On September 21, 2013 a shocked world watched as Islamic gunmen attacked the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya targeting Christians, Westerners, and Muslims who were seen as not true-believers. The attack lasted four days, leaving 72 dead, including 61 civilians, six Kenyan soldiers and five attackers. More than 200 people were wounded in this […]
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The Twentieth Century should have taught the World a lesson. Fascism, whether of the Nazi stripe in Germany or other varieties such as that of Italy, failed miserably. Socialism, especially of the communist variety, ran a dead heat with Fascism for the most miserable failures. Given the hackneyed behavior currently being manifested by Vladdy Putin, […]
The post So Long As They Are Competitive, Free-Markets Cannot Be Beat appeared first on Catholic Journal.
Regardless of the faith tradition we follow, or even if we do not follow any faith as closely as we should, the Christian cannot miss praying on Easter Sunday. Easter is a profoundly spiritual day. It is a day of joy, beauty and hope. When the lights come on during the solemn Easter Vigil, or when […]
Today we celebrate the glorious Easter event; the bodily Resurrection of Jesus from the dead! This is, by far, the most important event in Christianity. Everything else that was said or done by Christ and the apostles is secondary in importance to the resurrection. But I really do not think that we 20th century Christians […]
I’m sure most readers are familiar with the normal Roman Rite passion tones. Recently, I have discovered the dominican tone, which is more melismatic.Have a blessed Good Friday.
Show Me. For Missourians, two words, show me, proclaim to all that its residents are skeptical of matters and not easily convinced. Let’s face it. In our daily lives of parents, friends, spouses, families, teachers, and colleagues, we are a show-me society. With expectations set, we are called upon to get things done. As the […]
Street interviews have been a staple on TV since Steve Allen’s original Tonight Show. One reason for their success is that they reveal the depth of people’s ignorance. Lately, more and more, it seems like a bottomless pit. I’m thinking of cases where people can’t name a single U.S. Senator or explain the term “Bill […]
Recently, I received the findings of a recent study that the CMAA sponsored (along with a few other organizations), which finds that 72% of young priests (under 50) like the corrected translation that we are now using. I am very heartened by this news, and I am happy to see it.
I have been likewise very encouraged by the heightened sense of awareness and reverence for the sacred mysteries, brought about by so many of these wonderful young priests and the new missal, particularly the new emphasis on sacred music that I have been seeing in many places, focusing on a new dignity, upon the singing of the prayers of the celebrant and the congregation, and the proper antiphons of the Mass being more frequently sung, as the council intended.
Often when I hear the prayers of the Mass, I am appreciative of their newfound dignity, with a style which elevates them above our everyday speech (which is what singing the prayers also does, by the way), making clear to us that we are not just talking to a buddy on the street, but that we are engaging in worship of the omnipotent creator of the universe.
One of the texts in the new missal that I think has been particularly improved is the Exsultet, the Easter Proclamation. Take a good look at this section below:
|The sanctifying power of this night dispels wickedness,
washes faults away,
restores innocence to the fallen,
and joy to mourners,
drives out hatred,
and brings down the mighty.
|The power of this holy night dispels all evil,
washes guilt away,
|On this, your night of grace, O holy Father, accept this candle, a solemn offering, the work of bees and of your servants’ hands, an evening sacrifice of praise, this gift from your most holy Church.
But now we know the praises of this pillar, which glowing fire ignites for God’s honor, a fire into many flames divided, yet never dimmed by sharing of its light, for it is fed by melting wax, drawn out by mother bees to build a torch so precious.
|O truly blessed night,
when things of heaven are wed to those of earth,
and divine to the human
|Night truly blessed
when heaven is wedded to earth
and man is reconciled with God!
Do you see that whole paragraph that got skipped? Look at this beautiful wording: “this candle, a solemn offering, the work of bees and your servants’ hands [...] for it is fed by melting wax, drawn out by mother bees to build a torch so precious.” The language of worship has always been elevated and beautiful, separating it from our everyday speech, which the Exsultet does particularly well.
Some have said that the old ICEL translation is superior because it is simple and people can understand it. I’m not here to discuss those right now, they can be discussed in other places, or maybe in a future post. Right now, I’m trying to point out the superiority of the new translation by pointing out how the old translation left out many of the concepts in the Latin texts in many cases, but also in more than a few cases where they simply omitted entire paragraphs! This is not the only example, it also happened in the prayers for Ash Wednesday, and quite possibly many other cases.
What are your experiences with the new translation? Has your quality of music improved at your parish, or your have you noticed a change in people’s attitudes toward the Mass since the new translation? Talk it up below!
