Some reactions from the internet. My emphases and comments throughout:
Over at DC Catholic there is an entry responding to my own comments here at WDTPRS:
I was in attendance today and found the experience incredibly moving. I would like to caveat my comments by saying I only attend the Extraordinary Form, but I couldn’t stop from weeping tears of Joy. [A "Yes" vote… though not for the music, perhaps.] Was the music what I like? No. Was it a traditional liturgy? No. But the presence of the Holy Father seemed to repair any faults in the Mass. I guess it’s not something that one can appreciate via TV or radio. [From a personal, experiential view, this is okay, I suppose. I am very glad it was a great experience! But the concern so many had for the music choices goes way beyond just how we feel at this great event! We must avoid reducing the issue of the music to "taste". There is a great more to this matter than simply what we like and don’t like.]
Today I reaffirmed my baptismal vows to the Successor of St. Peter. Today, God gave me the grace to see a glimpse of Heaven, where a huge multitude of faithful were adoring God with genuine outpourings of faith and fidelity.
I was sitting with a group of gentlemen in discernment for the priesthood in the Archdiocese and there were native speakers of every language spoken at the Mass, Vietnamese, Spanish, and even Igbo.
The Holy Father’s visit to the city where I live provided me with an abundance of grace and I cannot, in good conscience, criticize the liturgy. [Fair enough.]
Over a Ten Reasons:
"Look how wonderful we are, Your Holiness!"
Whoever wrote Archbishop Wuerl’s welcome for the Papal Mass at Nationals Stadium should resume his career as a diversity consultant.
Ditto for the liturgist. The "multicultural" music (Raymond Arroyo’s description) for the offertory and the beginning of the Eucharistic prayer simply has no place in the Mass. We’ve heard so much about "active participation" by the laity. Explain to me how anyone in attendance can hum these … pop stylings, much less sing them. (Is that a bass guitar and saxophone I hear as Communion is distributed?) Appalling. [A "No" vote?]
"Perhaps those responsible for this are unfamiliar with Pope Benedict’s many writings on the liturgy," Fr. Neuhaus said. [On EWTN] One can hope New York is more faithful to the Spirit of that liturgy.
Music at the outdoor Mass
…horrid, horrid….NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! not Marty Haugen….Holy, Holy, Holy
After that horrible psalm then the dreadful offertory salsa music, which Raymond Arroyo called, "Amazon flavor"…then the awful Veni creator with Indian flute to be crowned by Haugen.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrghhhhh!!!!!!! [I think she didn’t like it.]
Update…yikes with the Christ has died….and then the fanfare with the Great Amen. Horrid, horrid.
So far, they have managed to mangle the Gregorian chants. The Gloria, then Veni, now Ubi…then this communion dreadful meandering stuff….who wrote this? I haven’t looked at the Mass companion booklet.
Oh, and furthermore, this style of music really is ugly for the human voice. Did you hear how the quality of singing degenerated?
Oh, no, now electronic piano. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
Nooooooooo, clapping at Holy Communion. THIS.IS.JUST.DREADFUL. HOW.TOTALLY.EMBARRASSING!!!!!!!!!!!! [That would be a "No" vote, then.]
The Holy Father is now sitting during Communion…his head is bowed. Please forgive us, Holy Father.
What is this dreadful setting of Pange lingua gloriosi? How hard would it have been for the choir to have learned the chant? No, we have to turn this into an operetta type duet.
Oh, caterwauling now…yes, my new mantra…overweening display of mult-culturalism.
Panis angelicus….stop.the.clapping…Mr. Domingo would prefer you to meditate. Good grief!
Papa…let us pray…
Update…the Mass is ended.
Do you know what is tragic about this mess of music? Those of us working in the parish level who are working hard to bring music back into line will now have another hill to climb. Guess what we’ll hear? "Well, if it’s good enough for a Papal Mass, it’s good enough here."
*bangs head on my desk*
Come Holy Spirit, descend upon us and renew us. Fill us with your power. Inspire us with Truth and Beauty.
And now over the pond we go to my friend Fr. Blake at St. Mary Magdelenen in the UK said:
I made a point of having a late lunchand going to EWTN to watch Mass from Washington, I am not sure I can cope with much more, so far there has been a fat priest in lounge suit waving his arms about, bastardised Missa di Angelis Gloria with chime bar accompanyment, a not very nice responsorial psalm, [you can say that again] more appropriate to a musical on Broadway. [Or a circus.]
The first and second reader and cantor of the psalm have all been women, and they seem to have been chosen for their overacting ability, rather than any ability to communicate the Word of God prayerfully. There is a distinct absence of a sense of prayer and real spiritual participation here.
How blessed one is being a priest, I would be tempted to lapse inside a year if I had to endure this stuff week after week, how the laity are tortured by the clergy! Shameless self indulgence on behalf of someone, the worst aspects Americanism. [hrumpf!]
I can’t endure more!
Words like meaningless, culturally bankrupt, saccharine, lack of intellectual conviction, trivial, decadent, debased, rootless, superficial, inauthentic, inconsequential, secular, horizantalist come to mind, none of these words come to mind when [one] thinks of the Pope.
Is this really the image that AmChurch wants to present to itself and the world?
Badly done Archbishop Wuerl, very badly done.
[Another "No" vote.]
The Crescat offers this:
… just ended up putting the Papal Mass on mute to escape the music?
Did the event organizers read anything the Pope has written on sacred music?
A very good question. I think the answer is "yes", actually. Bu they had another agenda.
NLM took a wait and see stand (posted before the Mass).
