Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My response to the Haugen/Haas/Walker Cow Patties

As I wrote earlier, I related to our happy readers my shock at receiving a sampling of choral (coral?) scores on the wishlist. Here's my snarky response:

"Thank you for forwarding these scores for my review. The nature of the composition and the texts I find are more appropriate for the 5pm Sunday Mass, not the Solemn Mass of Sunday. Since (Mrs. X, youth ensemble leader) specializes in music of this genre, it seems even more fitting, that she use these items (and that sparingly) in her valiant efforts to oust the protestant fundamentalist flavor from the musical offerings of the late Sunday Mass. Although not of the highest quality, save for a few examples of solid hymnody, I still remain firm in my opinion that the Gather hymnal already in the pews be the primary source of repertoire for that Mass.

The only item that caught my eye in the review sampling was the arrangement of the Popule Meus for the liturgy of the Commemoration on Good Friday. It has been our tradition to use either a 3-part polyphonic setting of the Popule Meus or the plainchant setting from the Roman Gradual. This year, I am planning to use an arrangement of the Victoria Popule Meus with verses in English during the adoration of the cross. Perhaps the singers of the 5pm Mass could learn this English Popule Meus with (Mrs. X’s) coaching and sing it for Palm Sunday, at least a few of the verses.

Regarding the “Saints of God”. You should know I am a very outspoken opponent of the “works” of David Haas and Marty Haugen. In fact, I am a member of a society which advocates their works be banned from use in the Sacred Liturgy. The compositions tend to reflect a pedestrian, lax approach to the liturgy and foster the same in the hearts of the faithful. If you prefer the Subvenite to be sung, I strongly suggest the chant setting from the Roman Gradual, with which (my cantor) and a number of my singers are already quite familiar, having used it already several times at funerals of parishioners whose families have requested the Latin Requiem Mass. This setting, without a doubt would be the choice of the Holy Father. As for the Haas setting, I happily relegate it to the eternal fire, if not simply to file 13."

I recieved the memo back along with the scores with a note to discuss this with the boss. That will more than likely be on Thursday or by some slim chance tomorrow, Wednesday. I'll keep you all informed how this one plays out.


Scelata said...

I hope your meeting goes well.

I have a song you might care to add to the mix.

1.Let's lay down a nice rhythm
A samba would be swell.
For praying or for dancing?
It's kinda hard to tell.
A hook that's really catchy,
And bouncy would be nice
Some cheery syncopation 'Cause it's a celebration
And not a sacrifice

Refrain: We sing of ourselves
We sing about us
To give You Your due,
Sing too much of You
Would seem too big a fuss
So humble and meek,
We doubt that You'd seek
To make Your worth and glory the center of the story,
So we'll sing of ourselves

The other verses can be found at:


(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

Sir Monocle said...

Where do I sign up for this "society"? I say we put on our black boots, pick up our Khalishnikov rifles and begin a new crusade against these complete total barbarians.

Brian Michael Page said...


The only problem is though the site is still open, the site owner has put a "moratorium on the moratorium" since March. You might want to try to contact him anyways. His addy is on the site.

Best of luck.