If you have been around the conversations within the Church Music Association of America for any length of time have, you have surely encountered discussion of an issue that manifests itself most often in the following question:
Why don’t the antiphons in Simple English Propers match the antiphons in our missalettes in the pews, and the ones in the Roman Missal?
(If I had a nickel for every time I have answered this question, I surely could be enjoying a comfortable retirement on a distant tropical island right now!)
The simple answer to the question is this: Simple English Propers sets to music the antiphons of the Graduale Romanum in English translation, while most popular publications (such as Magnificat, various hand missals, the ubiquitous disposable pew missals, etc.) usually print the antiphons of the Roman Missal. The antiphons of the Roman Missal and Graduale Romanum, while they are often the same, are in various cases different sets of proper texts. A neutral translation of the Graduale Romanum (from the Solesmes Gregorian Missal) was used in SEP, which could be freely shared online without copyright restriction, and as an unfortunate result, the Roman Missal translations were not used where the Missal and Graduale are in fact the same.
There are numerous further explanations and speculative analyses of the phenomenon of Roman Missal vs. Graduale Romanum propers, all of which can easily be found through a quick web search, and most of which are beyond the grasp, care or interest of those who are working in real-world, parish settings.
The conventional answer, common practice, and liturgical law
The conventional conclusion that the CMAA has maintained at for many years now is that when the 1969 Roman Missal was promulgated, the antiphons of the Roman Missal (including only the Entrance and Communion Antiphons, not the Offertory Antiphon) were intended to be spoken when the antiphon of the Graduale Romanum or Graduale Simplex was not sung. This distinction is clear in the rubrics of the universal law of the GIRM to this day.
The same rubrics, however, stated that “another suitable song” could be sung in place of the antiphons of the Graduale Romanum or Graduale Simplex, and we all know that this is the source of the proliferation of singing just about any kind of hymn or song at the Entrance, Offertory and Communion processions of the Mass in place of the antiphons that are appointed by the Church to be sung at these times.
Since we have never been given official, approved English translations of the Graduale Romanum, in practice, those who wished to sing proper antiphons in English defaulted to singing the approved translations found in the Roman Missal, and this practice has gone on for more than 40 years in certain locales in the English speaking world. In no way was this ever illicit, since the antiphons of the Roman Missal are perhaps among the best “other suitable songs” that can be imagined!
Because of the success of this practice, the Bishops of the United States of America voted to include the singing of the Roman Missal antiphons as part of the first option in the Roman Missal, Third Edition (see GIRM 48 and 87).
Thus, in particular law (which canonically trumps universal law) in the United States of America today, the antiphons of the Roman Missal form a part of the first option for the sung texts of the Entrance, Offertory and Communion processions, along side the antiphons and psalms of the Graduale Romanum, as set to music there or in another musical setting.
This is binding liturgical law for all faithful and obedient Catholics in the United States of America.
Roman Missal antiphons in Rome
It is striking to observe an unconventional but illustrative development in the papal liturgies in Rome this year: The Entrance Antiphon that is being sung in this year’s Chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica is not the prescribed antiphon prescribed in the Graduale Romanum (which is Dilexisti iustitiam), but is the antiphon of the Roman Missal! Further, it appears to be in a newly composed, “neo-Gregorian” musical setting:
|H/T Steven van Roode, musicasacra.com/forum|
In fact, in a particular way, this effort is taking form in a brand new English chant resource that will begin shipping in two weeks.
It is the Lumen Christi Simple Gradual, edited by myself, and published by Illuminare Publications (learn more here). This resource is the true successor and fulfillment of its predecessor, Simple English Propers (which also composed and edited by myself).
There is no other resource like this. It will be available in both Assembly and Choir editions, and it contains the fully sung Order of Mass in English, eighteen Mass Ordinaries in English and Latin chant, and a complete repertoire of simple English chant settings with texts that are drawn from the Church’s primary sources for the sung liturgy—the Graduale Romanum, Roman Missal, and Graduale Simplex—and arranged for successful parish use, according to prescripts of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Musicam Sacram, and Sacrosanctum Concilium.
The source translation that is used is the Roman Missal, Third Edition, and new translations have been made where they are needed (e.g. the Offertory Antiphons, among others), and approved for liturgical use by the USCCB Secretariat for Divine Worship and by episcopal imprimatur. This assures the greatest textual continuity between the texts of the Missal and Graduale, and accords with the requirements of Liturgiam Authenticam.
It is arranged with the needs of todays parishes in mind, and it builds not only upon the experience of the past 5 years, but also upon the wisdom of the past 50 years. The musical settings that the Lumen Christi Simple Gradual contains already form a part of the core repertoire of numerous parishes across the English-speaking world, and early online releases have helped hone and perfect the chant settings and their arrangement over the course of the past three years.