Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


I will do anything to avoid work, so as I try to pack the detritus of a decade spent more or less in one place, I come across, and stop to examine... oh, all kinds of stuff.
Why would I buy a pair of jodhpurs?
When was I obsessed with bullicante?
Chestnuts in syrup? (I think that may have been a gift.)

And books, lots and lots of books. Often of or about Church music, scrounged, inherited, unearthed, picked up for a song (yeah, I had to go there.)

Many moments of deja vu, or more a recognition that those who cannot remember history, yada yada yada, (or should I stay in Frenglish mode, la plus ca change...)

How often, when one of my contemporaries, (or I myself, though that is rare,) comes up with what seems to me a brilliant insight or, (pace, Baldrick,) a cunning plan, do I almost immediately discover -- oh, for the luv o' pete, they knew that eight years ago!, or dang, someone cautioned against that very problem in 1961 and no one listened to Monsignor Cassandra then, either.

Right now, it seems that those with the most influence over what music appears in the pews of Catholic parishes in this country are set to party like it's 1969.
And those with a better grasp of what is needed, what is demanded, oh, okay, "asked" by the Church for her liturgies, but demanded by the Liturgy itself, seem far too often to be straying into emotional or tactical territory that will thwart their aims.

Charity. (Or as I would prefer to translate caritas, Active Love.)

That wasn't what I was thinking about.

I was thinking about this little tiny hymnal, 1911, that the Archbishop of Milwaukee was anxious to be introduced throughout his archdiocese, in hopes of eliciting the same sort of full-throated singing with which our protestant brethren and sistren worship the King.
And that is was a "modern unchristian innovation which deprived Catholics [of 1911] of the beauty of the primitive and medieval mode of church music."
And + Messmer asked, "Why should we not return to it?" (You know, that Golden Age, the one of 1454. Or do I mean 1954? or was it 154?)

Anyway, 2 things, all you SofV2 types who wax eloquent about the fact that NOW we can sing in our own language!!!!..?
How ahistorical.
And all you R2 types who decry the MODERN musical model of pretty pathetic, not pragmatically pertinent and Propers-ignoring pieces of "sacred song" sandwiched into the Mass?
How ahistorical.
The poor-in-taste you will always have with you, and you always have had.


Dad29 said...

Not only the poor-in-taste.

Read Mgr Hayburn's book "Papal Legislation on Sacred Music" for a century-by-century account of Bishop-al disobedience to Rome.

Nothing new under the sun.

Anonymous said...

Amen to that.
I'll look for the book, don't know it.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)