There has been some discussion here of late about the Introit v. hymn debate, as well as the general issue of the use of hymns at Mass instead of the actual antiphons designated by Holy Church for use each day.
I saw at NLM an interesting post abut this. My emphases and comments.
The editor of GIA’s new edition of Worship [A book which I am sure many of you have in your parishes.] has some comments concerning why the core of Catholic music for the Mass – the Propers – makes no appearance in the massive book now being published for the Mass. It is a mystery, isn’t it? A huge hymnbook for Mass even though that Mass has few hymns at all as part of its structure, and those it does have are intrinsic to the rite and appear in the normative music book for the ritual, the Graduale Romanum. [That puts it succinctly.]
PRAY TELL: [Which is a liberal leaning liturgy blog, our of St. John’s Collegeville, MN. Get this question….] Traditionalism is on the rise in the liturgy, [NB: It’s an "-ism".] and some people are talking about more chant, fewer hymns, more proper antiphons, and the like. Will Worship 4 bend to meet any of these new needs? [Or will Worship remain rigid and inflexible.]
BOB BATASTINI: Like Worship 3, there will be a fair amount of chant, but certainly not enough for those who desire to move heavily in that direction. [Those who want to move in that direction should simply ditch the editions of Worship they have and not buy the new one. There are other, better books.]
Regarding the hymn versus introit matter, though “some people are talking,” by far, the common practice in American parishes is, and for almost fifty years has been, to begin the liturgy with a hymn. [In spite of the indications of the Second Vatican Council that Gregorian chant as the first place and that the Church has antiphons in the Missal, and there are officially published books for those antiphons.] Worship 4 is being designed to give those parishes the best collection of hymns published since Vatican II. [Same old same old.] In an effort to merge hymn singing with [get this…] the intent of the introit antiphons, [the "intent"? What would that be? The Church’s assigned antiphons can be seen, but not heard? You can look at them in the Graduale but not sing them? I think the Church’s intent is that they should be sung. Am I wrong?] Worship 4 will include the most developed hymn of the day compilation ever assembled. [Gosh!] The work of fine contemporary hymn writers is being wedded to well-known tunes from throughout the hymnic tradition, offering a hymn closely tied to each Sunday of the three-year Lectionary. [For heaven’s sake. Try the Graduale.]
We can imagine other versions of this Q&A. Some people are saying that houses should be made of brick to withstand the weather and last longer. What do you say? I say that all houses today are made of mud and this is why we continue to do so. [SKIDOOSH!]
I mean no offense in the analogy, truly. But it is an undeniable fact: [Perpend:] parishes are not doing the right thing as regards music in the Roman Rite. [Well said.] The Mass is not a gathering of believers united to sing their top favorite songs. [I think the little combo stuck up in the front of the church suggests something else.] There is a time and place for that, and Mass is not it. If you want to see the music for the Mass, you have to look at the Roman Gradual or some other book that contains the propers (which can of course be in English). [Though with less success, in my opinion… so far.]
Are we seeing (to quote a friend) an attempt to make ignorance of tradition the new tradition?
Why would a Catholic publisher continue to subsidize bad praxis? [Ummm… follow the money?] I guess it depends on the raison d’etre of the publisher. As the editor says in his last answer: "I often loose patience with the institutional church…" [Ummm… follow the money?]
By the way, the USCCB gave this publisher the legal monopoly to the Psalms of David, which allows this publisher to charge parishes and convents and monasteries money for singing. If you don’t pay, expect a visit from the lawyers. [Yep … follow the money.]
What does never hearing the language of our Rite mean for our Catholic identity?
What does never hearing the actual music for our Rite, with the assigned prayers in the form of antiphons, mean for our Catholic identity?