Thursday, 30 June 2011

Explanation of New Translation directed at Younger Audience

Fr. John Muir gives this concise and helpful explanation of the process by which the new translation was undertaken, delivered in a typically relaxed, American style:

Thanks to the Chant Cafe for bringing this to my attention.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Nichols Makes Appeal to Priests to Put Personalities Aside

His Grace, the Archbishop of Westminster gave this homily on 7 June 2011 in which he speaks about the priest's role in the liturgy as faithful servant of God.  The implication is that care should be taken that each liturgy is as free as possible from the personalties of the individual priest.  It makes interesting reading in these times of flux within the Church.

Credo I with a Twist

English Dominicans sing Credo I, as found in that Order's chant books and used for solemnities.  The recording was made in 2007.

More Victoria as Sydney Gets a New Auxiliary

Bishop Peter Comensoli, formerly of the Wollongong diocese, was ordained bishop by His Eminence George Cardinal Pell at St Mary's Cathedral on the evening of 8 June 2011.

The following is a montage of pictures of the Mass taken by Daniel Hopper.  The audio is a setting of the Te Deum, which alternates between the chant setting and a polyphonic setting by T. L. de Victoria.  It is sung by the Choir of Westminster Cathedral.  The same setting was sung by the Choir of St Mary's Cathedral at the ordination (as the new bishop walked around the Cathedral blessing the people) and was undoubtedly one of the highlights.  See the order of service for Archbishop Vincent Nichol's Installation Mass in 2009 for notation similar to that which appeared in the order of service for Bishop Comensoli's Ordination Mass, thereby allowing the people to join in the singing.

At 47, his Lordship becomes the youngest bishop in Australia.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

The Spanish Master

As we approach the 400th anniversary of the death of Tom├ís Luis de Victoria, here is one of his most glorious settings of the Mass - Missa Laetatus Sum.  The Sixteen, directed by Harry Christophers, is accompanied by the rich tones of sagbutts and cornetts.

Ye Sons and Daughters

This piece - O Filii et Filiae by Jean Tisserand (d. 1494), arranged by Martin Baker of Westminster Cathedral - was sung at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, for the Mass of the Easter Vigil and again at the Mass of Easter Day this year.  The recording was surreptitiously made at the latter (thank you whoever you are!)  As such the sound quality is not ideal, added to which the camera appears to be quite close to the organ.  Nevertheless, the effect is stunning, with the people joining in the Alleluia refrain.  

Monday, 27 June 2011

Archbishop Coleridge on the New Translation

His Grace, the Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn gave this eloquent lecture about liturgical renewal in Perth in February 2010 (1 hour long), with the new translation as its basis.  It makes compelling listening for anyone remotely interested in liturgical affairs.

Last month he made this short video directly about the new translation, in which he makes some frank comments about the process by which the translation was undertaken, a process of which he was intimately a part as Chairman of the Roman Missal Editorial Committee:

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Succinct Explanation of the New Translation

Bishop Peter Ingham of Wollongong, New South Wales, commends the new translation to his flock in quite a lovely, unaffected way.  This video is 10 months old, but remains relevant.  It also, helpfully, is captioned.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Getting Used to the Syntax of the New Translation

Rightly or wrongly the sentence structure of the new (2010) English translation of the Missale Romanum is more complex than that of its predecessor.  That is not to say that it is by any means difficult for the ordinary person to proclaim/understand and there are certainly benefits of retaining - as much as possible - the original Latin flavour of the text (as was mandated by the 2001 instruction Liturgiam Authenticam which concerns the principles to be adopted when translating books of the Roman Rite from Latin into the vernacular).

In some of the translations there seems to be a certain discordance, but for each such example there are five which are stunningly beautiful and immeasurably superior to the 1973 translation.  For example, for Pentecost this year we heard:

God our Father,
let the Spirit you sent on your Church
to begin the teaching of the gospel
continue to work in the world
through the hearts of all who believe. (1973)

Next year we will hear:  

O God, who by the mystery of today’s great feast
sanctify your whole Church in every people and nation,
pour out, we pray, the gifts of the Holy Spirit
across the face of the earth
and, with the divine grace that was at work
when the Gospel was first proclaimed,
fill now once more the hearts of believers. (2010)

New Translation - Commissioning New Mass Settings?

This question has recently been raised:  If the new English translation is the single most significant event in the post-Conciliar era since the Novus Ordo Mass was implemented (at least as far as English speaking countries are concerned), should it not be celebrated with the commissioning of new Mass settings - choral and congregational - by the various Bishops' Conferences?  So far, dozens of new and revised settings are being published and distributed amongst parishes, with virtually no safeguards as to quality or fitness for purpose (except the Bishops' endorsement of some settings, which would appear to mean only that they are better than the rest).

Westminster Cathedral has a long history of commissioning new Mass settings - in Latin and in the vernacular - and it would appear that St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney may be establishing a similar tradition.  For example, for the canonisation of St Mary MacKillop, David Drury, at the behest of the Cathedral Music Department (see here and here), composed this Mass, using the new English translation:

If we are to experience a real improvement in sacred music, can it be achieved without expending some money to ensure quality output?  An issue on which to ruminate.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Proper Alleluia for Corpus Christi

Here is the Alleluia 'proper to the day' for Corpus Christi sung, again, by the unrivalled Choir of Westminster Cathedral on the occasion of the Pope's visit to the UK in September 2010.  It should be noted that this is the standard of the liturgy at Westminster Cathedral, not just every Sunday at the Solemn High Mass, but every day!

Video of Mass using the New Translation

Click here for a video of the Episcopal Ordination of Vincent Long Van Nguyen at St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne on 23 June 2011.  His Lordship will serve as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, under his Grace Archbishop Denis Hart.  He is the first Australian bishop of Asian extraction, having been born in Gia-Kiem, Vietnam.

The Ordination Mass was evidently a joyous occasion, and of particular interest is the use of the new dialogues and translations of the Ordinary.  The Missal chants are used to great effect, with the Archbishop superbly intoning his parts.  The congregation responded marvellously (perhaps due to the competent leadership of the celebrant and undoubted preparation for the Mass - nota bene).

Note: Australian parishes have been allowed by the Bishops' Conference there to use sung settings of the newly translated Ordinary (Gloria, Creed, Sanctus) plus the new responses at the Mystery of Faith since January 2011, and the rest of the new Order of Mass whether sung or said since Pentecost 2011.

Earthly Liturgies Should Be Directed Heavenward

Occasionally I shall punctuate my posts with examples of what some may call 'ideal' liturgcal music (c.f. Sacrosanctum Concilium, paragraphs 8 and 116).

This, Sicut Cervus, is perhaps the most well known/loved motet by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c.1525 – 1594), sung superbly by the Choir of Westminster Cathedral, London. 

First Cab off the Rank - Chanting the Mass

Those interested in the rationale behind the music for the latest edition of the Roman Missal in English may like to peruse this transcript of a speech given by Monsignor Wadsworth, current Executive Director of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (hereafter "ICEL"), the body mostly responsible for the newly translated English language Missal.  The speech was given at Atlanta, Georgia on 21 August 2010. 

He develops his point in a more recent speech given at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 14 June 2011.  UPDATE - you can watch a video of his address instead:

Chant shall be a recurring theme on this blog.

The Monsignor has also given this interview on the new translation, succinctly outlining the "official" position (by this I do not mean to imply that the official position is somehow flawed). 

It should be noted that while I shall attempt to have a degree of balance to the "Missal issue", in perhaps a vain attempt to avoid politicising it, I shall post those stories I personally find will be helpful/interesting/of note unfettered by any potential claims of bias.