Friday, April 24, 2009

Learn the Extraordinary Form through Singing

Starting on Tuesday, in Stamford, Connecticut, is a three-day seminar just for priests and seminarians. The purpose is to teach the extraordinary form of the Mass. The emphasis is on singing the Mass. There are several reasons for this.

First, the sung Mass is the normative form, and this form of Mass has the brightest-possible future in its sung form.

Second, there are pedagogical advantages to singing the Mass rather than just speaking it. Look at any pedagogical program for kids designed to teach reading or math. Music plays an integral part because music provides a means of ordering unfamiliar text and concepts. If you have had trouble with Latin or had difficultly following the text or are just intimidated by the sheer abundance of new things to learn for saying the EF, consider that using music may actually help you get to where you need to be. This is what makes this seminar unusual.

Third, we now have access to great teachers who know how to teach this Mass in its normative form, and they will be there for this seminar: Fr. Scott Haynes of St. John Cantius and Scott Turkington of St. John Evangelist, the host parish. It is not easy to revive what has been nearly lost but it can be done, and one can't but be grateful that such teachers are available.

The seminar will be attended by 16 priests. This is an excellent number. But it can accommodate more. Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunity. It is three days that will change the liturgical character of a vocation.

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