Monday, April 07, 2008

To what extent has the Vatican been involved in planning music for Masses for the Pope's Visit

The Catholic News offers this story that responds, to some extent, to speculation about the music at Papal Masses in the US. The Mass in New York embraces the sacred music tradition. The one in Washington will have music in many languages and styles, including jazz and blues, and is much more symptomatic of what is called the "multicultural" approach to liturgy.

So did the Vatican approve? "Msgr. Marini said the Vatican did not dictate the choice of music and hymns for the U.S. liturgies," the story says. But then again he offers commentary on the selections: "There will be Gregorian chant, polyphony and some hymns that are more popular in the American repertoire." "I really like this variety of styles that has been prepared for the celebrations," he said.

After the Vatican's liturgical guidelines were sent to the United States, the coordinator appointed by the bishops' conference, Msgr. Anthony Sherman, came to Msgr. Marini's office to discuss the initial choices made in Washington and New York.

"We discussed the liturgies, suggestions were made and decisions were taken," he said.

In February, Msgr. Marini and two of his assistants, including U.S. Msgr. William V. Millea, traveled to the two cities for more discussions, fine-tuning and site visits.

Further, story says, "The U.S. liturgies will raise an issue Pope Benedict, on more than one occasion, has said is problematic: preserving a sense of prayer and participation at a Mass when there are hundreds of concelebrants and tens of thousands of people in the assembly."

Finally, the story offers this on the speculation that Pope Benedict XVI will offer an Extraordinary Form Mass publicly in May. Marini says: "My office has heard nothing of this. I know there are rumors, but I have not been asked to plan anything."

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