Adoremus Bulletin For the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy
Fatima children named Church’s newest—and youngest—saints
ne hundred years ago this month, Our Lady appeared to three Portuguese children at Fatima, Lucia Santos and her two cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto—and through their witness, Our Lady of Fatima spoke to the world about the importance of loving her Son Jesus Christ and following his teachings as preserved by the Catholic Church. Now two of those three children have been named the Church’s newest—and youngest—of heaven’s saints. On May 13, the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima, Pope Francis canonized St. Francisco and St. Jacinta in Fatima, Portugal. In an April 20 story for the National Catholic Register, Elise Harris reported on the steps leading up to the siblings’ canonization. The decision to canonize Francisco and Jacinta, the youngest non-martyrs to be named saints in the history of the Church, was announced on April 20 during a consistory of cardinals. “Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, the prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, was largely responsible for advancing the visionaries’ cause, paving the way for them to become the first canonized children who were not martyred,” Harris reports. “Previously, the Portuguese cardinal told Catholic News Agency [CNA], children were not beatified, due to the belief ‘that children didn’t yet have the ability to practice Christian heroic virtue like adults.’” Please see FATIMA on next page
The Holiness of Tomorrow: The Extended Form of the Vigil Mass for Pentecost in the Third Edition of the Roman Missal By Father Gerald Dennis Gill
he Roman Missal’s most recent English edition includes several revised rites, new prayers, and adjustments to the rubrics. While many of these revisions require further explanation, one rite in particular deserves some special attention—the Vigil Mass for Pentecost. The two previous editions of the post-conciliar Roman Missal included only a proper Vigil Mass for Pentecost. However, the extended form of the Vigil proposed in the current Roman Missal brings forward to the present a part of our liturgical tradition that has both deep roots and contemporary value. In our earlier tradition, Pentecost was a principal occasion, along with Easter, for the Church to carry out the baptism of adults. The mysteries of the Resurrection and Pentecost, in ways unique to their respective commemorations, express a sharing of divine life with those who belong to Christ, and especially so for those to be newly incorporated into his body, the Church. Over time these two days saw the development of vigils to watch for the following day’s solemn observance. The proclamation of the Word of God and a response to it would be the chief manner for keeping watch. Also, over time, these vigil days would be marked by fasting and penance in anticipation of the celebrations of the events of the Lord on the solemnity to follow. Likewise, during different periods, these commemorations had octave celebrations associated with them to give liturgical expression to the eternal reality of these same mysteries of Christ. The recently reformed General Roman Calendar sees Pentecost Sunday as the Eighth Sunday of Easter. So, Pentecost brings to a fitting and final end the celebration of the Resurrection with the promised sending of the Holy Spirit, which in a sense completes the event of Easter. The day before Pentecost is no longer a day of fasting and penance and there is no longer an octave. And, it is no longer a principal day for the baptism of adults. However, it is Pentecost, and the anamnesis found in the euchology and the biblical texts is compelling and vivid. With the today—hodie—of Pentecost, there is a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church. It
Adoremus Bulletin MAY 2017
Descent of the Holy Spirit, by Colijn de Coter (d.1522) AB/Wikimedia
News & Views
Vol. XXII, No. 6
The extended Vigil of Pentecost is a unique opportunity for Christians—today as in centuries past—to assemble like Mary and the Apostles in prayer in the Upper Room, to expect again and anew the Father and the risen Son to send the Holy Spirit upon us.
is fitting to keep watch—with urgent prayer—for this coming of the Holy Spirit! As indicated above, the Third Edition of the Roman Missal (published in Latin in 2000, translated into English in 2011) expands the possible ways of celebrating the Solemnity of Pentecost since the close of the Second Vatican Council. In the two editions of the Roman Missal published prior to the present edition (1970 and 1975 respectively), the Pentecost observance followed the pattern that was in place in the most recent pre-conciliar
missal with a proper Vigil Mass and a Mass during the Day. However, in the Roman Missal (1570) that followed the Council of Trent, there was a plan and texts for an extended vigil. With the Roman Missal now in use, there is again an opportunity for an extended vigil. Presently, the Vigil Mass itself has two possible forms, an extended form and a simple form, and there is the Mass during the Day. This article focuses on the recovered extended form of the Vigil of Pentecost. The pattern for the Easter Vigil serves in many Please see VIGIL on page 4
Extending the Easter Season Easter’s over—or is it? The Roman Missal, explains Father Dennis Gill, shows how the extended form of the Pentecost Vigil extends the spirit of Easter by celebrating the Holy Spirit in style...............1
Stability and Creativity—in that Order Known principally for economy, order, and simplicity, the Roman Rite also has a poetic side. Her “Sequences,” Father David Friel explains, are a remarkable example of disciplined creativity......................................6
Luminous Clouds A-Massing Many see storm clouds on the liturgical horizon—and even directly overhead. But a liturgical cloud isn’t always a bad thing.......................................................3
Tomorrow’s Traditional Music The musical score of the Church’s liturgical singing has been difficult to direct over the past century. Father Fergus Ryan, OP, examines Musicam Sacram in its historical context for creating tomorrow’s musical treasures.......................8
Music’s Manifest Mystery The Holy See’s Instruction on Sacred Music has been directing liturgical singing for 50 years—and Pope Francis wishes it to carry the same tune for decades to come..............3
News & Views...........................................................2 The Rite Questions.................................................10
2 Continued from FATIMA, page 1 “But that all changed,” Harris writes, “when the cause for Francisco and Jacinta Marto arrived on his desk.” The children were beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 13, 2000, exactly 17 years before their canonization, Harris reports, and upon further review of the siblings’ lives, Cardinal Martins reconsidered his earlier statement regarding children and canonization. “The brother and sister, who tended to their family’s sheep with their cousin Lucia Santo in the fields of Fatima, Portugal, witnessed the apparitions of Mary now commonly known as Our Lady of Fatima,” Harris writes. “During the first apparition, which took place May 13, 1917, Our Lady asked the three children to pray the Rosary and make sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. The children did this and were known to pray often, giving their lunch to beggars and going without food themselves. They offered up their sacrifices and even refrained from drinking water on hot days.” According to a March 23 CNA story, Harris reported that upon reviewing the evidence presented by Cardinal Martins’ office, Pope Francis approved the second and final miracle needed to canonize St. Francisco and St. Jacinta. “The Pope approved the miracle in a March 23 audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints,” Harris writes, “during which he advanced six other causes, approving one other miracle, two causes for martyrdom and three of heroic virtue.” Ironically, because Francisco and Jacinta died at a young age, Harris reports, these sibling saints were canonized before their older cousin, Blessed Lucia. “Although the diocesan phase of [Blessed Lucia’s] cause has already been finished,” Harris writes, “Cardinal Martins—who knew the visionary personally—said Lucia’s process will take much longer than that of Francisco and Jacinta not only due to her long life, but also because of the vast number of letters and other material from her writings and correspondence that need to be examined.”
Mutual Enrichment: Extraordinary Form celebrates Fatima centenary While extraordinary events, Marian apparitions ordinarily don’t make liturgical news. But Our Lady of Fatima is considered extraordinary even among the many Marian apparitions that the Church has approved. On May 13, 1917, our Lady appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal, Lucia Santo, and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Martos, asking them to pray the Rosary and follow the teachings of her Son, Jesus Christ. According to an April 6 report at Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), an extraordinary celebration of the extraordinary form of the Mass took place on May 13, the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. “The Vatican office which governs the use of the extraordinary form of the Roman rite has given priests permission to say a special Mass for the feast of Our Lady of Fatima this year, noting the importance of the apparition’s centenary,” ETWN reports. “In an April 5 decree the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei gave permission for any priest of the Latin Rite to celebrate a votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary on May 13, 2017—the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal.” Since Benedict XVI issued Summorum Pontificum in 2007, priests do not need permission to celebrate the extraordinary form of the Mass; however, the EWTN report explains why permission was necessary to celebrate this form of the Mass on May 13. “The permission is significant because in the extraordinary form, May 13 is the third class feast of St. Robert Bellarmine—which means Our Lady of Fatima cannot normally be celebrated,” the ETWN report notes. “In the ordinary form, meanwhile, May 13 is already an optional memorial of Our Lady of Fatima. If a Votive Mass of the Immaculate Heart is celebrated on May 13 in the extraordinary form, it may include a commemoration of St. Robert Bellarmine, as per the rubrics of the Roman Missal of 1962.” According to a translation of the April 5 decree by Gregory DiPippo, editor of the New Liturgical Movement, the Vatican granted this special permission because, as the decree states, “many of the Christian faithful who are attached to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite have a particular and fervent devotion to the
Adoremus Bulletin, May 2017
NEWS & VIEWS Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima” and out of a wish “to encourage the devotion of the faithful to the Blessed Virgin Mary of Fatima.”
Vatican grants SSPX permission to celebrate marriage rite Relations between the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) and the Vatican have moved one step closer to normal as Pope Francis has authorized bishops to allow SSPX priests to celebrate the sacramental rite of marriage. In an April 4 story, Zenit reports that the pope expressed his decision in a March 27 letter of the Ecclesia Dei Commission, the group which is the point of contact between the Vatican and the SSPX. The letter was published on April 4. “Pope Francis has decided to authorize Bishops ‘to grant permissions for the celebration of marriages of the faithful’ who follow the pastoral activity of the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX), under certain conditions, to ‘recover the serenity of the faithful’s conscience’ and ‘to facilitate the path towards full institutional regularization.’” This latest accommodation to the SSPX, Zenit reports, follows other recent actions seeking to normalize relations between the Vatican and the SSPX. “The Letter establishes a parallel with the authorization granted by Pope Francis for the Sacrament of Reconciliation,” Zenit states, “geared to ‘assuring the validity and legality of the Sacrament’ and ‘to not leave persons in doubt.’” Some conditions are necessary for the SSPX priests to celebrate the Rite of Marriage, Zenit also reports. “The principal condition is that a priest delegate of the Bishop of the place receives the spouses’ consent; ‘the celebration will then follow the Holy Votive Mass by a priest of the Society.’ But, suggestions are made when that is not possible.” The letter insists, the Zenit story states, that it is about “avoiding debates of conscience among the faithful who adhere to the SSPX and doubts on the validity of the Sacrament of Marriage.” The permission comes, Zenit also reports, even as the Vatican acknowledges in the letter that there still exists “the objective persistence, for the moment, of the illegitimate canonical situation in which the Society of Saint Pius X finds itself.” The complete text of the April 4 Letter of the Ecclesia Dei Commission follows: Your Eminence, Your Excellency, As you are aware, for some time various meetings and other initiatives have been ongoing in order to bring the Society of St. Pius X into full communion. Recently, the Holy Father decided, for example, to grant all priests of said Society the faculty to validly administer the Sacrament of Penance to the faithful (Letter Misericordia et misera, n.12), such as to ensure the validity and liceity of the Sacrament and allay any concerns on the part of the faithful. Following the same pastoral outlook which seeks to reassure the conscience of the faithful, despite the objective persistence of the canonical irregularity in which for the time being the Society of St. Pius X finds itself, the Holy Father, following a proposal by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has decided to authorize Local Ordinaries the possibility to grant faculties for the celebration of marriages of faithful who follow the pastoral activity of the Society, according to the following provisions. Insofar as possible, the Local Ordinary is to grant the delegation to assist at the marriage to a priest of the Diocese (or in any event, to a fully regular priest), such that the priest may receive the consent of the parties during the marriage rite, followed, in keeping with the liturgy of the Vetus ordo, by the celebration of Mass, which may be
Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy
Adoremus Bulletin (ISSN 1088-8233) is published six times a year by Adoremus— Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Adoremus is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation of the State of California. Nonprofit periodicals postage paid at various US mailing offices. Change service requested. Adoremus—Society for the Renewal of the Sacred Liturgy was established in June 1995 to promote authentic reform of the Liturgy of the Roman Rite in accordance with the Second Vatican Council’s decree on the Liturgy, Sacrosanctum Concilium. Adoremus Bulletin is sent on request to members of Adoremus. Suggested donation: $40 per year, US; $45 foreign.
