Monday, 11 July 2011

Diocese in Illinois Encourages Missal Chants and New Mass Setting, but Avoids Revised Settings

An interesting article by Jennifer Willems in The Catholic Post of the Peoria Diocese in Illinois.  Apparently:
"To assist the parishes, schools and Newman Centers of the Diocese of Peoria in making the transition to the new Mass texts, Bishop Jenky asked a committee of musicians to make recommendations for Mass settings and hymns that would give everyone a 'common language.'
Musicians around the diocese met with Msgr. Deptula and Dr. Sherry Seckler, diocesan director of sacred music, to sing through the new Mass settings and suggested two of them for use in central Illinois. The first is the chant setting that will appear in the new Roman Missal and likely be published in missalettes.
The second is the 'Mass of Wisdom' by Steven R. Janco. Published by World Library Publications, it was written for organ, brass and handbells as well as piano, woodwinds and guitar. (To listen to it, go to Sing the New Mass and click on New Musical Settings.)
'It is, in theory, rather elastic,' Msgr. Deptula said. “It will fit many different situations, many different styles of celebration.”
Revised settings of Masses currently in use, such as the 'Mass of Creation,' are available, but the committee opted against recommending one of these. Msgr. Deptula said they felt it would be more difficult for people to put new words to a well-known tune.
Parishes may want to learn other settings and are encouraged to do so, but Msgr. Deptula said Bishop Jenky is asking pastoral musicians to make people familiar with the chant setting and “Mass of Wisdom” as a starting point.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops helped the faithful last week by approving use of musical settings for the new Roman Missal beginning in September [rather than all at once on the first Sunday of Advent]" (emphasis added).  
As I have previously suggested, this seems to me to be the most appropriate way to go about introducing new settings of the Ordinary - by strongly encouraging the use of the new Missal setting, so that it becomes the default setting known across the diocese (and the English speaking world), and the use of a robust new setting (which Mass of Wisdom seems happily to be), and then permitting and encouraging the adoption of further Mass settings at will.  Credit ought to go to the bishop for his policy and his pastorally sensitive (but resolute) method of implementing it.

This is one of many newspaper articles that I have seen fit to post on my blog for being either interesting or particularly useful to people trying to understand the new translation and the process of its implementation.  Here is a full list, and bear in mind that new articles are added to the relevant page on the right hand side of this blog: