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Saturday, 30 June 2007

Motu Proprio Signals a New 'Dark Ages' - A Catholic Blog: Religion, Politics, Current Events, Humor, and more.

Brilliant blogger, this is hysterically on target. (Did we mention that B16 was a member of Hitler Youth?)
At the risk of committing the sin to which I just confessed -- I used to think those who carped on the anti-Catholicism of the MSM were, well.... carping.

Mea culpa, you were right, forgive me for having doubted.

Creative Minority Report: Motu Proprio Signals a New 'Dark Ages' - A Catholic Blog: Religion, Politics, Current Events, Humor, and more.

MSM and ASC research

Why the scare quotes from the NYTimes?

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/28/world/europe/28briefs-pope.html

Why no acknowledgement that so far, virtually all success has NOT come from ESC work, but from ASC?

Why the insistence that
"'Adult' stem cells can grow into a very limited range of body tissues, replenishing dying cells and regenerating damaged tissues; embryonic stem cells can grow into a wide range of body tissues," [emphasis mine]
without the admission that while true in theory, so far, it just ain't workin' out that way? that no real progress actually has come from ESC therapy ? that ASCs seems to be proving equal to everything asked of them?

Mea culpa....

I have had a remarkable insight into one of my failings.

(Well, only remarkable in that it took it so long to sing into the lump of pudding I laughably call my "brain.")

In common with many Vices, its longevity is a result of my having mistaken it for a Virtue.

It takes two different forms, and it took me far to long to see that they were related.

To whit -- when I give someone a compliment, or agree with a position expressed, I like to establish my bona fides regarding sincerity by pairing it with a less flattering assessment of some other aspect of what is under discussion or making the complement less than perfectly fulsome; and in the case of agreement, by describing the position of disagreement, from which benighted realms I have been delivered by new found opinion.

Why has it taken me so long to realize that THIS DOES NOT WORK?

Many years ago, Himself was falling into despair about his own ability and self-worth as it was connected to his abilities.

No, no, no, I assured him, you are a fine singer, the best singer in this entire cast! And you have a fine, beautiful voice, a gorgeous voice, why, of all these people, all this talent, only that chubby mezzo in the chorus has a prettier voice!

Why did I not learn my lesson from his silence? No one wants such honesty.

No one believes you the better for not exaggerating. No one has an aversion to "Green Room Perjury." (Except, oddly, me.)

Actors all laugh at the ubiquitous civilian compliment -- "I saw the original on B'way with Lunt and Fonteyn, and this was better!" (Daniel Marcus joked that at the premier of a play in Florida about the Kennedy assassination someone would come up and say, "I saw the original on TV with Jack Ruby and this was better!")
But they want it and they believe it.

Now, I am vastly in the minority -- I remember going on for another actress, and the family of my leading man naively (in the view of most actors,) telling me what he had said, that he was so glad, I wasn't as good a singer, but I caught the style of the music better, and I was so much a better actress and captured the character so much better that it transformed the show, as well as made it easier for him and everyone else in the cast to play their parts.

I was thrilled. I took it as the finest kind of compliment as it was so clear-eyed. But he was so chagrined he couldn't stop apologizing.

And people were horrified when I repeated the story (no names mentioned,) they couldn’t believe it hadn't upset me, couldn't believe that I was flattered, that I took the willingness to offer criticism as proof positive of the unimpeachable sincerity of the praise.

And it's not because I don't have an ego.

I don't believe I am not good just because someone else doesn't think so, I don't worry that when someone wins a role I should have had that it's because she is actually better, (although I think I can also recognize when that is precisely the case.)

How good would I be, could I ever hope to be if I deluded myself that I was "the best."
At anything?

But I amvastly in the minority.

Now, this all applies to the week I have just spent, because of the journey on which I have come, (or rather, journeys,) regarding the state of the Church liturgy and liturgical music (and many other matters, as well, home schoolers, proponents of square notes, among others,) and the places where I have arrived.

I naively thought it would be reassuring and instructive to someone with whom one utterly and whole-heartedly agreed to be told how drastically and why one used to disagree, and how one came around.

Not so.

Now, partly, this is the fault of my own loud-mouthedness.
I never murmur that I used to disagree, and diffidently whisper that now I see the truth of that which they espouse.

No, no, I have to shout about how virulently I used to believe that everyone on their "side" was barking mad, and wing-nuts, or utterly misinformed, or precious ivory-tower dwellers... and now aren't you glad that I done seen the light??!?&?#??

And no, they never are glad.

I must be different from most people in that regard.

Ah, well....
Let's see how long I can remember this lesson.

(On a related matter, not everyone enjoys snarky teasing as I do, or, for instance, mention of something I find charming and of which I utterly approve, but which someone else might criticize. I was just telling Himself, f'rinstance, that Fr Weber has a great sense of humor, but perhaps I shouldn't have referred to him elsewhere online as a Saint in Crocs.)

