Division in the pews!

There is a workshop going in Milwaukee, WI sponsored by the USCCB-FLDC about the implementation of the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

There in article about this workshop in Journal Sentinel.  There is not much in this article of great interest, but a few things popped out at me.  Thus, I edit and add my emphases and comments:

Clergy to convene, discuss Catholic missal changes
Priests concerned about alterations in midst of other church issues

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

Posted: Aug. 5, 2010


The new translation introduces more formal, rarefied language into the liturgy. But Cooper and others who have studied drafts say it ignores English grammar and syntax and introduces terms – "consubstantial," "oblation," "ignominy," to mention a few – unfamiliar to many American Catholics. And some worry it will sow division in the pews[Right!  I can see it now.  Fights will break out in the pews when the Creed is recited.  People will hang their heads in shame and weep.  Some will rend their garments.  "Consubstantial!"  But I suppose we will have the opportunity to relive the experience of the early Church, when there were riots over changes to the words of Scripture or liturgy.  There were great Fathers of the Church who experienced exile over "consubstantial".  I am unaware that anyone went to the mat for something like "one in being with the Father"… whatever that means.]


"Much of the music that has come up over the last 30 years will no longer be useable," [Picture me in my grief.   Is there a better reason than this single point for the implementation of the new translation?] said Father Alan Jurkus of St. Alphonsus Parish in Greendale, who sent out a letter this month notifying members of the coming changes. 


"The bottom line for me is why. Why, with everything else that’s going on in the church, do we have to rub salt in the wounds?"  [Could it be that weak liturgy created the environment in which our "problems" have run rampant?]


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. AnAmericanMother says:

    “Much of the music that has come up over the last 30 years will no longer be useable,”

    Deo Gratias!

    – Johannes Ockeghem – (c. 1410 – 1497)

    To see how this is notated and (conjecturally) performed, go here.

  2. stgemma_0411 says:

    What?!?! No more “Take and Eat”?? No more “At the table of the Lord”??

    I am stricken with ineffable grief!!

  3. pcstokell says:

    No big surprise coming from Rembertland. Those folks will need help for years to come, and that goes ditto with Seattle.

    My work/parish has decided to move forward with group discussions on the new language, ahead of the FDLC confab for the OKC province priests next month. Lord knows how that meeting will fare.

  4. AnAmericanMother says:

    Has anybody got any more word on the Scottish composer James MacMillan “stealing a march” on the OCP and other publishers and being first out of the box with a new setting?

    I heard it was in the works, and our choirmaster says he is a first rate composer, but nothing since then.

    And some bad news . . . the Southeastern Liturgical Music Symposium unfortunately is featuring David Haas, who says that he has already composed a new setting. Ugh. That’s one breakout session I will not be attending. I’ll be at the Gregorian Chant or the vocal performance session, whichever I manage to get in. Otherwise the conference looks very good, with some excellent speakers.

    Anybody who’s in the neighborhood, sign up and get the Chant guys a good turnout. It would be nice if Mr. Haas wound up sitting around like the Maytag repairman, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  5. Frank H says:

    I find it very interesting, and cause for much hope, that the majority of the comments on the newspaper’s site, at least so far, appear quite positive about the new translation.

  6. Henry Edwards says:

    AmericanMother: Has anybody got any more word on the Scottish composer James MacMillan “stealing a march” on the OCP and other publishers and being first out of the box with a new setting?

    According to numerous reports, MacMillan’s setting will be used for the big papal Masses in Scotland and England. To the bitter lament of some of the composers so lamentably favored in recent decades:


  7. Henry Edwards says:

    And here’s the practice page for the Mass in Scotland:


  8. Mike says:

    My parish does a lounge-singer version of the Gloria that is a total wreck. I pray the new translation will put jersey-barriers in front of this horrible piece, and many, many others.

  9. Henry Edwards says:

    And, incidentally, regarding reverent OF music and otherwise, a great post by occasional WDTPRS commentor “southern orders” (at his own truly outstanding blog):


  10. lucy says:

    You hit the nail on the proverbial coffin of the mess we’re in, Father Z.

  11. AnAmericanMother says:

    Heh. The hack composer calls MacMillan “an art composer”. And that is exactly what bad composers call good ones.

    Our choirmaster’s own compositions are pretty arty too . . . in terms of being complex and not easy to sing. But he’s the best musician I know, and if he says MacMillan is good, he’s good.

  12. Leonius says:

    The only way it will cause dissension in the pews is if the priests fail to catechise their people and if there are people in the pews who don’t hold the Catholic Faith.

  13. leutgeb says:

    I heard James MacMillan speak yesterday at the Faith Conference and excellent he was too.

    The Mass setting that will be sung during the Papal Visit to the UK at Glasgow and Birmingham and is a setting of the new translation.

    The Gloria is through composed and it will be published by Boosey & Hawkes soon after the HF goes home.

    Tempting to ask him to sing a bit, but that would have been cheeky!

  14. ckdexterhaven says:

    FTA “For some people this will be very unsettling,” said Father Ken Smits, a Capuchin priest and liturgical scholar who is troubled by the move away from the vernacular to a more stilted, “sacralizing” language”

    I didn’t know what ‘sacralize’ meant, so I looked it up. Sacralize: to make sacred; imbue with sacred character, esp. through ritualized devotion

    A *priest*!! said this.

  15. AnAmericanMother says:

    Henry Edwards,

    Thank You!

    First impression on listening – beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I really like the Gloria, it’s complex, musically grounded, and not difficult to sing. I think the Sanctus is going to take a little warming up to (and it would be good to see the score), but it has some gorgeous bits.

  16. Much of the music that has come up over the last 30 years will no longer be useable

    Sadly, but unsurprisingly, major publishing houses like GIA, the folks behind the dreck-filled Gather hymnal, are already “spinning” the translation and retrofitting their products to comply with it. At the risk of shameless promotion, I’ll submit a recent post of mine that contains links and background information: http://richleonardi.blogspot.com/2010/07/singing-spinning-revised-order-of-mass.html

  17. Sid says:

    “Much of the music that has come up over the last 30 years will no longer be usable” — which means the new translation is also the occasion, and perhaps last chance for a generation, to compose and adapt beautiful music, music appropriate for Mass, and music written in the Roman Rite tradition.

    I am surely not the only writebacker who has recommended the entertaining video “Can you tell the difference” http://vimeo.com/10686215
    Among the video’s observations as to what Catholic Church music should NOT be are the following:

    “unsettling, jagged rhythms;
    excessive syncopation;
    no use of church modes;
    goofy, uninspired melodies;
    rhythmically-composed (lack of sophisticated melody);
    short notes tied to long notes;
    melodies not based on chant;
    bad harmonic structure;
    only emotional, gushy tunes

    cocktail music
    dance music
    Disney music

    “Generally speaking, music that is beat-driven or ‘sappy’ (emotional and gushy) is not appropriate for the official, pubic worship of the Catholic Church. This is not the tradition of the Church. Music at Mass is supposed to be solemn.

    “Composers of Sacred music are not to imitate
    Pop Music
    Broadway Music
    Secular Radio Songs
    Music Videos [MTV]
    Beach Party”

  18. Robert_H says:

    Picture me in my grief…

    That made me laugh, Father Z.

    If anyone questions my grief, I’m just going to tell them I’m feeling liturgical-dancy today.

  19. Rellis says:

    This is played up big-time at the dissenting “Pray Tell Blog,” which is the 180 degree opposite to WDTPRS.

  20. Ferde Rombola says:

    “Picture me in my grief.” (over dumping much of what passes for music in our Church) has to be one of the all time funniest lines in the history of this blog. It can’t happen soon enough.

