jul 152016

Andre dag under Sacra Liturgia konferansen var det også en interessant sesjon (foredrag og videre samtale) om sangen som naturlig hører (hørte) med i messen:

After lunch, Dr Jennifer Donelson (of NLM) gave her paper, Origins and Effects of the Missa Lecta: Priestly Musical Formation in a Low Mass Culture. She began with an examination of solemnity, noting that the reference and norm in Sacrosanctum Concilium is the Solemn Mass (cf. SC 112-113). However, these sorts of Masses were rare before the Second Vatican Council, and are rare today. The general experience today is effectively that of a Low Mass with hymns replacing the Propers, and perhaps some singing of the Ordinary. The notion of solemnity is informed more by civic considerations than by liturgical ones – more people, more flowers, more applause sometimes seem to be what makes liturgical celebrations “solemn”.

The Low Mass, however, cannot be understood properly without reference to the Solemn Mass …

Dr Donelson went on to look at the history of the relationship between speaking and singing in the liturgy. Up until roughly the end of the first millennium, liturgical texts were either spoken in near silence (as the Roman Canon is in the EF), or sung aloud. The number of texts spoken in a quiet voice increased between the 9th-11th centuries – for example, the prayers at the foot of the altar – and by the 12th century the rise of the missa lecta for various reasons had caused a rupture between text and music in the Western Church.

Why did this rupture persist? Low Mass made daily Mass possible, and an increased devotion to the Blessed Sacrament was thus also nourished, enabling more frequent reception of Holy Communion. Considerations of validity/liceity also contributed to the increasing neglect of music in the Roman Rite, resulting ultimately in minimalistic celebrations and a mechanistic, overly-rubrical approach to the liturgy: “It is in this way that one comes to think of the sacred liturgy in terms of power and control rather than in humble reception of what has been handed on.” (Dr Donelson)

Dr Donelson argued passionately against what she termed “liturgical sloth”, the idea that if it takes 1 hour 15 minutes to sing a Solemn Mass, but 45 minutes to say a Low Mass, then why bother singing? Such an attitude is damaging and corrosive, as well as lacking in love. …

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