Friday, November 30, 2007

COMBINING HOLIDAYS

Got this in my e-mail from Mark at the Contemporary Catholic Music Yahoo Group, in response to my "Happy Holidays?" post.



Merry happy Christmahanuquanzakkuh! (My kids say that!)
Peace,
BMP

Thursday, November 29, 2007

HAPPY HOLIDAY?

Just a reminder to those who give me such a bland wish...I WILL ask "Which one?" Don't make me pick the wrong one.

Considering Washington's Birthday (now bastardized to "President's Day"), Valentine's Day, MiLK Day, Labor Day, and even Easter get called by name, Christmas seems to get censored by many in fear of being sued by the ACLU. Screw the ACLU! What are they, the "freakin' FCC" or something?

There are attorney groups out there that WILL support Christmas. Here's one.

Peace,
BMP

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

LATIN IN THE LITURGY

An FAQ in the style of the Baltimore Catechism

You'll find this at NLM. This was put together by Fr. Christopher Smith, curate (later known as "Assistant Pastor", then "Associate Pastor", now "Parochial Vicar" in many places) of St. Peter Church in Beaufort, SC. This well put together very nicely. Go to NLM and enjoy!

Peace,
BMP

THE BCL AS WE KNOW IT IS NO MORE!

That's right, folks! The Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy not only has a new look (and a much better bishop leading the pack), but a new name, too: The USCCB Committee on Divine Worship.

Chairman is Bp. Serratelli of Paterson, NJ.

Other members consist of Cdl. Rigali of Philly, Abp. Buechlein of Indy, Abp. Chaput of Denver, Abp. Niederauer of San Francisco, Bp. Farrell of Dallas, Bp. Herzog of Alexandria, LA, Bp. Cisneros, Auxiliary of Brooklyn, and one last member yet to be determined.

The Subcommittee on Liturgy for Hispanics consists of Bp. Cisneros (chairman), and other members to be determined.

The lineup looks like one helluvan improvement until you start reading below:
Consultants to the new CDW are Cdl. Mahony of Los Angeles, home of abundant Kool-Aid pitchers and infamous Religious Misedumacation Conventions, and Abp. Vlazny of Portland, OR, home of OCP, publishers of the infamous Alleluia Chee-Chee.

Patriots Helmet Tip (PHT) to Jeffrey Tucker (NLM).
Peace,
BMP

NEW MESSAGE BOARDS AT MUSICA SACRA

Registration required, but free. Go here. I'll also add it to the CV Definitive Linkroll.
Peace,
BMP

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

COMING SOON: A CHALLENGE!

My hard drive is almost fixed - that means I'll be back to podcasting again. Stay tuned for the 105th episode of



and the 3rd episode of
.

On both of these shows, I will be issuing a challenge to fellow bloggers, podcasters, readers, listeners, and viewers. Hopefully by this weekend it will be up. I am on a borrowed tower right now, but would much rather do the podcasting and videocasting on my own tower. Thank you for bearing with me, and rest assured, CVA and CVTV has NOT gone south!

Peace,
BMP

WELCOME BACK...

...to the wonderful world of the blogosphere!

Aristotle Esguerra, the Recovering Choir Director, one of the pioneer bloggers dedicated to sacred music, has returned to the blogosphere after a bit of a hiatus! (RSCT to Jeffrey Tucker of NLM)

Also, Charles Culbreth, our left coast friend from the RPInet boards is back with a new blog - Musica Dei Donum Optimi.

Charles' new blog has been added to the CV Definitive Blogroll, and the link to Aristotle's blog has been fixed.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOHOO!

Peace,
BMP

Monday, November 26, 2007

MASS I ATTENDED YESTERDAY

Yesterday, I took my wife and daughter for Holy Mass at St. Matthew Church in Central Falls, Rhode Island (pictured at left). It's actually the first time I've been in St. Matthew's since around 1991-ish. Still quite the nice church, and I'm happy to say that the altar rail is still fully intact.

St. Matthew's was established in 1906 for Catholics of French-Canadian descent. I can recall even in the 70's a Mass schedule that consisted of four English Masses and two French Masses, and the front page of the parish bulletin was headed with the words "Eglise Saint-Mathieu".

Over the last decade, the parish merged with two other parishes in the square mile city of Central Falls - Holy Trinity and Notre Dame du Sacre Coeur. Notre Dame, obviously a French-Canadian ethnic parish like St. Matthew's, was the mother church of Central Falls, established in 1872. Holy Trinity, established in 1889, was mainly Irish, but took in a sizeable Hispanic population from the mid 70's on. In fact, here's the evolution of Mass schedules at St. Matthew's since 1976:

1976 - Saturday 5 and 7 PM, both in English / Sunday 10 AM and 5:30 PM in English, 8:30 and 11:15 AM in French
1985 - Saturday 5 PM in English / Sunday 8:30 AM in French, 10 and 11:30 AM in English
NOW - Saturday 5 PM in English, 6:30 PM in Spanish / 8 and 10 AM in English, 11:30 in Spanish

Holy Trinity Church closed its doors in 1989, and was demolished shortly after. The pipe organ, a 1917 Cole and Woodberry two-manual tracker of about 27 ranks, was moved to a Presbyterian church in Wheeling, West Virginia. I was very elated to learn that that organ is still in use. From the time the church closed up to the merge ten years later, Holy Trinity held Masses in the lower hall of the former parish school.

Notre Dame just closed its doors last summer. That building is still standing at this point. The pipe organ, an old W.K. Adams instrument to my understanding, was destroyed when that church got a face lift in the early 1970's, and replaced with an Allen electronic instrument.

Holy Trinity and Notre Dame merged with Saint Matthew's around 1999 to become the "Holy Spirit Catholic Community". Unfortunately, since the untimely death of St. Matthew's then-pastor, Fr. Donat Tremblay, in 1988, the line of pastors to follow have been of the progressive lot - with the pastor to succeed Fr. Tremblay probably doing the most damage. The Worship II hymnals were taken out of the pew and replaced with WLP's We Celebrate, only to be replaced again shortly after - by the same pastor - with the OCP Today's Missal/Music Issue.

The organ at St. Matthew's is an interesting one, though large. The gallery case is Casavant Freres, built around 1925, under the "Audsley System", by the late George Audsley. The small chancel case, underneath some grillwork in the floor and presently not functioning, is Hook and Hastings. There is a four-manual Casavant console in the gallery that controls both cases, totalling about 70 ranks (though with the chancel case not working, that leaves about 60 or so ranks actually working). The divisions are laid out thus:

- First Organ (lowest manual, functioning as the Great)
- Second Organ (second lowest manual, functioning as the Swell, with two sub divisions marked "First Sub Division" and "Second Sub Division")
- Third Organ (second manual from the top, functioning as the Choir, with two sub divisions just like the "Second Organ")
- Fourth Organ (topmost manual, functioning as the Solo)
- Pedal Organ (duh! I think we know what that controls, eh?)
- Aerial Organ (the floating chancel division I mentioned above that no longer works)

In the late 60's, a three-manual Austin console was added downstairs in the chancel area, also controlling the entire organ. In the early 90's that console was replaced by a rebuilt Aeolian Skinner console, also a three-manual. Because of wiring difficulties, the four-manual Casavant console upstairs landed up being disconnected. The current chancel console is prepared for the time that the "Aerial Organ" may someday get fixed.

Anyhoo, here's the music that was sung at the 10:00 Mass yesterday for the Solemnity of Christ the King. You may gag at some of it, but if the organist had his way (and he's quite good), it would be far more traditional. Obviously the opening and closing were of the good solid Catholic variety.

To Jesus Christ, Our Sov'reign King..."Ich Glaub an Gott"
Gloria...Hylton (this actually isn't a bad setting when done on the organ, plus the text is faithful to the Roman Missal, and it's through-composed, not responsorial)
Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord, and matching Alleluia...Alstott, from "Respond and Acclaim" (the alleluia was the one in D where the melody ends on the fifth).
Soon and Very Soon...Crouch (I'm not a fan of the tune, but the harmony was quite nice)
Massive Cremation
This Is My Cry...Whitaker (blech!)
Crown Him with Many Crowns..."Diademata"

Peace,
BMP

PS: Central Falls does have one other parish, Saint Joseph, a very active Polish American parish established the same year Saint Matthew's was established.

HOLY FAMILY NYC BRINGS BACK MEMORIES

...of a Music Issue that "used to be"

Holy Family Church in New York City, aka "The United Nations Parish", known for its 60's/70's style design, but also for its excellent music (and five-manual Turner pipe organ), normally uses Worship III for much of its congregational singing. However, every now and then they will use a piece from another source and print it in their weekly worship aid.

This week's recessional at Holy Family was O King of Kings in Splendor, using the tune EIN HAUS VOLL GLORIE SCHAUET, written by Joseph Mohr (of Silent Night fame). Back in the early 80's, this triumphant tune used to be in the OCP Music Issue - yes, the same Music Issue that people have grown to despise and criticize for its commercial jingles and ditties by such names as Haugen, Haas, Joncas, Schutte, Landry, Dameans, etc. In fact, Mohr had another tune as well in the Music Issues of back then. The tune name eludes me at the moment, but it was used with Eugene Lindusky's The Lord Is My True Shepherd text.

Man, those were the days. What the hell ever happened?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A CAVEMAN'S THANKSGIVING

The Catholic Caveman posted this hilarious poem for Thanksgiving. Way too funny.

Peace,
BMP
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Night before Thanksgiving
Southern Style
by the Catholic Caveman

'Twas the night 'fore Thanksgiving,and all through the house
I've knocked back a 12-pack, I'm half way to soused;
Like the damn fool I am, I took my wife's dare,
Now her whole stinkin' family will invade The Lair;


Her sister's a psycho who needs to take meds
To silence the voices that live in her head;
Her brother-in-law is a Southern-Fried slob,
Who never can quite handle keeping a job;
Their kids eat like animals, I wish they would go,
Their table manners are reminiscent of a Gallagher show.

Away to the drug store I flew like a flash,
Those rednecks aren't even here, and I've already a rash.

Back in my home, I hear such a clatter,
I peeks out the cave to see what the matter!
When, what to my bloodshot eyes should appear,
A sight that Jeff Foxworthy made his career.

A rusted out, smoke belching '72 van,
The modern day version of the Jed Clampett clan.
It was covered with stickers, from "Jesus is Lord!",
To some mean little kid takin' a leak on a Ford.
A Chevy crammed with Rednecks - all that could fits,
Mo' damn crackers than a box full of Ritz!

More rapid than bail jumpers my wife's kin they did came,
She whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
Hey Jim-Bob! Hey Dooley! Hey Bubba and Cale;
Hey Buckshot! Hey Skeeter. When you get outta jail?

From the corner of my eye, I see Cousin Boford,
I never did like him, he's light in the loafers.

They just got here, not sure I can hack it,
It's time to be fitted for a Caveman Straight Jacket.
A twitch of my eye, a sharp pain in my head,
Here comes that aneurysm that I've always dread;

To my wife, who I love more than she knows;
But that nut-job family of hers gots to go!

From the top of the roof! I'm all dressed in cammo!
My high-powered rifle; I got enough ammo.
Now haul ass! Grab your kids! Get up and scoot!
Don't dawdle or waste time; I'm libel to shoot!

And I exclaimed as they left, as I cut off the porch light,
"Happy Thanksgiving y'all, now stay the hell outta my sight!!"

JESUS WANTS ME FOR A...WTF???

What NOT to include in the next music issue



RSCT to Damian Thompson, who says that this is the "English Bishops' model for Catholic liturgy in the 21st century." I'm sure there are some American Bishops who feel the same way.

Peace,
BMP

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

to all our readers! Oh, and...

ALARM CLOCKS SUCK!
Peace,
BMP

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

MY NEW FAVORITE CAT MISCHIEF

Ever feel like this?



Lately? Hmmmmmmm! (Got this from the wife, too, BTW)
Peace,
BMP

MEMORIES OF PAYING THESE PRICES

Ah yes, before the Bush regime came in, we had these prices pictured below (backdropped behind the confusing STOP/NO STOPPING sign set). RSCT to Ann Page, my loving wife. BTW - average price in RI for regular (87 octane) no-lead as I write this is $3.07 a gallon.



This might have you scratching your head as well, probably even more than the STOP/NO STOPPING cluster:


Peace,
BMP

CATHOLIC CARNIVAL 146

is up and runnin' at We Belong to the Lord (Domini Sumus). Our contribution this week was the take on Poncho Ladies™ as given by Catholic Culture. Enjoy!
Peace,
BMP

Monday, November 19, 2007

MY JOB LEAD FROM YESTERDAY MORNING...

...was not very impressing. First, let's reveal the music list the choir did.

Come, ye thankful people, come..."St. George's Windsor"
(They started with an excellent hymn. I was supposed to open with this one till getting sacked.)
Gloria was said.
The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice...Alstott
Alleluia...Alstott (the one in C, 3/4 time)
So far, ok.

Now:
How great thou art
(Talk about reeking of sentimentalism! Even to the point of one lady, I'll say mid to late 40's, sitting in front of me singing and hugging a snotrag and taking it to the eyes every few seconds!)
St. Louis Jesuits Mass
(with its altered Mass texts - Hosanna, hosanna on high, Amen, alleluia, for ever and ever, and Grant us your peace)
The Lord's Prayer was said.
To be your bread now...Haas
(Yeah, just what we freakin' need - another song about "being bread"!)

Finally:
Amazing Grace (which isn't a favorite of mine, but I don't mind using it when needed)

I don't see any sign of any improvements NOT being frowned on in this parish, as the congregation sang even the crap nice and loudly, often drowning out the stuffy choir of about ten. The organist played EVERYTHING on the swell (the organ was up front and in easy view from where I was sitting), except for the Haas, which was on this little rinky-dink Technics keyboard. The choir swore by Choral Praise like it was their bible. I've run into those types before - it's not pretty, believe me.

When I mentioned this lead to my good friend Fr. Fisette, his response was "I can't picture you working there, Brian." He's very likely right. I trust his word on that one.

Peace,
BMP

DEFINING "COETUS"

Ah yes - coetus - that "stable group" that is required for a Mass to take place in its Extraordinary Form. Well, we had a pretty dang good coetus last night at St. Leo's. In addition, we have a third singer now, a soprano, for next month's EF. Keep this up and we'll have enough of a schola where the pastor will make it High Mass. I like the direction this Mass is going, turnout wise.

Reading Damian Thompson's latest post on English Bishops resisting Summorum Pontificum, has me thinking of my own definition of a "stable group", coming right from the mouth of Our Lord Jesus Christ:

Wherever two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in their midst.

Yup - my definition of a "stable group" or coetus: "two or three". Jesus himself has said so.

Peace,
BMP

Saturday, November 17, 2007

MUSIC FOR HOLY MASS

Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time - November 18, 2007
Holy Cross Church, Providence, RI

I will be serving at the 4:00 PM Saturday and 8:30 AM Sunday Masses, but in a cantor capacity. Organist is the parish music director Ron Almeida, a good friend from the RIPnet boards. Here is the music Ron and I will be doing there.