  21. AnAmericanMother says:

    Oh, dear. Promoting ‘mariachi’ and ‘gospel’ settings ought to be anathema . . . .

    At least our in-house setting can be easily tweaked because the composer is in residence . . . . the congregational part is very easy to sing, but our choirmaster really let himself go a little on the choir parts. Hard work to learn, but worth it.

  22. teomatteo says:

    … And some believe it may spread a deeper understanding of the faith that will lead to a greater catholic identity amoung the faithful.

  23. JCCMADD says:

    You mean to tell me when ever I have to go to the N.O. no more WE ARE CHURCH OR HERE IAM LORD WILL NOT BE SUNG ANYMORE AND HOW GREAT THOU ART . GOOD – I STILL GO TO THE TLM.

  24. Mike says:

    In my opinion, “How Great Thou Art” should be forever banished. It is one hymn I simply can not tolerate.

  25. TNCath says:

    “Much of the music that has come up over the last 30 years will no longer be useable,”

    Unfortunately, this is not completely the case. New settings of the Mass of Creation, the People’s Mass, and others are already being circulated. Interestingly, these new musical settings are worse than their original versions, but they will be shoved down our throats.

  26. Supertradmum says:

    Whenever I go to Mass and hear the music played on the piano, not a liturgical instrument, but used at all the Masses here on Sunday and weekdays, I think of the group in The Blues Brothers, Murph and the MagicTones singing “Quando, Quando, Quando…”

    I feel like screaming and rushing out of the pew….

  27. GirlCanChant says:

    “Much of the music that has come up over the last 30 years will no longer be useable,”

    Can we have a party?

  28. brassplayer says:

    As always, if you don’t like something that is going on in your Music Ministry, instead of complaining about it over and over, take some initiative and try to implement changes in your Parish.

    It is your Church, after all.

  29. TJerome says:

    Where were “sensitive” priests like Father Jurkus 45 years ago when the changes were shoved down our throats. No one seemed to care about our “feelings” then.

  30. mibethda says:

    In reading the complete article, I noted that it was written almost exclusively from the standpoint of the dissatisfied critics of the new translation even though the ostensible purpose of the story was to tell of the workshop set up to assist the introduction of the faithful to the new changes. It was also misleading in giving the impression that the work product was imposed upon the Church in this country by ‘Rome’ (ignoring the fact that the translations were overwhelmingly approved by the American bishops – as well as those from all other English-using nations) I fear that this article reflects the talking points which are being honed by the opponents of the change in a campaign to stir up opposition in ‘the pews’ in the coming months. Sadly, they may succeed to some extent in creating dissatisfaction and in politicizing the liturgy.

  31. robtbrown says:

    And some worry it will sow division in the pews.

    I am reminded of a story of Bear Bryant in his first year as coach of Texas A&M. A reporter (it might have been Mickey Hersowitz) told the Bear after practice that he had been sent by his editor to see whether there was dissension on the team.

    The Bear told him to go back and tell his editor, “Damn right there’s dissension, and Bryant is the cause of it.”

  32. Henry Edwards says:

    Where were “sensitive” priests like Father Jurkus 45 years ago when the changes were shoved down our throats.

    They were the ones doing the shoving, the stomping, and (in some instances like my parish then) the jack-hammering in the sanctuary.

  33. TJerome says:

    I went over and viewed the comments to the article. It was actually very reinforcing of my own views. The young look forward to the new translations, but the double-knit dinosaurs (the new reactionaries) can’t handle their little spirit of Vatican II world crumbling. They’s soooooooo rigid and unable to change.

  34. robtbrown says:

    should be: Herskowitz

  35. Supertradmum says:


    Our music ministry is a small mafia, which no one seemingly can enter without an invitation. Even though I was in a Gregorian Chant choir, mixed schola, and various others choirs, I am not the “type” our music mafia chooses. Perhaps the new translation will open up people’s hearts as well as their minds. One member of our family, who has a trained tenor voice and has also been part of a group who made a Gregorian Chant CD, and who has been in various choirs, cannot “get in”. The Hass-Haugen-Foley-factor seems to be a litmus test. Either one conforms, or one is musically marginalized.

  36. TravelerWithChrist says:

    Why, with everything else that’s going on in the church, do we have to rub salt in the wounds?” [Could it be that weak liturgy created the environment in which our “problems” have run rampant?]

    Salt in the wounds??? As a matter of fact, YES, and we’ll be sure it’s BLESSED SALT, and lots of it!!!

    Our family prays every night for an end to weak liturgy, weak formation, weak “homilies” (which once were sermons on faith and morals), uninspiring churches, weak priests; all this ‘just love each other’ fluff hasn’t won any friends with God.

  37. Supertradmum says:

    Those “oldies” among us are very “salty” enduring years of pathetic liturgies,hoping each banal, even heretical song and translation and yes, translations of translation from loose-leaf binders at the ambo, would equal some days off of purgatory.

  38. AnAmericanMother says:


    As always, if you don’t like something that is going on in your Music Ministry, instead of complaining about it over and over, take some initiative and try to implement changes in your Parish.

    Worth repeating.

    I understand about ‘music mafia’ which was somewhat the case at our parish when we arrived. To put it bluntly, I thought the music was hideous (especially since we left Byrd, Tallis, and the 19th c. Anglicans), but I was a good little soldier and sang what was put in front of me and didn’t complain (much. I did occasionally roll my eyes). Showed up for every rehearsal, volunteered for the library committee, etc. etc.

    When the music director went on to greener pastures elsewhere, I volunteered for the search committee. And we got a really, really good man. Now we sing Byrd, Tallis, some 19th c. Anglican composers, AND Palestrina and Ockeghem and Josquin. Sure beats “On Eagles Wings”!

    There are not many parishes that can afford to leave trained singers by the side of the road. Supertradmum, it sounds like your parish is quite an exception . . . but that certainly isn’t common around here. Our Episcopal parish had yearly choir auditions even for current members, and there was a waiting list. But I’ve never seen that in any Catholic parish. Usually they’re out begging for anybody who can vaguely carry a tune.

    It can’t last forever though. If the music director has that high an opinion of himself, surely he’ll move on . . . .

  39. AnAmericanMother says:


    Do you and your tenor relation live anywhere near Atlanta?

    You both would be VERY welcome in our choir. In addition to being a learned man and playing the organ like an angel, our choirmaster is the best-tempered and most patient choral director I’ve ever sung with (and I’ve been in choirs since I was 6 – just under 50 years.)

  40. Supertradmum says:

    The priest is in charge, followed by a graduate student who is very trendy and liberal, and the dear, old Church ladies in the choir, who love to hold hands at the Our Father and raise their hands at the blessings. I don’t know how the 70 and 80 somethings got so liberal. No one is hired, and all those who volunteer are very jealous of their positions. There are very many volunteers.

  41. doanli says:

    When the Lord said there would be much wailing and gnashing of teeth, imagine the liberals having had most of the last 30 years’ music being taken away at Mass!

    (Hard not to laugh, forgive me, Lord!)

  42. Supertradmum says:

    PS the pastor is against Latin, period.

  43. Supertradmum says:


    I am afraid we are moving, but not to your spot in Atlanta, which sounds like heaven.

  44. brassplayer says:


    You have my sympathies. Have you ever spoken with your Pastor about the possibility of you starting a Gregorian Chant Choir for another one of the Services? Or perhaps a scheduled rotation where on some Sundays it is the Modern Choir and on other Sundays it is the Traditional Choir. Be creative! Where there is a will there is a way. Good luck!

  45. brassplayer says:


    Obviously, your comment was posted while I was writing my last comment. Sorry.

