is the frequent ommission of the Gloria and Creed, homilies without substance or relevance and arbitrary limitations on the number of verses in the hymns...all in order to "get out on time". If there is anything today that is similar to "turning back the clock", it would be this.

This is what Msgr. Marini and certainly Pope Benedict are urging us to move away from...that is, celebrations in the Ordinary Form ought to move forward towards a more reverent and orthodox norm as has been done in the Extraordinary Form celebrations. This is what Pope Benedict meant by mutual enrichment - taking those things from each liturgical form that lead towards a greater reverence and sanctification of the faithful and applying them to both forms.

Such progress could be described in a variety of ways, but I fail to see how it is "turning back the clock". May I suggest that it is actually a case of "winding up a clock" that was long ago allowed to run out, hurriedly replaced by a new improved LED timpepiece whose red-against-black square numbers are beginning to look rather dated themselves.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Warm Enough To Snow?

Right now, according to the NWS, Florida is the only place in the country warm enough to snow.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Connection?

As I read the January 6th address of Msgr. Guido Marini to priets, I kept coming back to this posting by Andrea Tornielli last August:

The newspaper [Il Giornale] today published a paper devoted to "propositions" voted on last March by the plenary meeting of the Congregation for Divine Worship, presented to Benedict XVI by Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera on April 4th. It contains a first outline of the "reform the reform" liturgy that Ratzinger would see implemented, underlining the importance of reverent worship, putting a stop to creativity and abuse, giving more presence to the Latin language in the new rite, publishing bilingual missals (with the Latin text opposite), reconsidering the matter of the "versus orientem" [ad orientem] orientation at least during the consecration [i.e. during the Eucharistic prayer], reiterating that the use of distributing Communion in the hand is an indult, an extraordinary fact, but that the [normative] custom of the law must remain to receive the host on the tongue.

All this, however, will be prepared and presented in the Ratzingerian style: not any short-term document, no sudden imposition destined to go unheeded. Rather, a long and patient work from the grass roots ["from below"], that involves the episcopate. The point of departure and arrival is the conciliar Constitution on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium.

What kept getting to me were the main points supposedly in this "reform of the reform" document (Bold in red above), and how they echo the main points in Msgr. Marini's address:

The Sacred Liturgy, God’s great gift to the Church (reverent worship/ stopping creativity)

The orientation of liturgical prayer (ad orientem worship)

Adoration and union with God (communion on the tongue)

Active Participation

Sacred or liturgical music (greater presence of Latin language)

I wonder if this isn't the beginning of that "long and patient work from the grass roots"... the points that Tornielli claimed were in the "reform of the reform" document and the points that Msgr. Marini made in his address are identical. Note also that Tornielli said that the departure and return point is Sacrosanctum Concilium... while Msgr. Marini's address largely concerns an interpretation of the Vatican II reforms in continuity with tradition, quoting frequently from Sacrosanctum Concilium.

I can't help thinking that there is something here that has been carefully thought out.

Sacred or Liturgical Music: from Msgr. Marini's address to Priests

On January 6th, 2010 at the International Clergy Conference in Rome, the Pontifical Master of Liturgical Ceremonies, Msgr. Guido Marini, gave an extensive address to Priests…not just those in attendance at the conference, but to Priests throughout the world. The topic was the Liturgy, specifically an understanding of the foundations of liturgy from a perspective, a hermeneutic, of continuity with the Church’s liturgical tradition. This perspective has developed rapidly since 2003 when Pope Benedict first introduced the term hermeneutic of continuity to the Catholic world. Since the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum (2007) it has become clear that any future development in the liturgy must occur within tradition, not outside of it.

In his address to Priests, Msgr. Marini discusses 5 distinct topics of current importance:

The Sacred Liturgy, God’s great gift to the Church

The orientation of liturgical prayer

Adoration and union with God

Active Participation

Sacred or liturgical music

It is significant that these very topics are also the same as those addressed in Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, a document referred to by Msgr. Marini’s a number of times.

This address will, no doubt, be examined and studied over the next several weeks…it is a significant text coming as it does from the primary liturgist for the Catholic Church (I apologize if that term if it implies any offense!). Of particular interest to me is the section on Sacred Music…the last topic he examines.

