mar 082012

Jeffrey Tucker foreslår her at man heller må forandre bestemmelsene om ordene som skal synges i messen, dvs. at det kreves at messens proprium alltid synges – på latin eller på morsmålet, og så kan andre ting synges deretter.

I Norge synger man vanligvis hymer som passer noenlunde godt til søndagens tema (dvs messer på norsk i Norge, i messer på andre språk er min opplevelse at sangvalget er dårligere), mens messens egne tekster – inngangsvers etc. – blir oftest ignorert. Men Tucker opplevde nylig en messe som var mye verre:

At a Mass I attended on the first Sunday of Lent, for example, the choir sang a processional that had nothing to do with Lent, fully three offertory songs that were unrelated to the liturgy or (in the case of one of them) even to Christianity (so far as I could tell), and the communion song shouted repeatedly that “God is amazing!” but I failed to find that text anywhere in my liturgical books.

So let’s say you went up to this choir leader in charge and said: “Instead of those crazy songs, you really should be singing Gregorian chant, just as the Vatican demands.” Would this song leader have any clue at all where to begin? He would not have the music in front of him. He wouldn’t know what to sing and when. As for the official chant books such as the Graduale or the Gregorian Missal, the notation and the language are completely foreign to him. He would be totally clueless how to actually implement the demand.

This situation is true in probably three quarters of American parishes today, and even those parishes where there is a Gregorian schola, there are other Masses controlled by the Life Teen band or some other guitar group that wants nothing whatever to do with chant and refuses even to learn what it is all about. They won’t budge. …

Kirken har utallige ganger sagt hva som bør synges i liturgien, messens proprium og gregoriansk sang har første plass etc., men dette har alltid blitt ignorert eller omtolket. Derfor foreslår Tucker:

… Is this a counsel of despair? No. Absolutely not. There is a way out of this whole problem. Interestingly, it is not through further pronouncements on music and musical style. The Church needs to change its current legislation dating from 1967 that permits other texts to replace the proper texts of the Mass.

The problem text came in section 32 of Musicam Sacram: “The custom legitimately in use in certain places and widely confirmed by indults, of substituting other songs for the songs given in the Graduale for the Entrance, Offertory, and Communion, can be retained according to the judgement of the competent territorial authority.”

This sentence seems innocuous. It’s tempting to read past it. Should a legitimate custom be retained? Sure, why not? Actually, what this sentence permitted, for the first time in the history of the universal Church, was the complete throwing out of the Mass propers that had been largely stable throughout the whole history of the Roman Rite and formed the basis of Gregorian chant in the first place. The “indult” quickly became the universal practice.

This is the sentence that needs to be repealed, erased, and replaced, because it is this sentence that unleashed the musical chaos and confusion. This is the reason for why the choir is free to totally ignore the liturgy and sing any old song that they happen to have handy in place of the actual text that the liturgy is asking us to sing.

Any Vatican commission on music that is actually effective in our times needs to state very plainly, admitting no exceptions, that this universal practice of throwing out Mass propers in favor of just about anything is absolutely repealed. It must state very plainly that the proper text of the Mass, whether drawn from the Missal or Roman Gradual or from the Simple Gradual, must be the text that is sung. Period. Only after this text is sung in some setting may other songs be introduced. …

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