QUAERITUR: Eucharistic “Danny Boy” Prayer. Fr. Z rants.

From a reader:

That is strange.

Last weekend we had a visiting priest and something strange happened.
He sang the first part of the Eucharistic prayer to the tune of “Danny Boy”. Well, needless to say most of us were a little more than thrown off by this priest’s crooning. He had a good voice but it was so strange. After mass it was explained to several of us that chanting is acceptable and this was just another musical version of the prayer, like the chant. Can a priest set the prayers of mass to whatever tune it suits him?

Weird.  And wrong.

Singing the Eucharistic Prayer to the tune of “Danny Boy” is reason #24456 for why we needed Summorum Pontificum.

And would I be right in assuming that this was a Mass “facing the people”?  And that the priest was….not particularly young?

While there are approved liturgical books with musical notation for the Eucharistic Prayer, there is no one approved way to sing it.  Sadly, some priests and bishops have made up their own versions.  Results vary.  Priests are wise to stick to approved books, in my humble opinion, or at the very least stick closely to the model of sacred chants of our tradition.

Music for Mass is not a mere ornament, external to the liturgical action.   We cannot simply change it arbitrarily.  It is of the essence of the liturgical action, and integrating part of the liturgical action.  Music for Mass must be artistic and sacred.  The texts which are set should be sacred texts proper for liturgical worship.  The music should be art and in an idiom which is recognizable as sacred.  That is a tricky issue, of course.  Allow me to illustrate by simplification.

“Danny Boy” has a nice, sentimental tune, but there is nothing of the sacred about it.  When you hear Danny Boy, you think of Irish pubs.  And the more pints you have, the better you are at singing it, alone or with others.  When you hear a Sousa March you think of a parade or sporting event.  You don’t, however, go to a parade or football stadium and expect to hear Gregorian chant… unless of course that parade is a liturgical procession.   You don’t want Sousa in church or chant at the ball game.

“Danny Boy” doesn’t belong at Mass.  No matter how well the priest could sing it, the tune of Danny Boy has the wrong idiom for Mass.

I have often wondered if, in the case of priests who make up their own idiosyncratic thing, they are not making Mass about themselves.  “Look at me!  Listen to how clever I am!”

It seems to me that, as younger men come up in the ranks, men who are open also to our older, traditional Form of Holy Mass, this sort of thing will quickly fade.

Priests have to get themselves out of the way of the liturgical action, of what the Lord – the true Priest at Mass – is doing.

In Sacramentum caritatis 23 we read that:

… priests should be conscious of the fact that in their ministry they must never put themselves or their personal opinions in first place, but Jesus Christ. Any attempt to make themselves the centre of the liturgical action contradicts their very identity as priests. The priest is above all a servant of others, and he must continually work at being a sign pointing to Christ, a docile instrument in the Lord’s hands. This is seen particularly in his humility in leading the liturgical assembly, in obedience to the rite, uniting himself to it in mind and heart, and avoiding anything that might give the impression of an inordinate emphasis on his own personality.

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63 Responses to QUAERITUR: Eucharistic “Danny Boy” Prayer. Fr. Z rants.

  1. MJ says:

    ““Danny Boy” has a nice, sentimental tune, but there is nothing of the sacred about it. When you hear Danny Boy, you think of Irish pubs.”

    I believe Orlando Lasso (a counter-reformation composer) wrote a polyphonic Mass the melody of which was a variation on a comment secular tune of that day. [Very common. They are called “parody Masses”. Often the melody was very deeply buried, however. Moreover, when you hear them now, do you think of the secular connotation of the song that underlies it, or do you think of church?] The Vatican found out where the melody inspiration had come from, and it sparked a sort of “polyphony inquisition”. (Because of the origin of the tune – secular – and because polyphony was becoming so elaborate that the words were beginning to become obscured…). Polyphony was nearly banned by the Vatican. What saved it? Palestrina’s great Missa Papae Marcelli.

    Moral of the story? No Danny Boy at Mass. No Amazing Grace either.

  2. FrCharles says:

    During my time as parochical vicar for a parish that did about a hundred funerals a year, I grew quite weary of hearing the In paradisum set to the tune of Danny Boy. [Shuddering.]

  3. Centristian says:

    This celebrant sounds like he needs an episcopal slipper in his Londonderriere.

