I received word that the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan, is getting a liturgical music overhaul. Based on the work of the previous bishop, now-Archbp. Alex Sample in Portland, Oregon, Bp. John Doerfler has issued a document that requires all the parishes to adopt a single diocesan-produced hymnal and that all parishes will learn to sing chants in both English and in Latin.
Someone sent the document to me, but since I didn’t see it on the diocesan website, I’ll not post it here… yet. Most of the document pertains to the development of the diocesan hymnal, but there is this:
“All parishes and schools will learn to chant the Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei from the Missa Iubilate Deo, and they will be sung by the congregation some of the time throughout the year.”
It seems that Bp. Doerfler takes seriously what the Council Fathers mandated in Sacrosanctum Concilium 54, namely:
54. …[S]teps should be taken so that the faithful may also be able to say or to sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.
I can hear the liberal candy-rearends whining even now. “It’s tooo haaard!”
Frankly, I think that what was mandated could have been a bit more far-reaching. They should also have a Gloria and Creed. Furthermore, what’s to keep them from adding a Mass setting each year or so?
At my home parish in my native place, there is a K-12 school. All the students, for the all school Masses, sing the parts that pertain to them, alternating, without blinking or thinking anything of it, in English and the Latin. No one told them they couldn’t do it. There is also a student choir that sings polyphony and settings of orchestral Masses. Also, on Saturday mornings there was always a Novus Ordo Mass sung in Latin: the whole congregation sang the Ordinary. The cantor would announce something like, “Mass IV, today”, because it happened to be a feast of an Apostle, and everyone sang, either from memory or from the Kyriale provided in a basket by the door. Easy peasy.
Sure, there might be a few bumps on the way, but in time it’ll be no problem. We don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good and we strive always to do our best when it comes to our liturgical worship of God.
Fr. Z kudos to Bp. Doerfler.