Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Translation Thursday: Music for a Variety of Situations

"New Translation Thursday" has come around yet again.

It is interesting to note some developments just in the last week. I have had four requests (from parishes, individual presenters, and dioceses) to assist in the pastoral preparation for the implementation of the new English translation of the Missale Romanum. People are looking for two things. The first has to do with explanation on the "why" of the new translation. Secondly, people are keenly interested in seeing and hearing new musical settings of the Mass. As you already know, Catholic publishers are not allowed to market or sell new or revised settings of the Mass until the official recognitio is received from Rome. And as you are also aware, we here at World Library Publications have been working now for several years to be able to provide the singing and praying Church with newly composed—as well as revised—settings of the Mass. I am just bursting at the seams in my own excitement to share these settings with the Church. But, wait we must.

The way we have approached the musical settings is to rely on our own experience here as parish musicians (many of us here at WLP were or are currently parish musicians). We know the wide variety of musical resources in parishes across the country. There are places where the organist plays and leads the singing all by him/her self. There are places where a small ensemble of singers serve as music ministers. There are places where the piano or guitar is the primary instrument for music at the liturgy. There are places with large SATB choirs. There are places where the texts are sung in a bilingual fashion. There are places with mighty pipe organs animating the assembly's singing. There are places where there is no instrumentalist; perhaps just a cantor leading a cappella singing.

We have done our best to address the needs of a wide variety of situations. I hope that our hard work will lead people closer in their relationship to the Lord, made present in the celebration of the Eucharist.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


SHouldn't the needs of the liturgy specify the characteristics of the music, and thus determine what groups exist in parishes? It sounds like you're saying it should be the other way around...the groups that exist determine what kind of music you provide to ostensibly serve the liturgy.

What other kinds of groups could exist that would justify the creation of distinct musical forms? It just seems that this could get out of hand, if it in fact hasn't already.