Wednesday, December 12, 2007


OK - sorry for the delay. Before we continue, I feel the need to point out something Mike O'Connor mentioned in the combox for Part 4 today, and I feel this highly supports my gripe about the now-former BCL decrying cassock and surplice for choir/director/cantor/psalmist/etc.

Actually Pius X did state in Tra le sollicitudine that cassock and surplice should be worn by choirs when singing in the sanctuary BECAUSE they were exercising a clerical role. Since women were not allowed to participate in a choir in the sanctuary, they could not wear cassock and surplice since that would be the only time they could.

Thank you much for that, Mike!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming - - - Today we continue our Sing to the Lord series, that alleged "sequel" to Music in Catholic Worship. The section we'll be covering today is "Leadership and Formation". Here goes.

48. The whole assembly is actively involved in the music of the Liturgy. Some members of the community, however, are recognized for the special gifts they exhibit in leading the musical praise and thanksgiving of Christian assemblies. These are the liturgical musicians, as described in section E, above, and their ministry is especially cherished by the Church.

First of all, kudos for not using (or misusing) the term "pastoral musicians". They used the term "liturgical musicians", instead. I don't know about the average Catholic, but I tend to define "liturgical musician" as a musician who plays truly liturgical music, and not just plop together four of the "greatest hits" along with a Mass setting that has a plethora of alterations in the text.

49. Liturgical musicians are first of all disciples, and only then are they ministers. Joined to Christ through the Sacraments of Initiation, musicians belong to the assembly of the baptized faithful; they are worshipers above all else. Like other baptized members of the assembly, pastoral musicians need to hear the Gospel, experience conversion, profess faith in Christ, and so proclaim the praise of God. Thus, musicians who serve the Church at prayer are not merely employees or volunteers. They are ministers who share the faith, serve the community, and express the love of God and neighbor through music.

OH CRAP! Too good to be true, I guess. They said "pastoral musicians" after all. But like I said before, I know a couple of Anglicans who do just as well with the liturgy as (if not better than) most Catholics. One of them may have converted. I'm not exactly sure.

50. All pastoral musicians—professional or volunteer, full-time or part-time, director or choir member, cantor or instrumentalist—exercise a genuine liturgical ministry. The community of the faithful has a right to expect that this service will be provided competently. Pastoral musicians should receive appropriate formation that is based on their baptismal call to discipleship; that grounds them in a love for and knowledge of Scripture, Catholic teaching, Liturgy, and music; and that equips them with the musical, liturgical, and pastoral skills to serve the Church at prayer.

I'll agree to that. Can we "form" new musicians to undo the mess-ups of the last 40 years?

51. Preparation for music ministry should include appropriate human formation, spiritual formation, intellectual formation, and pastoral formation. Bishops and pastors should encourage liturgical musicians to take part in ministerial formation opportunities offered by universities, colleges, seminaries, ministry formation programs, dioceses, and national ministry associations. Parishes and dioceses should provide the financial support needed to ensure competent liturgical musical leadership.

The CMAA would be an excellent place to start (in terms of national ministry associations).

52. The service of pastoral musicians should be recognized as a valued and integral part of the overall pastoral ministry of the parish or diocese; provision should be made for just compensation. Professional directors of music ministries and part-time pastoral music ministers should each receive appropriate wages and benefits that affirm the dignity of their work.

Yes - thank you!

53. Liturgical music ministers should be provided with the proper resources to carry out
their administrative functions in a professional manner.


So, we have one section anyways that (overall) I can rate as quite good. Next post will be "Music in Catholic Schools". Rave or rant? Stay tuned.



lvschant said...

couldn't access part 5 of your series on Sing to the Lord... anyone else having that problem?

Brian Michael Page said...

all fixed