Ordinary Form
The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice...Alstott
Alleluia...Mode VI
Mass of Creation...Haugen

All people that on earth do dwell..."Old Hundredth"
Come, Holy Spirit, wind and fire..."St. Catherine"
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus!..."Hyfrydol"
The King shall come when morning dawns..."Morning Song"

Also, I will be attending the 11:00 AM Mass Sunday morning at one of my leads - checking the place out, how Mass goes there, etc. The pastor seems to be moving in the right direction liturgically. We'll soon find out. I'll have resume in hand. If all goes right, it will be in the pastor's hand after Mass. If this turns out positive, I will then (and only "then") reveal the lead. I will tell you that the organ is a two-manual pipe organ built by L.A. Carlson. More on that when I learn more. :-D

Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - November 18, 2007
St. Leo the Great Church, Pawtucket, RI

Extraordinary Form/Low Mass - 5 PM Sunday afternoon

Come, ye thankful people, come..."St. George's Windsor"
O Sacrum Convivium...Remondi
Miserere Illi Deus...Montani
- (I podcasted on this piece just last week!)
Now thank we all our God...Nun Danket

Peace,
BMP

Friday, November 16, 2007

I WANT ONE

OK - it's not something to take the family out in, but this sucker gets really good gas mileage going back and forth to work! RSCT to Dymphna's Well.

Peace,
BMP

Thursday, November 15, 2007

OF BEAGLE'S THINGS

OK, y'all. All the times you've read my references to Eagle's Wings as Beagle's Things. I have finally found the copy of the actual song while cleaning on and around my desk in my living room (in an effort to help my wife straighten out the joint). Here it is, as written by the friend of a local friend of mine -- OF BEAGLE'S THINGS. Enjoy!
Peace,
BMP (from my wife's computer, while mine's being rescued by the Geek Squad)

UPDATE 11/21/07: Dad29 calls us "irrepressible". WOOHOO!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Of Beagle's Things

You who dwell in the kennel of the Lord
with your Alpo and Kibbles and Bits;
Sometimes it's Eukanuba;
sometimes it's Gravy Train.

(Refrain)
And he shall speak to you of beagle's things,
rubber toys and chewy things;
Make you to sit in his lap
and pat you on the top of your head.

His collar, his wormer, his visit to the vet;
I want to take care of my pet.
When we come back from "walkies",
he'll get his doggie treat. (to refrain)

The barking, the baying, the howling at the moon;
I hope that he stops it real soon.
It can be most annoying
when he's out of control. (to refrain)

AUF WIEDERSEHEN, HEILEGE GEIST

At this time, I am no longer the music director at Holy Ghost Church. I was let go this morning. I don't completely blame the pastor. I do, however, feel that he's acting upon great pressure from a good amount of parishioners who have nothing better to do than desire to have my arse on a silver platter no matter what I do. I do thank the many who have also supported me over the three years I faithfully served there.

Blogging will be light, and podcasting late, but not for that reason. My computer is being examined by the good ole "Geek Squad" at Best Buy. So, once that's back, things will be regular again, I hope.

In the meantime, I am still doing the Extraordinary Form of the Mass at St. Leo's this Sunday. I'll also be working freelance - any funerals I can get where an organist and/or cantor is unavailable elsewhere.

Please pray for me. Also please rest assured I don't give up that easily, especially when it's a job that is really a labor of love. My job is not done - just at Holy Ghost.

Peace,
BMP

UPDATE 11:00 PM EST 11/15/07: I have my first lead already. I got a return call from a pastor of a Roman Catholic parish in Washington County, RI. In case any locals are reading I'm going to hold off on revealing that lead until something is affirmative. I'm going to one of the Masses this Sunday to check things out, then very likely hand deliver my resume to the pastor. I also have resumes sent out to a parish in Norfolk County, MA, and one in South Carolina. Thanks much for the encouragement already received in the combox. -BMP

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

THE NEW PONCHO LADIES™ THEME SONG

As presented by the Curt Jester. Enjoy!
Peace,
BMP

The Ballad of Brave Priestesses
(tune of "Bravely Bold Sir Robin" from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail")

Bravely bold priestesses rode forth from St. Louis.
They were not afraid of Burke, O brave Priestesses!
They were not at all afraid to be excommunicated,
Brave, brave, brave, brave Priestesses!

They were not in the least bit scared of the male hierarchy,
Or to have their stoles gouged out, and their ponchos broken; (LMAO!)
Or grave canon law and the constant teaching of the Church,
Or that out of touch old man in Rome, brave Priestesses!

Quickly turns into:
Brave Priestesses ran away.
Bravely ran away, away!
When danger reared its ugly head,
They bravely turned their tail and fled.
Yes, brave Priestesses turned about
And gallantly they chickened out.
Bravely taking to their feet
They beat a very brave retreat,
Bravest of the brave, Priestesses!

THE RESULTS ARE IN AT THE USCCB

Rocco at Whispers in the Loggia reports:

USCCB President with 85% of the vote: Cardinal George, OMI
VP: Bishop Kicanas (Thank God it's not Trautman!)
Treasurer: Archbishop Kurtz
Cultural Diversity in Life of the Church -- Archbishop Gomez
Clergy, Consecrated Life and Religious -- Cardinal O'Malley, OFM Cap.
Catholic Education -- Auxiliary Bishop Curry
Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs -- Archbishop Gregory
Evangelization and Catechesis -- Bishop Malone
International Justice and Peace -- Bishop Hubbard
Canonical Affairs and Church Governance -- Auxiliary BishopPaprocki
Protection of Children and Young People -- Bishop Cupich of Rapid City

As of Thursday, the Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy (BCL) as we know it will become the Committee for Divine Worship. Rocco reports that this committee will consist of an "all-star" lineup "TBA". Bp. Trautman will have stepped down, and Bp. Serratelli will have taken place. This change in reins is most welcome! Bp. Serratelli is also the US Representative to the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).

Peace,
BMP

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

CATHOLIC CARNIVAL 145

is up and runnin' at Adam's Ale. I particularly like Fr. Valencheck's creative coloring of the Catholic Carnival 145 title in his post. CV contribution for the week: my missive on Disney not necessarily being safe watching for the kiddies. Another really cool post - really cute if you ask me - is Domini Sumus' post on Toddler Theology (her three-year-old son really knows his stuff). BTW, Domini Sumus is hosting CC 146 next week!

Peace,
BMP

CHRISTUS VINCIT ANYWHERE! 104



You can listen below, or save the file by clicking here. (28:47/26.3 MB)
We've done away with commercials starting with this episode. Instead, we urge you to make regular and generous use of the Christus Vincit Interactive Corner on our main page, and to visit Disciples with Microphones for many other great Catholic podcasts.

Today we present a lost 45 with a excellent text, but a somewhat controversial tune - Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.

Feasts for the week:
St. Josephat; St. Martin I; St. Frances Xavier Cabrini; St. Didacus; St. Albert the Great;
St. Margaret of Scotland; St. Gertrude; St. Elizabeth of Hungary; St. Gregory the Wonder-Worker
For more information, see the New Advent Website

What We Have Done, and What We Are Going to Do: Reviewing the music of the Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time, then a rundown of the music list for the Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Music:
We Gather Together (tune: Kremser)
Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken (tune: Austria)
You Take Away, by Bob Hughes, courtesy of Podsafe.

Shamus' Adventures in Classical Latin: brought to you by Organ Hero I for PrayStation 3 (Click on image at left for better detail). Today, Shamus wreckovates Miserere Illi Deus.

Additional links:
Chabanel Psalm Project, GIA Publications,
Cyberhymnal.org, St. Leo the Great Church (Pawtucket, RI)

CVA Interactive Corner

CATHOLIC CULTURE ON PONCHO LADIES™

I got this from Catholic Culture via e-mail. At least these people have the backbone and the decency to put the word "ordination" in quotation marks when referring to the creating of new poncho ladies™. I like this. (emphases mine) Enjoy!
Peace,
BMP
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

When the Pope closed the question of female priests in 1994, he explained that the Church has no authority to ordain women. Our Lord did not provide for it. I don't mean that God forgot; obviously if God does not provide for something, it is because He has excluded it from His plan.

One can imagine reasons for this: The priest is identified with the incarnate Son, who is always referenced in Revelation as masculine, and who is male in His human nature. But the point is not that we can completely understand God's reasons, but that the Church can't make up her own religion. She can teach and do only what God has authorized her to teach and do.

Despite this inescapable fact, a group called Roman Catholic Womenpriests has been busy "ordaining" women whenever possible, most recently last Sunday at a Jewish synagogue in St. Louis. The participants were warned in advance by Archbishop Raymond Burke that they would be excommunicated if they went through with it. They did, and they were.

All of this provides an occasion for a deeper reflection on the priesthood, which the Archdiocese of St. Louis has provided in The Nature of Priestly Ordination: Theological Background and Some Present Concerns. This contains links to several other key documents on the ordination of women, including John Paul II's Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

Female "ordinations" don't "take", of course. They are not only illicit but invalid, so they don't happen. Another way dissident Catholics attempt to solve this problem is to eliminate the special priesthood altogether. That, apparently, is what the Dominican Order is trying to do in The Netherlands. See my latest blog entry, The Mass and the Dominicans in Holland.

MY WIFE GAVE ME ONE HELL OF A FACIAL

Hey, this might be a big improvement for me!

My wife Ann was playing around in http://www.miniclip.com, a gaming site and found a new game where you can take pictures and give facials.

Here's the before:


Now the after:


OK - she went easy on me. Just picture what you could do with pictures of dissenters of the faith. Make them look as twisted as they really are! Just go to http://www.miniclip.com/games/putty-face/en/ and go to town with your favorite picture!

Peace,
BMP

NEW USCCB MUZAK DOCUMENT DEMOTED

...from law to a mere advisory, meaning that it doesn't need approval of the Vatican. I guess it wasn't all that great after all, and a certain outgoing BCL head knew the Vatican would reject it for its probable misinterpretations and contradictions from what Holy Mother Church really said.

One can only speculate, of course, those with destructive liberal agenda will try to pass said advisory as law.

Something "fishy" taking place? Thank God he's retiring and Bp. Serratelli takes over as BCL head!

WCRSCT to Jeffrey Tucker at NLM.

Peace,
BMP

Saturday, November 10, 2007

CVTV and PYRO TV

Some great news for any CVTV fans out there:



is now available on



The channel link is http://www.pyro.tv/channels/17628/4. You can also simply click on the Pyro.tv logo above.

Peace,
BMP

JUST WHEN YOU THINK ST. JOAN'S IS BAD

Rochester Catholic can tell you some stories of what happened when he studied his way back to THIS side of the Tiber!
(WCRSCT to Gerald, who tipped the Curt Jester)
(snarky remarks mine, and in sans serif; the actual excerpts below in serif)

(Excerpts):
When I finally returned, it wasn't too long before I found out that I had entered a parallel universe of Catholicism as it exists in the Rochester diocese.

This parallel universe is the home of a permutation of the Catholic faith that is in some ways barely recognizable in the context of the historical and universal Church. This permutation has resulted in a dearth of vocations, the closing of churches, the closing of schools, and a dramatic decline in Mass attendance.

I thought it would be interesting to recount some of the things that I have experienced or been informed of in this parallel universe since I returned to the Church. I am sure that some of these events will resonate with you. As you read through them, it will be good to remember that these types of abuses will eventually die out. (I would say so - Bishop, I use that term loosely, Clark's been there 30 years; he's gotta retire sometime.) There is a restoration coming. This you can be sure of.

-The first parish that I experienced on my journey home had a preponderance of women with very short hair, dressed in albs, and pretending to be priests. They proclaimed the gospel, gave the homilies, and walked around with Moonie smiles. The last Mass that I participated in at this parish featured a woman homilist who serenaded us with the song "A Bridge Over Troubled Water". It was an appropriate farewell to the stormy seas of this parish that was attempting to prove that women have more testosterone than men. (OH GOD! The Poncho Ladies™ have invaded Rochester! Incidentally, I once had to endure a visiting priest bellow out the Theme from Mahogany - "Do you know where you're going to?" With that, I thought I was going to hell!)

-There was the seven year old girl who participated in the Consecration as part of her First Communion ceremony. (You mean there wasn't a whole class taking part, gathering around the table like one big happy family? Wipe that smile off your face, Spirit of Vatican II, it's sarcasm!)

-There were the liturgies at my daughters' high school in which the priest would stop the Mass and take a vote on which Eucharistic prayer to use. The group that yelled the loudest would win. At the end of Mass, the priest would walk around the room throwing candy to the crowd and high fiving everyone in sight. (Who inspired who? This or the infamous Barney blessing?)

-There was the "Insta Mass" at the University of Rochester at which students in torn blue jeans sat on stuffed couches around a coffee table and celebrated the Eucharist. (I'll admit when he first said "Insta Mass", I thought he meant in and out in 10 minutes.)

-There is the preponderance of homilies that instruct us that all religions are equal pathways to salvation.

-There is the preponderance of homilies that instruct us to love, love, love. That is unless the other person is an orthodox Catholic.

-There was the time that I was chastised by a priest for genuflecting before I received the Eucharist. He held up the Communion line while he scolded me in front of everyone within earshot. (Ah, someone from the Bishop, also used loosely, Tod Brown school of liturgy: GET UP! YOU'RE MAKING A SCENE!)

-Hearing that the only purpose of the Communion rail was to keep the barnyard animals out of the Sanctuary during the pre-Vatican II Church. (Apparently someone actually was stupid enough to give the faithful the impression that people once brought their goats to church! Naaaaaaaah! Billy, git back outside! What in tarnation?)

-Being continually informed that the killing of babies through abortion is of no more significance than a host of other social issues. Air pollution, poverty, universal health care, global warming, and welfare programs are all just as important.

-Having Catholic lay people and priests from outside our diocese constantly exclaim: "You're from Rochester? Oh, you poor thing! How have you ever managed to remain a Catholic?" (That's an easy answer - despite what he's been taught, he knows the truth and that said truth will make him free.)

There is plenty more (Rochester Catholic actually has two posts on this matter!) Now, St. Joan's is bad, yes. And no, it's not ok. But there are worse out there as well.

Peace,
BMP

ANOTHER USCCB POLL IN THE BLOGOSPHERE

An update to my earlier post

The American Papist has a REAL poll going for the USCCB (btw, thank you Thomas for the mention). No, I don't mean REAL, as in our votes actually choose which prelates are going to hold an office, but REAL, as in it's an interactive poll that actually gives you the up-to-the-minute results of who we as bloggers and blog readers would like to see (but won't necessarily will see) hold an office within the USCCB. BTW, not all the offices are represented here.

I, of course, cast my vote and here are the results after I voted:

Vice President (18 votes cast)
Dolan's in the lead with 44%. I picked Rigali, who is second at 28%. Four prelates, including the Fish, have 0%.

Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (chairman, for a three-year term) (8 votes cast)
My pick, O'Malley, has ALL the votes right now.

Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth (chairman, for a three-year term) (4 votes cast)
My pick, Schwietz, and Vann are in a dead heat.

Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, chairman-elect (6 votes cast)
My pick, Gregory, has ALL the votes at this time.

Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, chairman-elect (3 votes cast)
My pick, Cupich, has ALL the votes as I write this.

Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, chairman-elect (11 votes cast)
My hero, Burke, has 82% of the vote! WOOHOO!

The real vote by the bishops will take place when the meet in Baltimore this Monday.
Peace,
BMP

Thursday, November 8, 2007

OUR BLOG'S READABILITY IS...

cash advance

WCRSCT to Domini Sumus, whose blog scored "Genius" (way to go!). We're a bit mouthier, thus the "undergrad" level. But that's ok. That's what happen when "the guys" get a blog! (snark snark!)

Peace,
BMP

THE LATEST IN PONCHO LADY™ ORDINATIONS

is to be hosted by a female rabbi and will be performed in her synagogue. Here's the skinny from the National Catholic Distorter (WCRSCT to Gerald).
(snarky little rude interruptions mine)

Woman rabbi takes the heat for Catholic ordinations
By PAMELA SCHAEFFER, St. Louis

Two Catholic women are being (")ordained(" - quotation marks added by yours truly, since the folk at the Distorter are too stupid to add them themselves!) by Roman Catholic Womenpriests here Nov. 11, prompting outrage from Catholic officials -- outrage that, surprisingly, is directed less at the women aspiring to the Catholic priesthood (poncho lady™hood), or at the movement (")ordaining(") them, than toward a rabbi who agreed to host the event.

The women to be (")ordained(") are Elsie Hainz McGrath, a retired writer and editor for a Catholic publishing house, and Rose Marie Dunn Hudson, a former teacher. Bishop Patricia Fresen, who was for many years a Dominican nun, (")ordained(") the women as deacons Aug. 12 (Aw, crap! I missed it. I was actually doing better things that day, like celebrating my daughter's birthday) and will perform the ceremony (pig circus) here. The women are among a growing number of deacons, priests and bishops (")ordained(") in the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement. Based on responses to formal invitations, Hudson said organizers are expecting 300 to 400 to attend.

Noting that ordaining women is forbidden by Catholic canon law (I refrained from adding quotes here, since this phrase is truth), St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke wrote to Rabbi Susan Talve, senior rabbi at Central Reform Congregation -- the synagogue host -- urging her to revoke her offer of hospitality (Abp. Burke is my hero! Seriously!). Meanwhile, the director of the archdiocesan Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Fr. Vincent A. Heier, has excoriated Talve for her role, likening it to a Catholic pastor inviting a Holocaust denier to speak, and describing Talve’s action as a major setback to the area’s strong, hard-won Jewish-Catholic relations.

The president of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association, Rabbi Mark Fasman finds it inappropriate for a synagogue to host an event no Catholic parish would allow and, though stressing that he speaks only for himself, acknowledged that among rabbis he is not alone. He is worried that what should be a Catholic issue -- whether women can be ordained -- will provoke a backlash against Jews. (At least Rabbi Fasman is making sense!)

Responding to Catholic concerns, the Jewish Community Relations Council released a statement Oct. 26 distancing itself and other Jewish congregations from Talve’s decision, stressing that Judaism is non-hierarchical and congregations are autonomous. “It is our hope that an isolated act on the part of a single congregation will not be allowed to disrupt the long tradition of continued dialogue and mutual respect between our Jewish and Roman Catholic communities,” the statement said.

The fracas is one that Ronald Modras, professor of theological studies at St. Louis University, finds both fascinating and profoundly symbolic. “It’s a remarkable demonstration of sisterhood,” he said. “You have women of two faiths, Catholic and Jewish, standing together against patriarchal exclusion.” He referred to Talve’s risking the ire of Catholic officials and rabbinical colleagues, both groups predominantly male, and the Catholic women’s bucking Catholic law.

Talve, founding rabbi of Central Reform Congregation, a former president of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association and herself active in interfaith affairs, is the most prominent female rabbi in St. Louis (enough so that her actions could give her bad name, even with Jews). Her urban congregation is noted for its inclusiveness and commitment to social justice (sounds like some of the nutcases I know in Catholic circuits). While Talve said she regrets the pain her action has caused to Catholic and other Jewish leaders, she is not backing down.

“These two lovely women who say they want to serve their community approached us. One of our core values is hospitality and providing a shelter of peace for those who are looking for a safe place. It seemed in keeping with these values, which come right from the Torah, to provide a space for them,” she said.

This isn’t the first time Heier, the archdiocesan official, has found Talve’s values misguided. “She has done a number of things in the past few years that I think are borderline in terms of sensitivity, pushing an agenda I don’t always agree with.” In this latest action, he said, “she has moved beyond the bounds.”

For Talve, the surprise is not such anger, but the number of positive responses she has received. Just as St. Louis Jews take differing stances on Talve’s decision -- she secured the unanimous vote of her board and the support of her congregation (that she herself apparently misguided) before agreeing to serve as host -- many Catholics have come forward to thank her for sharing her sacred space. “I have received dozens of letters, scores of e-mails and many phone calls from Catholics -- women religious especially -- who are in support of our hosting the ordination and understand the values that are guiding us,” she said. “It is painful and sad for me that there are people in the Catholic community who are offended by this.”

The Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement dates to 2002 when seven women were (")ordained(") priests by an Argentinian bishop. Since then, according to members of the movement, other male bishops “in full communion with the pope,” have (")ordained(") three women bishops, including Patricia Fresen, the former nun. By the end of this year, more than 40 women will have been ordained by the movement.

And more are in the pipeline. Roman Catholic Womenpriests presently has about 150 women in various stages of formation around the world, according to Gerry Rauch, vice president of the Women’s Ordination Conference board. “Every time there is a public (")ordination("), the numbers grow,” she said. (Yeah, but they're no longer Catholic.)

The movement’s leaders contend that the ordained women stand in the apostolic line descending from Jesus and his apostles -- a succession that the Catholic church regards as a hallmark of clerical authenticity. So their ordinations are valid (bull$&!+), they say, if illegal under church law.

Catholic officials don’t agree (me neither). Lawrence J. Welch, professor of systematic theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary and spokesman for the St. Louis archdiocese on the upcoming (")ordinations("), told NCR that as far as the archdiocese is concerned, “it isn’t a Catholic service, or ceremony or liturgy, because it is not in unity with the church.” As for the male bishops who performed some of the earlier (")ordinations("), “they were not acting in union with the pope,” so any claims to women in apostolic succession is wrong, he said.

In keeping with a form developed by Roman Catholic Womenpriests, both McGrath and Hudson have completed a course of pre-(")ordination(") studies and were previously (")ordained(") as deacons. Both women are converts and both have long been involved in service to the church. Each has four children and 11 grandchildren. (McGrath lost a 12th grandchild to a car accident three years ago.)

Hudson, a longtime teacher, was certified by the St. Louis archdiocese as a lay pastoral minister in 1998, after completing a two-year formation program, and received a master’s degree in pastoral studies in an extension program offered by Loyola University, New Orleans. She was the first woman to serve as parish council president at her former parish, St. Joseph Catholic Church in Farmington, Mo. (Gee, why "former", I wonder?!)

McGrath worked with the St. Louis archdiocese to develop a family life commission, earned an undergraduate degree in theology at St. Louis University while working as a secretary in the theology department in the 1980s. Invited to join the editorial staff at Liguori, the Catholic publishing house, she stayed for 12 years, while earning a master’s degree from Aquinas Institute of Theology in 2002. Her late husband was an (legitimately, most likely) ordained deacon in the St. Louis archdiocese, and she attended courses with him throughout a rigorous formation program. (He's probably rolling in his grave umpteen times over with his wife's current path of travel!)