  46. HighMass says:

    Well its time to speak up with everyone else. Fr. Z. Would you like some Kleenex to wipe away the tears re: the music of the last 30 yrs+, or should we just sing a round of “rain down”???

    We can bet that those who are fighting this are not going to be Johnnie on the spot to switch back to Gregoian Chant. And YES Bugnini and Piero Marini’s week liturgies have contributed alot to modern day problems that have run rampant.
    There are some SUnday Masses that are attended and I truely find myself being angery over the music and social gospel one hears!


  47. lux_perpetua says:


    yes, by all means. you’re right!

    now, for those of us willing to go to meetings and make changes and suggest alternatives to the drivel we hear week in and week out… just where do we turn? is there any hymnal worth advocating for?

    at the Church I used to attend in center city philadelphia, the Liturgy was pretty solid but the music, especially that for the “young adult Mass” was horrid. absolutely horrid. and it all went on because “well the leader of the music ministry is a concert pianist. so obviously she knows what she’s doing.” I stopped going after I heard a “hymn” once which contained the line “I, myself, am the bread of life.”

  48. doanli says:

    Our wonderful pastor is having another TLM/EF Mass said AGAIN this Sunday!

    I may suggest a Gregorian Chant Choir.

    I am basically tone deaf though I LOVE to sing. (Any hope for me joining such a choir? Are the notes difficult?)

  49. Sixupman says:

    “Consubstantial”!!! : in the UK as infants we were told what the word meant, now they do not even tell them the true meaning of the Sacrament of Communion!
    I despair, but that would also be a sin, so I must refrain!

  50. lux_perpetua says:

    i guess i shoud clarify that the “i” in the statement referred to the congregation. Not Jesus

  51. HighMass says:

    Sorry I meant to say weak not week liturgies….

  52. AnAmericanMother says:

    Aw, too bad! It really is a nice parish. NO but lots of Latin (ordinary of the Mass chanted in Latin every First Sunday, with the young priests adding a little more Latin every month . . . ) The new church (ca. 1995) has fabulous acoustics, all the early music and small chamber groups want to perform here.

    We too have our share of the little old ladies who somehow became hippies, but an occasional awful hymn seems to keep them pacified.

    Do buzz me if you happen to pass through (everybody changes planes in Atlanta). It sounds like you could easily just pick up the music and sing, and our choirmaster is perfectly o.k. with that, in fact that’s our practice all summer long. Show up 30 minutes before Mass, get dealt copies of the Mass parts, the (Anglican) chant Psalm, and the offertory and communion anthems, warm up, run them once or twice, and you’re good to go! (I love the relaxed attitude here, I’ve been in OCD type performance choirs and I don’t miss it one bit. And the music does not suffer at all. We’re doing the Faure’ Requiem for All Saints . . . .)

  53. Supertradmum says:


    Thanks for the sorry-we are moving to an area which has the EF. My soul was in danger of despairing.

  54. TravelerWithChrist says:

    from the journal: But some see the changes, …, as unwieldy and unnecessary. And they fear they could further alienate the faithful…

    Fr. Z, do you know who is ‘training the trainers’? I certainly pray it’s not these same men who are whining and reacting so negatively, that certainly won’t allow the changes to be made in a good manner. These changes will happen, like it or not.

    I fear we’ll have more division for awhile; not because us laypeople are too immature and stupid to understand the big words (book fights instead of food fights anyone), but because the parish priests will carry out the changes in a negative light, with a sour attitude.

    We must all pray for our priests during this time.

  55. templariidvm says:

    Ugh! Grew up in Milwaukee and now live in the Seattle Archdiocese – the changes can’t come soon enough, in my book! The priests who are making much negative noise about the changes make me wonder – are the changes walking the Church away from their comfortable, easy, non-threatening and most of all non-challenging belief system? If these priests need to explain to their parishioners what the changes mean, will they be able to do so?

  56. FranzJosf says:

    I was hired as a Cathedral Music Director in the deep south in 1986. Remember those days, only 16 years after the New Mass. I can’t tell you the knashing of teeth and complaining about my decisions. I banned guitars and Glory and Praise and How Great Thou Art and started Latin Vespers and Benediction during Advent. You wouldn’t believe the vituperation. At 26, thank God I had the youthful vigor to withstand the onslaught. But, Thanks be to God, I had support from above.

    I’ll never forget that as I signed my first contract, the wonderful old Irish Monsignor/Rector said to me, “Don’t worry, you won’t have to perform any trash, and the Archbishop will support you.” (in that wonderful accent) And we chuckled together. But little did I know the fierce attacks that would come. But my superiors supported my policies without fail.

    How far we’ve come since then. I didn’t think I’d see it my lifetime. Even with all the mess around us, things are getting much better. Thank you, Holy Father!

    That the music of Mr. MacMillan prevailed even in “Magic Circle” England is a mighty sign of things to come.

  57. AnAmericanMother says:


    I probably can speak to that because I didn’t meet up with Gregorian chant until we converted. At least, not in the old notation (there was plenty of chant in the Episcopal hymnal – which is actually not a bad hymnal at all, despite its origin.)

    The notation took some work but I learned it all right. It’s the ancestor of our modern staff notation and once you get the hang of the neumes it’s pretty intuitive.

    It’s not difficult music to sing. It sits in a fairly normal range, it doesn’t jump around, and (again, once you get the hang of it) it does flow in a logical manner.

    I would give it a shot. There aren’t many people who are truly tone deaf. Get a CD and sing along in the car.

  58. AnAmericanMother says:


    Thank you for staying the course. The Holy Father is leading the charge, but you and other musicians like you helped prepare the way for this. And thanks to your superiors for backing you up.

  59. AnAmericanMother says:


    The St. Gregory Hymnal is back in print, it’s very good and our choir uses it a lot. The Adoremus Hymnal is also good, and it’s a bit more modern.

  60. wanda says:

    Salt is used for healing, Ms. Johnson.

  61. Andrew says:

    Did anyone see the comments over at the Journal Sentinel? The author of the article must be cringing.

  62. lux_perpetua says:

    thanks A.A.M:

    I’ve been putting money aside to donate to said CC Philly Church for the express purpose of buying new hymnals. i have been on the Adoremus website but wasn’t sure if it was actually good or just looked good on paper.

  63. Jason Keener says:

    I’m a younger Catholic living in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, and I will be very happy to see these changes made to the language of the liturgy. In fact, I hope these changes are only a beginning to what will be a total overhaul of the Missal of Paul VI. I have other young Catholic friends in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee who share my enthusiasm for the positive changes being made to the Pauline Missal. We’ve all suffered way too long with banal liturgies that do little to elevate the mind and heart to God and His awesome mysteries.

  64. Elly says:

    Why do people dislike “How Great Thou Art?” I can understand disliking songs like, “Gather us in,” which are just singing about ourselves but I just can’t see the problem with “How Great Thou Art.”


  65. Supertradmum says:

    A young person with whom I was discussing this blog today,said that in the NO translations to date “We have made people stupid, and then they get bored.” He believes that the new words on the whole will not be noticed by most people. Oh my goodness, can’t Americans understand English? The boredom leads to an emphasis on the gooey, emotional songs mentioned here today, and the acceptance of the mediocre.

    Ah, for the good old days of singing the five-part or four-part Byrd Masses…as we did in Ventura at the Mission.

  66. FranzJosf says:

    Thank you, AAM, for your kind words. You wouldn’t believe the stories I could tell, including one threat of bodily harm, but there were many grateful people too. And there was a wonderful Daughter of Charity assigned to our parish who was a wonderful source of wit and wisdom and prayer. Her smile, alone, or her wink behind the back of a complainer could buck me up and remind me to give a calm response. God rest her soul!

