It turns out that most Catholic musicians would be shocked, shocked, to know that providing music at Mass isn't about picking and choosing. The music of the Mass is already built into the structure of the liturgy: words, music, position, place, everything. It is already there. The book in which you find this music is called the Graduale -- named for the most important chant in the book, the Graduale itself, ironically replaced in most parishes after V2 with what is called the Responsorial Psalm. But just because we now sing the Responsorial Psalm doesn't mean that the rest of the Ordinary and Propers can be tossed out. They constitute the normative music of the Roman Rite...Ah, my experience in "liturgy committees" is a parasitical (no, maybe addictive is a better word) relationship to OCP publications. The front covers to the Respond and Acclaim issues are what a friend and I call "troll art". Brrrrr.
..In fact, if I were to name one single objective in Catholic music that is more important than any other, it would be simply to let people know that the Graduale Romanum exists. Truly, this is the greatest secret in Catholic liturgy today. And there is a reason for this: the very existence of the books pretty well resolves most disputes over style and disempowers those who would foist on us music that no Catholic in our history would recognize as suitable.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
~I got into trouble at another parish for suggesting that we chant the Introit and perhaps rethink the four-hymn sandwich. Here's The New Liturgical Movement on the 10th anniversary of the modern Graduale Romanum