Sunday, July 06, 2008

The New Liturgical Movement and Music

From the Article:
Part II of the Zenit interview with Fr. Weber is even more powerful than Part I. Here he speaks very plainly and frankly about the musical difficulties of Catholic parishes, the reasons for them, and the prospects for the future. He speaks in a way that is very clear and without any of the meandering around and over-qualification tendency of many people when speaking about these issues.
Questions answered in interview:
Q: Why did the Second Vatican Council state that Gregorian chant should be given "pride of place" in the Church's liturgy?

Q: Benedict XVI has given a number of speeches discussing the importance of preserving the Church's heritage of sacred music, and a number of documents have been issued by the Holy See calling the universal Church back to that grand tradition, yet little seems to have changed on the ground. Why is there resistance to what should be seen as a form of Vatican II's concept of "ressourcement," that is, return to the sources?

Q: The book "Why Catholics Can't Sing" highlighted the abysmal state of congregational singing present in most American parishes. Why do you think parishes will be able to handle Gregorian chant? Isn't that harder to sing?
[my opinion]

I helped at a catholic summer camp about a month ago. I watched a priest teach some simple Gregorian Chant to a group of 34 junior high and high school students. At the start of the camp the teens didn't know exactly what to do, but by the end of the first week the teens knew what they were singing and they sang (or chanted) it very well. I was impressed at how quickly these boys learned this ancient music. Also, it appeared that most of the teens enjoyed it! I actually heard some of the boys singing the first line of the Sanctus during the day when they would walk past the kitchen (I was the cook.). The criticisisms for keeping gregorgian chant out of the litugry don't hold weight in light of this experience.
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