(My emphasis and comments)

Sacred or Liturgical Music. (From Introduction to the Spirit of the Liturgy)
Msgr. Guido Marini – Pontifical Master of Liturgical Ceremonies

There is no doubt that a discussion, in order to introduce itself authentically into the spirit of the liturgy, cannot pass over sacred or liturgical music and silence. (Pope Benedict has expressed similar sentiments in his essay Liturgy and Church Music – that Sacred Music, Gregorian Chant and Polyphony, are an integral part of the Roman Liturgy and therefore inseperable from it)

I will limit myself to a brief reflection in way of orienting the discussion.(This is a big topic…better to just give the main points and begin a meaningful discussion of this going forward!) One might wonder why the Church by means of its documents, more or less recent, insists in indicating a certain type of music and singing (Gregorian Chant/ Polyphony) as particularly consonant with the liturgical celebration. (The liturgical documents at times say “eminently suited”, at other times “integral”) Already at the time of the Council of Trent the Church intervened in the cultural conflict developing at that time, reestablishing the norm whereby music conforming to the sacred text was of primary importance, limiting the use of instruments and pointing to a clear distinction between profane and sacred music.(This was the not the first reaction to secular music in the liturgy, but was the most notable up to that time…the focus was vernacular hymnody and instrumental music) Sacred music, moreover, must never be understood as a purely subjective expression. It is anchored to the biblical or traditional texts which are to be sung during the course of the celebration. (Liturgical music is not about what WE want to say…it is about proclaiming sacred texts as part of the liturgical ritual. This is why the issue of the Propers has come to the forefront in these past few years) More recently, Pope Saint Pius X intervened in an analogous way (analogous to what was done at Trent, and more importantly, analogous to the situation today), seeking to remove operatic singing from the liturgy and selecting Gregorian chant and polyphony from the time of the Catholic reformation as the standard for liturgical music, to be distinguished from religious music in general. (This is an important distinction. There is a place for religious music in the life of the church…but that place is not at Mass) The Second Vatican Council did naught but reaffirm the same standard, so too the more recent magisterial documents. (A reality check: the documents of Vatican II re-affirm, rather strongly, that Chant and Sacred Polyphony have been and still are the primary music of the liturgy, and every document since has only further emphasized its importance…shamefully, most parishes are in conflict with this.)

Why does the Church insist on proposing certain forms as characteristic of sacred and liturgical music which make them distinct from all other forms of music? Why, also, do Gregorian chant and the classical sacred polyphony turn out to be the forms to be imitated, in light of which liturgical and even popular music should continue to be produced today? (The liturgical documents of Vatican II emphasize the development of contemporary liturgical music…and proscribe that it be modeled after Gregorian chant and Sacred Polyphony. There are excellent contemporary composers that do this very thing, and there are other not-so-excellent composers that have rejected this proscription and turn instead to popular and theater music for their models)

The answer to these questions lies precisely in what we have sought to assert with regard to the spirit of the liturgy. It is properly those forms of music, in their holiness, their goodness, and their universality, which translate in notes, melodies and singing the authentic liturgical spirit (As was said above – this music, Gregorian chant, expresses to us the very spirit of the liturgy by means of its integral form and interior holiness, as opposed to music in which we express to others our feelings or sentiments by means of exterior secular forms that have more to do with us than with the liturgy. This is the fundamental flaw of most contemporary religious music as used in the liturgy): by leading to adoration of the mystery celebrated, by favouring an authentic and integral participation (people will sing chant), by helping the listener to capture the sacred and thereby the essential primacy of God acting in Christ, and finally by permitting a musical development that is anchored in the life of the Church and the contemplation of its mystery. (Given the importance of this issue to liturgical development, I don’t think that it is out of the question that there will eventually be something like a second Tra le sollecitudini coming our way. Msgr. Marini’s foreshadow of Pius X making an “analogous” reform for the very same reasons as are needed today should cause one to think seriously about this possibility).

Allow me to quote the then Cardinal Ratzinger one last time: “Gandhi highlights three vital spaces in the cosmos, and demonstrates how each one of them communicates even its own mode of being. Fish live in the sea and are silent. Terrestrial animals cry out, but the birds, whose vital space is the heavens, sing. Silence is proper to the sea, crying out to the earth, and singing to the heavens. Man, however, participates in all three: he bares within him the depth of the sea, the weight of the earth, and the height of the heavens; this is why all three modes of being belong to him: silence, crying out, and song. Today...we see that, devoid of transcendence, all that is left to man is to cry out, because he wishes to be only earth and seeks to turn into earth even the heavens and the depth of the sea. The true liturgy, the liturgy of the communion of saints, restores to him the fullness of his being. It teaches him anew how to be silent and how to sing, opening to him the profundity of the sea and teaching him how to fly, the nature of an angel; elevating his heart, it makes that song resonate in him once again which had in a way fallen asleep. In fact, we can even say that the true liturgy is recognizable especially when it frees us from the common way of living, and restores to us depth and height, silence and song. The true liturgy is recognizable by the fact that it is cosmic, not custom made for a group. It sings with the angels. It remains silent with the profound depth of the universe in waiting. And in this way it redeems the world.” (This final quote recaps three of Pope Benedict's points about liturgy and reform: True liturgy is divinely formed, not manufactured for our purposes. We have now a liturgy which is more manufactured for our purposes. Only true liturgy can redeem the world. And so we can conclude what…?)