    Perpetua: The Adoremus Hymnal is about the best thing out there for the Novus Ordo, but it is not without weaknesses. I hear that it is about to undergo a revision to correct some of those weaknesses. You might want to look into that; I don’t know the timeline for the revision.

  67. MLivingston says:

    About eight years ago, before TLM came to Phoenix and we all jumped ship, we were invited by our priest to organize a classical (four-part, occasional Latin) choir for “special services”. We had no end of objection and interference from the current choir director, who, incidently, wrote almost all the sappy music that church used. One of our tenors sighed loudly after a particularly unpleasant engagement and paraphrased the director: “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.” It gave us all a good laugh and courage to go on.

  68. Henry Edwards says:

    TJerome: “the double-knit dinosaurs (the new reactionaries) can’t handle their little spirit of Vatican II world crumbling. They’s soooooooo rigid and unable to change.

    Does anyone else remember the single most incessantly and nauseatingly repeated byword of the “spirit of Vatican II era?


    As in … “What’s the matter with you? Are you opposed to change?”

    This was supposed to be the perfect squelch of anyone who expressed any reservation whatsoever about the latest crazy wacko innovation in the liturgy.

  69. Nathan says:

    Let’s hold our musical horses, folks. I’m fairly confident that the article’s quote, “Much of the music that has come up over the last 30 years will no longer be useable,” would refer only to the part that was translated–the Gloria, Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei, and the Memorial Acclamations.

    I haven’t seen anything in the new translation (or in the GIRM) changing the “or other appropriate song” back to a required Introit, Offertory, or Communion verse. That would, I think, still allow all the current practice of hymn selection. Sorry.

    IMO, the good part about the new translation is that it will make Haugen’s “Mass of Creation” (HOH-lee, HOH-lee, HOH-leeeee Lord) obsolete, along with the “we love dissonance” settings of the Mass (“Community Mass” et al) that populate Worship by GIA and its ilk.

    In Christ,

  70. templariidvm says:

    When I was a kid, there was a program in our archdiocese – not sure if it went beyond that – called “Renew”. Much ado was made of “Renew”. It seemed to be the start of the sullying of all things liturgical by overemphasizing the role of lay people in the liturgy, though it did encourage people to discuss the Bible and their faith outside of the the walls. Maybe those who do not want the changes can consider this another Renewal.

  71. Supertradmum says:


    The problem with How Great Thou Art is twofold. Firstly, the song is based on folk music, which is the case for many 19th and 20th century Protestant and Catholic hymns. The folk genre is easy to sing, but not particularly sublime. Secondly, the words of the hymn are totally “Protestant” and non-sacramental, emphasizing a person’s ability to see and reach God through nature, and not The Church, and, in addition, has a strange reference to the salvation as not the taking away of sin, but the Lutheran idea of sins “covered”-not a Catholic doctrine. Lutheran or Methodist or Presbyterian hymns frequently uphold Protestant “doctrines” in opposition to Catholic doctrines. From the Vatican:42. In the ars celebrandi, liturgical song has a pre-eminent place. (126) Saint Augustine rightly says in a famous sermon that “the new man sings a new song. Singing is an expression of joy and, if we consider the matter, an expression of love” (127). The People of God assembled for the liturgy sings the praises of God. In the course of her two-thousand-year history, the Church has created, and still creates, music and songs which represent a rich patrimony of faith and love. This heritage must not be lost. Certainly as far as the liturgy is concerned, we cannot say that one song is as good as another. Generic improvisation or the introduction of musical genres which fail to respect the meaning of the liturgy should be avoided. As an element of the liturgy, song should be well integrated into the overall celebration (128). Consequently everything – texts, music, execution – ought to correspond to the meaning of the mystery being celebrated, the structure of the rite and the liturgical seasons (129). Finally, while respecting various styles and different and highly praiseworthy traditions, I desire, in accordance with the request advanced by the Synod Fathers, that Gregorian chant be suitably esteemed and employed (130) as the chant proper to the Roman liturgy (131). http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/be…Ars_celebrandi

    The Protestant Reformation taught doctrine through hymns, as the pastors and theologians had tossed out the Magisterium.

    For examples of Protestant theology in hymns: Amazing Grace, and many Catholic hymns written in the last 50 years…

  72. ckdexterhaven says:

    MLivingston- you’re not at St. Timothy’s are you? I went there from 97-99 out of necessity- I practically lived next door. The music director wrote a lot of the music used there, everything else (and I do mean everything) was contemporary, a lot of evangelical music. The choir was very selective, you couldn’t just “volunteer.” I used to sit in Mass, thinking that 85% of the attendees weren’t really Roman Catholic, just members of St. Timothy’s. So sad.

    But that’s the kind of parish that could have used a priest who didn’t stray from the Missal. There are so many parishes that will benefit from the brick by brick approach!

  73. Henry Edwards says:


    I would look no further than the Adoremus Hymnal. Our TLM community bought copies for our choir/schola, and they apparently think it’s as good as it looks on paper, including Latin ordinaries and hymns (as well as vernacular traditionals).

    But you should wait for the revision, as currently described at the adoremus.org web site:

    Adoremus Hymnal — Work on Revision Begins

    The new translation of the Roman Missal occasions the revision of the Adoremus Hymnal, first published in 1997 by Ignatius Press.

    In addition to the new Missal texts, the revised hymnal will include new settings of the “ordinary”, or sung chants of the Mass, in both Latin and English.

    Additional hymns will include all the Sequences and traditional Latin hymns from the Jubilate Deo collections issued by the Vatican. A few more hymns from the classic repertoire of sacred music will be included.

    As in the present edition, the revised Adoremus Hymnal will include traditional hymns for devotions, such as Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, as well as a selection of hymns for various occasions (such as weddings, baptisms and funerals) and for all the liturgical seasons throughout the year.

    Work has already begun on making necessary revisions. It is anticipated that the new books, along with an updated CD recording of the contents, will be available before the new English texts for Mass are authorized for use, presently estimated to be the first Sunday of Advent, 2011.

  74. HighMass says:

    Mr. Edwards,

    This old boy can’t keep quiet any longer (although I comment alot)
    “the spirit of Vatican II” YES, HECK YES that was the answer to all the liberals reason’s for throwing the baby out with the bath, most important the Sacred Liturgy/Holy Sacrifice of the Msss.

    It got to the point that it was even the answer to the common cold!

    Oh yes, as i read this comments and the diocese that some of the folks live in, can sure relate!

    This a.m. at the N.O. morning Mass Mankind was changed by the Deacon to Humankind, but I guess I need to remember that its all in the
    “Spirit of Vatican II”.

    What is so ironic is the Masses said through the council were for the most part still the Mass of 1962! Of course the Spirt folks will never admit it.

    Plus one still wonders if Blessed John XXIII wanted only a few revisions in the Mass not what we have today…..

    Again …..all in the spirit of vatican II!

  75. Nathan says:

    Supertradmum, you do a fine job of pointing out the theological problems with singing “How Great Thou Art” at Holy Mass. Elly, since I grew up backwoods Methodist in the Blue Ridge mountains of Virginia, I can’t help but associate the song with how it was sung–sentimental and way over the top. The popular technique at the time was to sing the verse “O Lord, My God, when I with awesome wonder” in a sung whisper (yes, Whisperin’ Bill Anderson was popular in Nashville at the time), building up to the belting, nasal, “THEN SINGS MY SOULLLLL….” While I don’t doubt the sincerity or the devotion of those who sang it at the revival meetings, it seemed much more a performance than worship.

    Can’t we just sing the Introit in Latin Gregorian Chant, as the Vatican II council fathers told us to do?

