From a reader:
You have posted numerous times regarding how to address issues of abuse within a parish in respect to how to compile evidence regarding said abuse, and by what channels to contact the local bishop or the prefect for the CDW.
My question is thus: what type of process should be taken to encourage the use of chant at Mass byt both the priest and “the Ministry”?
That is a good question.
I suppose you could argue that the denial of the people of God of the Gregorian chant the Council required is in itself a liturgical abuse. That, of course, won’t get you too far.
I will also ask the readers to chime in on this.
However, I think that any time you want to start something “new” in a parish, you have to a) demonstrate that it is going to get support from lay people so the priest doesn’t have to do it all on his own, and b) provide the resources to get it done.
Provide the resources: If you want Gregorian chant, you have to have a schola which can sing it. That will either require the use of the existing choir or the formation of another (unless you bring people in from outside). So… form a schola. Remember: there will be “turf” dynamics here. In some parishes the music people are very touchy. In some places the music people are paid. Sharpen your diplomatic skills.
Demonstrate support: Try to get a sense of how many people would like to have chant. You could start by talking about the Vatican II liturgical reforms and the relevant paragraphs. I would avoid “canvassing”, since that will probably annoy the pastor (unless he is already on your side).
There will have to be some catechesis too, either before or while it is starting up. You will also have to convince people a) that this is what the Church asked for b) that this is the real liturgical music of the Roman Church and c) it really isn’t that hard.
It is a very tall order getting something like this going. Every parish setting has its own dynamics and characters. One plan will not “fit all”.
That said, perhaps some people have the experience of getting something going. Maybe they could be induced to offer their experience and observations.
This has been framed in terms of Gregorian chant, but perhaps some of the strategies here can be useful in other ways (i.e., promoting Communion on the tongue, bringing back an altar rail, moving to ad orientem worship, etc.).