My choir is doing the

My choir is doing the Palestrina “O Rex Gloriae” on Ascension Sunday along with the Stravinsky “Ave Maria” since it’s May.
My parish is a regular old suburban parish with over 100 volunteers spread out over 8 ensembles. Music at Mass ranges from the super-Evangelical praise-song “Awesome God” (not done much, thanks to our Awesome God) to sacred polyphony in Latin. We’ve got all sorts of stuff in between. It’s accomplished by a different group for each of five Masses that has a different focus in terms of musical style. We have tried to standardize psalms and eucharistic acclamations in order to have some common repertiore while keeping a real balance in the final set of music for each Mass.
One big issue is music directors who got their masters in Liturgy while moonlighting at the piano bar. If any pastors read this, next time you hire a music director you’d be better off hiring someone who knows that Bach is not pronounced “Batch” and is comfortable letting the choir know the proper latin pronounciation of phrases like “Ave Verum Corpus” and “Pange Lingua” and even “Alleluia.”
Errr… who am I kidding. No pastors are going to read this.
I’ll write more about balance in liturgical music repertiore another time.

Well it’s amazing this blog

Well it’s amazing this blog has been up for a week and we are already getting email.

What’s wrong with silence during Communion? Are we so hooked on sensory overlead that quiet is so rare in our lives? Go shopping, the stores are filled with Muzak. Get in the car, turn on the radio. Go home, turn on the television. Go to church and they sing whenever there is a nook or cranny to cram in a song. The space between “Let Us Pray” and song or vocal prayer is a nano-second at best.
I have longed to have at least one Mass that would have no music and no singing at Communion for those of us who would like to use that time for silent prayer and meditation. But whenever I mention it, I am politely turned down.
Your blog is now one of my Holy Blogs of Obligation (thank for that phrase to Amy Welborn) and I am a regular morning visitor.

Silence forces us to acknowledge the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit within us. And that’s exactly why some people are uncomfortable with silence – it forces us to acknowledge that outside of our distractions and the general hub-bub of our lives we need to take time to listen to God. And God might be telling us something we really don’t want to hear but need to hear in order to grow in our life with Him.
On March 8, 1997, the Holy Father addressed the topic of the liturgical reform during a meeting with bishops from France during their visit ad limina apostolorum:

It is also appropriate to add here that besides the word and the hymn, silence has an indispensable place in the liturgy when it is well prepared, it enables each person to develop in his heart spiritual dialogue with the Lord.

Also, this document includes a reference that assumes there’s some silence after the receipt of communion in the liturgy.
My best suggestion for getting some silence at the appropriate times is to start small: 1-2 minutes of silence after communion is not too much to ask. Ending the communion hymn sooner to accomplish this is fine, and the instrumentalists need to be on board with the idea that just because no one singing doesn’t mean someone needs to start noodling on the piano, guitar or organ. If you to strike a balance betweening singing and silence, you’ll probably have more success than suggesting no music.

:: What is a “Progressive

:: What is a “Progressive Catholic?”

Someone help me with this one. Does that mean someone who is a practicing Catholic who doesn’t agree with the authority of the Magisterium? A non-practicing Catholic who reads Reason magazine and swings to the left when he votes? Please ‘splain it to me!

When people tell me that “The Church has a long way to go on things like abortion, birth control and homosexuality” I reply, “Cleary the Church hasn’t done enough when people think killing babies and abusing the gift of our sexuality is acceptable!”

The Divine Mercy Devotion

Good googly moogly look at this. It’s in response by Fr. Joe Wilson to a letter to Catholic priests from someone at Priests for Life, promising to fight for them against the purported Catholic-bashers in the media. Some of things in that letter are downright scary. The enemy truly is within. Only by God’s grace are we going to get through this. Remember His promise that the jaws of death will not prevail against his Church!

Pray for our shepherds and for our Church! Pray for the victims. Pray for the perpetrators of these awful sins, those who are guilty either directly or indirectly.

And this from the Diary of St. Faustina. According to St. Faustina, Jesus stated the following in one of her numerous private revelations:

My daughter, speak to priests about this inconceivable mercy of Mine. The flames of mercy are burning Me – clamoring to be spent; I want to keep pouring them upon souls; souls just don’t want to believe in My goodness. (177)

Here’s a question for those

Here’s a question for those out there in Catholic blogdom – was my initial post on strumming and clanging too judgmental? I can’t really determine if the music impedes proper reception of the Eucharist. I think music that is more reverrant is appropriate for the Mass. Should we recieve the Eucharist in a quiet and comtemplative manner? Sometimes the Communion songs just seem to serve as happy fun sonic wallpaper for the congregation.