    In Christ,

  76. HighMass says:


    The excuse we get handed to us in our parishes is “it would be to difficult for the faithful/People” Latin that is, funny we followed our missals before the new Mass came along, and did just fine.

    Bottom line here is some do not WANT any Latin, Period. I’m an organist (since 1963) I hear it all the time.

  77. AnAmericanMother says:


    Wow. That should nail “How Great Thou Art” firmly back in the box.

    Another strike against it — it’s not really a hymn, it’s a gospel genre called a “sacred solo”. . . . in other words, performance music.

    I have never understood how “Amazing Grace” can sneak into Mass. Newton was more or less a Methodist and the hymn reflects that. Although I will say we sing quite a few of Charles Wesley’s hymns and they seem theologically sound (of course Charles was much more orthodox than his brother).

  78. AnAmericanMother says:


    Yep, that’s a ‘sacred solo’ all right. And I’ve heard it sung just exactly as you describe.

  79. Gregg the Obscure says:

    No! I had hoped that the new translation would banish Haugen’s Massive Cremation once and for all.

  80. Dean says:

    No more “Alleluya, cha cha cha” or a droning dirge where the Gloria is supposed to be?
    Let’s all try to be sad about the passing.

  81. Rob in Maine says:

    “and introduces terms – “consubstantial,” “oblation,” “ignominy,” to mention a few – unfamiliar to many American Catholics. And some worry it will sow division in the pews. ”

    If the “pews are split” there are much bigger issues than the word “consubstantial”; much like there were bigger issues behind “filioque”.

  82. iudicame says:

    Nathan, Whispering Bill whispered because he couldn’t hold a tune (on-key anyhow). That rug says it all…m

  83. William of the Old says:

    Jason Keener……….why don’t you and all of your friends try here: http://www.institute-christ-king.org/milwaukee/
    It may be what you are searching for.

  84. Will D. says:

    “The real concern is among the parish priests, who will have to explain something many of them are not in favor of,” said Smits. “They’d much rather spend their time in ministry than have to go through this linguistic exercise.”

    Lord save us. Father Smits, your job is to teach the faithful. How is it not ministry to teach the new missal to the congregation? And if a priest is not in favor of praying the way the church teaches him to pray, perhaps he has bigger problems than a “linguistic exercise.”

    I’m hoping that these foot-draggers suffer the ignominy of defeat. That or the ineffable joy of conversion.

  85. Frank H says:

    William of the Old – I have had the pleasure of assisting at a TLM at St Stanislaus…what a wonderful old church!

  86. William of the Old says:

    Frank H–see you at the picnic on the 15th?

  87. doanli says:

    Thanks to this discussion, all I have in my head now is “All Are Welcome”. ;) (Which is error because on a personal basis for instance, I cannot receive Holy Eucharist until my first “marriage” is declared annulled.)

  88. JPG says:

    How Great thou art is at least singable. Try “the summons”, or Take the Word of God with you as you Go” . The first sounds like a Barney Song and tthe second a Bank jingle. I have heard Amazing Grace enough to become nauseated on the first three notes. Then there are the putrid Marian hymns. “Gentle Woman” to name one. This hardly seems fitting for the Theotokos or the Hodegetria. That particular song will not be recorded or resung in 500 years. With regards to the translation bring it on.

  89. becket1 says:

    Quote from the Journal: “The fathers of Vatican II said overwhelmingly that we know how to adapt the prayers to our own needs,” said Father David Cooper of St. Matthias Parish in Milwaukee and chairman of the Milwaukee Archdiocese Priest Alliance.”

    The “fathers of Vatican 2”, I guess they are much more influential than the “fathers of the church”.

  90. robtbrown says:

    Quote from the Journal: “The fathers of Vatican II said overwhelmingly that we know how to adapt the prayers to our own needs,” said Father David Cooper of St. Matthias Parish in Milwaukee and chairman of the Milwaukee Archdiocese Priest Alliance.”
    Comment by becket1

    The fathers of Vat II also said overwhelmingly that clerics should pray the Office in Latin. Gee, I wonder whether Fr Cooper follows Vat II on that matter.

  91. Henry Edwards says:

    HighMass: the Masses said through the council were for the most part still the Mass of 1962!

    Not just “for the most part”. Every single Mass celebrated at the daily sessions of the 2nd Vatican Council was the traditional Latin Mass.

    Plus one still wonders if Blessed John XXIII wanted only a few revisions in the Mass not what we have today

    Indeed. Take a look at this picture of Blessed John XXIII celebrating the “Mass of Vatican II” that he loved so deeply:


    If you read the minutes of all 50+ meetings (as I have) of the Council commission that wrote Sacrosanctum Concilium, then it seems quite clear that they were talking about an arguably fairly minor revision of the Mass of 1962, not some entirely “new order” of Mass.

    Even so, the rumor persists (and I have not substantiated it) that Pope John’s last words were “Stop the Council!”

  92. doanli says:


    That photo takes my breath away. How sacred and holy!

  93. Elly says:

    Thank you all for the explanation.

    Nathan, you made me laugh in a library!


  94. robtbrown says:

    Dr Edwards,

    JXXIII really only made one change, the insertion of St Joseph into the Canon of the Mass.

    Having said that, I recommend an older Malachi Martin book, Three Popes and the Cardinal. Most of its information came from Augustin Bea (the Cardinal). In it MM says:

    1. JXXIII understood that an era had come to an end, that the highly structured Church of the Counter Reformation was becoming less and less relevant to people.

    2. JXXIII knew he was gambling when he called the Council, and it didn’t take him long to realize that he had lost wager. Even so, in typical bella figura his public utterances continued to be optimistic.

    3. In losing the gamble, JXXIII had turned loose forces in the Church that he could not control. Then he died and left the mess for Montini, who, IMHO, made an even bigger mess.

    4. If memory serves, the “how can we stop the Council” was attributed to JXXIII by Cardinal Heenan.

  95. btdn says:

    Milwaukee Area Priest Alliance:Milwaukee::McBrien:United States

  96. TomG says:

    Messrs Edwards and Brown: And I’ve heard that “stop the Council” attributed to Padre Pio!

  97. southerncanuck says:

    “Much of the music that has come up over the last 30 years will no longer be useable”

    Yes, but the forces of evil are already at work to make new bad music.


  98. Peggy R says:

    I fail to understand the logic of the complaint that so many other things are going on that to change the text “rubs salt in the wound.” Especially as addressing the weak language is a vital course correction. Can the Church not walk and chew gum?

    I pray that the awful music of the past 30 years will go quickly!

  99. KAS says:

    I long for a reverent Mass with a language that communicates the meaning it ought and Music pregnant with theological truth.

    If certain words are beyond the understanding of the Catholic in the pew then think how many homilies can be structured around each difficult word!

    Put definitions in the bulletin.

    Offer classes in understanding the Mass.

  100. Leonius says:

    If the salt loses its savour add fresh salt.

  101. Jason Keener says:

    William of the Old,

    Thank you for the suggestion. I am a member of the Traditional Latin Mass Oratory in Milwaukee; however, I cannot always make it to Mass there because of work obligations. When I have to attend Mass in the Ordinary Form, I would like it to be as uplifting as is worship in the Extraordinary Form. Unfortunately, the externals of the Ordinary Form often fall short of expressing the sacred reality that is taking place on the altar. God willing, the sacralization of the words used in the Ordinary Form’s Liturgy will help, but there is more to do.

    Pax Christi.

  102. Supertradmum says:

    Henry Edwards,

    I thought that I was the only one here to read arcane meeting documents from that confusing time. I have not read as many as you have, but the gist is the same–minor changes. If our present VAT II priests read those notes, would they be more open to the EF?