Beginning Dec. 1, McGrath and Hudson will lead a faith community, celebrating Saturday evening liturgies at First Unitarian Church in St. Louis, across the street from Talve’s synagogue (because they don't DARE try to lead worship in any of them real Catholic churches). “I don’t know what kind of attendance we will have (none, if people are smart),” Hudson said, “but I know there are many people on the margins of the church (little does she know, she's one of them), and we think they will come. If they want to attend their own parish as well, they will still have that option on Sunday.” She added: “We are not calling our community a Catholic parish (THANK GOD!). We don’t want to be schismatic (sorry, too late!). But we will not hide the fact (wet dream) that we are Roman Catholic priests.”

Talve, while refraining from offering an opinion on what the Catholic church should do, wishes the women well. “I understand the call of women who want to serve in this way, and I believe women have something special to give. I have experienced this in my own life.”

Peace,
BMP

ORGAN HERO

The Curt Jester recently announced the release of the latest in organ education products - Organ Hero I for Praystation 3. If you've had your fill of Guitar Hero and you want a challenge, then Organ Hero is the toy for you. I love the fact that the game comes with a three-manual console (I've always felt two-manual consoles are too small, and four-manual consoles are too big), however, I don't know if I'd be able to fit my behind on that stool.

Pedalboard optional.
Peace,
BMP

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

CHRISTUS VINCIT ANYWHERE! 103



You can listen below, or save the file by clicking here. (45:59/42.1 MB)
Our first Catholic Lost 45 in eons comes in the form of a Latin responsory: Miserere Illi Deus by Nicola A. Montani. A special thank you to Lynn McCaw from the Catholic Tradition Network - Music message boards for his translation from Latin to English.

Feasts for the week:
Four Crowned Martyrs; Dedication of St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome;
St. Theodore; St. Andrew Avellino; SS. Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha;
St. Leo the Great. For more information, New Advent Website.

What We Have Done, and What We Are Going to Do: Reviewing the music of All Saints and the Thirty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time, then a rundown of the music list for the Thirty-Second Sunday of Ordinary Time.

Music:
Remember, Lord, thy Servants and I Will Praise Your Name for Ever (both written by yours truly);
Ye Watchers and Ye Holy Ones (tune: Lasst uns Erfreuen);
Miserere Illi Deus (written by Nicola A. Montani); I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say (tune: Kingsfold);
Anima Christi, by Paul Lisney, courtesy of Podsafe.
There's a bunch of impromptu filler stuff by yours truly as well.

Commercials: SaintCast, iPadre Podcasting Network, Disciples with Microphones
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Mass for the Dead Edition, brought to you courtesy of Christ Extra Whitening Toothpaste.

Blogger's Choice Awards (Voting open until November 11, 2007) / CVA Interactive Corner

WHAT'S THAT DAY CALLED
THAT FALLS LATE IN DECEMBER?

Is it called "Holiday"? NO! It's "Christmas", with a capital "C". I'm not a big fan of this style of pop, even in a secular sect, but I AM a big fan of the message in this tune. WCRSCT to Domini Sumus.



Peace,
BMP

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

CATHOLIC CARNIVAL 144

...is up and runnin'! In fact, for the first time, the Catholic Carnival is hosted by our good friend Lyn F., the Organ-ic Chemist. For the first time in over a month, we actually sent in a story - the one about the English-speaking Church getting the short end of the stick when it comes to liturgy.

Enjoy!
Peace,
BMP

Monday, November 5, 2007

DISNEY GONE BAD

OK - just a couple of minutes ago, I heard this quote on a TV show called Life with Derek, found on (of all channels), the Disney Channel:

Hey, wanna go swap spit? Maybe play some tonsil hockey?

The words in itself may not be so bad on a "normal" channel, but come on - this is Disney. My ten-year-old daughter watches this channel. It's one of those channels you would expect to be a clean channel. Pretty sad when you try to exercise parental control and no matter what, you're screwed.
What next?! Never mind.

Peace,
BMP

Sunday, November 4, 2007

BAPTISM AT THE TAJ MAHONY

Except that the Cathedral's pastor, not the Cardinal, is performing this baptism. Looks more like a party. Was this once on America's Funniest Home Videos?

WCRSCT to Gerald.



Hors d'euvres in the "gathering plaza" (their words) after the ceremony.
Peace,
BMP

MUSIC FOR HOLY MASS

Sunday XXXII of Ordinary Time - November 11, 2007
Holy Ghost Church, Tiverton, RI

We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing..."Kremser"
Gloria VIII...Mode V
Lord, when your glory appears...Ostrowski
Alleluia...Murray
You satisfy the hungry heart..."Bicentennial"
Community Mass...Proulx
Lord's Prayer (English)...Chant
My shepherd is the Lord...Gelineau
Praise the Lord, ye heav'ns, adore him..."Hymn to Joy"

Peace,
BMP

SURVIVOR: NFL

A special presentation of Christus Vincit Sports



Two undefeated tribes, uh, teams - One coveted prize:
TO REMAIN UNDEFEATED!

And we have a winner:

THE O'MALLEY PATRIOTS!

Final score: O'Malley Patriots 24, Buechlein Colts 20

The Pats were down 20-10 with a little over nine minutes to go in the game, until they came up with two last ditch effort touchdowns: one with almost eight minutes to go, and the final blow with 3:15 left.

Incidentally, 24 is the least amount of points the Pats have scored all season, and is less than half the number of points scored last week (52) against the Wuerl Redskins.

All I can say is: GO PATS!

Peace,
BMP

Saturday, November 3, 2007

CAN'T AFFORD TO DRIVE MY CAR (Off-topic)

The gas these days is just way too expensive! Here is Bob Rivers and the Diesles to tell you about it. This might just make me wanna git a horse and ride the horse to church (YEEEEEEEEEE-HAW, YIP-YIP-YIPPEEEEEEEEEE!). Have a six-shooter will travel, y'all!

Enjoy!
Peace,
BMP

IF YOU HAD A SAY IN ALL THIS...

...Who would you vote for?

WCRSCT (WORLD CHAMPION Red Sox Cap Tip) to Domini Sumus, who has the skinny on the forthcoming USCCB elections. I decided to make a meme out of this - thus the first meme I've ever written.

Just like in secular government, unions, and such, our Bishops take part in elections for officers in their little "union". Now - we can't take part in these elections (these are limited to our American bishops). But, if you had your way, who would you vote for?

Here are the ballots:

President and Vice President:
Bishop Gregory M. Aymond of Austin, Texas
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of Milwaukee
Cardinal Francis George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago
Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky
Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut
Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia (my pick for pres)
Bishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Duluth, Minnesota
Bishop Donald W. Trautman of Erie, Pennsylvania (hell no!)
Bishop Allen H. Vigneron of Oakland, California (my pick for VP)

Treasurer-elect:
Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia (my pick)
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky
(I don't know much about either of these two - so I guessed.)

Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church (chairman, for a two-year term)
Bishop Richard J. Garcia of Monterey, California (my pick)
Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of San Antonio
(Another pair I know nothing about - so another guess.)