(And there's probably a joke to be made about Discalced, and DisCroced, but I can't quite figure what it would be...)

Friday, 29 June 2007

I love my choir

As Himself mentions, they have reached the point where they will attempt anything I ask of them , AND believe that they can accomplish it.

And I arrived home to find a gift from a member, as thanks for the completion of a successful "season."

They are so good to me, I am so blessed.

I think I will try the Biery O Sacrum Convivium with them this year.
I already had a perusal copy and it seemed pretty good, but singing it at the last mass of the rstreat convinced it it was more , much more than that.
Hearing voices in it, rather then merely imagining the sound. -- well, I was blown away.

Good contemporary composer to have been exposed to.

Coming down from the mountain...

I hope I can hang on to what I acquired at St Mary's on the Lake.

What a week.

I was so out-classed in skill and erudition by virtually all of the other participants, but doesn't it therefore follow that I stood to gain the most from their companionship? (I'm like the crummiest house in a swank neighborhood -- I co-opt some of their value ;o) )

I think bobble-heads...

A certain holy priest whose name I will not mention lest he prefer his humor not to be attributed in case it might be misperceived as snarky does a gag routine about Muppet-esque characters, "saying" (in the priest's falsetto, and let me tell you, Mel Blank would have nothin' to worry about...), in a teaching moment "Rubrics are our friends!"
But, aside from the fact that I don't like mention of puppetry in the context of a discussion of liturgy, (yeah, well, I was scarred by that homily I once saw in Florida delivered by a puppet...) I think muppets are NOT the way to go.
At first i though stop action clay-mation, but I've changed my mind, it calls for ironically bad animation, (maybe with some of the sensibility of Appliance Wars, or Mr Bill.)
I think bobble-head priests and liturgical ministers are the way to go.
The guys who put together that Deacon Pain video would have the skills, I think...
(I still hurt myself laughing when I think of the priest being tackled as he attempts to do his little liturgical dance to Envia Tu Espiritu.)

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

The Mundelein Psalter

I just realized with all the gushing I've been doing, I had not mentioned what a pleasure it has been to sing L of the H using this new book.
Well, well, well made volume, good paper, good type face (always good to meet another Garamond fan.) I know that seems like faint praise, but for the love of mike, the construction of a lot of hymnals is shoddy, shoddy, shoddy.
And this is a gorgeous tome (but yeah, it weighs a holy ton.)

I have had much less trouble on first use than in finding my way around, say Christian Prayer.

I do wish that the hymns that have more than 3 verses underlined one of the verses, you know the style I mean?
I may suggest it tomorrow. Not sure to whom...

And I know most of us are professional musicians, but honestly, the psalms and canticles are SOOOOO easy to read, right off the bat.
And sound wonderful

Talk about "noble simplicity."

But forget the pros, it was just as easy having my funeral choir sing one of them two weeks ago. And the priests here seem to be having no trouble, 'tall, 'tall, and they're not all exactly singers.

Bravo.

If this book's use is as widespread as it deserves, it could have an enormous beneficial impact on the quality of liturgy in the US.

I wish every single cathedral parish in the country not already doing Vespers (AS THEY SHOULD,) would start doing maybe just Sunday vespers with it.

Oh and apropos of nothing at all, I'd always wondered where in blazes the "Office hymns" in Christian Prayer came from.... I mean, some of them are quite solid, but some are such CHEEZE. And that they seemed to ignoramuses ("ignorami?") such as myself to have some sort of official status was discomfiting.
So it's reassuring to know that they were pulled from much the same place as so many matter liturgical have been in my lifetime.

Do you remember the day you fell in love?

No, wrong question, do you remember the day you realized you had fallen in love? that that was what that unwonted but much wanted sensation was?
And you went around with a grin on your face that was so smugly infuriating that I'm sure the only thing that kept total strangers from smacking you silly was the fact that you were patently insane, and thus more to be pitied than censured?

Well, it's like that, ya see?

I walk around smirking like a simpleton.

This gathering has been superb, and it just goes from strength to strength. Fr Weber is a treasure.

And I had two moments today that I was so moved I had tears rolling down my cheek. One was simply because one of the participants was practicing, or more accurately trying out the organ (he hardly seems in need of practice,) and he was improvising on one of the Office hymns.

Yes, I'm a sucker for big organ effects (as is Himself, I wish I had a snapshot of our faces when we re-entered St John Cantius after the procession with the Blessed Sacrament, and the sound of all those pipes rang out and filled the church, and filled us.... but I digress,) but this was beyond that.
It was feeling mystically connected, through that music, (so beautifully given voice, Kurt,) with so much that has gone before, with so many souls that have gone before. (Beloved old movies from my pretentious "Im interested in the cinema," days coming into mind today -- reminded of Babette's Feast at lunch, and this reminded me of St Columbe's explication of the meaning and purpose of art in Tous Les Matins du Monde , which I don't trust myself to remember with any accuracy since I'm as giddy as if I'd been drinking.)
Stirring, really stirring.