What strikes me the most about this address (this is only one of 5 sections....and the shortest section at that!) is the narrowness of the scope (liturgical practice at Mass) and the very specific issues presented. These are the cornerstone issues of liturgical reform...the main points at which the actual texts of the liturgical documents of Vatican II and liturgical practice since Vatican II have differed most notably. In other words, these are the most prominent aspects of the liturgy where we are not following the liturgical documents: Sacredness and Solemnity in the liturgy - Liturgical Orientation (ad orientem) - Active Participation - Sacred Music. These issues are now being presented to priests as "front-burner" issues. They are also those same issues as were addressed by Pope Benedict in Sacramentum Caritatis.
But far from being philosophical reflection on theological points, this address is more of an exposition of a policy position. It outlines the actual policies (Vatican II documents), their justifications (tradition/ magisterium/ continuity) and even some specific suggestions for action. My strong feeling is that this is both a re-emphasizing of Sacramentum Caritatis, and perhaps a preparation for some kind of document yet to come.

I can't help but recall the "rumor" last Summer that Pope Benedict had been presented with a document outlining the main points of the "reform of the reform". Perhaps we are seeing them now....

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fact Check....

Every so often I take time to “review” articles from Today’s Liturgy, GIA Quarterly and AIM Resources. More often than not these are publications which promote a more progressive viewpoint – and more often than not I am in a position of disagreeing with their opinions. That’s fine…opinions have a place so long as they are not put forward as fact, and so long as the facts are acknowledged and one’s opposition or agreement with them is made clear. (You can read about my views on this).

And so I began reading an article in the latest edition of Today’s Liturgy with an eye to just such a review. And I may still do so when I have sufficient time. ..but first I have to address a specific part of this article that left me shaking my head. I hope that my comments may find legs and get back to the individual who wrote them: Rodica Stoicoiu. I haven’t read anything by this writer previously and so I can at least hope that some of the more glaring problems were just oversight.

The article begins:

Change is upon us. If not by the time you read this then certainly in the near future there will be numerous changes in the celebration of the liturgy. How we deal with these reforms in our role as pastoral musicians will directly affect our communities and how they receive the changes. We can be obstreperous or we can have a positive attitude. Change is always difficult, and these changes will not be easy; but the more we understand them, the better we can enact them to the benefit of our people.

First, I have to wonder if she ran this copy by Bp. Trautman… obstreperous??? And he though ineffable was obscure! Secondly, I have to wonder what she’s talking about here. What are these numerous changes that will be sweeping the liturgy by the time this article reaches the press? This is a total mystery… she just keeps talking about “these changes” and how sweeping they are and how we have to work to accept them. About ¾ of the way through the article, she brings up the new translation and cites elements from this issue as "just a few examples of possible changes that liturgical ministers will face”. So she clearly isn’t talking about the new translation specifically. By the end of the first page, the article begins to take on a sense of foreboding, as though something big and terrible is coming. But what??

Anybody who writes professionally (as it seems Ms. Stoicoiu does) knows that you present the “focal point” about 1/3 of the way into the text in a brief article (as I am doing right now!). And what does the author discuss at this point in her article? POPE BENEDICT ON THE REFORM. And so I assume that this is the point of her article…to inform the reader about Pope Benedict’s position on reform. The several paragraphs prior to this section concern criticism of the reforms of Vatican II, and she cites two prominent authors – Fr. John Baldovin and Reiner Kaczynski, to build her argument that there is a growing movement towards re-examing the reforms of that council. But as she begins her discussion of Pope Benedict’s position, she shows her hand:

One critique of the reform that has many nervous today comes from the pope himself. Some wonder if this does not presage a frontal attack on the reforms of Vatican II.

And a little further on…

Certainly the recent declarations he has made as Pope Benedict XVI regarding the use of the preconciliar liturgy (Summorum Pontificum, 2007) have led some to express deep concerns about the direction the Church is taking.

OK…now we can see what this article is about! As an aside, I find the anonymous “some” she keeps using to be disingenuous. Can’t she just say “I wonder if this does not presage a frontal attack on the reforms of Vatican II” or “…have led me to express deep concerns about the direction the Church is taking”? But I can get by that…as well as the constant barrage of progressive buzzwords. My criticism is with her presentation of Pope Benedict’s position on reform, both in general and as relates to the reforms of Vatican II in particular. It is well known that the Holy Father has expressed his views on the hermeneutic of continuity, and that he has on many occasions noted that the current interpretations of the reforms of Vatican II have tended towards a “hermeneutic of rupture” with tradition. I thought that this was fairly well known.

Similarly, in the letter accompanying Summorum Pontificum, and in numerous statements from Prefect of the CDW and even from the Pope himself since, it has been made clear that the Missal of 1962 is a gift to the Universal Church which he (the Pope) desires to gain wider use and which he intends to influence the Novus Ordo Mass. Nonetheless, Ms. Stoicoiu cites a quote from Sacramentum Caritatis:

"From the varied forms of the early centuries… up to the spread of the Roman rite; from the clear indications of the Council of Trent and the Missal of Saint Pius V to the liturgical renewal called for by the Second Vatican Council: in every age of the Church's history the eucharistic celebration, as the source and summit of her life and mission, shines forth in the liturgical rite in all its richness and variety". (SC 3).

I’m always suspicious about quotes, particularly quotes that use the “….” to expunge text. In this case, the opening of this quote actually reads:

From the varied forms of the early centuries, still resplendent in the rites of the Ancient Churches of the East, up to the spread of the Roman rite.

For some reason, it was not in keeping with her point for Benedict to note that the liturgical forms of the early centuries are “still resplendent in the rites of the Ancient Churches of the East”. This would make it seem that he actually finds these ancient rites to be acceptable if not preferable. She also obscures the context of Sacramentum Caritatis 3 in that the quote she pulled would seem to be a glowing endorsement of liturgical change coming from the Pope, particularly the changes of the Second Vatican Council. But the actual message of SC#3 is that the changes intended by the Council have not yet been realized, stated more eloquently in the passage following the quote pulled by Ms. Stoicoiu:

“The Synod of Bishops was able to evaluate the reception of the renewal in the years following the Council. There were many expressions of appreciation. The difficulties and even the occasional abuses which were noted, it was affirmed, cannot overshadow the benefits and the validity of the liturgical renewal, whose riches are yet to be fully explored. Concretely, the changes which the Council called for need to be understood within the overall unity of the historical development of the rite itself, without the introduction of artificial discontinuities. “ (SC 3)

And so, Pope Benedict is actually saying that we need to understand the reforms called for by the Council as a continuation of liturgical tradition without introducing “artificial discontinuities”. And what does Ms. Stoicoiu claim that Pope Benedict is saying here? Well, she concludes that the Pope has made a definitive response to traditionalists as she concludes this section of her article:

“The response to those who wish to bring back the past is clear. The cultural context that supported the pre-conciliar rite has changed. Some may return to it because it is comforting to them, some may go out of curiosity, but the world that gave rise to and supported that rite has passed.”

That she would claim that this is Pope Benedict’s view is irresponsible and perhaps even scandalous. Pope Benedict….saying that the 1962 Missal might be useful for those who are nostalgic or curious but that it’s time has passed? Really? Of course, her premise is flawed to begin with, introducing a straw-man of sorts in the form of “those who wish to bring back the past”. I don’t know that Pope Benedict has made any kind of response to "those who wish to bring back the past”. I think the Pope takes traditionalists more seriously than that. Certainly the Pope has acknowledged that a wholesale return to the pre-conciliar church is neither possible nor desirable. But Ms. Stoicoiu wants the reader to then jump to the conclusion that Pope Benedict endorses the "hermeneutic of rupture" for those who want it while proposing a "hermeneutic of continuity" to keep traditionalists quiet. This is a gross mischaracterization of the Holy Father’s view.

After this part of her article, she returns to the mysterious “changes that are coming”. At one point she seems to imply that there is a new Missale Romanum coming with “changes to the Order of Mass”. I had no idea… I thought it was just a new translation. It might be fun after all to take a look at this whole article, but for now I’ve said what I need to say.

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Happy New Year

As the New year begins, a welcome re-arrangement of my schedule will now allow me to attend the 8:30AM Extraordinary Form Mass on Sundays at the Christ The King Chapel in Sarasota. We are fortunate in the Diocese of Venice to have 20 (yes, twenty!) Extraordinary Form Masses each week throughout the Diocese (to be fair, 17 of those are at either Ave Maria University Chapel or Christ the King, both of which have daily EF Masses), but up to now I have been unable to attend Sunday Mass due to my obligations at my own parish and at another parish in the evening where I play a 6:00 Mass.

I will now have a space of time from 8:00AM- 10:00AM on Sunday Morning free - and there just happens to be an 8:30AM Mass at CTK only a few blocks away. I'm hoping that my family will be able to join me there, even if only occasionally.

I would have really liked to be able to make the 10:30AM Sung Mass, but I have to make a living after all.....