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Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Wednesday, May 29, 2002 Bust the Trust in Liturgical Music
I had wondered at the seemingly universal presence in local parish Masses of banal contemporary hymns -- Geritol music, as I call it, after the treacly flutes and woodwinds of the patent-medicine commercials on the old Lawrence Welk show. This article on The Hidden Hand Behind Bad Catholic Music was an eye-opener. Steve Schultz at Catholic Light offers his own commentary:
"Where did we fall away from the Truth that the Mass is the celebration of the perpetual sacrifice of our Lord? It is His prayer to the Father. It is the perpetual sacrifice that redeems us and makes us holy. I have always thought that calls for reverance and not hootenanny. Oh, and I'm not sure if any of you noticed but the short intro to the OCP 'Celtic Alleluia' sounds like someone falling down a short flight of stairs."
Remarkable the extent to which Oregon Catholic Press has cornered the liturgical market: OCP could be short for octopus. Isn't it about time the tentacles were chopped?
Here are some resources that might prove useful in challenging the OCP monopoly at your parish:
CanticaNOVA Publications offers "traditional music for the contemporary Church." A blurb from their site:"CanticaNOVA Publications (CNP) provides quality liturgical music for today's Catholic Church. CNP believes that the texts and rites of Catholic liturgy give ample sources for creative musical expression. Using what the Church has already given us, CNP publishes quality music grounded in, and often directly flowing from, the traditions of the Church. This 'NEW traditional music' provides the Catholic musician with the ability to be creative in liturgical music planning without having to turn to poor quality, 'alternative' religious music."
The Adoremus Hymnalis designed for use in small parishes with few musical resources as well large parishes with full choirs. Following the general plan in Musicam Sacram, this hymnal consists of three major sections: the Order of the Mass; musical settings for the Ordinary of the Mass; and a selection of over 170 of the most beautiful hymns ever written--for every season of the liturgical year and other feasts and holidays. The music was selected on the basis of beauty, holiness, Catholic tradition, theological integrity, familiarity and simplicity. All the music is within the capabilities of every Catholic parish. For more details, read the introduction to The Adoremus Hymnal and visit the Ignatius Press site.