  4. Ed the Roman says:

    The Marine’s Hymn and Clementine can be sung to each other’s tunes. Which is not usually a good idea. [Not to mention Tantum ergo.]

  5. Tim Ferguson says:

    Centristian beat me to it – I was going to say that the priest made a London derriere of himself.

  6. RCGuerilla says:

    @Ed the Roman La Cucaracha too …
    on Danny Boy, every time I hear it, I smile, because Sr. Ann Patrice would sing that every time she called on me.. even when she was livid and ready to smack me into next week, that’s what I would hear.. I miss her so ..

  7. Charles E Flynn says:

    “Danny Boy” sung in church has its Irish critics:

    Non-liturgical Music in Cathedrals. (second half of article, starting with: Follow-up: Non-liturgical Music in Cathedrals [10-3-2006])

  8. JKnott says:

    If, in Old Testement times and liturgy, the people and kings often “did what was right in their own eyes” and displeased the Lord, how must the Lord view this same behavior in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass where His “Beloved Son” gives His all for us?

  9. My impression from various sources is that the new Roman Missal in English will contain chants in ordinary musical notation for the various parts of the Mass. For instance, chants for the prefaces and Eucharistic prayer are previewed at http://www.icelweb.org/musicfolder/openmusic.php.

    Would it not be expected that a priest who chants the Mass would use one of the chants specified in the missal, rather than selecting or making up his own tune?

  10. A former parish organist of mine said that you could sing the most profound words in Catholic tradition to the tune of “Tea for Two”, and it would still be “Tea for Two.” As a boy I also remember the chants for the Requiem Mass being butchered at the neighboring parish, where everything sounded like the organist was in a hurry to get it over with. As a priest, I once went to a funeral where there were a great number of clergy. Schubert’s Ave Maria was sung after Communion by a man who perhaps had been a good tenor 20 years before. As he butchered yet another phrase, one of the elderly priests of our diocese grumbled, “And that’s what I fear most about death.” I am hoping that before too long, we will get past the days when anyone can sing anything at all at a wedding or funeral.

  11. uptoncp says:

    Actually, I think http://nethymnal.org/htm/i/c/icnotwhy.htm is a perfectly decent hymn, in the right place. But to set the unmetred text of the preface to it – it can’t have been a good fit, and I fear my thoughts, rather than being turned to heaven as they ought, would instead have turned to the BBC’s I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clue and the game “One song to the tune of another.”

  12. rsalie says:

    Isn’t this one of those “just because you can….. doesn’t mean you should” situations?

  13. Bosco says:

    Hmmm…considering the way such liberties are taken by certain celebrants I think (with apologies to the singer, Bill Withers) the more appropriate song for this priest to have sung would have been “Ain’t No Sunshine When He’s Gone”

  14. TNCath says:

    I just returned from the funeral of a prominent Catholic doctor’s wife. Two bishops were present and a number of priests. Thankfully, this time we didn’t have the “Danny Boy” In Paradisum, but we did have “Amazing Grace,” the Mass of Cre[m]ation, and “Ave Maria” at Communion by a poor young girl whose Southern drawl did not help. “Ahhh-vay-yay, Ahhh-vay DAHHH-may-noooze. DAH-may-noo-oooose tay-coooom.” It was painful.

  15. Denita says:

    I’ve already decided that, at my funeral Mass, if anyone even THINKS of playing “Amazing Grace” – especially on bagpipes – I will personally get out of my coffin and SMACK them.
    And, with all due respect to African-Americans, I don’t care about “Were You There” being sung
    at Good Friday liturgy either.

  16. What if a composer such as John Michael talbot wrote the music. His music is very spiritual, inspiring and moving. It has moved me and many others after listening to “The Lords Supper” or “Lilies of the Field”. These are more like chants. These can be parts of the mass and they don’t have to be sung by operatic or ego singers. He is on Facebook all over. [Okay… I give up. “What if” JMT wrote the music?]

  17. This happened to me too, but with the tune of Amazing Grace, with participation of the choir. I was indeed “amazed”, and asked for God’s “grace” to help me get through that difficult moment.

  18. Dr. Eric says:

    Was this question from a parishioner from my church? We have “Londonderry Air” as the Communion Line music all the time.

  19. Fr Martin Fox says:

    I agree with Father about the narcissism of the priest-celebrant; and it does seem to be largely a generational and formational thing.