And the other was a moment at Mass as the EP began and I looked up and saw all those priests gathered around the altar, all those strong, manly men, (and I don't just mean that central casting could have sent them...,) so many of them so young, and so obviously the first fruits of the harvest, the best humanity has to offer back to God.

And I thought of the priests at my parish, and all they do, and how wonderfully they do it, and I thought of that great, great little man in Rome, and I just realized, it's gonna be okay.

No, no, I always knew it was going to be "okay" in the long scheme of things, the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, etc.; but this was the reassurance that things are gonna be okay in the short term, too.

Farewell, Pontifications

When i first began reading blogs, I came across Fr Al Kimel, and thought, why couldn't this wise and holy priest have been Catholic?
And then I began to think, how can this wise and holy priest NOT be Catholic?
And then, of course, this wise and holy priest BECAME Catholic.

http://pontifications.wordpress.com/2007/06/27/namarie/

Now, his blog is closing up shop.

And I am sad, of course.

But is this a day to be sad?

The Motu Proprio ! ! ! !

Save the Liturgy, save the World, indeed.... Deo gratias!

Monday, 25 June 2007

The Word...

You know how there have been days in my life when the lectionary seemed deliberately designed to poke me in the ribs? to rankle just a bit?
You know, one too many mentions of wasting skin diseases, or whatever...

Well Sext today was...what? a mystical experience? Every psalm seemed addressed to me, personally, the Holy Spirit, through King David reaching across time and space to speak to me -- and in a good way.
I was so startled several times I stopped singing.

I was, we were, we are really praying the psalms and the canticles. And, to beat a dead horse, that just don't happen with the Haagen-Hasz oeuvre, or the more whimsical power ballads of Fr Joncas (which I admit always strike me as at least competent, unlike the H and H crap, but just so damned inappropriate for liturgy. They be just about right coming out of the mouth of a cute-but-spunky, empowered female, Disnee Moderne cartoon heroine; as well as tunefully defiant of the absolute requirement of being submissive to the text, to the Word)

But anyway, the joys of this experience are just multiplying and multiplying.

Deo gratias.

Musicians at Mundelein

Fr Samuel Weber OSB rocks.
Fr Douglas Martis rocks.
Linda Cerabona rocks.
Fr Richard Wojcik rocks.
That chapel rocks.
The other participants (some of whom are so erudite or so experienced, or so both that the mind boggles,) rock.

This is shaping up as an extraordinary experience, I think I am going to bring things back that will really contribute to the parish -- and I think I am going to bring back a better human being as their music director and organist and choir master.

Much of it is just hearing and noting a perfect turn of phrase, that illuminates a concept upon which one has been ruminating (like the cow that I am,) that I just know I can use to turn a light bulb on for someone else. (How many lame metaphors are you going to cram into that sentence, Scelata?)

Actually, the theology behind the music as presented is so compelling, so beautiful, so what-I've-been-searching-for, that I am walking around alternately goggle-eyed like a spoiled child on her birthday, and Smiling the Smug Smile. (Cue Himself, channeling Homer Simpson and chanting, We're smarter than the devil, we're smarter than the devil....) (Note the falling minor third, the primal human interval, the universal melody of nyah, nyah...)

Saturday, 23 June 2007

The Worst Wedding Audience Ever

I am always so ashamed to have been party to such a desecration, but I don't know what to do.
Note that I do not call them a "congregation," or an "assembly."
But "audience" may be wrong, maybe "crowd" as at a baseball game or a tractor pull would be more accurate. (or "mob?")
Their behavior was disgraceful.
I am off to Mundelein tomorrow, and the retreat and music conference will be like showering, it will be cleansing....

Friday, 22 June 2007

The Stopped Clock-in-Chief

We don't grow and then dismember babies, in whatever stage of development for "parts."
Even Mr. Bush sometimes manages to get it right.

And to answer a Times letter writer:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/22/opinion/l22stem.html

Yes, some of us sanctimonious hypocrites are equally opposed to the death penalty, and the immoral pre-emptive war, and torture and...

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Last rehearsal

Last rehearsal of the season, not too shabby (I'm ever so slightly peeved at the people who I have not been able to drag to rehearsals for the last month who showed tonight to eat, drink, be merry and winge about the music, but whaddya gonna do?)
Good turnout, good food, good fellowship, decent choral sound, Fr K came (yeah!,) and had no problem with an idea that was broached, spur of the moment, that one rehearsal every month would be over in a meeting room at the school so that we can have comestibles and conviviality along with our psalms and motets.
So, yeah! again.
We're building a decent repertoire (even if Miss Thang DOES hate Hail Harbinger of Morn....) and I am pleased with our vocal progress.

