Liturgy and Music: October 2004 Archives

In Today's Mail


I got an invitation to the "Advent Celebration and Benefit" for the Georgetown Center for Liturgy today. It looked harmless enough, until I opened it.

The "Celebration and Benefit" honors "the 2004 recipients of the National Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Liturgical Life of the American Church"

(How about "Church in America?")

And who's one of the recipients? None other than the Canonizable Marty Haugen. He's giving a talk on "Writing Music for Today's Christians: A Composer Reflects in Word and Song On How It's Done"

Spare me. The man arguably most responsible for turning Liturgical Music into Liturgical Muzak gets to reflect in "Word and Song." Then there's a Mass (probably a Haugenfest) and a buffet reception.

I'm normally not one to turn down a buffet, but after all that I wouldn't have an appetite.

My last thought is, I wonder who should get an award like that? James Chepponis, who writes music that is much more reverent and interesting? I really don't know any other giants of Catholic Liturgy in this age because the age seems to be the terrible long Era of Cheese. Just when some of those jokers should be sunsetted they trot them out for another Award, Mass and Buffet.



The refrain of "For the beauty of the earth" is: "Lord of all, to Thee we raise / This our hymn of grateful praise." It goes along with the tune "Dix", a very stately little number. You can see that text in, for example, the Worship II book.

(And, by the way, while you're looking around, get a load of the composer.)

The editors at Oregon Catholic Press, however, have it: "Lord of all, to you we raise / this our gift of grateful praise." What gives?

Of course, there are two changes in that line, and I can understand one of them: some people want to replace "thee" with "you". I don't think it does any good, but at least there is a rationale behind it. So what's the rationale behind changing "hymn" to "gift"?

I'll tell you my suspicion: once the OCP staff got into the habit of removing references to "He" and "Him", they didn't know where to stop!

Anyway, the OCP publications are really shameless in their editing of classic hymns: they don't even bother to admit it when they do it. Most publishers mark an altered text with the notation "alt." next to the author's name. Not this lot. They expect us to believe that the PC stuff they stick into hymns is original: the perjurers.

Late Debate Thoughts

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I had the debate on while I was doing my first Finance assignment, and was pleased to see Bush do a much better job. Here's some random thoughts:

Style of Substance - so many people seem caught up with the externals: grimacing, posture, tone, etc. It's almost like we're having an audition for President, not an election.

Kerry the Catholic - his abortion answer reminded me of Pontius Pilate: "What is Truth?" It was a meandering rationalization that was strained and insincere.

Kerry and the war - nothing points to Kerry as someone who can continue the Iraq campaign of the terror war with any effectiveness. He never met a weapons or intelligence program that he didn't want to cut. He seems to think he can negotiate the US out of the terror war and out of sticky situations like Iran and North Korea.

Bush's humor - self-deprecation is the mark of someone who is at peace with himself. It was nice to see Bush go on the offensive and have an enjoyable time.

Bush and substance - it was nice to see Bush tackle the meat of the issues in an effective way.

Kerry's closing statement when he said, "I'll say this - and right to the camera" and then turned like Herman Munster to the camera to start his lines. It was as if he was reminding himself to doing something like Reagan...

Music Today


My choir did a great job today. We did the Proulx arrangement of the hymn tune "Thaxed" and the Rutter "God Be In My Head." It's amazing what a group of amateur singers can produce for the glory of God.

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

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unless you state otherwise.


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Liturgy and Music category from October 2004.

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