    That said, I’m afraid many laity are afflicted too. If a priest tries to dial down what folks are accustomed to, he will hear about how mean he is. When these things come up in the context of a funeral, it’s a delicate time to say, “it’s not about you, the mourners, and it’s not about your dearly departed; it’s about Christ.” Just had such a conversation about an hour ago.

    One problem is the way this sort of thing serves gradually to form–or re-form–the priest celebrant. Being encouraged to be the “life of the party” is an appealing temptation for many people, including priests. It’s not even a bad thing, per se; but it’s unhelpful at Mass!

  20. Pledger says:

    Wow…I thought I’d heard just about everything….

  21. Kerry says:

    The words and tunes/music to Amazing Grace and the theme from Gilligan’s Island are also interchangable…”This is the tale of castaways, aboard this tiny ship”. And, “AmazingGraceHowSweetTheSound!!!!!!” Heh.

  22. bourgja says:

    My worst such experience is when a priest sang the words of Consecration to the tune of “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” To do so, of course he had to change the words to fit the tune. At that point I decided this was not a valid Mass and walked out.

  23. esiul says:

    I’m glad I have not come across this, but I do hope the new Mass music will be better.
    So tired of Amazing Grace and Patriotic Hymns. The liberties taken are absolutely deplorable.

  24. AnAmericanMother says:

    Our choirmaster is writing a new setting, which appeals to our pastor’s frugality.
    Good news is he’s a brilliant composer (seriously, he’s very very good) with an affection for chant and Renaissance polyphony. We’ve test driven a first draft, and it’s tuneful and eminently singable.

  25. AnAmericanMother says:

    I’ve never understood why so many Catholic parishes sing a Methodist hymn like AG so much.

  26. edm says:

    I find the idea of “Danny Boy” with its secular lyrics as a final song at funerals a bit repugnant. Unfortunataly I have experienced it myself. However, the hymn in The New English Hymnal, with the same tune (Londonderry Air) I think is beautiful. I’d rather not think about the Canon of the Mass set to it, though.

  27. James Joseph says:

    NO JOKE.

    I have heard, “Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world…” sung along, by a priest, to the Looney Tunes song.

  28. As an Irishman I am just a little tired of constant references to Irish pubs. I have been known to sing ‘Danny Boy’ on occasion, but never in a church or in a pub. Some of us Irish don’t drink alcohol. The Venerable Frank Duff, founder of the Legion of Mary, was one. The Venerable Matt Talbot, when he stopped drinking and led a life of asceticism, was another. So please, no stereotypes.

    That said, I agree with what you wrote. Occasionally I sing the Preface and Eucharistic Prayer, using the melodies in the Sacramentary. I think it adds solemnity to the celebration.

    Years ago when I was new in a parish a Communion ‘hymn’ to the tune of ‘Fascination’ started. I stopped it immediately and it was never used again. Your point about Sousa, whose marches I have always loved, reminded me of an article I once read about music in church in which the author said that the model for us should be ‘Happy Birthday’. It is 100 percent appropriate when sung at a birthday celebration and 100 percent inappropriate on any other occasion.

    God’s blessings.

  29. K_Suzanne says:

    The Simple English Propers, a book written by Adam Bartlett and released officially at last month’s CMAA Colloquium, is a great source of hope for us! The upcoming new translation is a great opportunity for us to encourage our pastors and music directors to encourage more and more chant, in English if need be, to reduce the impulse to “make up” ridiculous parody versions of Danny Boy that have no place at Mass.

    http://musicasacra.com/sep/

    If you’re going to order the book, don’t forget to go through Fr. Z’s Amazon widget. :)

  30. BLB Oregon says:

    Maybe he’s one of those guys that, if he’s singing solo and a cappella, no matter what tune he tries to sing it eventually comes out sounding like either “Danny Boy” or “Happy Birthday.”

    Given that choice, I’d opt for “Danny Boy”. (There are some of us, after all, who have a singing aptitude that only ordination could make into a soloist.)

    But yes, the only excuse is that he’s doing his best, and “Danny Boy” is what came out.