Warren Zevon, sleeping in Christ, I have no doubt

I once played "Miss Gypsy Rose Lee, who reads book reviews like they was books..."
Now I am Mrs. Smug, nee Loud who reads blog entries like they was the books/articles/treatises/essays they mention.
Any way Michael Dubruiel, (Mr. Amy Welborn,) had a marvelous entry about the Warren Zevon book, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead.

http://michaeldubruiel.blogspot.com/2007/06/accidently-like-catholic-warren-zevon.html

I have always loved the man's work, and what I knew of the man (fantastic sub for Paul on Letterman,) and came to really admire him when he came on Letterman to discuss his imminent death.
It was very moving, and teased with glimpses of some great mystery.
I think he knew a great many things, and cannot but believe at the end knew the Greatest one there is to know.
And I am grateful to the poster on Dubruiel's blog who mentioned Baptism of Desire.
RIP, Warren, pray for me and I'll pray for you.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Iron Bess, here

My pirate name is:
Iron Bess Rackham
Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
part of the fidius.org network




A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you a tough person. You have the good fortune of having a good name, since Rackham (pronounced RACKem, not rack-ham) is one of the coolest sounding surnames for a pirate. Arr!


Although another generator thinks I'm "Machete" Jackie Scabb, which it purtdang apropos...

Marriage, Musicians & Vocations Directors

The misuse (miscomprehension,) of the world "chastity," by a putative "journalist," (noted in my rant the other day, http://scelata.blogspot.com/2007/06/such-ignorance.html, ) as well as some blog blah-blah about the permanent diaconate has me thinking about the sacrament of Marriage, and the implicit vow of chastity it entails, no less than does ordination or profession.
The very idea of chastity, even when it IS correctly understood, is a subject of mockery to many today.
Robertson Davies quoted someone, I can't recall whom, as defining it as to have ones body in ones soul's keeping.
Not bad...
Now, certainly the unmarried lay person is also called to this, but a married person is called to a very special form of this.
We church musicians often serve as the de facto liturgist for wedding Masses, and are often the only person "in authority" in a parish, the meeting with whom is seen as anything other than an annoying obligation (because so many Bs, not often Gs, care so desperately about what actors would think of as the underscoring for their first entrance... does the score telegraph to the audience that I am romantic/regal/pure? what does is "say" about the character I am playing?)
Do we take advantage of this to remind them that what we are planning is "about" prayer? About worship of the Almighty Triune God, firstly, and about the sanctification of themselves and the rest of the Faithful, secondarily? (All else being a distant third...)
Do we realize that we, after the pastor and any lay person in charge of adult sacramental prep, are also in a position to be their Vocations Director? To hopefull re-inforce, but perahps present for the first time the concept that they are getting ready to live thier vocation?

Noise Down Under

Yet another reason to admire Cardinal Pell:

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=51859

I am kinda amazed at these silly intimidation tactics used by those in favor of using babies for spare parts. This latest attempt by the Thought Police seeking to impose civil penalties for "politically incorrect" speech boggles the mind.
The man is consistent and courageous.
Lucky Oz.
Lucky Church.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

The wittiest man in the Catholic blogosphere

Tantrum Ego??!?#?$?%??^?!!?? Too funny!
Jeff Miller is certainly the greatest wit in the parish (male variety, Sr Mary Martha would give him a run for his money -- but is she really a she? Hmmmmm....)

How am I going to keep a straight face at Benediction? (Especially if the AftPoD is about.... not that that is likely.)



http://www.splendoroftruth.com/curtjester/archives/008099.php

I am often tempted to post my song parodies, but if the originals are devout and well written it seems sacrilegious, and it the original is drek, I have a tendency to become too mean.

I like Father K's minor changes of puctuation -- "Here, I Am Lord" (used by the Church of What's Happenin' Now, Smug Rite, Self-Content Usage... they might also be fond of that charmer I just came across we we all proclaim -- boast of? -- our own sainthood.)

Incidentally, I think it significant that he came up with that bit of cleverness on St Ephrem's feast day.

Here's to hymnists!

Happy Fathers' Day, PapaRatz!

Here in the US it is Fathers' Day (yes, a bit of a Hallmark holiday, I suppose...) and I fervently wish the Holy Father many happy returns of the day.
(I wished all our priests a "Happy Fathers' Day" at Mass this morning.
Spiritual fathers are the only kind I have left...)

Saturday, 16 June 2007

What do we think the Mass is?

A post on the coming motu propio and the fact that she ( like I,) has no dog in the fight.

