Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Translation Tuesday: "Contemporary" and "Traditional"

Welcome to this installment of "New Translation Tuesday."

I want to share three comments from WLP's survey about the new translation of the Missale Romanum.

In the survey, we ask this question:

What type of help would you like WLP to provide during this time of change?

Here are three responses to that question:

I think it would be helpful for WLP to extensively market the more contemporary mass settings for the new liturgy. One of the comments that I read on Jerry's blog talked about how one parish was using the new liturgy as a way to bring the liturgical music more in the direction of chant. I think that helping parishes keep their current music style with the new liturgy will help make average parishioners less bothered by the changes.

I would like WLP to market three or four of the best Latin settings of the ordinary which might function in both the ordinary and extraordinary forms. Finally, I would like to see WLP market the best English Chant propers (introit, graduale, offertory, and communion).

I would like WLP to take a leadership position in developing new Mass Settings that while rich in tradition and true to the revised texts are vibrant, energetic, and "vocal friendly" or singable. Support contemporary artists like John Angotti who have a deep Catholic faith and resonate with the young/youthful Church - the Church of the future.

We receive comments such as these each year when we ask our worship resource subscribers to complete a survey. The comments about "contemporary" and "traditional"—and I am not quite sure what those words actually mean any more—are usually split right down the middle. For those offering comments, half want more "traditional" and half want more "contemporary."

I'd like to post one of yesterday's comments on this blog that represents where I am on these issues:

I think as you have said that the Church has room for both. The problem that I keep seeing is that most Catholics seem to want everything to be homogeneous within the Church, as long as it is like them. I see a Church where both the Tridentine Mass and a Life Teen Mass can be celebrated in the same community and afterward both groups come together for the Parish festival.

Whether it be Chaplets of Divine Mercy or John Angotti's Billy Joelesque music, whatever brings us to Christ is good!

Of course, in the middle of all of this stands this Catholic publisher. Our mission is to serve the needs of the singing, praying, and initiating Church. We do our best to provide  music and resources of the highest quality to serve those needs. Our mission is not to dictate those needs.

I am always proud of our staff when I see their expertise, coupled with their enthusiasm about working in a publishing house that is dedicated to bringing people closer to God.

I believe our new Mass settings will serve the needs of the wider Church. You can find descriptions of our new and revised Mass settings at this web address: www.singthenewmass.com.

Thanks for listening. As I mentioned yesterday, I have adjusted the functionality of this site, opening the possibility, I hope, for those of you who, in the past, have not been able to comment, to now do so.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Charles said...

The first commentor's suggestion that if Mass settings are kept in the current style to which they're accustomed, that the translations might be less bothersome...troubles me. I understand the sentiment and rationale. But, isn't that precisely the mindset of "it's about us" that has so muddied our post-concilior waters? As I heard in a homily at our parish this last Sunday, if every Catholic truly believed in the Real Presence, the Masses would be SRO every day, to which I add, the Faithful would get the "fear and trembling" aspect of worship, of approaching the Living God. Bear with me, if PIPs and their pastors are more concerned with "bother" and "convention" and "expedience" and "comfort," I'd say their understanding of both the gospel and worship is deficient.
Christ called us to the "better Way," not the "same way."

Fr. Edgar Borchardt said...


Thanks for posting the Sing the Mass link.
While publishers cannot release new Masses or revisions of current Masses until the final versions of the Sacramentary has been approved, it would be very helpful to have MP3s or other sound clips of the music without the text. Or, since the text of the Our Father will not be changed, why not release the new musical setting from newly composed Masses?

Jerry Galipeau, D. Min. said...

Thanks for the post, Fr. Edgar. We are hoping that the release of these full settings is imminent. We just do not have the time nor resources to strip out the words in an mp3 file. We just ned to hold on for, hopefully, a few more weeks. As soon as we know what's what, the singthenewmass site will have links embedded that will bring you directly to sample pages and to mp3 files. And I know you are going to love what you see and hear!

Paul said...

Hi Jerry: Looking forward to hearing and singing these new settings. It's the music that will bring people through this!

Brad said...

I think publishers who promote music for the mass should be listening more to the official documents of the church and less to the people in the pews. I find it very dangerous to use marketing strategies to help determine what should be in a Catholic Church's repertoire. In the end, it's not about what pleases us and relating the divine to the profane, but offering up our very best to the glory of God. I can't say that the mainstream publishers are promoting the very best we have to offer yet. But I'm hopeful that this will change. But it takes a shift of focus away from the popular consensus to the official requirements of the universal church.