Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Translation Tuesday: Musical Mass Settings

Happy Tuesday to you all. The workshop in Merrillville, Indiana last night went well. I always enjoy spending time with parish musicians. We had organists, pianists, guitarists, cantors, and choir members. A nice panoply of music ministers.

Tuesday is new translation time. I am sitting here at my desk with a live feed of the US bishops' meeting in Baltimore. You can find this video feed by visiting:

The "vote" on the new translation is scheduled to occur this afternoon. Today, obviously, is a pivotal day in the whole evolution of the new translation. Archbishop Aymond of New Orleans was elected as chairman of the Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship. He becomes the point man as this process unfolds.

In a previous post I spoke about how we have been working for nearly eight years here at WLP preparing for the day when the new translation becomes a reality. For musical Mass settings, we began a process of listening to musicians and liturgists in parishes. This was done on an informal basis. As for my experience, I began to ask people whether they thought it would be more helpful to rework current settings or to commission completely new settings. At first, the majority of people I spoke with wanted the old settings redone. As I began to share some of the newer settings that we had commissioned, I believe that peoples' minds began to shift. Many thought that retrofitted settings of the Gloria and the Sanctus seemed awkward and stilted in places. When presented with new settings, there was no musical memory of a previous setting that was causing these kinds of problems. So, we at WLP have taken a "both/and" approach, commissioning new settings, as well as having composers rework their settings. I would love to share some of these results with you but, unfortunately, copyright laws don't allow this at the moment. We have been told that we must wait until the US Bishops receive the recognitio from Rome before we can market, sell, or publish these settings of the new translation.

Suffice it so say that this kind of undertaking is quite enormous for a music publisher. We are doing everything we can to be sure that the singing and praying Church is well served.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Todd said...

Jerry, are publishers telling us in advance what will be reworked and what Mass settings composers (or you) won't deal with?