Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


The Key is Dignity

May 16th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

I had a chat today with a musician at  the Church of the Assumption, whose musical abilities are undeniable and clearly God-given. She was asking about my liturgical tastes, and I explained to her that the liturgy of the Church must be “mutually enriching,” to borrow a term from our dear Pope. We must learn from the old when conceiving the new. Continuity is integral to liturgical music, as is seen by many new hymns being published which are in English, but set to the old Gregorian melodies. When I gave her this reasoning, she was very pleasant, but she looked at me, put her guitar down, and said, “well, if you want to go a step backwards, that’s okay.”

Backwards? This is going a step forward, in the true spirit of Vatican II, which declared that Gregorian Chant have “principum locum,” principal, primary place in the liturgy. The Council never intended for guitars and plucky psalm-tones, but alas, that’s what we have. And so, I decided to tell her about my upcoming trip to the Sacred Music Colloquium with Choir, Sr. Emily, and two other friends of the blog. I particularly pointed out that we will be singing Latin motets written, not 500 years ago, but 25 years ago, and which are wholly reverent and suited for the liturgy. They are undeniably sacred. Of course, we will be singing the old pieces as well, Tallis, and Byrd, and Victoria among them. Again – this is what the Council had in mind: a refreshing of the old in light of the new.

The debate then turned, most subtlety to the question of dignified music. However, what I said can be summarized in this video just released by the Lalemant Polyphonic channel. Be sure to check out their psalm settings for the Ordinary Form. They are quite beautiful.

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3 Responses to “The Key is Dignity”

  1. avatar Dr. K says:

    "well, if you want to go a step backwards"

    That is so pathetic. Then again, 1960s-70s folk rock is the cutting edge of Catholic music.

    ~Dr. K

  2. avatar CF Admin says:

    Crusader, you were indeed sent to the wrong page. Our apologies. You still are not welcome to post here if you have nothing at all to contribute but name-calling. Take your flame posts elsewhere.

    Thank you, have a good day.

  3. avatar Gen says:

    We don't labor through battles – we create them because too many people have flawed interpretations of the faith. If you cannot post your comments to relevant posts, do not post. The rules are simple, and too many people take advantage of our free and open commenting.

    Any comment after this will regard to dignified liturgical music. Anyone posting regarding something else will be dealt with.

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