Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Previous parts:
Pars prima / Pars secunda / Pars tertia / Pars quarta
Pars quinta / Pars sexta / Pars septua

Section H - Diverse Cultures and Languages

57. Even as the liturgical music of the Western European tradition is to be remembered, cherished, and used, the rich cultural and ethnic heritage of the many peoples of our country must also be recognized, fostered, and celebrated. Cultural pluralism has been the common heritage of all Americans, and “the Catholic community is rapidly re-encountering itself as an immigrant Church.” “The cultural gifts of the new immigrants” are “taking their place alongside those of older generations of immigrants,” and this calls for interaction and collaboration between peoples who speak various languages and celebrate their faith in the songs and musical styles of their cultural, ethnic, and racial roots. In order to do so effectively, music publishers need to be encouraged to offer multilingual options for use which would be more expressive of our unity amidst such great diversity.

58. Liturgical music must always be chosen and sung “with due consideration for the culture of the people and abilities of each liturgical assembly.” Immigrants should be welcomed and should be provided with the resources they need to worship in their own language. “Religious singing by the faithful is to be intelligently fostered so that in devotions and sacred exercises as well as in liturgical services, the voices of the faithful may be heard, in conformity with the norms and requirements of the rubrics.” However, as the second
generation of an immigrant group comes to maturity in the worshiping assembly, bilingual (native language and English) resources and songs are needed to promote participation of the multicultural and multigenerational assembly.

59. As dioceses, parishes, and neighborhoods become increasingly diverse, the different cultural groups strive for some expression of unity. In a spirit of hospitality, local worshiping communities are encouraged to develop bicultural or multicultural celebrations from time to time that reflect the changing face of the Church in America. When prepared with an attitude of mutual reciprocity, local communities might eventually expand from those celebrations that merely highlight their multicultural differences to celebrations that better reflect the intercultural relationships of the assembly and the unity that is shared in Christ. Likewise, the valuable musical gifts of the diverse cultural and ethnic communities should enrich the whole Church in the United States by contributing to the repertory of liturgical song and to the growing richness of Christian faith.

60. Liturgical music today must reflect the multicultural diversity and intercultural relationships of the members of the gathered liturgical assembly. The varied use of musical forms such as ostinato refrains, call and response, song translations, and bilingual or multilingual repertoire can assist in weaving the diverse languages and ethnicities of the liturgical assembly into a tapestry of sung praise. Liturgical leaders and musicians should encourage not only the use of traditional music of other languages and peoples, but also the incorporation of newly composed liturgical music appropriate to various cultural expressions in harmony with the theological meaning of the rites. Care should be taken, however, to choose appropriate hymns in other languages so as to avoid an expression that could be misconstrued as tokenism.

The best three solutions in worship with multi-ethnic or multi-lingual communities:
1) Latin - It's the official language of the Church!
2) Latin - Vatican II demands it be preserved!
3) Latin - You'll be surprised how many ethnic groups do very well with it!

That's really all I have to say for that one. The next SotL posting will involve the section on Latin in the Liturgy.


1 comment:

Scelata said...

I disingenuously, when a diocesan priest, who was giving a presentation on Sacramentum Caritatis, bemoaned the lack of unity among the various language groups in our diocese, asked, "Oh, well, what does the DOCUMENT say about language, anything?", knowing full well what the answer was.
While he explained that it advocated the use of, CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS?, Latin, I could practically hear my bishop wincing.

I don't care, I bring it up every chance I get.
How hard is it to grasp?

Incidentally, I thought I read something recently online about riots in which people were killed somewhere in southeast Asia, over which local language worship services would be held in -- did you read that, and can you tell me where it happened? Or did I imagine it?