4 July 2011

On the Bishop's decision to only allow only four Ordinary Masses in the new translation to be sung for the first year of the new translation.

I commented in the post below that the Toronto bishops have decided to limit the number of musical settings of the new translation for the first year of implementation.  In the spirit of trying to come to a better understanding of the situation rather than shooting from the lip, or at least to try and come to a better understanding after shooting from the lip, I have pondered this decision, read a bit more, and spoken about it to others.  I can now say a few positive things about this decision.

First, the word is out that the decision was reached in order to keep out Haugen/Haas et al.  OCP and GIA have been flooding Canadian parishes with copies of the new masses or updated masses by these and other composers.  Unfortunately, it also bans a lot of good music.

Secondly, it isn't a bad idea, and probably a good one, that Catholics in Toronto archdiocese all know a few Masses together. 

The question comes down to: why these ones?  I have come to the conclusion that the bishops made the best decision they could.  The Masses they have chosen cover cover a few different styles, including a chant based one.  I believe, or at least imagine, that the bishops and diocesan liturgists tried to cover a variety of music because Toronto has a wide variety of musical styles and choirs in their parishes.  One may have an argument about whether or not such styles should be allowed.  I don't want to make such arguments at this time.  There is no one style that would suit or please everyone. The bishops have therefore chosen a variety of musical styles, and seem to have hacked off everyone. What I wish to point out to those who are of a more conservative bent is what I have already said:  one of the Masses is chant based.   The bishops, in other words, have thrown us a bone.  Yes, any choir that wishes to learn more than one setting in order to allow the parish music to reflect the changing of the seasons will have to learn one of the other settings, but it can go the other way too:  other choirs will have to start learning the chant one in order to do the same. 

This could work out well.


Patience said...

I guess Latin it always an option as the words won't change there.

Puff the Magic Dragon said...

Actually, according to the letter, the ICEL chants are permitted. The letter, though points out that the Gloria in the resource is not the ICEL's chant.

But since the letter states that the parishes can use either the ICEL chants and/or the 3 masses in the resource, then the ICEL Gloria should be permitted. Anyway that is how I interpret the letter.

He specifically says the ICEL chant mass.

Otherwise if ICEL GLoria could not be used, why not just say that the only masses permitted are the 4 in the resource?