It is perhaps worthwhile to note that people should manage their expectations with regard to these events. If you are expecting liturgies as you might see them at in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, or which fully confirm with Pope Benedict’s liturgical vision, that would not be terribly realistic for a variety of pragmatic reasons.
In view of this, the NLM’s own approach and focus for these events will be upon those things which can be understood as helping push forward one or another aspect of Benedict’s programme for liturgical reform in continuity.
So far they haven’t posted anything else. Is this an example of "If you don’t have anything nice to say…."… you know the rest?
At Thrown Back Fr. Johansen has some comments. Here are some excerpts.
I also was struck by the apocalyptic tone of many comments [about the Mass on the blogosphere] as well. Quite a few suggested that the DC Mass indicated that the Reform movement had failed, and that we were henceforth doomed to Haugen, Haas, and the St. Louis Jesuits per omnia saecula saeculorum. [Yes. That silliness has also been hurled about on WDTPRS.] Please, people, get a grip. I do believe Jesus had something to say about "the gates of Hell" prevailing, and all that. [I think Father just compared listening to the music of Haugen, et al., to Hell.] Have some faith. Since the liturgy belongs to the Church, and is the "source and summit" of our faith, it seems to me that Our Lord’s promise to the Church extends to the liturgy as well. The Kingdom of God always advances in fits and starts, never in a straight line. One setback is hardly cause to abandon the field. Yes, I’m sure some will be tempted to use the DC Mass as "evidence" to perpetuate the Americanized "Spirit of Vatican II" liturgy. But really, that whole way of thinking is becoming more and more patently dated by the day. It just isn’t flying anymore, because more and more people are becoming aware of what Vatican II really taught about the liturgy, and Pope Benedict’s teaching in this area is having an inexorable effect. The priests ordained in the last 10 years are almost universally tradition-friendly, and that trend is only expanding. The current liturgical disorder wasn’t created overnight, and it won’t be undone overnight.
Which brings me to the larger point. Archbishop Wuerl, in his greeting of the Holy Father at the beginning of the Mass, stressed the different cultures and ethnicities represented at the Mass. Fr. Neuhaus observed that the spirit of "multiculturalism" pervaded the Mass. A different EWTN commentator, after the Mass, gushed about how the Mass represented the "diversity" of the Church in America. Others waxed about how the Mass was an opportunity for the Church in America to show the Holy Father who we are. The problem: That’s. Not. What. Mass. Is. About.
The Mass is not an "opportunity" for me, or we, to "show" anyone anything, let alone "who we are." The Mass is not about "representing" the diversity (or anything else), of those who participate in it. The Mass is about re-presenting the eternal Sacrifice of Christ at the Last Supper and Calvary. It’s about Him, not me, and not even about we.
We live in the age, as Mark Shea has coined the term, of "Generation Narcissus". Our collective motto as a society is "It’s all about me." In liturgical terms, this translates to the "Self-Actualized Community Celebrating Itself in Its Okayness". In our pride and self-centeredness, we want to turn the liturgy around to focus on ourselves. As a priest I have encountered this in many ways. This attitude commonly rears its head in weddings. When, from time to time, I have had to say "no" to the unreasonable liturgical demands of some bride, I have heard the reply "but this is my wedding". To which my response is, "yes, it is, but it’s not about you. At confirmation, graduation, and other special Masses, frequently the organizers try, in ways verging upon the silly, to concoct ways to "involve" all the confirmands or graduates, to give them all something to "do" in the liturgy, because it’s "about" them.
This kind of thinking was evident in the DC Mass. There was a seemingly never-ending parade of cantors, musicians, and pieces of a dizzying variety of styles and ethnic origins, all aimed at trying to "include" every possible different ethnic and racial group. This process had what Amy Welborn aptly called a "frenzied" quality. It seemed frenzied because it was so obviously labored, and so obviously detracted from experiencing the liturgy as any kind of unified whole. This "multicultural" approach failed liturgically, and it also failed in it’s own putative aim: rather than celebrating unity in diversity, or some such thing, it ended up exaggerating the ethnic differences and working against the communio that the liturgy is intended to bring about.
No, the problem, as I heard another priest once say, is that most Catholics "don’t know anymore what the Mass is for. " And not knowing what something is for, we will tend to make it for ourselves. Part of the cause for this state of affairs is the collapse of catechesis in the 70’s and 80’s. …
The liturgy, as Pope Benedict has written, should form our culture. But for the last thirty years the prevailing culture, and it’s winds of trend and fashion, has been allowed to to de-form the liturgy. This is the lesson that our bishops and priests must learn. Once again, the evidence of this tendency was glaring in the music at yesterday’s Mass. This process has both damaged the liturgical life of the Church, and weakened Catholic culture. The reversal of the process cannot begin with the prevailing culture that surrounds us – it contains much that is simply antithetical to the Faith. We must begin with the liturgy – as it is understood and lived in the continuity of the Church’s Tradition. We must allow ourselves to be formed by the liturgy, so that we can be conformed to the Something that the liturgy is about. Then we will, almost without consciously trying, begin to rebuild and reform the culture of the Faith and of the world.
Shouts In The Piazza has some observations.
Was the music really that bad?YES! [That sure is a "No" vote!]Was the rest of the liturgical arrangements really that bad?NO (except for the histrionic women doing the readings.)Was it sort of typical of the crap many American Catholics suffer through each week?YES!Was it a good thing that the Pope got to see first hand how out of sync a liturgy organized by the USCCB is with what he himself has written and preached about concerning good liturgy?YOU BETCHA!Is this going to change the state of the liturgical life of the Church in America?NAH!But…Donald Wuerl should probably stop having himself measured for scarlet robes, at least for the time being.