Very neatly, very succinctly put, Miss Welborn

http://amywelborn.typepad.com/openbook/2007/06/on_the_mp.html

This bit here -

my great and late-to-the-party discovery over the past two years has concerned the place of music in Mass and what the ideal actually is, according to the tradition and documents of the Church.

- is very interesting to me, because there is no shortage of opinions, and worse, execution and enforcement of their own preference by people who have not made the discovery, who actually prefer to wallow in their own ignorance, because if they actually tried to educate themselves in what the documents and the tradition say, they would be deprived of their favorite argument: that anyone who thwarts them is just elevating HIS personal preference over THEIR personal preference.

It's as if some DARTH insists on being our nutritionist, but studiously avoids reading the labels so that she can decree "Let them eat Twinkies," and pretend anyone advocate a healthier diet is merely pushing his opinions.

Yes, we were taught that Knowledge is Power, but clearly in the world of today's Liturgy Mongers, ignorance is how the power base is preserved....

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Movies of Yesteryear

This is a glorious time of year both for weather and opportunity for utter, hedonistic leisure. (Aid this year by Himself's utter lack of theater prospects.)
School is closed, no MTG projects, long before I need to worry about my new position with the Festival Chorus, no prep needed for the week at Mundelein. Choir winding down to the point at which the psalm of the day is the only "new" thing I need each week (we will still sing a few things for the first time, but we have been looking at RHOSYMEDRE and the Langlais for a while.
No need for heat or fan, it is still pleasant to water the plants, when I go over to work on my filing (who knew so much of a MD's workload, and it is a load, consists of filing and photocopying?) the loft will be lovely...

So naturally, as we are who we are,we spend unforgivable amounts of time slumped, he in Poang, I on the Hide-a-dem-bed, watching the boob tube!

But we're catching up on movies we wanted to see and never got around to.
(I am pleased to say that my evangelization has been successful beyond my wildest dreams, he is not only a Catholic, but also a Frugal; delayed gratification is acceptable and we make use of libraries, IFC, Free onDemand, garage sales...)
Anyway, several year or so old biopics recently, including Kinsey.
When it came out I was very aware of the good reviews, as well as of the extreme antipathy expressed towards it by conservative commentators on current culture, (like the often over-the-top, IMO, blogger at Church of the Masses.)
Well, they are both right. Superb performances, wonderful direction, interesting script, all that...
But its all in support of the Big Lie that is the hagiography of Kinsey and his Institute.
Yes, the movie acknowledges his own perversions (though it doesn't call them perversions, of course,) and his use of the perversions of others.
But the ultimate POV is the ultimate virtue of his intent and his achievement. So little weight or even screen time is given to the negative aspects of the story that it can hardly be claimed that the film doesn't have a POV strongly, strongly positive towards its subject.
I don't deny that the man accomplished some good.
But his "findings" were so subjective (to a hammer, everything looks like a nail; and to a closeted hammer it is too tempting to believe that most of the rest of the tools you meet, while they may claim to be saws or screwdriver, are really hammers,) and his methodology so suspect it is hard to idealize him as a scientist the way the movie does.
And the whitewash of his willingness to utilize and encourage and protect criminal sexual abusers of children and infants in pursuit of a "greater good" is really unconscionable.
Really, it was RIGHT not to rely knowledge of a subjects on-going pedophile activity to the authorities because then other subjects wouldn't trust him enough for him to obtain their dirty little secrets?
One wonders how a similar biopic of, oh, let's say... a prelate of the Church.
Who helped accomplished great things, (say, in the area of ecumenism, or civil rights.)
But also helped hide sexual predators because betraying them to the civil authorities would have interfered with other aims, or defied other principles of confidentiality.

Yes, I can see now how welcomed a film lionizing such a Great Man would be.

In movies like that, the hero always needs to have, maybe a pinkie-toe of clay, right? to keep it real. You know, the great general who doesn't spend enough time with his family, or some such, some innocent whose interests need to be sacrificed for the sake of the Great Man, and his Great Vision or Great Deeds.

Ooooh, or maybe an Intolerance type screenplay, telling parallel stories?

I can see it now, even to the advertising tagline:

Kinsey and Law
"Yeah, I know, it's tuff, but don't bother me now, kids, I got important stuff ta do"

"You Are Near"

So, I finally give in and program "You Are Near" --no, "give in" is wrong, I have intended to program it before when its verses are textually so well related to the lectionary readings.

But I can never remember its name, and don't see "Yahweh, I Know You Are Near" or "I Know You Are Near," in the index and figure that, while clearly one of the better bits of not-very-good music of my catachetical years, it didn't make the cut when so much of the American Catholic Church.... upgraded, from the plastic GLOP to the (hardbound and yet less durable) Goiter.

(Bear in mind, only the pew edition has the full indices, not an excuse, but my explanation of why I didn't always do the obvious thing and use the scriptural reference index.)

