Every once in a while, I do a search out there in virtual land, simply using the words "gotta sing gotta pray." I did the same today. It seems that many of the issues I bring up on this blog stir up quite a but of discussion out there. I'd like to address just one strain of those discussions.
This has to do with the clustering of all the Catholic music publishers in this country together and referring to us in various terms: "Mega-Music Complex" and "Liturgical Industrial Complex." Some people use phrases such as "they want to rake it in" when referring to the new Mass settings that publishers are preparing for that moment when the new translation of the Missale Romanum is implemented. I thank God that I am a tough-skinned man (most of the time). I find these comments to be uncharitable and way off the mark. I am not saying that this publishing company does not want to be profitable. There are thirty people working diligently in this publishing house. The vast majority are here because they want to bring the best of their God-given talents and abilities to a noble purpose. They are committed to providing musical, liturgical, and prayer resources to the Church, with the ultimate hope that what we produce brings people into closer conformity to Jesus Christ. And they have children who need shoes on their feet. They have mortgages to pay. They have spouses who are unemployed. They have charitable works that they perform. WLP is the music and liturgy division of the J. S. Paluch Company, the owners of which are among the most generous Catholics I have ever encountered. Remember that the publishing companies haven't been lobbying the bishops or the Vatican to re-translate the Latin text. We are faced with an enormous challenge. And we are dedicated to the continuance of our service to the Church by providing—simply—the best and most affordable resources to make this transition as smooth as possible.
One comment about the music publishers that was made on one of the many blogs that I read caught my attention most notably, and I thank this person for the sentiments expressed.
"You may project cash-register noises on them if you must, but I find Dr. Galipeau's comments rather restrained and surprisingly apropos to what portends to be a major dilemma for average parishes, once these new translations are implemented. Nothing like this has been seen in thirty years. I keep waiting for somebody to add an authoritative caveat along the lines of, "But of course, musical settings of long standing custom may continue to be used in parishes for X amount of time," X being about forever. Considering the odd English translations of the Ordinary I continue to encounter here and there (including the Anglican stuff sung at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception), I can't imagine this go-around will be any different. If it isn't, and bishops start issuing cut-off dates and mandating missalettes/music issue-burning sessions, I think we are in real trouble. This would be worse than the upending we experienced in the late 60s-early 70s. Like them or not, the standard Ordinary settings heard in the vast majority of parishes nationwide are ingrained, if not actively loved. That to me represents a legitimate attachment, which denied or ignored is bound to cause serious spiritual harm. If Dr. Galipeau's publishing company can make that transition any easier (and he clearly thinks it can), then he deserves whatever cashing-in he can manage in the process."
As I said, we exist to serve the needs of the Church and we will serve those needs in the best possible manner. I have never been prouder of the dedicated staff here at WLP. These professionals make every day a joy for me. And for this, I gotta sing and I gotta pray.