Good day to all and continued Easter joy. I am back home here in Chicago after an informative meeting yesterday at the USCCB in Washington. Thanks again for the comments that continue to stream in. I wish that I had the time to respond to them all.
I would like to respond to one comment on my "Choirs of Heaven" posting of April 28. An anonymous writer said this: "However, I think WLP needs to exercise a lot more discretion in what they promote as music that's acceptable for Mass. The Church has been very clear the secular styles are not allowed, but WLP music is mainly written in a secular style." I would invite readers to visit WLP's web site to see and listen to the wide range of music that we do publish. I can't give you a complete taste here, but here are a few examples.
Charles Thatcher's Seven Communion Chants for the Advent and Christmas Seasons, the sample octavo pages of which can be found here.
Godfrey Tomanek's arrangement of Michael Praetorius' Regina Caeli Jubila, the sample octavo pages of which can be found here.
Steven Warner's setting of Psalm 104, recorded here by his choir, The Notre Dame Folk Choir; the sample octavo pages can be found here.
John Angotti's Veni Creator Spiritus, a snippet of which can be found here.
Al Valverde's Vamos a La Casa del Señor, found here.
Kenneth Louis's Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord, from our "In Spirit and Truth: Music from the African-American Catholic Community" can be found here.
We publish music in a variety of styles. Those who sing our music are members of the Church here in the United States and beyond. Simply put, the variety of styles of music serves their needs at prayer. And our mission is to offer music and other resources that serve the needs of the singing and praying church. We are committed to publishing music that fulfills the spirit of our new guiding document from the US Bishops, Sing to the Lord. The bishops encourage us:
"Liturgical music today must reflect the multicultural diversity and intercultural relationships of the members of the gathered liturgical assembly. The varied use of musical forms such as ostinato refrains, call and response, song translations, and bilingual or multilingual repertoire can assist in weaving the diverse languages and ethnicities of the liturgical assembly into a tapestry of sung praise. Liturgical leaders and musicians should encourage not only the use of traditional music of other languages and peoples, but also the incorporation of newly composed liturgical music appropriate to various cultural expressions in harmony with the theological meaning of the rites (Sing to the Lord 60)."
"No matter what the genre of music, liturgical beauty emanates from that mystery and is passed through the talents of composers to emerge in music of the assembled People of God (Sing to the Lord 83)."
For those wondering how we are responding to the mandates issued in Sing to the Lord, you might want to take a look at WLP's Choral Subscription Service, which affords the subscriber the opportunity to take three glances a year into what we are publishing.
Some friends who are not in the world of liturgical music have told me how surprised they are at the passionate feelings and words of contention they are finding in the responses to my postings. This is the reality that exists today. And I think that reality is a sad one. But, in the midst of the divisions that exist, I keep reminding myself that God is God and we are not. And for that, we gotta sing and we gotta pray. Thanks for listening.