    As to reading the Office in Latin, I wish some priests would just do their breviary duty in English, period. Sadly, some I have met in the past year do not do so.

  103. robtbrown says:

    As to reading the Office in Latin, I wish some priests would just do their breviary duty in English, period. Sadly, some I have met in the past year do not do so.
    Comment by Supertradmum

    Yes, but I was using his Vat II reference against his flimsy argument.

    BTW, I knew some student priests in Rome who wouldn’t celebrate mass if they could not find a partner for concelebration. They were incapable of celebrating alone.

  104. jt83 says:

    I really want to be optimistic about the new translations helping to bring back the mystery, reverence and emphasis on Our Lord’s sacrifice. I also hope, like the author of the article, that most of the dreadful music that pervades many parishes will be gone. However, in my experience, the ‘old guard’ does not even pray the prayers the way they are currently written in the “lame-duck” translation which they so valiantly defend, that is currently in use. For example, I’ve heard many so-called “antiphonal” versions of the Gloria where there are verses and a refrain. If priests/musical directors/etc take creative liberties on the existing translation, who’s going to stop them from using the current popular Mass Settings once the new translation goes into effect?

  105. TJerome says:

    I took a look at Father Jurkus’ parish website and it told me everything I needed to know about his mindset – hopelessly mired in the 60s/70s.

  106. MLivingston says:

    ckdexterhaven, not St. Tim’s… they wouldn’t have let us START a classical choir there, let alone sing. I visited there a couple of times. May I allow the actual parish to remain nameless in the interests of charity, but if you know the area, it’s to the east and slightly south.

    Look at the number of responses here — the horrible music has been a torment to so many of us for so long!! The language in the prayers was far less painful than “Awesome God” and “I myself am the bread of life”, and lately the desperate attempt to remove all the masculine pronouns. Father Z, you’ve opened up a big wound here. Bless you for letting us all talk.

  107. Henry Edwards says:

    Supertradmum: If our present VAT II priests read those notes, would they be more open to the EF?

    Probably not. The priests most imbued with the “spirit of Vatican II” already know what they think, and are probably the most impervious to “mere facts”.

    I wish some priests would just do their breviary duty in English, period. Sadly, some I have met in the past year do not do so.

    I once heard a bishop say that, whenever he called in a priest who’d gotten into “trouble”, he always asked him first, “When did you stop saying your Office?”

  108. AnAmericanMother says:

    Second that, MLivingston.

    There is a use for the Gather and Glory ‘n’ Praise hymnals, by the way. Our choirmaster uses them to hold down sheet music so it won’t blow off the music rack on the organ.

    I hear they make good doorstops too, but I wouldn’t have them in the house.

    Lux_Perpetua, the Adoremus hymnal is probably the best choice, especially once they get the revisions done.

    The “St. Gregory Hymnal and Catholic Choir Book” is really a museum piece – originally published in the 1920s – although it has some great music in it. Nicola Montani did a great job selecting and arranging the contents. Thus we were able to stun our new archbishop with a complete set of the appropriate music for a Papal Mass when he paid his first visit to our parish to confirm the kids. The only problem was figuring out how to Latinize his name. We managed.

  109. catholicmidwest says:

    “Unfortunately, this is not completely the case. New settings of the Mass of Creation, the People’s Mass, and others are already being circulated. Interestingly, these new musical settings are worse than their original versions, but they will be shoved down our throats.”

    I completely believe you, TNC. But we won’t sing this baloney in a new form either. The new translations ought to make it sound even cheesier, if that’s even possible.

  110. AnAmericanMother says:

    New settings of the Mass of Creation, the People’s Mass, and others are already being circulated. Interestingly, these new musical settings are worse than their original versions, but they will be shoved down our throats.

    You’re forgetting one factor, TNC . . . the perpetrators are going to want to charge money for the privilege of allowing the aforesaid perps to inflict that tripe on us all over again.

    With any kind of luck, we can persuade our rector that our choirmaster can write a second set of Mass parts, a little more subdued and minor-modal than his first (a joyful D major setting), to take the place of the Haugen abomination. And it will be FREE, except for the cost of the paper for the copier. We already have a house copy of Finale, so Mass parts can be printed out with no trouble at all (we already print Latin Mass leaflets as well as the hymns).

    I think that will be an easy sale.

  111. Supertradmum says:

    I don’t know where this phrase is from, but it seems apropos. “Liturgical change is the prerogative of the saint.”

  112. ray from mn says:

    When I read the article, there were 42 comments. I didn’t count, but I would say that 35 or more of the comments were very positive with respect to the translation, and more importantly, they seemed to be coming from people under age 35. These are the future of the Church.

    The age of the negative commentors couldn’t be determined, but there only were a half dozen or so, but you can bet that they had first hand knowledge of Vatican II. There were a few off topic comments, as is often the case in newspapers.

  113. Geometricus says:

    Perhaps in 10 or 12 years there will be an indult mass for those who can’t handle change, or those who are “nostalgic” for the older translation. That, after all, would be the “pastoral” thing to do. I’m thinking such masses could be offered in nursing homes. Certainly no young people should be allowed at such masses! Only with explicit permission from the local bishop.

  114. TJerome says:

    ray from mn, that was my observation as well in reviewing the comments following the article. It must be hell for the spirit of Vatican II generation, because they are so rigid, so inflexible, so impervious to change.

  115. This whole business just makes me shake my head and wonder, “What in the heck am I missing here?”
    The howling, grinding of teeth and utter madness of the reaction to the new translations by the “professional liturgists” is not only annoying but just plain stupid. What is their gripe?
    Well, I do know what it is…their “playground” is being closed. They will have a much more difficult time convincing “the faithful” that their machinations are in line with the authentic Liturgy of the Roman Church; maybe.
    If they, do, indeed, use the new translations.
    I don’t know; I’m not a pessimist by nature. But I’ve seen too much, heard too much and experienced too much to doubt that these rascals are going to submit to this without a fight (per this article). Just take a look at “Pray Tell”. You can hope for and try to see some kind of “common ground” but it ain’t there; no way. These people are determined to undermine and question anything coming from Rome; the editor has even taken to making fun of Pope Benedict in various op ed pieces…a Benedictine monk, no less…but from Collegeville, MN, more of the same, as in the last forty-five years (I had some of the “progressive monks” there for classes in my unfinished master’s program there a lifetime ago).
    The real chasm in the Church in this country is going to be more evident in the promulgation/non=promulgation of the new translation of the English Missal. Just you wait and see.
    There are all kinds of things at stake: money, power, prestige, liturgical abuses, the need to control the “American” Church, etc. And, as most of you know, there are bishops behind this.
    I pray that God will bless us during this most chaotic time. We need more than better music; we need conversions and obedience; like NOW!

  116. As an addendum: Fr. Ken Smits, the “liturgical expert” in the article, was in residence at St. Anthony’s Retreat Center, Marathon, Wi (in our diocese) for many years. (No longer, however.)
    The chapel is a disaster; whether or not he is responsible, I do not know. But I have a guess.
    He is no more an expert than Popeye the Sailor Man.
    From the “desacralizing” of the retreat center’s chapel, which I am not certain it was he who did it, nevertheless, anything that comes from him is bosh. Period.
    I know from reliable sources that when the diocesan lay formation/deacon formation meetings are held there, proper liturgical vessels and bread and wine must be taken there in order to have a valid Mass. (Remnants of the Smits’ days?)
    He’s an expert?

  117. Mitchell NY says:

    WHy? WHy he asks? Because that is the best thing about the NO Missal..It’s inherent attribute is all the changes that can be made. It is not stuck in amber and can evolve, progress, and mutate….Isn’t this what they fought soooooooo hard for? The question should state a resounding OF COURSE, WHY NOT !