Committee on National Collections (chairman, for a two-year term)
Bishop Ronald P. Herzog of Alexandria, Louisiana (my pick - not a guess)
Archbishop John G. Vlazny of Portland, Oregon

Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth (chairman, for a three-year term)
Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, OMI, of Anchorage, Alaska (my pick)
Bishop Kevin W. Vann of Fort Worth, Texas

Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (chairman, for a three-year term)
Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM Cap, Archbishop of Boston (my pick)
Bishop George L. Thomas of Helena, Montana

Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, chairman-elect
Archbishop Raymond L. Burke of St. Louis (my pick - hands down)
Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago

Committee on Catholic Education, chairman-elect
Bishop Thomas J. Curry, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles
Bishop Walter J. Edyvean, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston (my pick)

Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, chairman-elect
Bishop Tod D. Brown of Orange, California (hell no!)
Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta (my pick)

Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, chairman-elect
Bishop Richard J. Malone of Portland in Maine (my pick)
Bishop Richard E. Pates, Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Committee on International Justice and Peace, chairman-elect
Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, New York
Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York (my pick)

Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, chairman-elect
Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California
Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City, South Dakota (my pick)
(a guess)

OK readers. TAG, you're it!
Peace,
BMP

THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING CHURCH

getting the short end of the stick!

Damian Thompson is not alone in his rant about Catholic music in England. We have an American priest who lived in England for quite some time, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, who not only calls the Catholic Church in England a wasteland when it comes to liturgical music, but states that the Catholic Church in America is not much better. Truthfully, it's NO better here in the states. Same banal species of ditties, just different "composers" writing them. (World Champion Red Sox cap tip to the Curt Jester)

Fr. Longenecker writes:
Surely a hymn is first, and foremost part of our worship. That means the words are words that we use to address our praise, adoration and worship of God. So much of the stuff I come across isn't that at all. Instead it is sentimental language in which God talks to us to reassure us, make us feel better and comfort or inspire us. So..."Be not afraid...for I am always with you...Come follow me.. etc" This may be a pleasant enough devotional song to remind us of God's promises, and there may be times when it is appropriate to sing such songs, but Mass is not one of those times. We're not really at Mass to sing God's comforting words to ourselves. We're there to worship Him.

Yep... the old "Christ our Buddy" network of banal ditties. That's about right.

Another problem are hymns that simply put Scripture verses to music. "I am the bread of life...he who comes to me shall not hunger...etc" Again, the music may be pleasant and the words of Scripture are undeniably wonderful and true, but it simply isn't a hymn. The words are the words of Jesus about himself. They are not words of praise, worship and adoration addressed to God.

And let's not forget the old I myself am the bread of life; you and I are the bread of life - not only singing the direct words of Christ in the first line, but giving the false impression in the second line that Christ said that we are too.

The final problem is that too many hymn writers seem to have little understanding of either Scripture, the symbols and types of the faith or the theology of the faith. The great old hymns that have stood the test of time were written from the authors' deep immersion in the great themes of Scripture, the great stories of the Old Testament and the great theological concepts that inspire and instruct us as we sing. The newer stuff tends to be dumbed down, sentimental and weak.

Living proof: All are welcome. Any song that dumbs down a church to a banquet hall on holy ground is the perfect candidate to meet a book of matches. It's no wonder where people get this "worship space" bull$&!+ from. I've turned down jobs from parishes whose pastors or "pastoral assistants" (read: "pastor wannabes") who actually used that term in the job description.

So what's a poor old convert priest like me to do? One experiences some pressure to 'give them what they like.' My inclination is to 'give them what they need.'

These three sentences remind us of our snark brother Jason's famed post: The Pastoral Musician: A True Shepherd of the Thief at the Gate? Jason concludes with:

Using the metaphorical rod and staff from the Psalm (23), balanced with timing and education, the flock will get what they need, and come to know that what they need is really what they want, too.

The true definition of "pastoral" - giving his sheep what they NEED, not merely what they WANT. Back to Fr. Longenecker's post, we read:

In other words, to select hymns on the correct criteria and not bother whether they are 'new' or 'old'. I'm sure there are some worthy modern hymns just as there are some awful old hymns. Then we have to educate those in our charge to understand what a hymn is for and what makes a good hymn--and it's not just the ones we happen to like.

No doubt at all. Sure, I'll program Lord, who at thy first Eucharist didst pray over One Bread, one Body anytime. But at that same token, I won't touch Mother, at your feet is kneeling or Good night, sweet Jesus with a 39-1/2 foot pole either. All one has to do is refer back to my nine-part post series, reviewing the 2008 OCP Music Issue (select "September 2007" in our drop-down archives on our sidebar), and you'll find that "yes, there ARE some good new hymns out there".

Finally, it seems to me that the underlying problem with the contemporary hymns is an almost universal lack of understanding in the modern American Catholic Church about what Mass is in the first place. If it is a gathering of friendly Christian people around the table of fellowship in order to get strength and encouragement from one another as we all think about Jesus, why then the contemporary hymns fit the bill very nicely, but then, so would quite a few snippets of music I can think of like--"My favorite things" from The Sound of Music.

Yeah, that mere "gathering" intelligence, oh, and "unity" too. I see a big problem, often with hymns selected at the Entrance and the Communion. You see, the GIRM says that these songs should "foster unity" among those gathered. It didn't say anything about bragging about it, like many of these newer songs seem to do.

Father finishes up:

But, it can be protested, not all parishes can manage to have a grand organ, a paid organist and a fine choir. True, and that's why the church recommends Gregorian Chant. With a little effort and just a little expense a small group of singers can learn Gregorian Chant which beatifies the liturgy simply and give is the transcendental glory that our worship deserves, and to tell you the truth, once you develop a taste for Gregorian chant--it's pretty comforting too.

Again, "what they need will be what they want too."

And, back to the thing about the English-speaking church getting the short end of the stick when it comes to liturgy: I recall stories being told not long ago about a church in Medugorje where the German Mass was beautifully done, as was the Croatian Mass, and the Polish Mass, etc., but sadly, the same could not be said about the English Mass (it was typical American fare with little, if any, sense of the sacred, from the stories I got).

Finally, check out Fr. Longenecker's sequel on the above mentioned post, regarding youth and informal liturgies. Excellent!

And now: the "Thank You" Section

I'll finish here with a big thank you to Damian Thompson, who gave us this plug in his hat tip for our post on that hideous Our Father video:

Hat tip to a fantastic American blog, Christus Vincit, devoted to exposing bad liturgical music. It’s run by three Catholic parish musicians who don’t mince their words.

That's the best one I've heard since Anthony at Jumping without a Chute referred to us in his sidebar when I first saw it a couple of years ago (and it's still there) as "music ministers who get it!!!!!!" (yes, he did use SIX exclamation points).

Peace,
BMP

Friday, November 2, 2007

ODE TO A PONCHO LADY™

Got this from the Curt Jester. One of his readers sent it to him. Apparently a parody from Gilbert and Sullivan. Anyhoo, this is hilarious, not to mention, a Golden Snark Award - we gotta come up with one of those soon, eh? - for proper use of the ™ trademark symbol. Enjoy!
Peace,
BMP
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
I am the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™
I have no valid sacramental ordination in the least
I celebrate Diversity supremely superficially
Conjoining L-G-B-T couples controversially

I’m very well acquainted, too, with Eco-Cycle-Mania
I generate more laughter than O-BER-on and Titania
I feel a Call To Action is required by the Spirit, now
As far as Modern Norms of Civil DisobediENCE Allow

As far as Modern Norms of Civil DisobediENCE Allow
As far as Modern Norms of Civil DisobediENCE Allow
As far as Modern Norms of Civil DisobediENCE allow-alLOW-ALLOW-ALLOW-ALlow-allow

I’m very skilled at irritating stodgy old Conservatives
Prefer to buy All-Natural so I eschew preservatives
In short, in Matters Feminist, where Common Sense is now deceased
I am the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™

In short, in Matters Feminist, where Common Sense is now deceased
She is the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™

I know Mass rubrics well and I ignore them as traditional
I long for Inclusivity so I deplore Partitonal–
Division in the Worship Space or on a floating river craft
And had my feelings hurt when gentlemen like Father Rutler laughed

I practice Wiccan rituals like Harvesting the Springtime Mead
Don’t knock McBrien, Thomas Fox and other authors that I read
(snark note: I think the author meant "Matthew Fox")
I advocate for Wymyn’s Health and Peace & Justices issues, too
And whistle all the catchy tunes from OCP and Worship II

And whistle all the catchy tunes from OCP and Worship II
And whistle all the catchy tunes from OCP and Worship II
And whistle all the catchy tunes from OCP and Worship II-tee-II-tee-II-tee-II-tee-II-tee-II
(snark note: Worship II is actually a very good hymnal. Gather II would be more fitting for this theme.)

