Cleansing Fire

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Poor Fr. Brian . . .

June 10th, 2009, Promulgated by Gen

I have read the Catholic Courier’s coverage of Fr. Brian Carpenter’s ordination at Sacred Heart Cathedral last Saturday, and am pleased that there has only been support and happiness for him. However, nothing was mentioned about the music, the style of liturgy, the various “ministers” utilized by the Clark Bar. With thanks to a Mr. D___, I can most resolutely state the following:

  1. Although Fr. Carpenter is most decidedly not an African gentleman, the diocese used numerous African and Jamaican-esque pieces, similar to (if not the piece itself) the famous setting of the “Halle, Halle” used in so many of our parishes. It’s by Marty Haugen. Can I disguise my surprise?
  2. Although there was no liturgical dancer, there was certainly a great deal of theatrics. When will Bishop Clark learn that people want a Mass, not a charmingly witty service of smile-evoking commentary. Mass should be devoid of causality.
  3. The only genuinely Latin piece wasn’t even genuinely Latin. It was a less-than-purebred combination of Latin and English during the imposition of hands on the part of the priests gathered there.
  4. And, of course, who could possibly forget the brilliant organ? It is a marvelous instrument, one that is worthy of our respect and admiration. Its splendor is unrivaled in the church building. Oh, wait. That’s right. It’s a church. Not a concert hall. Hmm. . . It seems as though Bishop Clark has forgotten that little bit. Let’s leave the organ where it should be left: in a position secondary to that of the Blessed Sacrament.

I have only met Fr. Carpenter on one occasion, and he is a very solid young man. His liturgies promise to be very reverent and by-the-book. No made-up settings of the Eucharistic Prayer under his watch! Let us pray that Fr. Brian will soon have for himself a liturgy worthy of his office.

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12 Responses to “Poor Fr. Brian . . .”

  1. avatar Dr. K says:

    Congratulations to Fr. Carpenter! Let us hope that Bishop Clark's final ordained priest will be his best by far. There is plenty of promise with this young man, so I believe he'll do a fine job. He's got my support, that I assure him.

    "the diocese used numerous African and Jamaican-esque pieces"

    I still don't understand the DoR (and specifically Bishop Clark's) fascination with African culture. This includes the use of African music, instruments, dance, incense bowls, etc. It's certainly not the culture of most/all of the people who attend Sacred Heart.

    "the famous setting of the "Halle, Halle" used in so many of our parishes."

    Oh dear… I think I know the one you're talking about. Is it the "halle halle halle, luuuuueeeeaaaa" X3? Makes me cringe every time I hear it. It was used most predominantly in the 19th Ward parishes before they were conglomerated at St. Monica's. Probably still used there on a weekly basis.

    "When will Bishop Clark learn that people want a Mass, not a charmingly witty service of smile-evoking commentary."

    Bishop Clark does pretend to be a comedian a little too often. At Ms. DeRycke's installation ritual, he made a quip about a singles event the parish was sponsoring that he should attend since he will soon be retiring.

    "Let's leave the organ where it should be left: in a position secondary to that of the Blessed Sacrament."

    I may be a bit of a dreamer, but I would love if the next bishop would move the organ to the left side of the church and set up a choir area over there. Concurrent with this, the tabernacle could be restored to the center of the church and a makeshift altar installed in the sanctuary once again until a real one can be purchased. This is possible, I would imagine.

    Again, best of luck to Fr. Carpenter.

    ~Dr. K

  2. avatar Anonymous says:

    The organ including pipes should be in the loft along with the choir. I am so tired of choirs upfront. Music and musicians should enhance the Mass and not be the center of attention as they so often are.

  3. avatar Anonymous says:

    That organ is so big, that's what would make it difficult to lug that thing up to the choir loft, let alone fit it up there.

    Maybe the organ could be put in the gathering area?

  4. avatar Susan says:

    Fr. Carpenter is the man.

  5. avatar Anonymous says:

    The organ is a Fritts tracker organ similar to the Fisk tracker organ in the front of Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester. For that reason, it would be very hard to move. The console is directly linked to the organ actions which control the pipes.

  6. avatar Gen says:

    Maybe we could just sell the cathedral and make Our Lady of Victory the new home of the bishop's cathedra?

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    If any of you had actually been at ordination, and I was…
    you would know that Fr. Carpenter is the one who picked out all of the music!
    Please stop spreading lies and half-truths, especially when you have no idea what you are talking about!

  8. avatar Dr. K says:

    re: Anon 9:54

    I think you're right that Fr. Carpenter chose the hymns, but did he also choose the manner in which they were sung?

    ~Dr. K

  9. avatar Anonymous says:

    Maybe if they move the organ they could bring back the pews with kneelers as it should be.

  10. avatar Gen says:

    Precisely, Dr. K. He had a say in the music, but he had no control over the irreverence and general lack of musical discipline.

    Anon 9:54, I never said that he didn't choose the pieces. I said that the diocese used them. If you have ever seen the diocesan music repertoire, and I have, the choices are remarkably slim. He did the best with that which was offered to him.

  11. avatar Anonymous says:

    You're right, Genglcgettys, the musical selections that one can choose from are quite limited. For my mother's funeral, there were only a small handful of hymns we could select for the various musical parts of the Mass.

  12. avatar Gen says:

    I suppose this means that I'm not "spreading lies and half-truths, especially when [I] have no idea what [I am] talking about." lol

    Thoroughly smote, Anon 9:54. 😉

    And thanks to Anon 9:15.

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