  31. The Cobbler says:

    “[Happy Birthday] is 100 percent appropriate when sung at a birthday celebration and 100 percent inappropriate on any other occasion.”
    Except, of course, no occassion at all, or occassions where propriety (but not morality) is purposely disregarded. For example, a friend shows up to a party late. I had friends who did this — granted, the party was just breakfast after Mass in the morning, but we were jolly young folk who could make a party of that easily enough. One friend consistently got it because he stayed to pray some extra prayers; I took pity on him and sang Happy Birthday to him randomly once so it was no longer a matter of being late, since that wasn’t fair. Ever since we sang it to him spontaneously just because; I’m not so proud of that, though it’s pretty funny.

    My point being, if you want to be funny, Happy Birthday outside of a birthday is a good way to do it.

    Unfortunately, the example falls on deaf ears some places; I’ve heard Happy Birthday sung in a Batmanesque (“Nana-nana-nana-nana…”) rock style after Mass a few times (*grimace*), purportedly in celebration of someone’s birthday, which just shows that the distinction made still isn’t to the point.

  32. ipadre says:

    Now let’s all hold hands and sing together, to the tune of Danny Boy

    Oh Annibale,
    The organ pipes are tired,
    Of this nonsense,
    since 1969.
    Please give us back,
    the gift of our tradition,
    yes it must go, and chant must be returned.

    Oh our hearts long to chant the Pater Noster,
    and Kyries along with Glorias,
    we all are tired of singing “Here I am Lord”,
    Oh Annibale, oh Annibale, please let us go.

    But when we go to Mass on Sundays vigil,
    and try to pray and pray as we should do,
    then comes the twang of some “musician”
    We’re discomposed, until the “Go in peace”.

    Oh our hearts long to chant the Pater Noster,
    and Kyries along with Glorias,
    we all are tired of singing “Here I am Lord”,
    Oh Annibale, oh Annibale, please let us go.

  33. fxkelli says:

    I can’t help but think most people would consider these concerns somewhere between insignificant and petty.

  34. robtbrown says:

    The purpose of liturgical music is not to provoke feelings of devotion but rather to draw attention to the words and actions of the rite. And so the sentimentalism of the melodies of Danny Boy and Amazing Grace makes them inappropriate for liturgical use. Once devotion becomes a liturgical factor, the enterprise becomes subjective, thus localized.

    If people want to hear the likes Danny Boy, Amazing Grace, John Michael Talbot, listen to them in the car on the trips to and from mass.

  35. robtbrown says:

    Should be: If people want . . . , they can listen to them . . .

  36. oldCatholigirl says:

    @fxkelli:
    I can’t help but think it odd that anyone would label concern for the solemnity of the Mass as either insignificant or petty.

  37. fxkelli says:

    @oldcatholicgirl: Reasonable if there’s a clear intention to undue the solemnity of the mass. That it might be perceived that way is another matter entirely. As we all know, you can’t meet everyone’s expectations.

  38. Tina in Ashburn says:

    “I can’t help but think most people would consider these concerns somewhere between insignificant and petty.”
    Problem is, there are RULES about Liturgical music that are supposed to be rigorously followed.

    The music, or any liturgical practices, has nothing to do with our expectations or personal opinion. The Mass does not belong to us. God tells us how He wants to be worshiped. Check out the details in Scripture, such as how the Ark of the Covenant was to be built, all the way to Jesus at the Last Supper. Notice how the smoke of Cain’s offering fell to earth, while Abel’s rose? Yes, there ARE practices God does not like. If you believe that Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church, then you must obey its laws, as this is how we are instructed today.

    We constantly get the wrong impression that anything can be sung because we have seen the wrong thing done every day, for years and years. We have been formed by very bad example, myself included.
    MOST clergy and laity remain stubbornly ignorant of these rules because they won’t look up the Church documents or even entertain the idea of asking an expert on traditional practices. I wanted real answers so I read everything I could that is in English. [the really good stuff is untranslated Latin]
    It would surprise MOST people that the IDEAL Liturgical music is singing ONLY the texts of the Mass without any instrumental accompaniment, to acceptable chant melodies.

  39. irishgirl says:

    Denita-I had a good laugh about your getting out of your coffin and wanting to SMACK anyone who has the nerve to do ‘Amazing Grace’ at your funeral! Good for you!
    James Joseph-‘Lamb of God’ sung to the ‘Looney Tunes’ song? You serious? Oh, my word….I like Looney Tunes, but not in church!
    ipadre-hey, great parody of ‘Danny Boy’! You’re just as creative as Tim Ferguson!
    Fr. Sean Coyle-I’m half-Irish (on me father’s side-he was 100% Irish-American, born on St. Patrick’s Day) and I don’t like drinking, either! And I’m glad you had the guts to get rid of the Communion Song to the tune of ‘Fascination’ out of your first parish! Way to go!

