Author Archive

What I’ve Learned in 12 Years

I sang at Mass this morning with one other person, and the experience really had me reflecting on what I’ve learned over the last 12 years. Essentially my opinions on how to achieve something beautiful in liturgy have been turned inside out and upside …

New presentation of "O Magnum"

Reno erat Rudolphus – Nicely performed

What Child Is This?

It’s not only about Latin, not only about propers of the Mass. This is just beautiful.

A Case for Gospel Music

Chant advocates can go too far with their pushing of chant to the exclusion of all other forms of sacred music. I’ve probably been guilty of this in the past. This is why I really appreciate Msgr Charles Pope’s argument for the inclusion of Gospel musi…

Part Two of Long Interview with Tucker

In terms of the use of the vernacular languages, it’s pretty clear that the main part of the liturgy that the Fathers aimed to target were the readings. Latin is a holy tongue, and you never want it to go away, but while proclaiming the text in a language that the people don’t understand has a lot of spiritual merit, pastorally speaking, it’s a difficult proposition. In a strange sense, I think the liturgical reforms of Vatican II came too late because there was so much resentment and it was so long overdue that something be done. That being said, I don’t think that the result of the liturgical reform of 1969-70 was entirely consistent with what he council was calling for. There was no reason to reshuffle the church calendar; that was devastating and it continues to be devastating. We have a third of the year that is blocked off as Ordinary Time and it’s just not a very compelling model. There are all kinds of words that were part of the Catholic Life: rogation days, quadrigesima, the ranking of the classes of the feasts. I think it disturbed and destabilized the Catholic life in a terrible way because it messed with people’s rituals at a fundamental level. At the same time, something had to give, and I think they kind of made a mess of it, but it’s probably easier to see now than it was at the time.

Read the entire interview

Amen! Pergolesi!

This Amen is used in a scene in the movie Amadeus.

First part of multipart interview with me

On one hand you had Vatican II clearly elevate the role of Gregorian chant above which it had ever been elevated in the history of the Church. On the other hand, you had the council give permission for the vernacular, but it was left open exactly how t…

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