celebrated by a priest of the Society. Where the above is not possible, or if there are no priests in the Diocese able to receive the consent of the parties, the Ordinary may grant the necessary faculties to the priest of the Society who is also to celebrate the Holy Mass, reminding him of the duty to forward the relevant documents to the Diocesan Curia as soon as possible. Certain that in this way any uneasiness of conscience on the part of the faithful who adhere to the Society of St. Pius X as well as any uncertainty regarding the validity of the sacrament of marriage may be alleviated, and at the same time that the process towards full institutional regularization may be facilitated, this Dicastery relies on Your cooperation. The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei on 24 March 2017, confirmed his approval of the present letter and ordered its publication. Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 27 March 2017. Gerhard Card. L. Müller President + Guido Pozzo Secretary Titular Archbishop of Bagnoregio
Liturgical conference to be held in southern Oregon For three days in July, Cantus Angelorum, an Oregonbased women’s Latin schola, and Sacred Heart Parish in Medford, OR, are doing everything they can to make sure that the Voice of the Bridegroom is being heard. Between July 12-15, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, Archbishop Alexander K. Sample, ordinary of the Archdiocese of Portland, and Bishop Robert F. Vasa, formally Bishop of the Diocese of Baker, OR, and now Bishop of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, CA, will be welcoming faithful to learn about and participate in the Church’s liturgy and music by participating in “Sacred Liturgy Conference: The Voice of the Bridegroom.” The conference is sponsored by Cantus Angelorum and hosted by Sacred Heart Parish. All liturgical events will take place at Sacred Heart Church, and all lectures, workshops and meals will be hosted at a conference center located one mile from the church. Intoning the theme for this year’s conference “The Voice of the Bridegroom,” conference attendees will focus on sacred liturgy, Church history, and the role of Gregorian chant in both. According to one of the conference organizers, Dan Haverkamp, the conference’s format allows for a mix of thoughtful presentations and less formal gatherings. “The conference will include eight important and informative lectures, four sung liturgies, four catered meals and plenty of time for fellowship,” he says. “In addition to the eight lectures there will be five additional lectures on Sacred Liturgy offered at the same time as five workshops for those interested in learning how to chant.” In addition to offering a lecture during the conference, Cardinal Burke will celebrate an Extraordinary Form Solemn Pontifical High Mass, assisted by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. Likewise, Archbishop Sample will lecture and offer a Pontifical Mass in the ordinary form and Bishop Vasa will lecture and offer a Requiem Mass for deceased priests of the Archdiocese of Portland. The $195 conference fee ($125 for priests, religious, deacons, seminarians) includes two lunches, two dinners, educational materials, lectures, workshops, and four Masses. To register or for more information, visit the conference website: www.sacredliturgyconference.org, call 206-552-3400 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Editor - Publisher: Christopher Carstens Managing Editor: Joseph O’Brien Graphic Designer: Danelle Bjornson Office Manager: Elizabeth Gallagher Phone: 608.521.0385 Website: www.adoremus.org Membership Requests & Change Of Address: email@example.com Letters to the Editor Executive committee P.O. Box 385 The Rev. Jerry Pokorsky ✝ La Crosse, WI 54602-0385 Helen Hull Hitchcock The Rev. Joseph Fessio, SJ firstname.lastname@example.org Contents copyright © 2017 by ADOREMUS. All rights reserved.
Adoremus Bulletin, May 2017
Today’s Forecast: Cloudy, Increasing Light, and (More Than) a Chance of Scattered Grace by Dewfall By Christopher Carstens, Editor
AB/Lawrence OP on Flickr
he Latin Church is often accused of giving scant attention to the Holy Spirit. You can decide for yourself whether the caricature is accurate—for the Western Church as a whole, or for yourself as a member of it. (By way of a simple test, ask yourself: to whom do you address your prayers? To “God”? To the Father? To Jesus? or—last but not least—to the Holy Spirit?) Whether it’s true or not that we bump the Holy Spirit to the back of the prayer train, the present Easter Season is the right time to invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts to “enkindle in them the fire of his love.” At the same time, we might reflect upon (and thereby simply reflect) the liturgical reality of the Holy Spirit made present to us in signs and symbols. The Person of the Holy Spirit is foreshadowed—his Light casting an anticipatory shadow in the persons and events of the Old Covenant—in many ways among the chosen people, as well as at Christ’s coming. Among the most prominent of these figures and images are cloud and light. “In the theophanies of the Old Testament,” explains the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “the cloud, now obscure, now luminous, reveals the living and saving God, while veiling the transcendence of his glory—with Moses on Mount Sinai, at the tent of meeting, and during the wandering in the desert…. In the Holy Spirit, Christ fulfills these figures. The Spirit comes upon the Virgin Mary and ‘overshadows’ her, so that she might conceive and give birth to Jesus. On the mountain of Transfiguration, the Spirit in the ‘cloud came and overshadOn the mountain of Transfiguration, the Spirit in the ‘cloud came and overshadowed’ Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, James and John, and ‘a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This owed’ Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!’ James and John, and ‘a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is “The cloud, now obscure, my Son, my Chosen; lisCome, Holy Spirit, and envelop us ten to him!’ Finally, the now luminous, reveals the in your luminous cloud! cloud took Jesus out of living and saving God, the sight of the disciples on the day of his ascenwhile veiling the transcension and will reveal him as Son of man in glory dence of his glory.” on the day of his final coming” (697). the font, the womb of the Church, at the “Luminous clouds” conception of new Christians. also appear in the saAnother oft-heard and oft-misundercred liturgy. Did you stood reference to the Holy Spirit comes notice, for example, at the epiclesis over the bread and wine that our procession in the Second Eucharistic Prayer: “Make out of Holy Saturday’s holy, therefore, these gifts, we pray, by darkness and into the sending down your Spirit upon them church was led by cloud and light, with Spirit, O Lord, we pray, come down like the dewfall.” As the Chosen People the smoking thurible (its coals taken through your Son into the fullness of crossed the desert on their journey to this font”—in the form of the Paschal from the Easter fire) leading the Paschal the Promised Land, they complained Candle. That is, in the same way that the Candle toward the sanctuary? for want of food and sustenance. While Holy Spirit “overshadowed” the Blessed Later, at the blessing of the font, the Aaron addressed their complaints, they Virgin Mary at the Christ’s conception, Holy Spirit descends upon the font at the saw a “glorious cloud” that would shortly so now does he, as Light, overshadow whet their appetites even more. epiclesis—“May the power of the Holy
Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to Participants in the International Conference on Sacred Music Saturday, 4 March 2017
ear Brothers and Sisters, I am happy to meet all of you who have gathered in Rome from various countries to participate in the Conference on “Music and Church: Cult and Culture, 50 years after Musicam Sacram,” organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture and by the Congregation for Catholic Education, in collaboration with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music and the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of the Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo. I cordially greet you,
beginning with Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, whom I thank for his introduction. I hope that the encounter and dialogue experienced in the last few days, in a shared reflection on sacred music and particularly on its cultural and artistic aspects, will bear fruitful results for ecclesial communities. Half a century after the instruction Musicam Sacram, the Conference has wished to deepen the current relationship between sacred music and contemporary culture, and between the
musical repertoire adopted and used by the Christian community and prevailing musical trends, from an interdisciplinary and ecumenical perspective. The importance of the aesthetic and musical formation both of clergy and religious was highlighted, and of the lay people involved in pastoral life and, more directly, in the scholae cantorum. The first document issued by the Second Vatican Council was precisely the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Please see POPE on page 9
“In the evening,” the Book of Exodus recounts, “quail came up and covered the camp. In the morning there was a layer of dew all about the camp, and when the layer of dew evaporated, fine flakes were on the surface of the wilderness, fine flakes like hoarfrost on the ground” (16:13-14). And now here we are: pilgrims on a journey to the Promised Land of heaven, often grumbling and complaining, unsatisfied. At our vexatious worst, though, God sends down a luminous cloud “like the dewfall.” And what remains is manna from heaven to satisfy our hunger and sustain us on our journey. These are just a few occasions of the Holy Spirit’s sacramental presence to us in the Roman liturgy. Still, our encounter with him can be more dark than luminous, either because incense (for example) is rarely or never used, or because those who see or smell it don’t know the reality incense contains. Clouds, shadows, dew, smoke, rain, and wind are just some of the ways that the Holy Spirit has touched the lives of the faithful in the time of promises. This same Spirit wishes to enliven us today through the splendent sacramental signs of the liturgy. In a similar way, our present issue of the Adoremus Bulletin can help clarify our liturgical minds. In this issue, Pope Francis gives us musical enlightenment in his words on the occasion of Musicam Sacram’s 50th anniversary. He says, “Sacred music and liturgical chant have the task of giving us a sense of the glory of God, of his beauty, of his holiness which wraps us in a ‘luminous cloud.’” Likewise, speaking of the Holy Spirit, Father Dennis Gill explains an underutilized liturgy in the Church, the extended form of the Vigil of Pentecost—a Vigil not unlike the Easter Vigil—rich in multiple scriptural reading, and meant to open our hearts to the gift of the Holy Spirit. As we move from Easter to the Solemnity of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit at this time is also an occasion to hear one of the Church’s (few) Sequences, the Veni, Sancte Spiritus. Adoremus contributor Father David Friel opens our ears to the genesis of this rich liturgical formula. Among Adoremus’s readers, too, the Spirit is alive—as he shows up again in the form of a “dew-laden breeze” in response to a reader’s question about automatic deposits at the offertory via apps and smartphones. The Spirit is everywhere, blowing as it wills, and it’s the liturgy’s job to make that Spirit felt. The Latin Church and its Roman Rite are not short of breath—as long as its members desire it. May your Easter Season be overshadowed with brilliance—Come, Holy Spirit!
