Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Translation Thursday: "La la la la"

Welcome to another installment of "New Translation Thursday."

Yesterday, at the Mass for the people attending the J. S. Paluch Vocations Seminar, we sang the "Christ Has Died" from Peter Kolar's Misa Luna. It struck me that this was most probably the last time I would ever sing that acclamation at Mass. Just seemed strange that, after so many years (and many of those years at multiple Masses on a weekend), this familiar acclamation will be no more. When I thought more about it, I realized that this particular memorial acclamation was the one that was used in probably 90% of funerals and weddings as well.

Remember the days when Lucien Deiss' Keep In Mind was in pretty wide usage as a memorial acclamation?

"Keep in mind that Jesus Christ has died for us and is risen from the dead; he is our saving Lord; he is joy for all ages."

The history around here (and that history can sometimes be sketchy) was that the US bishops had once given approval for its use as a memorial acclamation. My, how times have changed!

I remember once when I was a kid, perhaps nine or ten (so this would have been late 1960's) going to Mass at a parish in New Bedford, Massachusetts, the city in which I was born. There was no accompanist at that particular Mass. The celebrant announced the hymn or started the acclamations and we all just joined in. When the priest got to the memorial acclamation, he wanted to use Keep in Mind. But he got a little mixed up when he started it. The melody was correct; it was the melody to Keep in Mind. But, instead of starting it with the words "Keep in mind," he started with "Jesus Christ has died for us," words that are found in the second phrase.

So, this is how he sang it:

"Jesus Christ has died for us . . . (then he paused, noticed his error, and continued with:) . . . la la la la . . . and is risen from the dead; he is our saving Lord, he is joy for all ages.

That's right, he actually sang "la la la la."

When I recall this, it brings a big smile to my face.

As we move into the new translation, letting go of texts that have become so familiar to us, we will have our stop and go moments. Hopefully some of these will bring smiles to our faces as we grow into the new translation.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.


Adam Wood said...

I was once at a daily Mass at my home parish. We got to the Sanctus, and for some reason, everyone started singing the hymn "Holy, Holy, Holy. Lord God almighty. Early in the mor..." at which point, everyone realized they were singing the wrong the thing. Somewhat dazed and confused, everyone stopped and tried again. Same thing. Everyone looks around, trying to figure out why they can't manage to sing the right song. Finally, the priest saves the day by leading us all in a spoken Sanctus. Mass continues. Giggling afterwards.

Alan Hommerding said...

Since I've worked here long enough to have spoken with the folks involved with "Keep in Mind" becoming a memorial acclamation ...
It was for a celebration of Confirmation at Holy Name cathedral in Chicago that permission was requested, and granted, by Cardinal Cody (of Chicago) to use "Keep in Mind" as the memorial acclamation at the Confirmation Mass - that one time. But it was subsequently put into the Monthly (now Seasonal Missalette) as a Memorial Acclamation.
I guess there was a tacit approval from the bishops, since their office would have been the one to grant ecclesiastical approbation for the Missalette to be published for use at Mass. I'm sure that even when the music was removed from that position in the Missalette, the practice continued. (Much the same way I'm sure that there will be parishes who continue to use "Christ has died ... " after November 27, even without permission.)
A reminder that 40 or some years ago, there was a lot more latitude given for this kind of practice.

Anonymous said...

"Christ has died, etc." is not an acclamation but a statement about Christ. That is why it should no longer ve used.