I tend to gossip with the girls; use caution when confessing “sin”
My scarfish-stoles are chosen for the color of the season w’r’in
In short, in Matters Feminist, where Common Sense is now deceased
I am the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™

In short, in Matters Feminist, where Common Sense is now deceased
She is the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™

I pretend that Mary was a priest but question Im-ma-CU-la-ty“
A Loving God/de won’t send to Hell” so fear no Reprobacity
I know Reiki better than a Buddhist Monk from Katmandu
Western Civ is Dominating: don’t believe it’s worth a Sou

I’m suspicious of the male, hierarchical autocracy
We believe our moral precepts should be churned out by democracy
And emasculate the NFL before the Y-chrom spreads some more
Being relegated to a convent just became an awful bore

Being relegated to a convent just became an awful bore
Being relegated to a convent just became an awful bore
Being relegated to a convent just became an awful awful awFUL AWFUL AWFUL AWful bore

Despite my lack of formatory wisdom to be Presbyter
The bishops who ordain us remain hiding with the stench of fear
But still, in Matters Feminist, where Common Sense is now deceased
I am the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™

But still, in Matters Feminist, where Common Sense is now deceased
She is the very model of a RomanCatholicWomanpriest™

KEEP MASS HOLY!

I'm sure many of you have read this lovely missive from a bevy of nuns that call themselves the "National Coalition of American Nuns" (RSCT to Argent, recipient of the Golden Snark Award - do we have one of those yet? - for humorous use of the title "NoCANdo"):

To Each U.S. Roman Catholic Bishop Regarding English Translations For The Liturgy

Dear Bishop, We are writing to you, each U.S. bishop, the U.S. Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy, the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL), and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in regard to the new Vatican-ordered translation of the Liturgy. The Vatican-appointed translators have not produced a translation that is understandable to Catholics in the pews. We understand that, according to a 2005 poll of bishops, 47% of the U.S. bishops rated it "fair or poor". The media has reported that even some bishops are complaining that some texts contain "clunky and archaic language" (Screw the dang media! Haven't you been taught: Never trust the media?). For example, why would the words "consubstantial to the Father" be used in the Creed? What meaning do these words have for 21st century English speaking Catholics? Why use a medieval expression like, "We pray you bid" in the new Missal? This is not the way people speak today in the English-speaking world (Maybe not out in the streets; but what's spoken in the streets and what's spoken at Mass should be at the very least two different things). We need to follow the liturgical principles set forth in the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy from the Second Vatican Council. Article 21 of that document states, "Christian people, as far as possible, should be able to understand them (texts and rites) with ease". The proposed text, "he who was born ineffably of the inviolate Virgin," is not easily understandable to Christian people, much less to the youth who are leaving the Church because of its irrelevancy (If anything, they're leaving the church because they've had it with being treated like complete dummies and being given the impression that Holy Mass is a WIFM - What's In-it For Me - affair!). Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, PA., chair of the U.S. Bishops Committee on the Liturgy, has said the proposed changes by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy are "not acceptable" (Do these nuns know that Bp. Trautman is very soon going to be replaced in the BCL by Bp. Serratelli, a Bishop who actually "gets it" about liturgy?). We agree (We don't). We ask you to make the translations appropriate, meaningful, and significant for today's Catholic (Oh, they are. You may not like the finished product, but the average "today's Catholic" will). Jeannine Gramick SL, Donna Quinn OP, Beth Rindler SFP For the Board of the National Coalition of American Nuns

BTW, yes, the letter is written just like this in the NoCANdo website - with absolutely no paragraph form whatsoever.

Argent also has this excellent reply, from the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, and it makes far better use of paragraphs.

The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy respectfully asks the Bishops of the United States (USCCB) to disregard the recent letter from the National Coalition of American Nuns on Liturgical Translations. We totally disagree with their request to reject a literal and accurate English version of the 2000 Roman Missal based on the typical Latin text. It is our contention as ordained ministers who daily celebrate the sacred liturgy and who serve the spiritual needs of the faithful that they deserve nothing less than total and complete conformity to the authentic and official texts approved by the Holy See.

Since the Eucharistic Sacrifice is the ‘source and summit of Christian life’, it is imperative that the Church’s ministers celebrate digne, atténte ac devote (worthily, with attention and devotion). Reverence is achieved not only by diligently following the rubrics but also by having accurate texts which incorporate sacred language. Ritual (gestures) and Rite (words) make proper worship. Full, conscious and active participation by the faithful in the sacred liturgy is only possible when pedestrian language and banal translations are abandoned once and for all. The congregation is more educated and sophisticated than purported by those who insist accurate and literal translations from the Latin into English would be confusing at best and frustrating at worst.

We live in a culture where the vulgar, crass and obscene are part of everyday conversation. It proliferates the media at all levels: radio, television, movies, theater, magazines, and the internet. Yet, good taste and graceful language are not archaic. Sacred worship requires a sacred vocabulary and nomenclature which expresses the value and need for reverence for ‘the Holy’ and which transcends the secular world and allows the worshipper to approach the threshold of heaven. Accuracy demands that the word consubstantial be restored to the Creed since the Council of Nicea (325) canonized the terms homoouios (Greek) and consubstantialem (Latin). Adjectives which predicate the divinity of Christ, prominent in the Latin, need to be reinserted into the English. Holy, sacred, venerable, and immaculate, etc., are not foreign terms to Catholic vocabulary. Edified language inspires the believer to aspire to those things which are holy and sacred. Banal and pedestrian language lowers us into the gutter. One can and ought to seek a poetic sacred language that uplifts the human spirit to seek the divine rather than being content with the mediocrity of mundane.

These priests say it very well. Excellent letter, Fathers.
Peace,
BMP

Thursday, November 1, 2007

ALL SAINTS DAY

Happy All Saints Day everyone. Everyone have a nice Halloween? We did. We ran (for the first time) a haunted back yard last night. Came out pretty dang good for our first time. I was the guy with the shovel standing near a couple of headstones saying "I ran over these two guys last week with my truck. Would anyone like to be next?" Then, in between groups coming in and going I started singing this parody I concocted last night (to the tune of Wade in the Water) in that same basso profundo that people I work with know me by:

Wait in the graveyard.
Wait in the graveyard, children.
Wait in the graveyard.
I'm gonna trouble the graveyard.

On another note, tonight I have just one Mass - 7 PM with choir.

Now - for all those who program the music that comes from the speakers at the malls - remember what Holy Day today is. Yeah - All Saints. Not Christmas. Remember that when you program your music today will ya? I, for one, love Christmas - WHEN IT'S CHRISTMAS, not two months before! At this time last year, my daughter Jessica worked in a mall store. Sure enough, All Saints Day is when they started whipping out the corniest Christmas music one can find. Bad enough there are radio stations who play it 24/7 from two weeks before Thanksgiving on. Maybe I'll request "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" on Ash Wednesday. That might turn some heads.

Anyhoo - happy All Saints Day!
Peace,
BMP