Sacred Heart Catholic Church: December 13, 2016, 7:00 pm
One of the many changes that occurred in the wake of the Second Vatican Council was the
widespread celebration of the liturgy in the vernacular. This created a difficult situation for musicians because there was little music written for vernacular Masses. In the years following Vatican II, it was easier for musicians to write singable versions of the Mass ordinary (Lord have mercy, Glory to God, Holy Holy Holy, Mystery of Faith, Lamb of God) because those texts never change. However, the Mass proper changes every day, and consists of what we now call the "four hymns" at the Opening (Introit), Offertory, and Communion (the closing hymn is a modern invention). Given the lack of music set to the correct vernacular texts, the council permitted congregations to sing hymns/songs appropriate for the liturgical place or day rather than having to sing the exact text from the gradual, the name of the book containing all the proper antiphons (songs) for the liturgy. The result was a widespread loss of the prescribed texts of the faith, especially those of the Psalms of David. This also resulted in the musicians having leeway to select whatever they wanted to sing for Mass, which sometimes created freedom of expression but also resulted in a lot of poor music and bad texts creeping into the liturgy unbidden. Over the last half century or so musicians have slowly been able to write new music set to accurate translations of the gradual, often to be sung by the choir. During this Advent season, if you attend a choir mass at Sacred Heart, you may hear the choir sing something on its own at a time that the congregation is accustomed to singing with the choir. This is for the sake of reviving the rich texts of the gradual that are largely drawn from the Psalms. Such a liturgical event is meant to enrich the congregation's participation in the liturgy by allowing them to hear the ancient texts of the faith sung by the choir in a way that permits full participation via
reception and meditation on the sung text. The Psalms in particular have always been the bread and butter of Christian prayer. Advent is a well suited season for reviving these proper antiphons slowly, to bring into the present the wisdom and beauty of our ancient and apostolic faith.
Director of Music
You have blessed the people and families of Sacred Heart Parish
with an abundance of grace and joy.
We are grateful for all your gifts bestowed upon us.
Look with favor upon our efforts
to protect, enhance, and expand Your house, O Lord.
Stir up in us a spirit of gratitude and generosity, that we may respond sacrificially to Your call.
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus enflame our hearts, and inspire us in this spiritual endeavor that we joyfully undertake for You and Your Holy Church. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Wednesdays: 4:30 PM - 5:15 PM
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