Monday, July 07, 2008

"Pride of Place": Chant and the Liturgy

A clear and concise answer to the question "why VatII's DoL said Chant should have pride of place..."

This means that chant is not only to be in common use in the liturgy, but it is also to provide examples and inspirations for new compositions.

The reason for this is to assure a genuine organic development in the sacred music Catholics experience in worship -- in continuity with the Church's history, and transcending limitations of time and cultures.

Understanding and appreciating this universality in Catholic music for worship might be seen as one facet of the obedience of faith

A response which is packed with stuff--but note particularly how Fr. Weber used logic to arrive at universality, which IIRC is a word used by Pius X in describing the marks of liturgical music.

Obedience, of course, is a funny thing here in the US. Bishops and priests like pew-sitters to obey, but they see no particular need for they themselves to obey Roman legislation. That's a very dangerous position to take...

Historically, Gregorian chant is in direct, organic development with ancient cantilation -- chanting -- patterns of the psalms in temple and synagogue. This was the background and experience of the first Christians. So our chanting today is in direct relationship with theirs.

One can see, then, that when we sing the chant, we are truly "in connection" with our fathers and mothers in the faith.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph heard and sang many of these patterns of sacred chant in synagogue and temple worship. The apostles, the martyrs, the great saints whose witness continues to inspire us today, were all nourished on these traditions of sacred chanting.

...[our] grandparents and parents, so many beloved family members, teachers and friends, who have gone before us "marked with the sign of faith."How they loved the sacred chants, and passed them on to me with piety, devotion and reverence. What an opportunity to participate in the Communion of Saints. What could be richer or more spiritually satisfying?

Yah, well. There are some who would simply disregard all those people and their patrimony, and many of those dis-regarders have a particular affliction.

By the way, Fr. Weber is obviously the right authority. He has the right passions:

I'm a Green Bay Packers fan myself, rabid, actually. I'm really grateful to the Packers for all the hours they spend in practice and preparation for their games. All the sacrifices they make. It's worth it.The payoff is really something awesome. We, the fans, would settle for no less. Doesn't this same expectation apply to the things of God? It really isn't that hard to understand, is it?

That settles it.

1 comment:

Billiam said...

Chant is pretty cool, says I!