“The premise of Musicam Sacram is still highly relevant. Liturgical worship is given a more noble form when it is celebrated in song, with the ministers of each degree fulfilling their ministry and the people participating in it.”
Adoremus Bulletin, May 2017
The first reading at the extended celebration of the Pentecost Vigil describes the Tower of Babel (here depicted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, d.1569), where “the Lord confused the speech of all the world.” The Spirit will undo Babel’s tragedy, allowing all peoples to hear the Apostles—the Church—“in his native language” (Acts 2:6).
Continued from VIGIL, page 1
ways as a helpful guide for understanding the outline of the extended form of the Vigil Mass for Pentecost. The time for this extended form of the Vigil Mass for Pentecost, unlike what is prescribed for the Easter Vigil in the Holy Night, is similar to all other proper Vigil Masses in the current Roman Missal. It can take place on the Saturday evening before Pentecost Sunday either before or after First Vespers. This means that this form of the Vigil Mass may be at that same time as the typical anticipated Mass in the parish that occurs frequently in the late afternoon. Or it can be scheduled as another evening celebration at a later hour, which would be more in keeping with the tradition of the Christian vigils that occur as the night awaited the morning feast. Introductory Rites Two options are given for the manner of celebrating the extended form of the Pentecost Vigil Mass. The first option allows for First Vespers to precede Mass and the second option does not include First Vespers. If a community typically celebrates the Liturgy of the Hours, then the first option would make good pastoral sense. Otherwise, the second option seems more pastorally suitable. Instructions for First Vespers preceding Mass are as follows: If First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) celebrated in choir or in common immediately precede Mass, the celebration may begin either from the introductory verse and the hymn (Veni, creátor Spíritus) or else from the singing of the Entrance Antiphon with the procession and greeting of the Priest; in either case the Penitential Act is omitted. Then the Psalmody prescribed for Vespers follows, up to but not including the Short Reading. After the Psalmody, omitting the Penitential Act, and if appropriate, the Kyrie, the Priest says the prayer Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the splendor, as at the Vigil Mass. (Roman Missal, Pentecost, 2a) What is described above is normative for the joining of the Liturgy of the Hours with Mass. With the Hour, the given hymn is the Veni, creátor Spíritus. For the Mass, the proper chant or the antiphon is sung or they inspire the choice for the Entrance. Instructions for Mass beginning as usual are as follows: If Mass is begun in the usual way, after the Kyrie
(Lord, have mercy), the Priest says the prayer Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the splendor, as at the Vigil Mass. (Roman Missal, Pentecost, 3b) Whether the extended form of the Vigil Mass begins with the psalms of First Vespers or with the chant, greeting and Kyrie of the Mass, the second option for the Collect of the simple form of the Vigil Mass is prayed. Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the splendor of your glory may shine forth upon us, and that, by the bright rays of the Holy Spirit, the light of your light may confirm the hearts of those born again by your grace. Through our Lord. This prayer comes from the pre-conciliar edition of the Roman Missal and was the only proper prayer for the Vigil Mass of Pentecost in that edition. In this location in the extended form of the Vigil, the prayer serves to transition from the opening of the vigil observance to the readings that follow. The readings “confirm the hearts” of those keeping watch for the coming of the Holy Spirit.
“The selected readings illustrate a longing for the promised Holy Spirit among God’s people. They are heard ‘after the example of the Apostles and disciples, who with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, persevered in prayer, awaiting the Spirit promised by the Lord.’” Liturgy of the Word The biblical texts are introduced with an address similar to the one found in the Roman Missal for the Easter Vigil. In fact, many of the ideas are the same.
Dear brethren (brothers and sisters), we have now begun our Pentecost Vigil, after the example of the Apostles and disciples, who with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, persevered in prayer, awaiting the Spirit promised by the Lord; like them, let us listen with quiet hearts to the Word of God. Let us meditate on how many great deeds God in times past did for his people and let us pray that the Holy Spirit, whom the Father sent as the first fruits for those who believe, may bring to perfection his work in the world. As with the introduction to the readings at the Easter Vigil, the Bishop or priest celebrant directs the people to “listen with quiet hearts to the Word of God.” And also, he invites the faithful “to meditate on how many great deeds God in times past did for his people […].” The Word announces the paschal mystery of Christ, and on this day the completion of that mystery with the sending of the Holy Spirit. So, we hear the word at this extended form of the Vigil with confidence that this same Holy Spirit “may bring to perfection his work in the world.” There are four readings proposed in the Roman Missal for the extended form of the Vigil Mass, along with the response and the prayer to follow each one. The recent publication in English of the Supplement to the Lectionary for Mass (2017) provides the complete text of each of these readings and their responses. These readings and their response as found in the Supplement were added to the Order of Readings for Mass since its last edition in 1981 and with the publication of the new edition of the Missal with its extended form of the Vigil for Pentecost. The four readings and their response are: • Genesis 11, 1-9, on the Tower of Babel, followed by Psalm 33; • Exodus 19, 3-8a, 16-20b, on God’s Descent on Mount Sinai, followed by Daniel 3 or Psalm 19; • Ezekiel 37, 1-14, on the dry bones and God’s spirit, followed by Psalm 107; • Joel 3, 1-5, on the outpouring of the Spirit, followed by Psalm 105.
Adoremus Bulletin, May 2017 Each of these selected readings illustrate a longing for the promised Holy Spirit among God’s people. They are heard in the same way, as already noted, “after the example of the Apostles and disciples, who with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, persevered in prayer, awaiting the Spirit promised by the Lord.” The prayers that follow tease out from the biblical text the present hope for the work of the same Spirit in our time. The readings are carried out in the same manner familiar to us from the Easter Vigil with all of them proclaimed at the ambo by a reader. The psalmist or cantor, likewise from the ambo in most cases, sings the response and the people answer. The prayer that follows is offered by the Bishop or priest celebrant from the chair with everyone standing. The prayer follows the usual pattern with silence following the Let us pray. It is always possible to replace the sung response to the reading with a period of silence. After the reading from Genesis, for example, the Bishop or priest prays: Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your Church may always remain that holy people, formed as one by the unity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which manifests to the world the Sacrament of your holiness and unity and leads it to the perfection of your charity. Through Christ our Lord. After the reading from Exodus and its response, the Bishop or priest prays: O God, who in fire and lightning gave the ancient Law to Moses on Mount Sinai and on this day manifested the new covenant in the fire of the Spirit; grant, we pray, that we may always be aflame with that same Spirit whom you wondrously poured out on your Apostles, and that the new Israel, gathered from every people, may receive with rejoicing the eternal commandment of your love. Through Christ our Lord. After the reading from Ezekiel and its response, the Bishop or priest prays one of three possible prayers, the first of which says:
Mass Continues as Usual The Mass at this point continues in the usual way. The Preface for the Vigil Mass is the same as the Mass during the day. If First Vespers began the Vigil, then following the Communion Chant, the Magnificat and its proper antiphon are sung which is normative when an Hour is joined to Mass. A Solemn Blessing may be given with the choice coming from those indicated for this time in the section of blessings following the Order of Mass in the Roman Missal. At the Vigil of Pentecost, the dismissal of the people includes the proper chant with the double alleluia. For this dismissal, as with Easter and its octave there are only two forms. In the Parish It was not until last Pentecost 2016 that I had the opportunity to celebrate the extended form of the Vigil of Pentecost for the first time since it appeared in the new Roman Missal. On this occasion, the archdiocesan celebration in our Cathedral on the eve of Pentecost was at a later hour than the scheduled anticipated Mass. When the planners for that celebration met with me, I suggested the extended form of the Vigil and they were enthusiastic about it. So, we prepared for it according to the
Word of God is always to receive great value in the celebration of the Liturgy. This especially is the case when the Word is the means of keeping vigil. Our hope is to carry out the Liturgy of the Word with a greater emphasis on reflection and meditation. The proper chants certainly guide the choice of liturgical music. However, this time around, our choice for chants and other hymns will have more of a sense of longing for the coming of the Holy Spirit than the event of Pentecost itself. I encourge pastors to consider the use of the extended form of the Vigil for Pentecost, especially in cathedrals and shrines, as a unique opportunity for Christians—as in centuries past—to assemble like Mary and the Apostles in prayer in the Upper Room, to expect again and anew the Father and the risen Son to send the Holy Spirit upon us, upon the whole Church, in 2017.
______________________________________ Father Dennis Gill, ordained a priest May 21, 1983, for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, is currently the Rector and Pastor of the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul and the Director of the Office for Divine Worship. He served as a parochial vicar at Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Warminster, and at Our Lady of Good Counsel
“The sense of waiting and watching for the coming of the Holy Spirit was indeed palpable during the celebration. The years of experience with the Easter Vigil and its Liturgy of the Word made it rather easy for the people to enter into an experience of waiting and watching thoughout the Liturgy of the Word of the extended Vigil of Pentecost.” outline in the Roman Missal but without the addition of First Vespers. The sense of waiting and watching for the coming of the Holy Spirit was indeed palpable during the celebration. The years of experience with the Easter Vigil and its Liturgy of the Word made it rather easy for the people to enter into an experience of waiting and watching thoughout the Liturgy of the Word of the extended Vigil of Pentecost. The homily was key in bringing together such a rich series of texts from the Sacred Scriptures and linking them with the other texts of the Mass and the promise of the coming of the Holy Spirit. We are already planning a similar celebration this year at the Cathedral and we are doing so with some things learned from our first time. The proclamation of the
Parish, Southampton, both in PA. Father Gill completed his graduate studies in the Sacred Liturgy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and the Pontifical Liturgical Institute of St. Anselmo in Rome. After his graduate studies he served a five-year term as the Director of Liturgy at the Pontifical North American College in Vatican City State. He has been and continues as a professor of Sacred Liturgy at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary. He lectures on the Sacred Liturgy throughout the country and recently published the book, Music in Catholic Liturgy: A Pastoral and Theological Companion to Sing to the Lord. He is currently working on a book, Ars Celebrandi: An Artful and Careful Celebration of the Eucharist, for Hillenbrand Books.
