31 December 2007

Finding middle ground

Canticanova has just published a new article in which the author briefly examines the positions of the right and left when it comes to Church music- either all new, or nothing new- and finds both positions unsupported by Church documents. While it is true that Gregorian Chant has "pride of place" other forms are permitted, and if permitted by the Vatican, then who forbids it? It seems both sides must therefore accept the existence of the other.

From my own experience, the traditionalists tend to be a bit more on the losing side than those who seek newness. However, I have seen some parishes where the traditionalists get the upper hand, and there the traditionalists are every bit as totalitarian as the progressives. But they are few where I am.

In my singing, I have left choirs over the choice of music in the past, and may do so again. I have never expected the choice in music to be my favourite hymns, every time all the time. I have always been willing to accept that sometimes I will find myself singing something I'd rather not. But it's when the balance tips, and I go from sometimes singing the music I prefer to occasionally singing the music I prefer to rarely singing music I prefer to almost never singing the music I prefer to when was the last time I sang something not by Haugen/Haas/Schutte? that I begin to think of leaving.

Canticanova calls for a truce. A truce would be nice. But in the end, there is really only the Church and its documents, obedience or disobedience. A truce would only be true if it stays within the boundaries.

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