Friday, July 06, 2007

The effect of the MP on Parish Priests

A priest friend of mine yesterday told me that he is planning to introduce a new teen Mass into his parish: the TridenTINE. (Laugh track).

Seriously, Roman Rite priests are now looking for ways to improve their liturgical skills. They worry whether they can learn Latin quickly enough to say the ordinary form of the Roman Rite, and those who have attempted to do so without a great deal of training usually end up making more mistakes than they really want to. Maybe part of the problem is that they become too ambitious. Why not just learn the Roman Canon in Latin and leave the rest in English? That would seem to be a great first step.

But here is a solution that will have the greatest possible impact: consider singing the Mass. The sung Mass remains the normative form but it is hardly the norm in most parishes. Seminaries haven't really taught this the way they should, but the skill can be learned rather quickly actually. It can be done in English in the ordinary form of the Roman Rite. Or it can be done in Latin (I find Latin easier to sing than say). Of course it should be, but isn't, the norm of the extraordinary form said according to the 1962 Missal (here are the rules from the Liber Usualis)

This is why I'm super-duper excited about the following: Missa in Cantu: A Seminar in the Sung Mass for Celebrants, October 17-19, 2007, Chicago, Illinois. The seminar is being co-sponsored by the leading forces for liturgical reform in the US: St. John Cantius in Chicago, and the Church Music Association of America.

The priests of St. John's will be assisting, and the music will be taught by Scott Turkington alongside Fr. Scott Haynes. William Mahrt will be there to lecture on the rationale for singing, and why the tones are what they are.

I'm not sure how many people the conference can accommodate--maybe 100 plus--but it is a wonderful opportunity to learn a skill that will make a magnificent difference in parish life in this country.

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