Lord, God of power, who restore what has fallen and preserve what you have restored; increase, we pray, the peoples to be renewed by the sanctification of your name, that all who are washed clean by holy Baptism, may always be directed by your prompting. Through Christ our Lord. And after the reading from Joel and its response, the Bishop or priest prays: Fulfill for us your gracious promise, O Lord, we pray, so that by his coming the Holy Spirit may make us witnesses before the world to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. These prayers suggest a way to hear the Word of God and to understand more fully the response given to it. In the case of this vigil for Pentecost, the prayers orient the prayer of the people to anticipate the promised power and gift of the Holy Spirit on this Fiftieth Day of Easter. After the fourth reading, the sung Gloria follows. The Collect for the extended form of the Vigil Mass is the first option for the simple form. Almighty ever-living God, who willed the paschal mystery to be encompassed as a sign in fifty days; grant that from out of the scattered nations, the confusion of many tongues may be gathered by heavenly grace into one great confession of your name. Through our Lord. Following the Collect, the proclamation of the word continues with the prescribed reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, 8:22-27, followed by the given acclamation before the Gospel and the Vigil Gospel, John 7:37-39. These texts continue the theme of the four earlier biblical readings: waiting for the coming Holy Spirit.
The prayer before the readings at the Extended Vigil asks for the gift of the Spirit: “Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the splendor of your glory may shine forth upon us, and that, by the bright rays of the Holy Spirit, the light of your light may confirm the hearts of those born again by your grace.”
Holy Spirit medallion, Whitney Cox and EverGreene Studies.
Adoremus Bulletin, May 2017
Liturgically Creative Writing:
Popular Development of the Sequences in the Missale Romanum
By Father David M. Friel
Sequence: a hymn-like chant, with poetic text, appointed to be sung before the Gospel at Mass on certain liturgical feasts. Melisma: a group of several notes sung to a single syllable. Trope: the interpolation of unofficial words or melody into to an official liturgical chant, common in the medieval period. Jubilus: the concluding melisma sung to the final syllable of the Gregorian Alleluia. Tropes were chanted commentaries upon the sacred liturgy that served both as flourishes and as introductions to such liturgical texts as the introit, offertory, communion, Gloria, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei. Of themselves, tropes were non- or extra-liturgical. The practice of troping began in approximately the 9th century and ended near the conclusion of the 12th century.2 Throughout the duration of their usage, tropes came in different forms. Some consisted solely in the extension of the melody into a prolonged melisma, with no incorporation of additional words. Others were interpolations that grafted a text onto a melismatic passage of the liturgical chant by assigning a syllable to each note of the melisma. Alternatively, the trope could add both text and tones to the established chant, as in the famous trope on the Easter introit, Quem queritis in sepulchro. Precisely how tropes were executed is a matter of some speculation, but their influence in the creation and spread of sequences is clear.3 The unverifiable, yet widely accepted tradition among musicologists claims that the father of sequences in the Roman Rite is Notker the Stammerer (c. 840-912), rendered in Latin as Notker Balbulus. A monk of the Abbey of
Notker the Stammerer (d.912, below), Adam (d.1146) of St. Victor Monastery near Paris (above), and St. Thomas Aquinas (d.1274, next page) represent the three principal stages in the early development of the sequence.
St. Gall, he experimented with the practice of troping, historians believe, by giving syllables to each note in the melismatic ending of the Alleluia chants. It is common among Alleluia chants for the terminal syllable of “Alleluia” to be extended into a lengthy melisma. This extension, called a jubilus, afforded prime material to receive syllables for singing. Seizing this opportunity, Notker added words to the jubili as a mnemonic aid for learning the notes. As the words were given more meaning and beauty, however, this new kind of trope began to be appreciated for the sake of the words’ meaning as well as the musical notes. Indeed, it became a genre of its own, completely distinct from the practice of troping. Eventually, the sequence became distinct even from the Alleluia chant that gave the sequence its life.4 The development of the sequences is well categorized into early, middle, and late periods.5 The early period begins in the ninth century and is summarized in the work of Notker, who published his Liber hymnorum in 887 as a collection of sequences, many of which were his own
handiwork. These early sequences were characterized by a loose form of couplets interspersed with a few single uncoupled lines, particularly at the beginning and end of the text. One could diagram their structure in this way: A BB CC DD . . . X.6 The sequences of the early period possessed rather inconsistent meter, and almost no extant sequences from this period employ any degree of rhyme. Assonance, however, was a common feature of these sequences.7 In terms of usage, the sequence repertory was far from standardized in this period. A few (perhaps as many as 25) sequences from Notker’s collection became reasonably well known throughout central Europe; but most sequences were found only locally or regionally. An Italian school emerged early, featuring sequences much shorter than those of Notker. Both the Italian sequences and those of Notker in southern Germany give “the impression of a solemn sermon”8 by their artistic style and refined theological content. The champion of the middle period is Adam of St. Victor (d. 1146), a monk at the Augustinian monastery of St. Victor near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Encompassing the 11th and 12th centuries, the middle period for sequences was a transitional time in which the sequence genre forged by Notker Balbulus underwent revision and achieved greater solidity. The exemplar of Victorine sequences is one written to the Holy Cross: Laudes cruces attollamus. The sequences composed by Adam of St. Victor and his contemporaries exhibit more strict form than those of Saint Notker, using only couplets and no single, unpaired lines. It was also at this time that rhyme was first introduced to this written form, in addition to the assonance Notker employed so widely. Rhyme was still not a necessary quality of the AB/Wikimedia
Origin and Development The sequentiae have been named variously over the centuries. They were predominantly known as prosae throughout the medieval period, but they had also been called hymni because of their relation to the innovative liturgical hymns of St. Ambrose in the fourth century.1 No complete account of the origin of sequences can be given, inasmuch as they seem to have developed organically within the liturgy while receiving little early documentation. Nevertheless, there is one general account of the sequences’ birth that commands near consensus among scholars as the most likely explanation of their origin. On this account, the sequences grew in a way similar to the rise of tropes, corresponding in time to the great age of Western monasticism.
he shape of the Roman Rite developed under the influence of many centuries and many hands from various lands. Naturally, the formation of this rite involved the collaboration of human ingenuity with divine institution. Even after the essential shape of the rite was established, the originality did not cease. Too often in modern times, this novelty has taken the form of illicit “creativity” on the part of the presider. There are, however, examples of novelties introduced into the established Roman Rite by organic means. Through a close study of their historical development and liturgical usage, it is evident that the sequences of the Missale Romanum, which are essentially popular in origin and nature, are one such legitimate expression of creativity within the liturgy of the Roman Rite.
form, but it had begun to grow in popularity. Additionally, the syllabic length of each line started to become more or less even, albeit not perfectly so, and the overall length of the Victorine sequence began to grow considerably, often including ten or more couplets.9 The final stage in the development follows the middle period and lasts until the Reformation. There is no clear figure to serve as the paradigm of this late period from its inception in the mid-12th century, but the 13th-century sequences of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) are perhaps its greatest achievements. Notably, of the very few sequences retained for use in the Roman Rite, one of the texts utilized was written by Thomas Aquinas. These, together with the other sequences of the late period, display even greater metrical regularity than those of the former centuries, and rhyming couplets had become an almost invariable standard form of the now polished genre. Each half of the couplets consisted of two eight-syllable lines followed by one seven-syllable line (i.e., 8-8-7 / 8-87); moreover, the rhyme scheme within these couplets was A-A-B / C-C-B. Any aberration from the established strophic pattern in these later works could well be presumed to be the conscious intention of the author. More significant than the external conformity of the sequences to a set form, however, was the immensity of their growth in profundity. The Parisian influence upon the sequences at St. Victor had introduced the beginnings of Scholasticism to the writing of new texts, and the scholastic influence burgeoned even further in the late period, such that sequences became highly vivid, precise, and meaningful expressions of theology. Thus, what likely began as Notker’s memorization tool for the melismatic jubili of the Alleluia chants grew over the course of centuries into an independent liturgical art blending poetry with music.10 Liturgical Usage In analyzing how the sequentiarium came to be used and continue to be used liturgically, just as with its historical development, one must look at various stages. From the time of their invention, sequences always occurred within the liturgy, if the theory that they were originally
Adoremus Bulletin, May 2017
St. Thomas Aquinas, AB/Wikimedia
built upon the Alleluia is true. Although sequences are not an essential component of the Mass, the sacred liturgy is nevertheless their native home. Just as the tropes were textual interpolations into the liturgy, so the jubilus of the Alleluia is thought to have been a musical interpolation. One argument in support of this notion claims that the terminal vowel sound was extended as an ornament to accompany the procession of the deacon to the ambo. This is a reasonable claim, especially considering the common placement of the ambo in some medieval churches, high above the pews toward the middle of the nave. (The name “ambo,” itself, is thought to derive from the Greek infinitive anabainein, meaning “to mount to a high place.”)11 Others hypothesize that the jubilus was introduced from a Greek practice through an interface with the Byzantine rites.12 The most spiritual interpreta-
tion of the melismatic ending—held by Rupert of Deutz, Durandus, and Dom J. Pothier, among many others—calls the jubilus “an inarticulate expression of joy, by which the mind is carried up to the unspeakable joy of the Saints.”13 Still other arguments are plausible, and current scholarship does not admit of a definitive resolution.14 From the time of Notker to the 16th century, the number of sequences grew exponentially. Notker alone penned a sequence for each of the feasts of the Church year. Others did the same, and there grew an immense treasury of these liturgical poems. The largest number of them originated north of the Alps and Pyrenees, especially in modern-day Bavaria and France.15 The chief authors, in addition to the Stammerer and Adam of St. Victor, included Ekkehart of St. Gall (d. 973), Gottschalk of Limburg (d. 1098), and Thomas of Celano (d. 1250). Before the end of the medieval period, virtually every Sunday and feast day on the Church calendar had a proper sequence, penitential seasons excepted. There were Marian sequences and common sequences, used for feasts of saints that did not have a proper one. Some sequences were sung every day of the octave, while others were written for the Requiem Mass. The sequences were never obligatory, though, and so their actual practice varied greatly. Small country parishes with few musical resources may have utilized only very few sequences, whereas monasteries and cathedrals were likely to have a very rich practice of them.16 The liturgical reform of 1570, in conjunction with the Counter-Reformation efforts of the Council of Trent, limited the number of sequences to just four. These included: Victimae paschali for the octave of Easter, Veni Sancte Spiritus for the octave of Whitsun (now called Pentecost), Lauda Sion for the octave of Corpus Christi, and Dies irae for All Souls’ Day and Requiem Masses that
This alleluia setting from Pentecost’s Mass during the day illustrates how a great melisma draws out the last syllable.