But I like its use of the psalm, its POV, the mostly step-wise motion, especially its prosody -- if the verses were unmetered and sung as chant, it would be quite elegant. (I always forget who wrote it and think it is Foley because it is so far beyond the usual competence level of it's author.)

But an online discussion of the (very common,) use of the tetragrammaton in contemporary music led me to this, from Liturgiam Authenticam:
"in accordance with immemorial tradition, which indeed is already evident in the above-mentioned "Septuagint" version, the name of almighty God expressed by the Hebrew tetragrammaton (YHWH) and rendered in Latin by the word Dominus, is to be rendered into any given vernacular by a word equivalent in meaning."

So, clearly, we are not to pronounce "Yahweh."

Mind you, this is not a "mistake" on Schutte's part, it hadn't been spelled out post VCII until LA in 2001.

So it was not wrong, for him to have done this, in the sense of deliberately flouting a directive.

It was an ignorance of tradition, perhaps, and certainly an ignorance of the concept that if something has already been said... why, then IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING.
I am reading more and more that much of the post-VCII mess the Church found itself in was because some of the basics that the framers of the documents thought were "a given" were completely ignored by the iconoclast who saw their chances and took'em.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Keeping the choir happy

You know me, I would do it .
In my never-ending, and utterly undirected and thus shamefully scatter-shot and mostly useless research , I learn that in medieval times the director of the papal scola would put on a pair of horns, bedeck himself with laurel wreaths and dance in front of the Lateran, singing out:

Jaritan, jaritan, jariariasti; raphayn, jercoin, jariariasti


(Don't you adore the internet?)
This appeals on several levels.
One: I am an attention hound.
And b) (homage to Paul Reiser,) it would probably tickle my choir no end.
I could get the adults to sing waaaay past the Nativity of J the B.
And I could get the Scola Scelati to do anything I wanted, I imagine, it's like a middle school principal pledging to lay one on a pig. Bribe the kids into good behavior with the promise of a future humiliating act on the part of an adult in authority.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Such ignorance

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23400009-details/Blair%20%27may%20become%20a%20Catholic%20deacon%27/article.do

Among the more idioitic things of which we are informed:

Converts are usually welcomed into the Church at the Easter Vigil Mass, held the night before Easter Sunday, but these arrangements are considered flexible.
Admittance to the Church is normally a two-year process. But Mr Blair, because he is already a regular attender, is likely to be fast- tracked.


Huh?
And:
As a deacon, he could help priests administer Mass, preside over baptisms and read the gospel in Church services. Unlike priests, deacons are not required to take a vow of chastity.

You'd think a journalist, or indeed anyone who works with words for a living would make an effort to know the meaning of the words he uses (and misuses...)


Of course "chastity" is one of the most misudeerstood words in modern English, why would the writer know it was not synonomous with "celibacy"?

ALL Catholics "take a vow of chastity. "

All decent people of any religionor even no religion at all should.


Monday, 11 June 2007

Quite a weekend

Made a good faith effort to support the local C, but couldn't stomach some of what I was asked to do, and since logistics of travel were an issue with Himself...
And since I had forborne to hurl a moronic wedding photog over the railing of the loft.
Was rewarded with an ideal parking space, a most moving para-liturgical experience (my first CC procession,) a transcendent aesthetic one and the Birthday Cheeseburger of my dreams.
Ya think?

I'm not a Deist. I think God cares about my Choppers consumption.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Yet another reason to despise the place...

You know the old joke, 1st place wins a week in Philly, 2nd place gets two weeks....

http://zenit.org/article-19828?l=english

I must know!!!!!!

Is "distraught" an old English (or Irish- or Scottish-English,) form of the past participle of "destroy?"

Reading Music

http://sacredmiscellany.typepad.com/sacredmiscellany/2007/06/busy_ordinary_t.html#comment-72208284

Mary Jane is teaching her choir members to read this summer.
If only!
But when even Himself is resistant, and some choir members actually can't remember that the top line is generally for the women and the lower for the men and if their are no notes on yours, even if there are words, YOU DON'T SING!!!!!!!@@%!$!^

(Sorry, lost it there for a minute.)

Anyway, probably no time soon here.

On the other hand, my pastor can read music! (How many music directors can say THAT?) and e'en as we speak is learning something for a wedding next week.
Now THAT'S pastoral...

Friday, 8 June 2007

From the people who brought you Oktoberfest

Well, every idea cant be a good idea....

