Monday, April 18, 2016

Mind Blown

Part and parcel of being in RPC is learning things you were never taught--but as a Catholic, should have been--about the Liturgy. 

I was once among those who helped select "four-hymn sandwiches" for Masses, and I was taught to use the Scripture readings as the guide for which hymns to use. By "taught" I mean, "did what everyone else did." I never heard of Sacrosanctum Concilium or the GIRM. I had no idea what rubrics were, except possibly a misspelling of Rubik. All I knew was what GIA, OCP, and J.S. Paluch told me liturgical music should be.

Only today did I learn how hymns should be selected, thanks to Corpus Christi Watershed head troublemaker Jeff Ostrowski. He points out that "the official GIRM (going back all the way to the 1970s) requires that any text replacing the Entrance Chant must be approved by the local bishop." Entrance Chant?! What in the name of Tom Conry is that? Few Catholics know, thanks to post-Vatican II nullification:
On 20 November 2012, the USCCB committee on liturgy confirmed a practice that had been going on for decades behind closed doors. The committee said that several sections in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal can be ignored.
Ostrowski elaborates on this practice:
The Bishops’ Liturgy Committee maintains a principle called “one-for-all,” which says that if any USA bishop approves a substitute text, that same permission automatically extends to every other USA diocese. That means a musician in Los Angeles can use an alternate text approved by the bishop of Philadelphia in 1978. Likewise, a musician in Houston can use an alternate text approved in 1984 by the bishop of Minneapolis. Is this really what the GIRM meant when it stipulated that an alternate text must be approved by the local bishop? Many believe this “one-for-all” rule violates the spirit and letter of the law. 
And by the way:
When the USCCB approves a hymnal—as they often do—the approval does not apply to any of the music inside that hymnal. The approval only applies to certain texts excerpted from the Missal, such as the Ordinary of the Mass.
Read the whole thing, which isn't very long. Then, pick up the pieces of your mind that just blew out of your skull, shove them back in, and come to rehearsal.

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