immediately follow a death. More than a century and a half later, in 1727, the Stabat mater was added for the new feast of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady.17 It is important to note, however, that these were not the only permissible sequences. Certain French and German dioceses retained the right to use others, on account of their instrumental connection to the creation of the form. The same was true of many religious orders, including the Augustinians, Benedictines, Franciscans, and others who had played a part in the development of the sequentiarium.18 Five Codified Sequences Before looking at the subsequent reform, it will be worthwhile to examine in greater detail each of the five sequences retained in the missal as revised by Pope Pius V in 1570. Interestingly, the selection of these five was not based on the importance of their corresponding feasts. For, although the sequences on Easter
the annual feast of Pentecost. It has been the inspiration for numerous books and musical works.22 The sequence for Corpus Christi, Lauda Sion, seems to have been preserved out of respect for Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274), its venerable author, and for its sublime theological content. Written in trochaic dimeter, it is composed rhythmically, but not with strict syllabic form. It is patterned perfectly upon the metrical structure of Laudes cruces attollamus, the famous sequence of Adam of St. Victor written to the Holy Cross that marked the major shift to the middle period of sequence composition.23 This composition, which appears to have been written by Aquinas on commission,24 is structured so as to highlight, through poetic extension, its concluding strophes. They are well known of themselves by their incipits, Ecce panis and Bone pastor. Generally considered the greatest of all sequences and often called the
of which he wrote.29 Like Dies irae, his poem was not first intended for liturgical use. It has been widely imitated, which is evidence of the great affection is has won among the faithful of many generations. A Christmas imitation, titled Stabat mater speciosa, is memorable for its quality and mystical approach to Christmas joy through Lenten affliction. Second Vatican Council Reforms The liturgical reform of the Second Vatican Council again reduced the number of sequences in the missal. In the current usage of the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the sequence is prescribed only for two feasts (Easter and Pentecost) and recommended for one (Corpus Christi). The Dies irae and Stabat mater were moved from the missal to the breviary, where they now appear as optional hymns for the Office of the Dead and in the days leading up to the penitential seasons. This relocation was very sensible,
The Pentecost sequence, Veni, Sancte Spiritus, composed possibly as early as the 11th century, is sometimes called the “Golden Sequence” because of the august regard it has attained among the faithful.
and Pentecost were retained, those for Christmas, Epiphany, and Ascension, which are feasts of equal rank, were abolished. The first sequence that was retained, the Victimae paschali, was probably kept on account of the grand festivities surrounding the feast of Easter. Both its text and tune are anonymous, but attributed to Wipo (d. 1048). Although its original purpose was as a sequence for Mass, it became quite popular as part of Resurrection mystery plays. Its meter varies, it rhymes occasionally, and it portrays a lovely image of Christ, the Paschal Lamb.19 Second, the Veni Sancte Spiritus may have been composed by Pope Innocent III at the turn of the 13th century or by King Robert the Pious of France at the turn of the 11th century. It is sometimes called the “Golden Sequence”20 because of the august regard it has attained among the faithful. It should not be confused, though, with the Veni Creator Spiritus, another very worthy but separate composition attributed to Charlemagne.21 This sequence was likely retained for the same reason that the Victimae paschali was: there were many customs and traditions associated with
“Great Hymn,”25 the majestic Dies irae may have been preserved on account of sheer popularity. Written at the time of the Black Death by the Capuchin companion of St. Francis of Assisi, Thomas of Celano, OFM (d. 1250), it was not originally intended as a sequence. The very idea of a sequence written for the Requiem Mass is somewhat of a misfit, inasmuch as the traditional Requiem has no Alleluia and consequently no jubilus from which a sequence might flow.26 It was first a poem inspired by the prophet Zephaniah and used in private devotion around Advent,27 but it appeared in the missal as a sequence for Requiems by the 13th century. Its final six lines (beginning at Lacrimosa dies illa) are not original to the work, and they break the rhyme and thought of the poem. The rest of the poem features rhyming trochaic stanzas, and its manipulation of closed and open vowel sounds is considered extraordinary.28 Lastly, the Stabat mater, added to the missal in 1727, is perhaps second in fame and admiration to Dies irae. Its author, Jacopone da Todi, OFM, had lost his wife before entering the Franciscans, so he was well acquainted with the sorrow
since neither the Dies irae nor the Stabat mater were intended to be liturgical sequences. They were written as hymns, which find their more appropriate home in the Divine Office. The three sequences surviving after the reforms of 1969-1970, on the other hand, were each written as sequences and specifically intended to be used as such. The placement of the sequence, from its inception, had remained constant because of its close affiliation with the Alleluia. It followed immediately upon the Alleluia (as its name, from the Latin sequere, “to follow,” suggests) and preceded the Gospel. The reading of the Gospel, in liturgical terms, is not simply a cognitive activity, but actually an encounter, or “apparition of Christ.” 30 In this light, the role of the sequence can be seen not merely as filler; rather, it introduces the Gospel by the nature of its text, which often concludes with an eschatological couplet, directing our minds to the coming of Christ. After the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, however, the new lectionary placed the chanting or recitation of the sequence before the Gospel acclamation,31 while the Ordo Cantus Please see SEQUENCE on page 10
Adoremus Bulletin, May 2017
Music and Church in History and Mystery: A Report from Rome
By Joseph O’Brien
Adoremus Bulletin (AB): Offering a synopsis of the major points of your presentation, why did you present on the particular topic you chose? Father Fergus Ryan (FR): While the title of the talk I was given seemed quite broad—the reception of the instruction Musicam Sacram in the historical context—I chose to focus upon the immediate historical context of the liturgical reform itself which led directly to the new liturgical books. I considered a rather specific element—the relationship between forms of celebration and the use of singing (or speaking) the liturgical texts—and how this was changing in the process of renewal at the time Musicam Sacram was issued by the Holy See. I had considered this question in my doctoral thesis and had seen in my research how the place of singing in the Mass was changing radically in the 1960s in the documentation leading to the reformed liturgy, and a radically different role for singing was being proposed among those preparing the new liturgical books. AB: Based on your own learning and on what you heard at the March conference, why is Musican Sacram such an important document 50 years later? FR: Musican Sacram is important because it is both the first document after Vatican II and the last document from the Holy See to treat sacred music exclusively, in depth and in detail. By sacred music, I mean liturgical and other music intended for worship. As such, Musican Sacram presented the Church’s new emphasis in liturgical celebration on active participation of the people and more generally taking greater care of the perceived needs of the faithful with regard to sacred music in local churches. It remains the only substantial point of reference for those who wish to discuss the “how” of liturgical and devotional music with regard to repertoire and performers (including remuneration and professionalism) as well as the “why”—why we sing the liturgy and sing during the liturgy. AB: Why, according to your presentation, is the historical context of Musicam Sacram reception so important? Why did you decide to focus on this particular aspect of the document? FR: The historical context of Musicam Sacram is important because it was issued at a time of enormous change, of temporary measures and lack of clarity around sacred music. Musicam Sacram further blurred the distinctions between the different forms of Eucharistic celebration (which had begun in earnest in 1964 with the first instruction on the liturgical reform called
Hans Memling (d.1494), “Christ with Singing and Music-Making Angels,” AB/Wikimedia
t the conference “Music and Church: Cult and Culture—50 years after Musicam Sacram,” held in Rome, March 2-4, 2017, Adoremus contributor Father Fergus Ryan, OP, presented “‘Musicam sacram’: reception of the document in the historical context.” Considered the gold standard of Church documents on liturgy and music when it was first issued in 1967, Musicam Sacram remains an important guide to understanding the Church’s mind on liturgy, especially as it touches on the way it is intended—to be sung. Adoremus Bulletin asked Father Fergus about his presentation and about the other important aspects of the conference.
For more than a century, the Church’s musical directives and instructions have struggled to capture the sounds of heaven–with greater or lesser success.
Inter Oecumenici) although the music instruction claimed to be maintaining the traditional forms of Low, High, and Solemn celebrations as they are called in the United States of America (in the UK and Ireland we say Low, Sung and High Mass). While I didn’t mention the following in my talk because it concerns Roman Catholicism largely in America, Musicam Sacram permitted great interpretation of this new flexibility with regard to the amount of singing of the liturgical texts at the Missa cantata (in the U.S., High Mass; in the U.K. and Ireland, Sung Mass) which led to a new way of preparing music for Mass. A new set of priorities for the singing of the people, without being particularly concerned with the singing of the celebrant, was proposed in 1968 by the Music Advisory Board of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy in a document called “The place of music in Eucharistic Celebrations.”1 The Committee on the Liturgy subsequently adopted it as its own. It left Musicam Sacram, which was just one year old, behind and said the following: “Application of the Principles of Celebration to the Eucharist: The best places to sing are: at the ‘Holy Holy Holy,’ the Amen at the conclusion of the eucharistic prayer, the communion song, the responsorial psalm following the lessons. Other places to sing are: entrance and dismissal, ‘Lord Have Mercy,’ ‘Glory to God,’ Lord’s Prayer, offertory song.”2 This North American document is important for our consideration here because it was offered as being in continuity with Musicam Sacram but it clearly had dropped the threefold consideration of the Vatican instruction. Four years later, after the new Roman Missal had been issued (1969-1970), the same Committee on the Liturgy prepared its own document on liturgical music whose title will be familiar to readers of Adoremus—“Music in Catholic Worship.”3 After discussing its opinion that the preparation of music and making choices for singing should no longer be informed by the old distinctions of sung Ordinary and Proper of the Mass, it stated: “In the Eucharistic celebration there are five acclama-
tions which ought to be sung even at Masses at which little else is sung: Alleluia; ‘Holy, Holy, Holy Lord’; Memorial Acclamation; Great Amen; Doxology to the Lord’s Prayer.”4 Readers will again be familiar with an expression which seems inspired from this five-fold approach: “Eucharistic Acclamations” which count the Holy Holy Holy, Memorial Acclamationv and Great Amen.5 While one may find a certain basis for this approach in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal from 1969, it was Musicam Sacram which had continued the blurring of lines in making music choices (at non-solemn high Masses, I should add) and opened up the normality of spoken celebrations with some liturgical singing and varying use of singing in different contexts. I should note here that these priorities of “Music in Catholic Worship,” after “The Place of Music in Eucharistic Celebrations,” do not seem to be followed a great deal outside of English-
before Vatican II began). Yet Musicam Sacram blurred distinctions so much as to encourage greater taking of liberties. Of course, it became out of date somewhat with the new liturgical books.
