USCCB President Authorizes Gradual Introduction of Musical Settings of New Roman Missal Starting In September
BELLEVUE, Washington—Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Divine Worship, announced that diocesan bishops may permit the gradual introduction of the musical settings of the people’s parts of the Mass from the new Roman Missal in September. Primarily this affects the the Gloria, the Holy, Holy, Holy and the Memorial Acclamations.
This variation to the implementation of the Roman Missal, Third Edition, set to take place all at once on November 27, was authorized by USCCB president, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, and adopted by the committee to allow parish communities to learn the various parts of the new translation “in a timely fashion and an even pace.”
The Committee on Divine Worship made the decision in response to requests from several bishops, echoed by the National Advisory Council. Some suggested that the various acclamations could be more effectively introduced throughout the fall, so that when the full Missal is implemented on the First Sunday of Advent, the congregation will have already become familiar with the prayers that are sung.
“I ask you to encourage this as a means of preparing our people and helping them embrace the new translation,” Archbishop Gregory told the bishops. The announcement took place June 16, during the U.S. bishops Spring Assembly near Seattle.
We have been putting our heads together today to figure out how we will deal with this as a publisher. Fr. Anthony Ruff over at Pray Tell asked us about this, and this was our response:
WLP managers met this morning to consider the implications of some dioceses beginning to use musical settings as early as September. Our free downloads of assembly card materials will be helpful to many parishes, and all our print editions are available. Our worship resources will not contain the new settings as the fall issues are already at press. Accompaniment supplements with the new Mass settings will be mailed to subscribers in September as usual. If our customers call with a need for materials earlier than they would normally receive them, we will make sure they have what they need without additional cost.
Last night, approximately sixty musicians gathered at Saint Andrew's Cathedral in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for a WLP choral reading session. We gathered in one of the transepts of the cathedral, below the Nativity window. The Boesendorfer was in place and the organ console was moved, so that it was near the singers.
It was obvious that solid music formation has taken place in the Grand Rapids diocese over the years. The sight-reading abilities were terrific. The musicians made a glorious sound as we moved through the various Mass settings and several WLP choral octavos. Here are a few photos I took (with their permission, of course!):
I hope that your weekend is a good one. Personal thanks to the great people of the Diocese of Grand Rapids for a grand night of singing.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.