Greetings from Baltimore, Maryland. Here for a two day meeting at the Catholic Center, across the street from the newly restored Basilica; always worth a visit.
Apparently, there is/was a meeting in Rome today between members of ICEL and the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. We are in a "wait and see" stance . . . sound familiar?
I wanted to share some musical news with you. Over the past several weeks, during my presentations on the new translation, I have asked the people to sing two versions of the Holy, Holy, Holy. They have had the assembly versions of a revised setting, Jan Vermulst's People's Mass, and a newly composed setting, Steven Janco's Mass of Wisdom. You can listen to both over at Sing the New Mass.
I start with the very popular Vermulst setting, as revised by the late Richard Proulx. I alert them to the fact that the new text is set; so I warn them to be careful. Without exception, many, if not most, in the room have sung the old version of the first line. I tell them that it has become so part of their "Catholic DNA" that it is difficult to sing new words to the very familiar melody.
Next we sing the new setting from Mass of Wisdom. The text and music flow along flawlessly. I am becoming more and more convinced that the new musical settings will really help the implementation along. And the fact that we have such talented composers like Steve writing these settings is a real gift for the Church.
There are some who will not want to let go of the older settings; I believe it will take more work to re-teach these settings, but there are some fine ones out there and the work may prove well worth it. And the Missal chant settings, mostly new to the majority of Catholics, will surely help the new translation to settle in to minds and hearts.
It has been an interesting journey with these settings. The older Vermulst settings—as well as Michael Joncas' older "Sing Praise and Thanksgiving" Mass setting—may just find a happy home in places where these fine settings have either never been sung, or have not been sung in quite awhile. These are great musical settings and we at WLP decided against abandoning them, since they have become a part of the fabric of Catholic music since the Council.
So, where are you landing these days with regard to new vs. revised musical settings of the Mass?
Please check out Sing the New Mass, as well as the OCP and GIA web sites. Listen to new and revised settings and let's share our thoughts.
Speaking of web sites, WLP's web site has been down for a few days. People back in Chicago are feverishly working to restore the site; oh the wonders of technology! Until the site is restored, feel free to contact WLP toll free at 1 800 566-6150, and our great team of customer care professionals (a big shout out here to Jude, Kathy, Patty, and Didi) will be there to help you with your needs.
Thanks for listening and please feel free to reply by hitting the "comments" tab below. Or you can always e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.