AB: Given the conference’s objective to “Evaluate the weight of paradigmatic change in the understanding of music in the Church, 50 years after the Instruction Musicam Sacram (1967),” what has been the “paradigmatic change” as you see it “in the understanding of music in the Church” and how does that change influence the way(s) we should look at Musicam Sacram in the Church today? FR: It seems to me that the biggest practical change in understanding music in worship is in the greater emphasis placed upon either eliciting emotional responses in the faithful or giving them “something to do” during the celebration (a false version of active participation). It leads to making music choices which may satisfy certain felt
“Development of new sacred music needs to be done from an existing, living practice of sacred music. Expecting new, suitable music to come from local culture with only spoken texts and spoken liturgies as the starting point is unreasonable.” speaking dioceses. Both composers of music for the liturgy and those preparing celebrations continue to use the idea of the sung Ordinary (usually without the Credo) as an important element, leaving the texts of the people which closely follow the proclamation of priest or deacon (short responses or short acclamations such as the Amen, etc.) largely to employ the chants approved by the local conference of bishops and printed in local missals. To summarize, the historical context of Musicam Sacram—and within the work of reform carried out for the Holy See—is important in order to understand that Musicam Sacram attempted to maintain standards for music in worship that were under threat, although considering the liturgy as it was at that point (largely the same as 1962
needs at the time, but in the long term this will prove problematic. The liturgy has its own integrity, yet it did not develop outside of pastoral concerns; so care for the needs of the liturgy does not mean laying aside pastoral concerns—the two are not opposed. AB: What was the “takeaway” for you from Pope Francis’s talk, liturgically speaking? FR: What struck me most about the Holy Father’s talk was his emphasis upon musical formation of those involved in the liturgy—especially (future) clergy and those specifically charged with musical matters. We tend to underestimate how much somebody with a good musical formation can bring to the celebration of the liturgy compared with somebody who Please see MYSTERY on page 9
Adoremus Bulletin, May 2017
“Active and conscious participation consists in knowing how to enter profoundly into this mystery of God, in knowing how to contemplate, adore and welcome it, in grasping its sense, thanks in particular to religious silence and to the ‘musicality of the language with which the Lord speaks to us.’”
Sacrosanctum Concilium. The Council Fathers perceived the difficulties the faithful felt in participating in a liturgy whose language, words and signs they could not fully understand. In order to put into effect the fundamental guidelines outlined by the Constitution, Instructions were issued, among them, that on sacred music. From then on, although no new magisterial documents on the topic have been issued, there have been several significant pontifical interventions which have guided reflection and pastoral commitment. The premise of the above mentioned Instruction is still highly relevant. “Liturgical worship is given a more noble form when it is celebrated in song, with the ministers of each degree fulfilling their ministry and the people participating in it. Indeed, through this form, prayer is expressed in a more attractive way, the mystery of the liturgy, with its hierarchical and community nature, is and conscious participation consists, more openly shown, the unity of hearts therefore, in knowing how to enter prois more profoundly achieved by the foundly into this mystery, in knowing union of voices, minds are more easily how to contemplate, adore and welraised to heavenly things by the beauty come it, in grasping its sense, thanks in of the sacred rites, and the whole celparticular to religious silence and to the ebration more clearly prefigures that “musicality of the language with which heavenly liturgy which is enacted in the Lord speaks to us” (cf. Homily at the holy city of Jerusalem” (Musicam Santa Marta,12 December 2013). It is Sacram, n.5). precisely in this perspective that reflecSeveral times, following Council rection on the renewal of sacred music ommendations, the Document highand its precious contribution moves. lights the importance of the participaIn this regard, a two-fold mission tion of the entire assembly of faithful emerges which the Church is called to defined as “active, conscious, full.” follow, especially through those who And it very clearly in various ways highlights that “the “Sacred music and liturgical work in this true solemnity of area. On the one chant have the task of liturgical worship hand it calls for depends less on a safeguarding and giving us a sense of the more ornate form enhancing the glory of God, of his beauty, rich and maniof singing and a more magnificent patrimony of his holiness which wraps fold ceremonial than inherited from on its worthy and us in a ‘luminous cloud.’” the past, balancing it with religious celebrathe present and tion” (n.11). It is avoiding the risk of a nostalgic or “artherefore firstly a matter of intense chaeological” outlook. On the other participation in the Mystery of God, hand, it is necessary to ensure that sain the “theophany” that occurs in each cred music and liturgical chant be fully Eucharistic celebration, in which the “inculturated” in the artistic and musiLord manifests himself in the midst cal language of the current time; nameof his people, called to participate in ly, that they are able to incarnate and a true way in the salvation enacted by translate the Word of God into song, Christ’s death and Resurrection. Active Continued from MYSTERY on page 8
struggles with rhythm, pitch, staying in tune, voice projection, accompanying skills, reading music, etc. AB: How did the conference deepen your own understanding of the liturgy and of music and the liturgy? FR: The presentation by Dr. Dominique Anoha Clokou (Ivory Coast, West Africa) who is a musician and musicologist reminded me of something I had realized for some time: that local adaptation or development of new sacred music needs to be done from an existing, living practice of sacred music. Expecting new, suitable music to come from local culture with only spoken texts and spoken liturgies as the starting point is unreasonable. Dr. Dominique talked about the importing of the Roman Rite to his country but without its music and then the subsequent efforts to compose contemporary music from within the local culture in the Ivory Coast for use in the liturgy. The end result was importing poor quality contemporary music from Western cultures. A refusal to offer the Roman liturgy’s own musical form (Gregorian chant)
and other suitable liturgical music (such as the polyphony of Palestrina) to the local churches was a kind of colonialism, he said, that stymied inculturation and encouraged importation of poor alternatives. The need to work with a living and complete liturgical culture in order to make something new is generally overlooked, yet a pre-existing and full liturgical culture is what permitted the likes of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina or the monks of Taizé to bring about new forms for liturgical prayer. AB: What was the general tenor of the conference—both in session and between sessions? Are there any anecdotes about the conference that embody what you hoped the conference would achieve? FR: The conference was the first on the subject at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute at Sant’Anselmo and was organized as a series of talks. Plenary session discussion was not emphasized. It was an opportunity for those involved in sacred music from different parts of the world to meet and exchange ideas and contacts. As the congress was organized by the Pontifical Council for
Continued from POPE on page 3
sound and harmony capable of making the hearts of our contemporaries resonate, also creating an appropriate emotional climate which disposes people to faith and stirs openness and full participation in the mystery being celebrated. Certainly the meeting with modernity and the introduction of speech in the Liturgy has given rise to many issues: of language, form and musical genre. At times a certain mediocrity, superficiality and banality have prevailed, to the detriment of the beauty and intensity of liturgical celebrations. For this reason, the various key figures in this sphere, musicians, composers, conductors and choristers of the scholae cantorum, with liturgical coordinators, can make a precious contribution to the renewal, especially in qualitative terms, of sacred music and of liturgical chant. In order to foster this development, an appro-
priate musical formation must be promoted, even of those who are preparing to become priests, in a dialogue with the musical trends of our time, with the inclusion of different cultural areas and with an ecumenical approach. Dear brothers and sisters, I thank you again for your commitment to sacred music. May the Virgin Mary, who in the Magnificat sang of the holy mercy of God, accompany you. I encourage you not to lose sight of this important objective: to help the People of God to perceive and participate, with all the senses, physical and spiritual, in God’s mystery. Sacred music and liturgical chant have the task of giving us a sense of the glory of God, of his beauty, of his holiness which wraps us in a “luminous cloud.” I ask you, please, to pray for me. I impart to you my heartfelt Apostolic Blessing.
Culture, which has no responsibility for liturgical matters within the Church, it permitted a rather wide view of sacred music and its role in the world and in evangelization, rather than congress speakers being concerned with engaging in an important yet sensitive topic (sacred music, especially liturgical music) that was of direct concern to a dicastery in its daily work.
gical culture (Western monastic liturgy celebrated by the brothers in the village church since the 1940s) being adapted to new circumstances (young people visiting for brief periods but in very large numbers beginning in the 1970s) and the collaboration between different “experts,” since the brothers choose the texts before inviting composers to interpret them musically according to the requirements of the kinds of liturgical assemblies held at Taizé. ______________________________
AB: What other presentations were noteworthy? FR: The head of music at the cathedral in Paris, France, Mr. Henri Chalet, presented the school of music, the musicians, choir and cantors of the cathedral. As France is known for its strong congregational singing since Vatican II, it was interesting to hear again how strong congregational song is complemented by high quality choral music and in a context of a dynamic and growing church. The prior of the ecumenical community at Taizé, France, Father Alois, spoke about his community’s cooperation with professional musicians in the preparation of new music for the liturgy. His explanation was particularly interesting as an example of a living litur-
Father Fergus Ryan, OP, is an Irish Dominican and recently defended his doctoral thesis in sacred liturgy at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute in Rome, Italy. 1. United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, “The Place of Music in Eucharistic Celebrations,” (hereafter PMEC) Newsletter—Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy, 4/1-2 (1968) 115-121. 2. PMEC, 118. 3. USCCB’s Committee on the Liturgy, “Music in Catholic Worship” (hereafter MCW), in The Liturgy Documents. A Parish Resource, ed. M.-A. Simcoe, Liturgy Training Publications, Chicago 1985, 217-240. 4. MCW, n.54. 5. Introduced in 1968 into the Roman liturgy, thus a year after Musicam Sacram. 6. The expression “Great Amen” seems unknown and unused outside Anglophone regions.
Adoremus Bulletin, May 2017
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graduate studies in sacred liturgy at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
Continued from SEQUENCE, page 7 Missae maintained the order in which the sequence follows the Gregorian Alleluia.32 The General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) published in 2000 attempted to restore the traditional order across the board,33 but this action was undone by the 2002 GIRM, which clearly states that the sequence “is sung before the Alleluia.”34 The modern rubric placing the sequence ahead of the Alleluia is anomalous, since it separates the sequence from the component of the Mass from which it draws its existence and life. Creativity in Liturgy From the foregoing analyses, it is clear that the blossoming of the sequence in Catholic liturgy reached an unwieldy point. The over-abundance was resolved by the selective reduction of the Catholic reformers at Trent, and the process continued with the reform of the 20th century. This reduction can easily be viewed as the needed reform of “what had become an abuse and a threat to the integrity of the liturgy.”35 From this perspective, the action of reformers could be construed as the squelching of creativity that had legitimately found its home in the Roman liturgy. One could alternatively propose, however, that the Council of Trent, in drastically reducing the sequentiarium, actually universalized such creativity. Prior to Quo primum (1570), the complete rite of Mass had never before been legislated so specifically and universally. The rise of Protestantism, however, inspired Catholic efforts to conserve the Church’s liturgy, while still permitting a degree of freedom, particularly in terms of ancient rites and usages. Indeed, by saving just the few most precious sequences for continued use, the Church implicitly embraced the art form that had previously been “merely tolerated” and “not obligatory.”36 It was the great “prudence of the Tridentine reformers”37 that they eliminated the plethora of poorer sequences and so let the principle of the sequence be dignified and made official by the retention of its best examples. The revised missal promulgated in 1570 by Pope Pius V curiously included certain developments (e.g., the praying of Psalm 42 at the foot of the altar) while eliminating others (e.g., the majority of the sequences). All of the sequences, those eliminated and those retained, are of inestimable value to the Church’s liturgical, musical, and cultural patrimony, constituting a fascinating feature
The Rite Questions
Victimae Paschali Laudes, the Easter Sequence, amplifies the Gospel and Alleluia as it relates the encounter of Mary Magdalene with the Apostles on the first Easter morning: “Tell us, Mary, what did you see on the road? I saw the tomb of the living Christ and the glory of his rising!”
of the Roman Rite. Like the troparium, the sequentiarium “conceded a legitimate means for the creativity of man to find expression in the liturgy: a canticum novum appeared, which was, however, not intended to displace the canticum sacrum.”38 Herein, the great liturgical sequences show that even the Eucharistic banquet, of divine institution, can admit the legitimate creativity of man into its service.
