Friday, April 11, 2008

Adoremus Bulletin, April, online

Don't you just love how the Adoremus Bulletin puts the new issue online the same time it is printed? Helen Hitchcock, the publisher, has thought through the meaning of online information and realized what many publications do not. The goal is to get the information out there, she realized, not withhold it from people. Online and print publications are complements, not substitutes. I think with Ms Hitchcock what we have is a great disposition at work: a true evangelist. This is a model!

By the way, the technology of the Adoremus site is nothing fancy. No databasing, no stylesheet, no fancy anything. Just old fashioned html, without so much as an RSS feed. But there it is: you get just what you want: the text.

In any case, the April issue is up:


Liturgy, Laity, and the Sacramental Sense by Russell Shaw: "We’ve been trying to do something that was certain to fail. We tried to have full, conscious, active participation without cultivating the sacramental sense."

Liturgy and Sacred Music by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger/Benedict XVI: "Music has become today the decisive vehicle of a counter-religion and thus the scene of the discernment of spirits in a form that we could not have suspected a generation ago. Because rock music seeks redemption by way of liberation from the personality and its responsibility, it takes, in one respect, a very precise position in the anarchical ideas of freedom which predominate today in a more unconcealed way in the West than in the East. But precisely for that reason, it is thoroughly opposed to the Christian notion of redemption and of freedom as its exact contradiction. Not for aesthetic reasons, not from reactionary obstinacy, not from historical immobility, but because of its very nature music of this type must be excluded from the Church." And further: "One can say that Western music, from Gregorian chant through the cathedral music and the great polyphony, through the renaissance and baroque music up until Bruckner and beyond, has come from the inner wealth of this synthesis and developed it in the fullness of its possibilities."

Finally, there is a piece of mine on the dumbing down of all liturgical music, and also I address the attitude that "chant is fine for a world of poverty, sickness, and the Black Death, but we live in gleaming cities and spend our leisure hours at modern health clubs. Different times call for different music."

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