  40. Cathy says:

    Every time I hear the tune, Danny Boy, I think of the muppets rendition and chuckle. This would probably not be appropriate during the Eucharistic prayer. Popular music evokes many memories, not all of them filled with sentiments appropriate to the celebration. I find such use of music in the Mass, well, unwise. Some of the popular choruses used today sound more like jingles for commercials than music appropriate for worship and almost make me cringe.

  41. benedetta says:

    fxkelli says:
    27 July 2011 at 8:02 am
    I can’t help but think most people would consider these concerns somewhere between insignificant and petty.

    Actually, fxkelli, I can’t help but disagree, strongly. Most people would hear that and find it jarring and weird. The writer himself says that “several” people stayed behind to inquire and received that explanation. So, it was thought out with care and deliberation, the Danny Boy rendition such that he was ready to justify. That several people would stay after Mass to ask says something. Now a great many people would be struck by it, find it thoroughly weird, be annoyed, but, rather than wait around to ask (“Don’t ask…”) due to years of becoming desensitized and enduring so much nonsense and so many shenanigans, would likely shrug and move on to the next thing, having, no confidence that pursuing it would at all clarify things, from experience. Not because they believed it insignificant, as you assert, or that they would somehow feel themselves petty for an honest curiosity.

    Now I myself do not regard fellow Catholics as potential nihilists who regard all as insignificant and meaningless and hopeless or as inherently petty. Rather I think people are quite generous, indulging a great many things, hopeful and kind. One cannot fault curiosity, or then wondering having been given that particular thoroughly thought out explanation with the added personal justification, and following up to ask, what is this one about. Sometimes there just aren’t many places one can turn to for reasonable explanation or assistance on people who do weird things with sacraments for their own enjoyment of it. I take this writer in good faith, and I fully expect that if Fr. Z were to confirm the Fr. Danny Boy’s explanation given his research and qualifications the man would feel, well, not shamed and petty but would stand corrected, in good faith. I think we want to encourage the faithful to inquire and not shame people or call them petty just for wondering. For all I know, ad libbing the Eucharistic prayers into a whole lot of pretty English gibberish could be right-on, and provide a maximum validation Mass experience to the faithful.

  42. fxkelli says:

    “Problem is, there are RULES about Liturgical music that are supposed to be rigorously followed.

    The music, or any liturgical practices, has nothing to do with our expectations or personal opinion. The Mass does not belong to us. God tells us how He wants to be worshiped. ”

    No doubt that some of what you say is truth. There are definitely core elements of our faith where this absolutely applies. I’m sure we have enough biblical and spiritual support for these beliefs to claim certainty. To state that we have the same level of support to claim certainty for liturgical issues like these is considerably more challenging and problematic.

  43. benedetta says:

    fxkelli, I’m sure it is challenging and problematic and that is why it is best to be faithful to the sacrament and not attempt personal improvisation for one’s own fun and games. Why would a priest desire for the faithful to have to second guess or worry by inserting a special ditty at that particular moment? People have enough to deal with as it is and ought to be secure in the faithful celebration of the sacraments of the Church.

    Did you quote that comment out of context? If so I will fill in for you… the commenter said “God tells us how He wants to be worshipped.” Not each of us individually through private revelation, or by selective group vote, but through His Church.

  44. fxkelli says:

    “Actually, fxkelli, I can’t help but disagree, strongly. Most people would hear that and find it jarring and weird.”

    Maybe so, but neither of us were there, and “jarring and weird” are subjective assessments.

    I can’t speak for the actual events, and I only comment on the posts (not the people make them). Given the tone of the criticisms posted here, I would stand by my belief. We could always take the comments to a neutral forum and find out for sure.

  45. benedetta says:

    fxkelli, Sure what are your stats on the pejorative for people as petty?

  46. fxkelli says:

    benedetta says:
    27 July 2011 at 6:40 pm

    fxkelli, I’m sure it is challenging and problematic and that is why it is best to be faithful to the sacrament and not attempt personal improvisation for one’s own fun and games. Why would a priest desire for the faithful to have to second guess or worry by inserting a special ditty at that particular moment? People have enough to deal with as it is and ought to be secure in the faithful celebration of the sacraments of the Church.

