The New Missal has started in my parish and the music is atrocious. I had to go to the local public high school play to hear Gregorian Chant! No regard for GIRM #41. My Bishop refuses to allow the extraordinary form of the Latin Rite. Is there anything I can do to push the issue in my Diocese. Or am I doomed like Evelyn Waugh to “church going that is a bitter trial”.
GIRM 41 is based on Sacrosanctum Concilium 116:
All other things being equal, Gregorian chant holds pride of place because it is proper to the Roman Liturgy. Other types of sacred music, in particular polyphony, are in no way excluded, provided that they correspond to the spirit of the liturgical action and that they foster the participation of all the faithful.
Since faithful from different countries come together ever more frequently, it is fitting that they know how to sing together at least some parts of the Ordinary of the Mass in Latin, especially the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer, set to the simpler melodies.
First, keep in mind that since Summorum Pontificum went into effect in September 2007 pastors of parishes, not diocesan bishops, implement celebrations of the Extraordinary Form in their parishes. The diocesan bishop no longer makes these decisions. Were a pastor of a parish to start a regular TLM, and were the diocesan bishop to demand that the priest stop, that priest’s case would probably receive a very favorable hearing at the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei” in Rome.
What you should probably do is organize a group of people who will support the effort from soup to nuts in the parish. Take care of every detail so the priest doesn’t have to do it all himself. If the priest needs vestments, get him vestments. If you want chant, get a schola together and practice and provide the chant or hire some singers. If something in the sanctuary needs to be set up or moved or shifted around, then be there on the spot with enough hands on deck to get it done so that the priest never has to worry or wonder if it is going to be done in time. Get the whole thing ready to rock and roll and take the proposal to the parish priest. According to Summorum Pontificum a stable group making a request cannot be ignored. Make the request again and again and again. Present the whole thing as a “business plan” so the priest knows every detail. Keep at it. Press it forward slowly, cordially, persistently, kindly.
If you want it badly enough, you have to be involved in making it happen in concrete ways. You cannot simply sit back with nice aspirations and wish for it and then be sad when it doesn’t come to pass.
And perhaps you will have to be willing to suffer and even take it on the road. But … if you don’t try, you’ll never know what might have been possible.