  118. Andrew says:

    Perhaps, some of these people, (liturg. experts, liberal clergy, etc.) are actually surprised to see themselves on the fringe. They have never known what that feels like. And every diletante musician who’s enjoyed the free stage provided by the church is now shaking in his or her pants. They lnow that they couldn’t possibly perform in public anywhere else: people would walk away.

  119. AnAmericanMother says:


    I completely agree. I’ve always said that far too many of these ‘pop’ musicians (not to mention the liturgical dancers!!) are performing in church because they couldn’t possibly get a gig anywhere else.

    Our rector has never allowed dancing in church, but our former Episcopalian rector did. Once. I actually hold two certificates in dance, and I made such merciless fun of him for being flim-flammed by somebody who couldn’t dance that he never did it again.

    Sometimes ridicule is the best weapon against abuse. That’s why the ‘church musicians’ pitched such a fit over the old webpage of the ‘Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Haugen and Haas’, which featured hilarious parodies of all the old We Are Church standards. The webmaster used to post some of the foaming-at-the-mouth ravings Emailed to him. Completely over the top.

  120. Evelyn says:

    Near the beginning of the comments on this thread, I was pleased to see that Henry Edwards gave the link to the Edinburgh archdiocesan website, Forth in Praise, which carries audio files of James MacMillan’s really excellent new Mass. I’m the person who organised this page, to try to help people practise this Mass, so new it hasn’t been properly published or recorded yet, ahead of the Pope’s visit on 16 September. All very rushed.

    I’m glad AnAmericanMother likes it, and hope others do, too. She’s right about the Sanctus – it is difficult to work out how the music fits the words, so with James MacMillan’s permission, I’ve added a small amount of notation to the page. I’m sure proper recordings and scores will be published soon. Changes are at http://www.forthinpraise.co.uk/mass.php

  121. Jayna says:

    “Much of the music that has come up over the last 30 years will no longer be useable.”

    I can tell you right now, though, that Haas has already written new music for the translations (Lord help us all). He’ll be at the Southeastern Liturgical Music Conference (or something to effect) to talk about it and show all of our incompetent liturgists how to apply their outmoded theology and wretched taste in music to the new translations.

  122. shadowlands says:

    ‘Perhaps the new translation will open up people’s hearts as well as their minds.’

    That is the only charitable comment I found here that even mentions a positive hope about those deemed not quite as up to scratch liturgically. I am glad everyone is pleased with what is happening to the music in Church. However, the ‘us and them’ attitude is rampant here. The only problem when judging people who are sooooooooo different to how we are, or feel we ought to be, is that it can stop us seeing them as Christ does. If we walk past a drug addict in the street, he might not even know what Church music is, and we will dismiss him as meaningless. But, look closer, because it might be the next Father Corapi, he lived on the streets for three years. The double knit people someone mentioned and got a laugh for, is that an insult for being an older Catholic?
    I don’t know if I want to hang around this place, I don’t meet Christ very often, maybe four times. I meet clever educated folks who know everything there is to know about the faults of the liturgy, but it’s like a badge of honour exposing it to some of the commenters. I feel so inadequate to dare ask what you all mean sometimes, for fear of appearing stupid. I don’t feel like that when I pray the rosary and meet with the Mother of God. I know she loves me. Not so sure with you guys.
    Oh well, I’ sure to find my niche somewhere. Now where did I put my knitting needles.

  123. shadowlands: Perhaps you need to comment more often?

    Keep in mind that there are a lot of walking wounded who comment here. Decades of mistreatment requires a bit of venting. A bit… a little.

    All in all, I think the tone is not too bad, considering what it could be if there were not registration and some moderation.

    This is not a perfect blog, by any means. But consider that your decision perhaps not to participate might be similar to your analogy of walking past a person on the sidewalk.

  124. brassplayer says:

    Of course, the time and energy one spends venting could be used to make positive changes in your Church and life instead.

  125. brassplayer: And yet, my experience is that the venting is slowing – over time. We have to have patience with people. And this is NOT the topic of this entry, which is being derailed.

  126. AnAmericanMother says:


    I hope I wasn’t too harsh. I also hope you’ll understand that those of us who are trained in traditional church music have a pretty hard time with what passes for music in some quarters. Really bad music is physically painful to us. And those of us who were raised on the majestic English of the Book of Common Prayer find the old ICEL version fairly painful as well.

    If you love to knit, think if you had to watch somebody purporting to be an “expert” and messing up a beautiful pattern, tangling and knotting and butchering lovely hand-dyed wool beyond repair, while you had to just stand by and suffer in silence. When you finally got the opportunity to break your silence, you’d probably at least mutter to your friends about the horrible waste.

    I think, though, that as things continue to improve, you’ll hear less complaining.

    And as a bonus, you’ll hear much better music!

  127. AnAmericanMother says:


    Thank you so much for those additions to the website. That does make the Sanctus much clearer!

    I have already Emailed a link to our choirmaster, I think he will like it as he thinks very highly of Mr. MacMillan.

    Do please let us know somehow when the scores are published. I am at the very least going to ask the Powers That Be for a trial run of this Mass when it comes out. We would need about 40 copies . . . . :-D

  128. AnAmericanMother says:

    And thank you also for putting together that website. I’m sure it will be a great help to those who are privileged to sing for the Holy Father (sigh).

    We were in your beautiful city some 20 years ago, loved every minute of our time there. Our family is of Scottish descent, and we always go to the Highland Games here and are members of the R.S.C.D.S. (Atlanta Branch).

  129. shadowlands says:

    I do understand people’s frustrations. Personally, I prefer really silent Masses. The most annoying thing for me, is to have to go through rehearsing hymns before Mass, it totally distracts my easily distracted spirit. However, offering the anger up may be useful for some poor soul in purgatory.

    I didn’t mean to pick on everyone here. I’ve beem picking on allsorts of people all week, I’m at a cantankerous stage( so don’t feel especially or even specially marked out).

    As Father said, I do think maybe I need to look at my own prejudices too and who I pass by on the ‘street’. Do I walk by certain ‘types’ and judge them? I have to answer yes. And if I make it to heaven, by the grace of God and keeping obedient, I will be spending eternity with them. So best to learn to perfect my love this side of the grave maybe.

    btw AnAmericanMother no, I can’t think that you upset me. It was just general feeling of inadequacy that swooped over me.

    My fourth son is into rapping, he likes Father Stan.

    Ok ok, I’m outta here!!

  130. shadowlands says:

    By the way, I do like to bounce tunes out, both gospel and liturgically suited at home and turn them up loud there!! Just not so much in Mass. Nothing wrong with a bit of ‘Shine Jesus shine’ while you’re washing up on a sunny morning though, is there?!! Maybe don’t answer that…….

  131. AnAmericanMother says:

    Re “Shine Jesus Shine” –

    Mash here.

    At least he’s wearing a biretta!


  132. shadowlands says:

    AnAmericanMother —Funny foto! thanks for the laugh.

  133. TJerome says:

    Thank you Father Z, for pointing out that there are a lot of us who are the walking wounded. For younger folks who did not live through the liturgical wars of the 1960s/70s, it might be hard indeed for them to imagine the pain that was inflicted on faithful Catholics. I am just greatful to have lived to see a resurgence of traditional Catholic liturgy that has returned to the mainstream. I honestly never thought I would live to see this day in my darkest moments back then. Deo Gratias, Alleluia. Tom

  134. AnAmericanMother says:

    Oh, and shadowlands . . .

    We have a rapping priest of our own (at least we did, until he got promoted to Assistant Director of Vocations).