    Did you quote that comment out of context? If so I will fill in for you… the commenter said “God tells us how He wants to be worshipped.” Not each of us individually through private revelation, or by selective group vote, but through His Church.

    It’s probably not fair to the priest in question to superimpose assumptions about his motives and intentions, especially if done in a pejorative manner.

    Sooner or later it becomes evident that the church is made up of people. Even without going beyond the boundaries of our own church, it is apparent that individual interpretations, opinions,and preferences have played a role in what we do and practice….even more unfortunately, how we divide ourselves.

  47. benedetta says:

    fxkelli is your main concern to come here and call people petty or was it to say that the ditty was not significant. The priest himself stated an explanation so to him it was apparently very significant, at least, I suppose in your subjectivist framing that would not be significant?

  48. fxkelli says:

    benedetta says:
    27 July 2011 at 6:57 pm

    fxkelli, Sure what are your stats on the pejorative for people as petty?

    I would leave assumptions about the individuals out and only focus on how their comments could be perceived.

  49. benedetta says:

    fxkellli Also let me know what you discover regarding private revelation and what the Church actually believes. I would be very curious.

  50. fxkelli says:

    benedetta says:
    27 July 2011 at 7:04 pm

    fxkelli is your main concern to come here and call people petty or was it to say that the ditty was not significant. The priest himself stated an explanation so to him it was apparently very significant, at least, I suppose in your subjectivist framing that would not be significant?

    My main concern is for what divides us. The protestants have been dealing with that for centuries. I wish we weren’t so good at emulating them.

  51. benedetta says:

    fxkelli An excellent start could be then to refrain from calling the faithful petty who are confused about weird and excessive liturgical/doctrinal experimentation.

    I have no idea what you are talking about regarding emulating Protestants and for concern for what is divisive. Maybe you could elaborate on your various statements. You have covered a lot of ground in a few comments, from the supposed pettiness of the faithful trying to figure out what is going on, to liturgy and God’s expectations, to Protestants and divisions for centuries. You are leaping from one to another without stopping to give us the courtesy of any facts or foundation and one wonders where you will finally land.

    There is legitimate concern that lots of weird things have gone on while taking advantage of people’s good will and perhaps now dumping petty on them besides is really unhelpful to that. What would be the option you would propose for people who find that strange and do not understand, to just shut up? As I said but to which you did not reply, for all we know improvisation of the Eucharistic prayers could be fully legit. Or, Fr Z may have supplied the basis for Fr. Danny Boy’s choice and people could have rested assured and relieved that it was all good. The Church itself has various documents as to the rights of the faithful to the celebration of the sacraments and even as you cite Protestantism, the Church has a responsibility to do so and priests and the faithful are similarly responsible. To say or pretend that it is all meaningless, empty and a lot of nothing really is not about faith but that is the basis for the same division of which you speak.

  52. fxkelli says:

    “benedetta says:
    27 July 2011 at 7:24 pm

    fxkelli An excellent start could be then to refrain from calling the faithful petty who are confused about weird and excessive liturgical/doctrinal experimentation. ”

    Even better to distinguish the difference between how a comment can be perceived and the person making the comment. I reiterated that a few times just to be clear.

    And we haven’t really established that there was anything weird or excessive, only that certain people perceived it that way.

  53. GregS says:

    “Singing the Eucharistic Prayer to the tune of “Danny Boy” is reason #24456 for why we needed Summorum Pontificum.”

    And we can thank the SSPX for Summorum Pontificum! Lets give credit to where it is due. The SSPX has been doing all the dirty work, while being labeled and bashed on by almost every group – liberal or conservative – in the Church.

    Uncompromising Faith and action for the salvation of souls! If that means little appreciation and respect, even from members of the Church – liberal and conservative – then so be it!

    Thanks be to God for the SSPX!

  54. fxkelli says:

    benedetta says:
    27 July 2011 at 7:24 pm

    There is legitimate concern that lots of weird things have gone on while taking advantage of people’s good will….

    No doubt. Part of the solution might be focusing on what matters and what doesn’t. Sometimes we worry about the wrong things and ignore the important things.

