Thursday, February 11, 2010

Clarification from ICEL

In light of this post the other day, ICEL has written me to clarify:

It has come to my attention that a brief article you wrote appeared on the New Liturgical Movement web site charges that ICEL had granted permission to World Library Publications to sell recordings of chant settings of the new Order of Mass. A careful reading of the two ads will show there is no mention of musical settings in either of the ads posted by World Library.

The first publication includes a recording of a spoken recitation of the Eucharistic Prayers; the second, a catechetical explanation of the Missal.

I can assure you that no publisher in the US has been or will be given permission to release musical settings of the new texts until the recognitio for the entire Missal has been received by US Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops. This is the expressed wish of the Bishops' Committee on Divine Worship of the US Conference.

Between the time the recognitio is received and the promulgation date for use of the texts set by the Conference there will be at least a year for choirs,etc. to learn new settings of the Order of Mass.

In light of the courtesy that has been extended to you on several occasions in regard to these matters, I think it is fair for ICEL to have expected a letter from you concerning this matter before writing the article. I hope you will assure your readers that there will be more than sufficient time to learn new settings and that publishers and composers that will be making their settings available are governed by the same set of requirements with regard to the release of their settings.

I appreciate your kind attention in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Peter Finn
Associate Executive Director

to which I have replied:
Well, I'm not against permissions. Catholic musicians would just like to see permissions universalized immediately and without mandated royalty payments, so that we can try them out, improve them, and otherwise prepare. I fail to see the downside.

I'm also confused about how ICEL (or the USCCB) can approve a printing of the text (even without recognitio) but cite the absence of recognitio for refusing rights to print the text with little musical signs above them.

In any case, I'll report what you say here right away.

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