    Introducing “Father Crunk”.

    Despite what some might think, he’s a straight-ahead, orthodox, faithful priest.

  135. Supertradmum says:

    Oh my goodness, can we not be rationally critical and yet charitable at the same time? I think, yes.

    Mass for the Transfiguration today in my parish and at the end “How Great Thou Art”. I laughed at the humor of God with and for His people. Humor saves us and keeps us humble.

    As far as venting goes, many of us live completely isolated from such intelligent and perceptive and orthodox Catholics as we, gratefully, find on this blog.

  136. Evelyn says:


    MacMillan’s publisher is Boosey & Hawkes. See his works at http://www.boosey.com/pages/shop/composer/default.asp?composerid=2799. The new Mass (which isn’t there yet, as far as I can see) is called the Mass of Blessed John Henry Newman (or just ‘The Newman Mass’), because of the beatification in England the day after the Scottish visit. A CD was recorded to help people learn it, but we’re still waiting for it to be distributed, hence our MP3 files. It’s all very hectic here just now, but very exciting. I think this lovely Mass is an important turning-point in post-Vatican II music.

    We’ll post news on the Forth in Praise website as we get it, but your best bet is probably to contact Boosey.

  137. Evelyn says:


    PS Glad you like Edinburgh!

  138. AnAmericanMother says:

    Thanks for the link! B&H has a pretty good order system set up for the U.S., we’ve ordered from them before.

    I hope all your rehearsals go splendidly, and especially the Big Day.

  139. Revixit says:

    shadowlands, i think you’re correct in your suspicion “The double knit people someone mentioned and got a laugh for, is that an insult for being an older Catholic?”

    there are some younger Catholics who think it’s fun to insult baby boomers and blame us for Vatican II, when the oldest boomers were only 22 in 1968, hardly of an age to be leaders of the Council. i suppose the blame-the-boomers folks have unresolved Oedipal complexes, or at least “issues” with their parents.

    we grew up with the Latin Mass, then had it taken away, at which time many of us, and our parents, left the Church for good. those of us who stayed and adapted are now being blamed for being resistant to the next wave of changes when i have seen no evidence that such is the case. people in general will complain about change, particularly if there are too many changes made at once.

    i don’t know why the bishops are dragging their feet over introducing the new Missal containing, what, three ‘new’ words? i’d be willing to bet that if tests were given this Sunday, pop quizzes, at Mass, those who would do best on the meaning of consubstantial, etc., would be those born before 1955. and i doubt any of them would be wearing double knit, either.

  140. chironomo says:

    I am responsible for putting together just such a workshop for our diocese in Septemeber. I have a full set of the “official materials” from the USCCB and FDLC – a rather extensive Power-Point presentation and accompanying materials that are to be used to conduct a 4-session workshop on the history and implementation of the new translation.

    My main concern with the program is that it delves extensively into the history of translation, covering a considerable amount of minutiae and a somewhat glowing review of Comme-le prevoit and the translation it produced. It then contrasts the new translation and sets it up as a “literal” translation of the Latin text. The juxtaposition of the two views cannot help but paint the current translation as defective in it’s “mechanical, literal” approach, even if it is praised elsewhere.

    There is very little “practical” information in the program, such as timelines or methods for introducing the various texts, or even more importantly any kind of emphasis on the SUNG texts of the Priests and the importance of learning them as SUNG texts. Overall, the program seems more like an academic overview of the translation project to present to an academic forum, not to present to musicians and catechists as it is intended.

  141. shadowlands says:


    will check out your rapping priest now! By the way, my knitting is about as successful as my gardening (not very, but I keep trying).


    I wasn’t born until the early sixties, that makes me a tale ender boomer apparently?!! One of the priests at my local parish is 96 next birthday and therefore ‘unlabel-able’ as no-one remembers what was happening before his time!! He is much less affected by changing ways. He is still active and says Mass on Sundays and during the week, He has seen many changes over the years. He exudes the peace of Christ. He still sings in Mass, his voice is fragile, yet beautiful, to me. He’s also a good confessor. You can tell him anything, (that ought to read everything) without fear of rejection. He’s heard it all before. He was taught by C S Lewis and Tolkien and he used to teach Latin at my old school, before I was born though.

    God bless him.

  142. We used to have an older priest at my parish. (He retired fully to his order’s homebase… fatherhouse? What do you call it with a men’s order?) I agree that the perspective is a great blessing, and the holiness and peace in such men even more of one.

    The Lewis and Tolkien thing really has me jealous… even though Tolkien was apparently a bit of an endurance test, there was a lot there for people who stuck it out. (Diana Wynne Jones wrote an incredible article on a class she took from Tolkien.)

  143. shadowlands says:

    Surburbanbanshee(sounds Irish?)

    Not sure of the correct term for priest retirement homes. Regarding Tolkien, Father L always says it was a joy to attend both their lectures, but I suppose it depends on where one’s perspective lies. One man’s meat etc. I can’t get into Tolkien’s works, Jack’s are more suited to my ‘of the masses’ mentality, eg; simple answers to complicated questions.

    I am crazy about C S Lewis, I’ve visited most of the areas he lived and was born in, even found the font where he was baptised in Ireland, but I only study (more like stalk) him in a very amateurish way. The Americans are the real experts, I reckon.

    I hope I won’t get in trouble from Father Z, for more derailing, I don’t know the rules around here yet.

  144. AnAmericanMother says:


    You’d have to be a CSL fan with a screenname like that!

    Have loved his work since I received the Narnia books at Christmas when I was 5. Or 6, not sure which. I think I have all of his published work, even the doubtful attributions, the early work (except Spirits in Bondage which has gone public domain and can be read on line), and the Oxford History of English Literature volume that he wrote. By the way, if you haven’t gotten to it yet that last is a splendid read, even if the topic is somewhat dry (16th c. prose and poetry). His genial personality shines through in every line, even when he’s beating up some poor forgotten pamphleteer he does it nicely.

    Lewis and Tolkien both seem to have more (or at least more dedicated/obsessed) fans in the US. Either prophet-not-without-honor syndrome, or just the American personality that tends to go whole hog on any hobby or interest.

    Now, if we get trashed for being off topic at least we can share the blame!

  145. AnAmericanMother says:


    I’m going to the SE Liturgical Symposium in two weeks, and I’ve signed up for the breakout seminars on introducing the new translation and chant for the new translation.

    SO, I’ll report back what if anything they do differently as far as nuts and bolts on introducing the new translation musically.

  146. AnAmericanMother says:

    Talking about older priests, when my daughter was at college she had a 90-something Jesuit priest as her confessor. (I thought she was exaggerating until I saw his pic on the parish website.)

    She loved him dearly, he was hard to find. All the parishes around her college were kinda goofy, and the college program of course was impossible, led by one of those feminists who kept agitating for female ‘ordination’.

  147. shadowlands says:

    “Now, if we get trashed for being off topic at least we can share the blame!”

    And I shall say “The others made me do it” (well, I find it best to use scripture to get out of trouble, that line worked for Adam. Oh no, it didn’t, did it? He got slung out of the garden for pedalling that lame type of reasoning. Mea culpa).

    ‘led by one of those feminists who kept agitating for female ‘ordination’.’

    A pseudo form of esteem and power seeking, for females unaware of their true self worth.(my opinion of that particular drive’s origin). I found mine in Our Lady’s heart. A secret place with my name on it. We all have a home in her heart. Some of us just like to rent for a few years, before we settle down there.

    I am off to Wales and a Dublin day trip, so won’t be infiltrating the combox until at least Thursday (unless there’s internet at the hotel of course, heehee!).God bless.

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