Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Eucharistic "Danny Boy" Prayer

From the blog of Fr. Z:

From a reader:

That is strange.

Last weekend we had a visiting priest and something strange happened.
He sang the first part of the Eucharistic prayer to the tune of “Danny Boy”. Well, needless to say most of us were a little more than thrown off by this priest’s crooning. He had a good voice but it was so strange. After mass it was explained to several of us that chanting is acceptable and this was just another musical version of the prayer, like the chant. Can a priest set the prayers of mass to whatever tune it suits him?

Weird. And wrong.

Singing the Eucharistic Prayer to the tune of “Danny Boy” is reason #24456 for why we needed Summorum Pontificum.

And would I be right in assuming that this was a Mass “facing the people”? And that the priest was….not particularly young?

While there are approved liturgical books with musical notation for the Eucharistic Prayer, there is no one approved way to sing it. Sadly, some priests and bishops have made up their own versions. Results vary. Priests are wise to stick to approved books, in my humble opinion, or at the very least stick closely to the model of sacred chants of our tradition.

Music for Mass is not a mere ornament, external to the liturgical action. We cannot simply change it arbitrarily. It is of the essence of the liturgical action, and integrating part of the liturgical action. Music for Mass must be artistic and sacred. The texts which are set should be sacred texts proper for liturgical worship. The music should be art and in an idiom which is recognizable as sacred. That is a tricky issue, of course. Allow me to illustrate by simplification.

“Danny Boy” has a nice, sentimental tune, but there is nothing of the sacred about it. When you hear Danny Boy, you think of Irish pubs. And the more pints you have, the better you are at singing it, alone or with others. When you hear a Sousa March you think of a parade or sporting event. You don’t, however, go to a parade or football stadium and expect to hear Gregorian chant… unless of course that parade is a liturgical procession. You don’t want Sousa in church or chant at the ball game.

“Danny Boy” doesn’t belong at Mass. No matter how well the priest could sing it, the tune of Danny Boy has the wrong idiom for Mass.

I have often wondered if, in the case of priests who make up their own idiosyncratic thing, they are not making Mass about themselves. “Look at me! Listen to how clever I am!”

It seems to me that, as younger men come up in the ranks, men who are open also to our older, traditional Form of Holy Mass, this sort of thing will quickly fade.

Priests have to get themselves out of the way of the liturgical action, of what the Lord – the true Priest at Mass – is doing.

In Sacramentum caritatis 23 we read that:

… priests should be conscious of the fact that in their ministry they must never put themselves or their personal opinions in first place, but Jesus Christ. Any attempt to make themselves the centre of the liturgical action contradicts their very identity as priests. The priest is above all a servant of others, and he must continually work at being a sign pointing to Christ, a docile instrument in the Lord’s hands. This is seen particularly in his humility in leading the liturgical assembly, in obedience to the rite, uniting himself to it in mind and heart, and avoiding anything that might give the impression of an inordinate emphasis on his own personality.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Ninth Sunday after Pentecost

For August 14, 2011 which is the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, we are going to sing:
  1. Procession: Jesus, My Lord, My God, My All
  2. Asperges me
  3. Introit: Ecce Deus adiuvat me
  4. Kyrie IX
  5. Gloria IX
  6. Gradual: Domine, Dominus noster
  7. Alleluia: Eripe me
  8. Credo I
  9. Offertory: Iustitiae Domini
  10. Offertory hymn: Ave Maris Stella
  11. Sanctus IX
  12. Agnus Dei IX
  13. Communion hymn: Panis Angelicus
  14. Communion: Qui manducat
  15. Recession: Salve Regina (solemn tone)
Click on the links to hear samples where available.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Prayer request

In your charity and kindness, please join us in prayer for the speedy recovery of Father Aurelito Cacho who is having pneumonia and renal failure. He has been hospitalised since Thursday, July 14, 2011. Father used to be one of the regular visiting priests to Kuala Lumpur back in 2005. Oremus!

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!
O Mary, Mother of Priests, protect and guard thy servant!

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

For July 24, 2011 which is the 6th Sunday after Pentecost, we are going to sing:
  1. Procession: By The Blood That Flowed From Thee (SBH1918#169)
  2. Asperges me
  3. Introit: Dominus fortitudo plebis suae
  4. Kyrie XI (Orbis Factor)
  5. Gloria XI
  6. Gradual: Convertere, Domine
  7. Alleluia: In te, Domine, speravi
  8. Credo IV
  9. Offertory: Perfice gressus meos
  10. Offertory hymn: O Sanctissima
  11. Sanctus XI
  12. Agnus Dei XI
    Publish Post
  13. Communion hymn: O Salutaris Hostia XI
  14. Communion: Circuibo
  15. Recession: Great King Of Kings
Click on the links to hear samples where available.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Act of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Feast of the Sacred Heart

O sweet Jesus, Whose overflowing charity for men is requited by so much forgetfulness, negligence and contempt, behold us prostrate before Thy altar eager to repair by a special act of homage the cruel indifference and injuries, to which Thy loving Heart is everywhere subject.

Mindful alas! that we ourselves have had a share in such great indignities, which we now deplore from the depths of our hearts, we humbly ask Thy pardon and declare our readiness to atone by voluntary expiation not only for our own personal offences, but also for the sins of those, who straying far from the path of salvation, refuse in their obstinate infidelity to follow Thee, their Shepherd and Leader, or, renouncing the vows of their Baptism, have cast off the sweet yoke of Thy law.

We are now resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offences against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behaviour, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violation of Sundays and holidays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints. We wish also to make amends for the insults to which Thy Vicar on earth and Thy priests are subjected, for the profanation, by conscious neglect or terrible acts of sacrilege, of the very Sacrament of Thy Divine love; and lastly for the public crimes of nations who resist the rights and the teaching authority of the Church which Thou hast founded.

Would, O Divine Jesus, we were able to wash away such abominations with our blood. We now offer, in reparation for these violations of Thy Divine honour, the satisfaction Thou didst once make to Thy eternal Father on the Cross and which Thou dost continue to renew daily on our altars; we offer it in union with the acts of atonement of Thy Virgin Mother and all the Saints and of the pious faithful on earth; and we sincerely promise to make reparation, as far as we can with the help of Thy grace, for all neglect of Thy great love and for the sins we and others have committed in the past. Henceforth we will live a life of unwavering faith, of purity of conduct, of perfect observance of the precepts of the gospel and especially that of charity. We promise to the best of our power to prevent others from offending Thee and to bring as many as possible to follow Thee.

O loving Jesus, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary our model in reparation, deign to receive the voluntary offering we make of this act of expiation; and by the crowning gift of perseverance keep us faithful unto death in our duty and the allegiance we owe to Thee, so that we may all one day come to that happy home, where Thou with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.