Conclusion The sequences give evidence of the manner in which the Roman Rite has historically embraced creativity and cultivated high art within its liturgical celebrations. The story of how the sequences developed points to a time when experimentation and innovation within the liturgy were common and accepted, when creativity was organically rooted in the essence of the established rite. First conceived and later developed as an art form at the popular level, the sequences gained wide acceptance into the liturgical praxis of the Roman Church for several centuries. Their more limited usage in modern times should be interpreted as a sign not of their rejection, but of the Church’s esteem.
Father David M. Friel has been a Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia since May 2011. Having served as parish priest at St. Anselm Church in northeast Philadelphia, he is presently pursuing
: Is there any liturgical significance to placing one’s offering in the basket as
opposed to opting for a regular, automatic withdrawal from a bank account?
: Like nearly all liturgical elements, the Preparation of the Gifts or offertory is rich in significance. The liturgy’s “sacramental principle” has inward and otherwise undetectable realities made manifest through sensible signs and symbols. As the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) directs, “Even though the faithful no longer bring from their own possessions the bread and wine intended for the liturgy as was once the case, nevertheless the rite of carrying up the offerings still keeps its spiritual efficacy and significance” (73). The question is, first, what does the Preparation of the Gifts mean, and, second, what is the most suitable way to signify, symbolize, or sacramentalize this unseen reality? While there is certainly a practical reason for the details of the preparatory rites—bread and wine, vessels and cloths need to be arranged—there is also a spiritual, yet no less real, meaning to the preparation of the altar and gifts.
The gifts that are brought forward— bread, wine, and even monetary offerings—represent the heart of those offering the gifts. The GIRM describes the oblation, the offering of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, in these insightful terms: “in this very memorial, the Church, in particular that gathered here and now, offers the unblemished sacrificial Victim in the Holy Spirit to the Father. The Church’s intention, indeed, is that the faithful not only offer this unblemished sacrificial Victim but also learn to offer their very selves, and so day by day to be brought, through the mediation of Christ, into unity with God and with each other, so that God may at last be all in all” (GIRM 79). The Book of Daniel’s story of the three young men in the fiery furnace illustrates well the heart’s movement at this point in the Mass. Having been thrown by King Nebuchadnezzar into the whitehot flames, Azariah offers this prayer:
“For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins. We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader, no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense, no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you. But with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received; as though it were burnt offerings of rams and bulls, or tens of thousands of fat lambs, so let our sacrifice be in your presence today and find favor before you; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame. And now we follow you with our whole heart” (3:37-41). In other words, the only gifts the three young men had to offer to God was their hearts! God hears their prayer, sending his angel to drive out the furnace’s flames, “as though a dew-laden breeze were blowing through it. The fire in no way touched them or caused them pain or harm” (Daniel 3:50). The Preparation of the Gifts signifies our own offering hearts. The priest him-
1. Ruth Ellis Messenger, The Medieval Latin Hymn (Washington, D.C.: Capital Press, 1953), 6-7. 2. The New Harvard Dictionary of Music, ed. Don Michael Randel (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard UP, 1986), 877. 3. William T. Flynn, Medieval Music as Medieval Exegesis (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1999), 13-6, 48-56. 4. Messenger, 41-2. 5. Some scholars, however, prefer to speak of only two categories, early and late, with a period of transition between the two. Among those preferring this latter categorization is Professor Lázló Dobszay. For our purposes, however, we shall distinguish the three periods: early, middle, and late. 6. Lázló Dobszay, “The Life and Meaning of the Sequence,” Sacred Music 134, no. 2 (Summer 2007): 10. 7. Adrian Fortescue, The Mass: A Study of the Roman Liturgy (Albany, NY: Preserving Christian Publications, Inc., 1999), 273. 8. Dobszay, 11. 9. Dobszay, 12-13. 10. Dobszay, 13-14. 11. Steven J. Schloeder, Architecture in Communion (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1998), 89. 12. Messenger, 40. 13. Fortescue, 269. 14. Messenger, 35-36. 15. Fortescue, 274. 16. John F. Bullough, “Notker Balbulus and the Origin of the Sequence,” The Hymn 16, no. 1 (January 1965): 14-15. 17. Dobszay, 15. 18. Bullough, 15. 19. Fortescue, 276-277. 20. Messenger, 48. 21. The Seven Great Hymns of the Mediaeval Church, (New York: Anson D. F. Randolph & Co., 1868), 134. 22. See Nicholaus Gihr, The Veni Sancte Spiritus: An Explanation of the Pentecostal Sequence, trans. L. M. Dooley (Island Creek, MA: Miramar, 1947). 23. Joseph Connelly, Hymns of the Roman Liturgy (Westminster, MD: The Newman Press, 1957), 125. 24. Bullough, 15. 25. Seven Great Hymns, 46, 96, 98. 26. Fortescue, 278. 27. Messenger, 50. 28. Nicholaus Gihr, Dies Irae, trans. Joseph J. Schmit (St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1927), 3. 29. Seven Great Hymns, 96-97. 30. Dobszay, 18. 31. Missale Romanum ex decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Pauli Pp. VI promulgatum, Ordo lectionum missae, editio typica (Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1969), 31. 32. “Sequentia, si casus fert, cantatur post ultimum Alleluia.” Missale Romanum ex decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Pauli Pp. VI promulgatum, Ordo cantus missae, editio typica altera (Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis, 1987), §8. 33. “Sequentia, quae praeter quam diebus Paschae et Pentecostes, est ad libitum, cantatur post Alleluia.”Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, editio typica altera (Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticani, 2000), §64. 34. “Sequentia, quae praeter quam diebus Paschae et Pentecostes, est ad libitum, cantatur ante Alleluia.”Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, editio typica tertia (Vatican City: Typis Polyglottis Vaticani, 2002), §64. 35. Bullough, 13. 36. Bullough, 15. 37. Fortescue, 275. 38. Dobszay, 8.
self will even pray the words of Azariah after their preparation: “With humble spirit and contrite heart may we be accepted by you, O Lord, and may our sacrifice in your sight this day by pleasing to you, Lord God.” He will then command us to pray that his sacrifice and ours “may be acceptable to God the almighty Father.” If the preparation of ourselves to offer our hearts to God is at the “heart” of the Preparation of the Altar and Gifts, then we can ask—and be in a better position to answer—what are the best means to signify this liturgical action. Is there any liturgical or spiritual significance to giving via regular automatic withdrawals, scan-able barcodes or QR (“Quick Response”) codes, or the oldfashioned basket? Any method can be used mindlessly—or, as it were, heartlessly—just as each can be used as a true sacramental means to bring forward our whole selves. These three ways of giving are all legitimate variations, as long as they help symbolize the movement of the heart to the altar and, along with Christ, to the Father in the Holy Spirit.
Adoremus Bulletin, May 2017
MUSICAM SACRAM: INSTRUCTION ON MUSIC IN THE LITURGY Sacred Congregation of Rites, 5 March 1967 Editor’s Note: We continue in this Bulletin a reprint of excerpts from Musicam Sacram, the Holy See’s 1967 Instruction on Sacred Music, which Pope Francis recently called “highly relevant,” especially as it leads the faithful to a fuller participation in the sacred liturgy. II. The Singing of the Divine Office 37. The sung celebration of the Divine Office is the form which best accords with the nature of this prayer. It expresses its solemnity in a fuller way and expresses a deeper union of hearts in performing the praises of God. That is why, in accordance with the wish of the Constitution on the Liturgy,23 this sung form is strongly recommended to those who celebrate the Office in choir or in common. For it is desirable that at least some part of the Divine Office, especially the principal Hours, namely Lauds and Vespers, should be performed in sung form by these people, at least on Sundays and feast days. Other clerics also, who live in common for the purpose of studies, or who meet for retreats or other purposes, will sanctify their meetings in a very fitting way if they celebrate some parts of the Divine Office in sung form. 38. When the Divine Office is to be celebrated in sung form, a principle of “progressive” solemnity can be used, inasmuch as those parts which lend themselves more directly to a sung form, e.g., dialogues, hymns, verses
and canticles, may be sung, and the rest recited. This does not change the rules at present in force for those obliged to choir, nor does it change particular indults. 39. One will invite the faithful, ensuring that they receive the requisite instruction, to celebrate in common on Sundays and feast days certain parts of the Divine Office, especially Vespers, or, according to the customs of the particular area and assembly, other Hours. In general, the faithful, particularly the more educated, should be led by suitable teaching, to understand the psalms in a Christian sense and use them in their own prayers, so that they may gradually acquire a stronger taste for the use of the public prayer of the Church. 40. The members of Institutes professing the evangelical virtues should be given special instruction of this type, so that they may draw from it more abundant riches for the development of their spiritual life. It is desirable also that they should participate more fully in the public prayer of the Church by performing the principal Hours of the Office in sung form, as far as possible. 41. In accordance with the norm of the Constitution on the Liturgy and the centuries-old tradition of the Latin rite, the Latin language is to be retained for clerics celebrating the Divine Office in choir. 24 Since however the same Liturgy Constitution25 concedes the use of the vernacular in the Divine Office
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III. Sacred Music in the Celebration of the Sacraments and Sacramentals, in Special Functions of the Liturgical Year, in Celebrations of the Word of God, and in Popular Devotions 42. The Council laid down in principle that whenever a rite, in keeping with its character, allows a celebration in common with the attendance and active participation of the faithful, this is to be preferred to an individual and quasiprivate celebration of the rite.26 It follows logically from this that singing is of great importance since it more clearly demonstrates the ‘ecclesial’ aspect of the celebration. 43. Certain celebrations of the Sacraments and Sacramentals, which have a special importance in the life of the whole parish community, such as confirmation, sacred ordinations, matrimony, the consecration of a church or altar funerals, etc., should be performed in sung form as far as possible, so that even the solemnity of the rite will contribute to its greater pastoral effectiveness. Nevertheless, the introduction into the celebration of anything which is merely secular, or which is hardly compatible with divine worship,
under the guise of solemnity should be carefully avoided: this applies particularly to the celebration of marriages. 44. Similarly, celebrations which are singled out by the liturgy in the course of the liturgical year as being of special importance, may be solemnized by singing. In a very special way, the sacred rites of Holy Week should be given due solemnity, since these lead the faithful to the center of the liturgical year and of the liturgy itself through the celebration of the Paschal Mystery. 45. For the liturgy of the Sacraments and Sacramentals, and for other special celebrations of the liturgical year, suitable melodies should be provided, which can encourage a celebration in a more solemn form, even in the vernacular, depending on the capabilities of individual congregations and in accordance with the norms of the competent authority. 46. Sacred music is also very effective in fostering the devotion of the faithful in celebrations of the word of God, and in popular devotions. In the celebrations of the word of God,27 let the Liturgy of the Word in the Mass 28 be taken as a model. In all popular devotions the psalms will be especially useful, and also works of sacred music drawn from both the old and the more recent heritage of sacred music, popular religious songs, and the playing of the organ, or of other instruments characteristic of a particular Please see MUSICAM on page 12
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12 Continued from MUSICAM on page 11
