3 October 2011

The new Gloria

The family and I went to Mass at a different parish in another diocese yesterday.  Call it Catholic tourism, if you will. 

The parish had decided to use a setting of the new Gloria as a way of preparing the congregation for the new translation.  The setting was, to be blunt and charitable, completely unsingable.  This setting used a refrain for the congregation, rather than have them sing the whole thing.  The refrain was terrible, to begin with. It sounded like a sea shanty.  The average congregation cannot sing above a D.  They went way above that.  The verses had a meandering, wandering feel, not even remotely resembling a tune.  They may have been trying to modernize chant, but, if so, they failed terribly.

I do try not to be negative over much, but this left me nothing to be positive about.   The good news is that the translation is new, and it will take time for the wheat to be sifted from the chaff.  Most of the music written in Mozart's time was not very good either, but time has forgotten the second rate and left only the best.  We're just finding our feet for now.  In time, better music will come.


Una Voce Toronto said...
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Vox Cantoris said...

It went really well on Saturday at 5:00 where I am Cantor. The priest was ecstatic and the Altar Boy really impressed, even a couple of congregants commented positively.

Silly me, used the "too hard" Gloria from the Roman Missal, the ICEL Chant not in Celebrate in Song and from Mass XV dating from at least the 9th century.

Of course, they all thought that they were singing the "chant" setting in Celebrate in Song. I figure by the time they realise that the notes don't fit they'll have learnt it.

Teresa B. said...

You were probably singing the John Dawson setting.
We will be singing the easy Gloria chant setting which is actually more difficult for us than the hard Gloria chant.
I do wonder why we have 3 chant setting choices for the Memorial Acclamation and the other mass settings are given only one to sing??
My husband said - way too high and I thought so as well.