Thursday, September 7, 2006


Or, Liturgical Music vs. Other Suitable Songs

Michael E. Lawrence posts this at the New Liturgical Movement:

It is not uncommon to see an article from time to time which laments the contemporary songs used at Mass in most places. "What happened to all the great hymns of yesterday?" is often a question asked in anguish in such publications.

Little ink seems to be spilled, however, over the treasure that the widespread use of hymns has seemingly buried--the Proper chants of the Mass (Introit, Offertory, and Communion; the Gradual and Alleluia are a bit different and will be discussed below). It is quite probable that most Catholics are unaware of the Propers and that they would be surprised to find out that the only hymns integral to the Mass itself are the Gloria and the several Sequences that occur throughout the year. Even many Catholics who consider themselves to be traditional are perfectly content with using hymns at the Mass in place of the Propers.

Click here to read the rest of the story. It's an excellent read.



CromAbu said...

Yeah, I thought that was a great piece, the NLM is now my first blog-read of the day,(sorry, but you ARE near the top.)
They just keep getting better and better.

But, always accepting that hymns are a distant fourth choice, I nevertheless want to offer my new contribution to the genre:

(I flatter myself that you liked my first effort, posted on RPI.)

It was inspired by a comment on Pontifications, and uses ... how to put this?... and ART song melody rather than a classic hymn tune.

Your friendly neighborhood Gadfly

Brian Michael Page said...

Gadfly, looks great so far. BTW, I don't mind being a "second read" to NLM. Though I list my blog links in ABC order (not counting articles like "A" and "THE"), I still never pick the same blog twice to read first. Depends on the hot topic and/or the mood.

I still like the remark on Liturgical Tourettes. Isn't that the remark on RPInet that PO'd someone?


Valerie said...

Another good read, Brian. Thanks. I especially like this concluding thought:

"The Propers are ordained by the Church, while hymns are chosen by a person or a committee. The process of selecting hymns seems to be a possible contributor to the mistaken perception that man makes the liturgy. What orthodox liturgist would suggest "another suitable reading" or "another suitable prayer" instead of the selections the Church has given us?
Why, then, should we sing "another suitable song" instead of the Propers?"