people. Moreover, in these same popular devotions, and especially in celebrations of the word of God, it is excellent to include as well some of those musical works which, although they no longer have a place in the liturgy, can nevertheless foster a religious spirit and encourage meditation on the sacred mystery. 29 IV. The Language to be Used in Sung Liturgical Celebrations, and on Preserving the Heritage of Sacred Music 47. According to the Constitution on the Liturgy, “the use of the Latin language, with due respect to particular law, is to be preserved in the Latin rites.30 However, since “the use of the vernacular may frequently be of great advantage to the people”31 “it is for the competent territorial ecclesiastical authority to decide whether, and to what extent, the vernacular language is to be used. Its decrees have to be approved, that is, confirmed by the Apostolic See.”32 In observing these norms exactly, one will therefore employ that form of participation which best matches the capabilities of each congregation. Pastors of souls should take care that besides the vernacular “the faithful may also be able to say or sing together in Latin those parts of the Ordinary of the Mass which pertain to them.”33 48. Where the vernacular has been introduced into the celebration of Mass, the local Ordinaries will judge whether it may be opportune to preserve one or more Masses celebrated in Latin—especially sung Masses (Missae in cantu)—in certain churches, above all in large cities, where many come together with faithful of different languages. 49. As regards the use of Latin or the mother tongue in the sacred celebrations carried out in seminaries, the norms of the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities concerning the liturgical formation of the students should be observed. The members of Institutes professing the evangelical virtues should observe, in this matter, the norms contained in the Apostolic Letter Sacrificium Laudis of 15 August 1966 besides the Instruction on the language to be used by religious in celebrating the Divine Office and conventual or community Mass, given by this Sacred Congregation of Rites on 23 November 1965. 50. In sung liturgical services celebrated in Latin: (a) Gregorian chant, as proper to the Roman liturgy, should be given pride of place, other things being equal.34 Its melodies, contained in the “typical” editions, should be used, to the extent that this is possible. (b) “It is also desirable that an edition be prepared containing simpler melodies, for use in smaller churches.”35 (c) Other musical settings, written for one or more voices, be they taken from the traditional heritage or from new works, should be held in honor, encouraged and used as the occasion demands.36 51. Pastors of souls, having taken into consideration pastoral usefulness and the character of their own language, should see whether parts of the heritage of sacred music, written in previous centuries for Latin texts, could also be conveniently used, not only in liturgical celebrations in Latin but also in those performed in the vernacular. There is nothing to prevent different parts in one and the same
Adoremus Bulletin, May 2017 celebration being sung in different languages. 52. In order to preserve the heritage of sacred music and genuinely promote the new forms of sacred singing, “great importance is to be attached to the teaching and practice of music in seminaries, in the novitiates and houses of study of religious of both sexes, and also in other Catholic institutes and schools,” especially in those higher institutes intended specially for this.37 Above all, the study and practice of Gregorian chant is to be promoted, because, with its special characteristics, it is a basis of great importance for the development of sacred music. 53. New works of sacred music should conform faithfully to the principles and norms set out above. In this way they will have “the qualities proper to genuine sacred music, being within the capacities not merely of large choirs but of smaller choirs, facilitating the participation of all the faithful.”38 As regards the heritage that has been handed down those parts which correspond to the needs of the renewed liturgy should first be brought to light. Competent experts in this field must then carefully consider whether other parts can be adapted to the same needs. As for those pieces which do not correspond to the nature of the liturgy or cannot be harmonized with the pastoral celebration of the liturgy—they may be profitably transferred to popular devotions, especially to celebrations of the word of God.39 V. Preparing Melodies for Vernacular Texts 54. In preparing popular versions of those parts which will be set to melodies, and especially of the Psalter, experts should take care that fidelity to the Latin text is suitably harmonized with applicability of the vernacular text to musical settings. The nature and laws of each language must be respected, and the features and special characteristics of each people must be taken into consideration: all this, together with the laws of sacred music, should be carefully considered by musicians in the preparation of the new melodies. The competent territorial authority will therefore ensure that in the commission entrusted with the composition of versions for the people, there are experts in the subjects already mentioned as well as in Latin and the vernacular; from the outset of the work, they must combine their efforts. 55. It will be for the competent territorial authority to decide whether certain vernacular texts set to music which have been handed down from former times, can in fact be used, even though they may not conform in all details with the legitimately approved versions of the liturgical texts. 56. Among the melodies to be composed for the people’s texts, those which belong to the priest and ministers are particularly important, whether they sing them alone, or whether they sing them together with the people, or whether they sing them in “dialogue” with the people. In composing these, musicians will consider whether the traditional melodies of the Latin liturgy, which are used for this purpose, can inspire the melody to be used for the same texts in the vernacular. 57. New melodies to be used by the priests and ministers must be approved by the competent territorial authority.40 58. Those Episcopal Conferences whom it may concern will ensure that for one and the same language, used in different regions, there will be a single translation. It is also desirable that as far as possible, there should be one or more common melodies for the parts
which concern the priest and ministers, and for the responses and acclamations of the people, so that the common participation of those who use the same language may be encouraged. 59. Musicians will enter on this new work with the desire to continue that tradition which has furnished the Church, in her divine worship, with a truly abundant heritage. Let them examine the works of the past, their types and characteristics, but let them also pay careful attention to the new laws and requirements of the liturgy, so that “new forms may in some way grow organically from forms that already exist,”41 and the new work will form a new part in the musical heritage of the Church, not unworthy of its past. 60. The new melodies for the vernacular texts certainly need to undergo a period of experimentation in order that they may attain a sufficient maturity and perfection. However, anything done in churches, even if only for experimental purposes, which is unbecoming to the holiness of the place, the dignity of the liturgy and the devotion of the faithful, must be avoided. 61. Adapting sacred music for those regions which possess a musical tradition of their own, especially mission areas,42 will require a very specialized preparation by the experts. It will be a question in fact of how to harmonize the sense of the sacred with the spirit, traditions and characteristic expressions proper to each of these peoples. Those who work in this field should have a sufficient knowledge both of the liturgy and musical tradition of the Church, and of the language, popular songs and other characteristic expressions of the people for whose benefit they are working. VI. Sacred Instrumental Music 62. Musical instruments can be very useful in sacred celebrations, whether they accompany the singing or whether they are played as solo instruments. “The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin Church, since it is its traditional instrument, the sound of which can add a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lift up men’s minds to God and higher things. “The use of other instruments may also be admitted in divine worship, given the decision and consent of the competent territorial authority, provided that the instruments are suitable for sacred use, or can be adapted to it, that they are in keeping with the dignity of the temple, and truly contribute to the edification of the faithful.”43 63. In permitting and using musical instruments, the culture and traditions of individual peoples must be taken into account. However, those instruments which are, by common opinion and use, suitable for secular music only, are to be altogether prohibited from every liturgical celebration and from popular devotions.44 Any musical instrument permitted in divine worship should be used in such a way that it meets the needs of the liturgical celebration, and is in the interests both of the beauty of worship and the edification of the faithful. 64. The use of musical instruments to accompany the singing can act as a support to the voices, render participation easier, and achieve a deeper union in the assembly. However, their sound should not so overwhelm the voices that it is difficult to make out the text; and when some part is proclaimed aloud by the priest or a minister by virtue of his role, they should be silent. 65. In sung or said Masses, the organ, or other instrument legitimately admitted, can be used to accompany
the singing of the choir and the people; it can also be played solo at the beginning before the priest reaches the altar, at the Offertory, at the Communion, and at the end of Mass. The same rule, with the necessary adaptations, can be applied to other sacred celebrations. 66. The playing of these same instruments as solos is not permitted in Advent, Lent, during the Sacred Triduum and in the Offices and Masses of the Dead. 67. It is highly desirable that organists and other musicians should not only possess the skill to play properly the instrument entrusted to them: they should also enter into and be thoroughly aware of the spirit of the liturgy, so that even when playing ex tempore, they will enrich the sacred celebration according to the true nature of each of its parts, and encourage the participation of the faithful.45
VII. The Commissions set up for the Promotion of Sacred Music 68. The diocesan Commissions for sacred music are of most valuable assistance in promoting sacred music together with pastoral liturgical action in the diocese. Therefore they should exist as far as possible in each diocese, and should unite their efforts with those of the liturgical Commission. It will often be commendable for the two Commissions to be combined into one, and consist of persons who are expert in both subjects. In this way progress will be easier. It is highly recommended that, where it appears to be more effective, several dioceses of the same region should set up a single Commission, which will establish a common plan of action and gather together their forces more fruitfully. 69. The Liturgical Commission, to be set up by the Episcopal Conference as judged opportune,46 should also be responsible for sacred music; it should therefore also consist of experts in this field. It is useful, however, for such a Commission to confer not only with the diocesan Commissions, but also with other societies which may be involved in musical matters in the same region. This also applies to the pastoral liturgical Institute mentioned in art. 44 of the Constitution. In the audience granted on 9 February, 1967 to His Eminence Arcadio M. Cardinal Larraona, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, His Holiness Pope Paul VI approved and confirmed the present Instruction by his authority, ordered it to be published and at the same time established that it should come into force on Pentecost Sunday 14 May, 1967. _______________________________ 23. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art. 99. 24. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art. 101:1. 25. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art. 101:2, 3. 26. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art. 27. 27. Cf. Inter Oecumenici, nn. 37-9. 28. Cf. Inter Oecumenici, n. 37. 29. Cf. below, n. 53. 30. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art. 36-1. 31. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art. 36:2. 32. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art. 36:3. 33. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art, 54; Inter Oecumenici, 59. 34. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art. 116. 35. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art 117. 36. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art. 116. 37. Constitution on the Liturgy Art. 115. 38. Constitution on the Liturgy Art. 121. 39. Cf. above, n. 46. 40. Cf. Inter Oecumenici, n. 42. 41. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art 23. 42. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art 119. 43. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art. 120. 44. Instruction of the S.CR., 3 September 1958, n. 70. 45. Cf. above, n. 24. 46. Cf. Constitution on the Liturgy, Art. 44.