Friday, October 05, 2007

Information on the USCCB document, Sing to the Lord

One of our readers received the e-mail version of the BCL Newsletter, which contained the following information about Sing to the Lord which the NLM mentioned yesterday:

"Music in Catholic Worship was published as a statement of the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy in 1972, seeking to present a basic understanding of the role of music in the Sacred Liturgy. Liturgical Music Today was published ten years later in order to address areas not covered in the original document.

In response to the promulgation of the Missale Romanum, editio typica tertia and the instruction Liturgiam authenticam, the Committee on the Liturgy proposed, and the USCCB adopted, a Directory on Music in the Liturgy in 2005. In light of lessons learned from the development of the Directory, it became clear that a revision of Music in Catholic Worship would be of great pastoral benefit to the Church in the Dioceses of the United States of America.

At the November 2007 plenary meeting of the USCCB, a draft revision of Music in Catholic Worship, entitled Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship, will be considered. It represents the product of extensive consultation with musicians, composers, and others involved in liturgical and music ministries. Drawing on the experiences of the past several decades of the liturgical renewal, Sing to the Lord articulates a theology of liturgical celebration which is drawn from the Church’s reflections in several post-Conciliar documents. Sing to the Lord has been designated as a fundamental liturgical resource which – if approved by two-thirds of the Bishops of the USCCB and subsequently confirmed by the Holy See – will bear the weight of particular law.

Like its predecessor document, Sing to the Lord describes a three-fold judgment for choosing music. The new draft elaborates on the earlier text’s outline of the various parts of the Mass and incorporates the concept of “progressive solemnity,” drawn from the 1967 instruction of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, Musicam sacram, to explain the process of choosing what to sing from among the various parts of the Mass. The text also explores the role of the composer, discusses music in the celebration of the sacraments, and addresses issues of instrumentation, language and cultural concerns, technology, copyrights, and participation aids. With the inclusion of so many topics, it is not surprising to note that the draft text is more than twice the length of Music in Catholic Worship.

Together with the Directory on Music in the Liturgy, it is hoped that Sing to the Lord will provide guidance for clergy, musicians, and liturgists, and articulate well a vision of liturgical music that will support the sung worship
of the liturgical assembly."

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