  55. benedetta says:

    fxkelli

    And yet evil is evil without regard for perceptions. Truth is truth which is completely different.

    I think you have to take a look at what Fr. Danny Boy in fact did and said. And it does matter though he or you may think it is about nothing.

    Further, the effect upon the faithful matters. Priests do not celebrate the sacraments alone in private rooms. The sacraments are for the benefit of the faithful and respect for the security and integrity of worshippers really ought to be paramount. How the faithful perceive things is not, nothing or irrelevant. That several remained after Mass verifies that this person was not totally alone in this striking him as very odd. The fact that the priest was prepared with crafted explanation also says something. And the fact that you would zero in on the perceptions of the faithful as petty and shove aside their concern also says something.

  56. fxkelli says:

    benedetta says:
    27 July 2011 at 7:24 pm

    What would be the option you would propose for people who find that strange and do not understand, to just shut up?

    Since you’re asking… I would hope people would ask questions. Sometimes the answer is that we see things differently, even within the guidelines of our faith. Some respect needs to be withheld for that possibility.

  57. fxkelli says:

    benedetta says:
    27 July 2011 at 7:47 pm

    How the faithful perceive things is not, nothing or irrelevant.

    Very true. What about the people who might have found it inspiring and fruitful. If they exist, I hope their opinion matters too.

  58. I sense that the thread is being dominated by two voices. Perhaps it is time to make the final points so I can close the combox soon?

  59. fxkelli says:

    benedetta says:
    27 July 2011 at 7:47 pm

    And the fact that you would zero in on the perceptions of the faithful as petty and shove aside their concern also says something.

    For the record, and once again, that never really happened.

  60. benedetta says:

    This is what did happen

    fxkelli says:
    27 July 2011 at 8:02 am
    I can’t help but think most people would consider these concerns somewhere between insignificant and petty.

    By your attribution of your subjective pronouncement of what most people would consider, in one fell swoop you shove to the side the need for the integrity of the liturgy of the faithful and for the need for our clergy to first and foremost be loyal to the faithful, the Church.

    The Church simply does not equate the integrity of the liturgy for the benefit of the faithful with ambition to constantly innovate doctrine as both valid and two sides of the same coin. Though it has been tried it is not workable nor has the attempt been kind to the faithful who have endured it. As a practical matter it has not helped the faith or unified or reduced divisions. The innovations and the disloyalty are simply that and nothing more.

    The sources of the faith are good, and are dependable:

    … priests should be conscious of the fact that in their ministry they must never put themselves or their personal opinions in first place, but Jesus Christ. Any attempt to make themselves the centre of the liturgical action contradicts their very identity as priests. The priest is above all a servant of others, and he must continually work at being a sign pointing to Christ, a docile instrument in the Lord’s hands. This is seen particularly in his humility in leading the liturgical assembly, in obedience to the rite, uniting himself to it in mind and heart, and avoiding anything that might give the impression of an inordinate emphasis on his own personality.

    Danny Boy is a sign that points to many things, which are other than, Christ. In a nutshell.

  61. MJ says:

    fxkelli…I won’t pretend – I cannot make heads or tails of whatever it is you’re trying to say. I do know that music at Mass is not somewhere between “insignificant and petty” – the music at Mass is quite important. Not as important as the sacrament *obviously*. But it is important. ‘Nuff said.

    GregS…perhaps we’d best not open the SSPX can of worms. The SSPX may have been instrumental in bringing about SP, but they are also responsible for other things, the effects of which are not so nice. One only need to refer to Fr Zs many threads on the SSPX to find out what sorts of things those are.

    I’ll put in a vote for the combo box to be closed. :)

  62. Supertradmum says:

    ohmygoodness…not to offend my Irish friends, but I am entirely sick of Danny Boy and to have it put into the Most Sacred Part of the Mass is too much. There is a reason why St. Gregory the Great encouraged the Chant. And, contrary to popular liturgists, there is a real difference in music, as there is sacred and profane music. A letter to the Bishop would be appropriate.

  63. John Nolan says:

    I have heard some toe-curling things sung at Mass, and have occasionally walked out if things got too bad, but if a priest ever tried singing the Canon to Danny Boy in an English parish the reaction would be shocked silence at first, then a few supressed giggles, rapidly escalating to gales of laughter. I wish somone had posted this on YouTube.