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=51676

German priests reject Vatican directive on translation
Rottenburg, Jun. 8, 2007 (Kath.net/CWNews.com) - Priests in Rottenburg, Germany have voted to reject the Vatican translation of the phrase pro multis in the Eucharistic liturgy, the Kath.net news service reports.
The priests' council of the Rottenburg-Stuttgart diocese announced that the members had decided by a "democratic vote," to retain the current German translation of pro multis as "for all."
The dismissed a directive from the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship. Cardinal Francis Arinze (
bio - news), the prefect of the Congregation, wrote to the world's bishops last November, announcing that all translations of the liturgy should render pro multis as "for many"-- a translation that is more faithful to the Latin text and to the theological reality that while Christ's redemptive suffering makes salvation available to all, it does not follow that all men are saved.
The Rottenburg priests argued that the use of "for many" would be confusing to the faith In this day and age." They added that the original Scriptural text read "for all," citing as their authority a Protestant scholar of the 18th century whose analysis the Catholic Church has rejected.
"The promise of salvation is directed to all people," the German priests said. "This truth of the faith is put most clearly in the 'for all.'"

Poor thangs

REAL fashion designers having their thunder, and their livelihood stolen by celebs...
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/fashion/07DESIGNERS.html?ref=style

As if that hasn't been happening to actors for, oh I dunno... FOREVER?
I give you Madonna on Broadway, King Charles (and any number of Louis...s...s...s?,) Nero, et al.
I give you numerous productions at the late lamented BRDT.
Martin Sheen showed up to star in something, son in tow, and SB with a signed contract was told, "buh bye."And I don't blame Sheen (to whom it probably didn't even occur that someone else was harmed by the request for a favor,) or whichever son it was (neither was known well enough at the time for it to have stuck in my mind, but both became decent actors,) and I only blame the weasel producer a little.

Business is business, and skill and training count for less than connections and publicity value because Money is god.
It's why amateurism is such a beautiful thing.
And that is personally relevant just now, yes.
And no, I'm not speaking of theater.

No, another matter entirely.
I should, yes.
So you're putting a price on integrity and joy?
But I can barely afford health insurance as it is.... (who's the weasel now?)

Jolie lives!

Odd little item in the times in light of discussion with Himself last night while watching an interminable musical number where Jolson arrived in heaven with his loyal ol' mule.
We talked about the difference in intent, when such a think was, (and even is, archivally-speaking,) permissible today.
But wait a minute, wait a minute.... you ain't heard nothin' yet.

Black leaders critical of church skit meant to honor history

GASTONIA, N.C. (AP) -- Local black leaders are decrying a recent
performance by three white men at a church who wore blackface while
pantomiming traditional black hymns.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Religion-Briefs.html?pagewanted=2

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Random thoughts....

Random thoughts.... As I sorted and neatened to make way for the organ techs last week, the strains of what Fr wincingly and justly refers to as "the tom-tom" song wafted up to the loft, accompanied by sticks and shakers and other contributers to the, to borrow a pun, orffal sound.
I cannot help but feel sorry for him, and worse, the children whose sensibilties are being formed, and worst of all, for the Sacred Liturgy, which is being DEformed.
I am very sorry.....but I also wonder, what did he expect?
At the the meeting, there was a bit of discussion, with him being as kind and diplomatic as he could, about how much longer something that is cluttering up the sanctuary would be there. (At least I think that was his take on it.)
But I thought, does it really look worse than, say, a dead branch with wads of masking tape stuck to it? and again, what could be expected?
(A poster on many of the blogs I read, to whose posts I always look forward said something once about the impulse that in emphsizing the Mass, misguidedly tried to do away with all devotional practices also, in emphasizing the altar of sacrifice, misguidedly neglected the decorative and catechetical possibilities of the other parts of the worship environment. Good stuff, but a different topic...)
The adult choir is very attached to several numbers that formed part of our Paschaltide repetoire this year, at least one of which he, again, justly, dislikes, and more, disapproves of with good reason.But they are loud and peppy/snappy/uplifting (pick your buzz word for the inappropriate trivialities that pervade contemporary liturgy -- mind you, even the first two are words actually used by this music's PROPONENTS.)
And they entertain the singers and the audience in a way that both groups have all been taught to demand of their church-going experiences. (I still take heat for only programming them before or after and refusing to let them be an actual part of the liturgy.)
So they are united across the generations!
The indoctrination has taken, at ALL age levels.
Certain sensibilities are quite deliberately cultivated, nurtured in the most malleable, most susceptible, most vulnerable, youngest -- its manifestation in adolescents and adults should not surprise.
And these currents all run together to create the torrent that is bearing people ever further and further from what is, or what should be, what would be if they would allow it, the Source and Summit of their faith, their lives.
What is the merchandising equivalent of "burying the lede"?
Whatever it is, we're doing it -- we have the most Precious Being that is, whole and entire, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, Real-ly and Substantial-ly Present, on offer -- gratis! Literally, free, a grace....
And we're advertising balloons, and confetti cannons.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Liturgical Translation

http://adoremus.org/0607LiturgicalTranslation.html

Adoremus Bulletin has a superb address by (now Bishop) Peter Elliot on liturgical translation and how much of the current (dreadful) translation now in use manages to be... untruthful.
One might amend Twain, "There are lies, damned lies, and the output of the late 20th c. ICEL."

