Monday, September 18, 2006

Betrayal of the Spanish-Speaking Nations

Here is a long-forgotten resolution submitted by delegates from Spain, Mexico, and Ecuador to the Fifth International Church Music Congress, held under the auspices of the Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae in collaboration with the Church Music Association of America, August 21-28, 1966, Chicago-Milwaukee, as printed in Sacred Music and Liturgy Reform, Johannes Overath, ed. (Rome: Consociatio Internationalis Musicae Sacrae, 1969), pp. 188-189:


1) Fully appreciating the pastoral character the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council attaches to sacred music and in order to stimulate the active participation of the faithful, the national and international commissions are asked to provide for dc preservation of existing songs for the people and the creation of a new repertoire in keeping with the characteristics of each of our countries, since songs imported from other places do not always respond to the people's needs.

2) As prescribed by the same Constitution, let the Church's patrimony of Gregorian chant, polyphony and organ music be reserved in our countries with all care, and let scholae cantorum be duly promoted.

3) Taking into consideration the nature of Gregorian chant, and also some experiences with the vernacular which lead to a corruption of Gregorian chant, all adaptations of vernacular texts to ancient melodies are emphatically discouraged.

4) a) Since some Masses written after the Council are inspired by profane dances and tunes, and since they confuse the faithful in the Hispanic nations, and since they are radically contrary to the liturgical spirit and to the letter of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, such Masses should never be permitted in any way. b) The nature of liturgical music requires that composers do not use for liturgical compositions melodies which people associate with situations foreign to the liturgy, even though those melodies may have a religious character.

5) Greater diligence must be used in imparting a musical formation in seminaries and religious institutes, so that clerics active in pastoral work will be qualified cooperators and even leaders in the liturgical movement.

6) Taking into consideration the continuous increase of the number of tourists in many places and the pastoral sense of the Constitution, it is deemed necessary that the Mass in Latin be retained fully wherever required for the spiritual benefit of the faithful.

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