Thursday, August 25, 2011

EF Mass in Madison: Is It Different There?

It's always interesting to read what reporters write.

A Madison Newspapers reporter wrote this about the Extraordinary Form (old Rite) Mass in Madison:

Gregorian chant is the required music, sometimes accompanied by an organ or singing.

Most of you will get it.  
For those of you who don't, "Gregorian Chant" IS SUNG.  His sentence is comparable to "Eating sometimes requires food."  Further, Chant is not "required": it is preferred, although Chant (Gregorian or ersatz/Rossini) is the only music used for some singing during the Mass.

God love him; he tried.  And I admit the topic is somewhat technical.

Same graf:

Female altar servers are not used because traditionalists believe the role should be reserved for boys, the only ones who can become priests.

Umnnhhh....has nothing to do with "belief."  Has everything to do with the liturgical law in force in 1962.  Again, arcana; but gee, whiz....

However, he can't be blamed for semi-accurate quotations from Church "historians":

"Vatican II shifted the emphasis to draw more on the talents and abilities of people who are not ordained — the idea that, ‘It's my church too,'" said the Rev. Steven Avella, a history professor at Marquette University in Milwaukee and a Catholic priest.

Nope.  The Liturgical Movement, which began in the late 1800's, was the impetus for "draw more on the talents [of those who are]...not ordained."  In Germany, it was quite common for Catholics to sing some parts of the Mass, such as the "Kyrie" and "Gloria" in German long before Vatican II.  And Pius X (early 1900's) was very clear:  he wanted the people to say or sing their parts of the Mass, albeit in Latin.  (For that matter, every parish choir consisted of "non-ordained" folks, too.)  Finally, it was not "Vatican Two" which made all the changes happen; it was the implementing commission.  Vat II only provided a general framework.  It's analogous to Congress writing a law, but leaving the implementation to regulators.

Nice to see that the Madison papers pay attention to what's going on, no matter the techno-glitches, though.  Let's hope the reporter returns and sees the crowd double in a couple of years.

Fr Z also noticed the item.


Badger Catholic said...

I was surprised that it was a decent article. We've seen other outlets looks like chimps with keyboards on the matter. The obvious thing here is that seculars are even noticing what many Catholics are not( or do not want to know about). Yeah, but asking someone from Marquette about the TLM? When's the last time they had one of 'em on campus? Or better yet, when's the last time the administration declined students requests for one.

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Tim Morrissey said...

It takes many years for a reporter to learn that people who REALLY UNDERSTAND the subject matter of the story will see many errors. It also takes some mentoring. Both of those things...experience and mentoring...are quite lacking in today's newsrooms.

Anonymous said...

I vividly recall sitting through a homily of Fr Steve Avella in which he stated that "as Catholics we are bound to defend life from birth to natural death". An unintentional mistake, or a window into what he actually believes? After several e-mail exchanges with him on the topic, I still am unsure of the answer to that question.

Dad29 said...

Well, Tim, as we've discussed before, people who have experience and accumulated knowledge are generally more expensive.

None dare call it 'age discrimination,' however.