Trinity and anniversaries...

Not bad.
Come Now Almighty King, ALL verses... Praise to the Lord, I Received the Living God, and the Divine Praises, all sung with such gusto at all four Masses that the cantors were taken aback.
The MoC Gloria would be low on my list of preferences, but that's not what it's about, and it, as well as the Danish Amen Mass acclamations, (newly re-introduced after a longish absence,) are sturdy and well-liked.
The People's Mass Agnus Dei is still not as strong as I would like, (though it stopped being actually tentative quite shortly after its introduction at the Mass of the Lord's Supper this year,) we'll use that for a few more weeks yet.
The choir sang well, Mr Webbe's Cor Jesu (we will use it throughout the month of the Sacred Heart,) is a keeper, and Canticorum Jubilo made a good impression (God bless Mark for helping us out, trumpet was an excellent, festive addition, very fitting for the occasion.)
On compunction, one song that I believe to be totally unfit to appear in a liturgical setting, for its presumptuous touting of human rather than Divine agency, but other than that and the M of C, I was very satisfied with the programming.
The psalm was a lovely, solemn metric response, (from the Basilica Psalter, is that what that used in C th E is called?) that everyone sang very well (I took it down a step, too high, silly, needlessly so, really what is that tendency?) to which I added simpler chant verses.
But best of all, to me, were the Praises.
I was all in a lather, certain someone (hint, hint...) would object, or that they would be insufficiently long for the need, or that the congregation wouldn't sing.
Oh, and Father G cited the Fr Clarence Rivers God Is Love in his sermon, and NO ONE, except the 7 school children to whom I taught it for the opening of Catholic Schools' Week Mass this year, knew it! But I could oblige him by singing it along with him from the loft, and I worked it (as well as Glory Be To Jesus, aka The Precious Blood Fight Song,) into my noodling (liturgical cocktail keyboard...) and I was very proud of that.
Oh, and snatches of Nimrod in honour of Elgar's anniversary.
So all in all, not too ashamed of my efforts, my offering.

Prevarication and the prevaricating prevaricaters who...

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/pell-calls-for-stem-cell-research-ban/2005/09/20/1126982061898.html

Notice something missing from the headline? The word "embryonic."
Cardinal Pell is fighting EMBRYONIC stem cell research, the destruction of human life to make use of body parts, (not to mention harvesting those parts without that person's permission.)

But yet again, well done, Cdl. Pell. Big man from down under makes big noise.

Oh...you mean you expect me to BELIEVE the stuff we teach?

Cardinal Pell to ask profession of faith for school principals

http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=51555

Well done, Cardinal Pell.

Friday, 1 June 2007

The old year fast away is fading...

Church choirs are a bit like school, or at least this one is... the unbearable heat of the loft coupled with the average age of the choir (and the fact that, come summer, even the priests are looking for a "fast Mass" in the un-air conditioned church,) means that we have summer vacation.
It took a few years, but with the hook of our patronal saint's feast day, and the promise of an end of year social gathering I have managed to get a few to stick it out till the end of June.
Still, it was a dismal turn-out last night.
But we're sounding pretty okay.
And it took a few years but I have finally learned to think of this long term, that I can rehearse things this year that we won't use till fall or even next year.
I have thoughts of a vocal arrangement incorporated into the V-W prelude on RHOSMYDRE so I decided to introduce them to the tune with Our Father By Whose Name, with the idea that we have tons o' rep for Mothers' Day, thanks to all the (albeit, many of them sappy,) Marian hymns, but nothing for Fathers' Day.
But of course, I couldn't shut up, when someone brought up Abba Father I had to open my big yap and say that it was maybe the most boring tune ever composed. And OF COURSE someone there likes it and was hurt.
And what am I gonna do, go into details about its musical inadequacies, its technical inefficiencies?
Dang me...
On t'other hand, they are quite taken with the Handel and will be a nice capper for the anniversary Mass, the Gouzes last week went well (and will again this week,) the Sequence last week not tooo bad (so yeah, not too good, either...) and the little setting we'll try for Lauda Sion next week (not the greatest piece of music but tolerable,) has been a moderate hit with them (I never thought I would have to tip-toe around worrying quite so much about the choir's taste --- live and learn, GROW UP, Scelata!) and they do a number of more authentic pieces well and with a good will, so I need to back off.
And incrementally we are moving toward Ordinaries with integrity (that has occasioned wailing and gnashing of teeth....)
All in all, a real learning year for them and me.
Oh, speaking of wailing and gnashing of teeth, my use of the Divine Praises this weekend will be the focus of some of my prayers before the Blessed Sacrament this aft...

Like the news, only important...

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