Monday, February 20, 2017

Dei verbum: No 5 in Our Series on Vatican II

Revelation is at the heart of the Church's message.  But what is the role of Scripture and Tradition in the deposit of faith?  In this episode of our ongoing series on Vatican II, we look at everything from the theological background to Vatican II to this important document of the Council and its aftermath.

Remember to check back next Monday after 6p EST for our next installment!

Friday, February 17, 2017

New CD from the London Oratory Boys Choir

The celebrated London Oratory Schola Cantorum Boys Choir has a magnificent new CD going on sale today.

Here is their beautiful promotional video. Enjoy!

For more information or to purchase:

Thursday, February 16, 2017

An Auricular Fast

A very interesting idea over at Ninevah90, (about which I have no opinion, and little knowledge, but i think the title tells it all) regarding a musical and aesthetic "palate cleansing," the better to approach discernment, in matters musical, yes, but without reading more on the site yet, I believe in all things pertaining to the life of Faith.
even most dedicated Christians have lives that are too noisy, too suffused in music and media, and lacking in aesthetic discernment. Aesthetic discernment is important because it allows us to develop gates and strongholds to our inner lives, the very gates and strongholds that are antithetical to modern approaches to “entertainment.” In short, we want to grow up spiritually in regards to music and media as well.
Anyone know Mark Nowakowski?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Lumen gentium: No 4 in Our Series on Vatican II

In our continuing series on Vatican II, today we look closely at the Constitution on the Church and discuss a lot of the theological preparation for that document, including Pius XII's Mystici corporis.

Remember to check back next Monday after 6p EST for our next installment!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Star of the Sea

Friday, February 10, 2017

Expressing the faith

A facebook friend (he can feel free to name himself) has been asking about a passage in the USCCB-sponsored document Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship. The passage concerns the writing of new hymns.
 Sing to the Lord #83 (quoting the USCCB's 2006 Directory on Music and the Liturgy):
“to be suitable for use in the Liturgy, a sung text must not only be doctrinally correct, but must in itself be an expression of the Catholic faith.”
I take it the passage means that not only should hymns be error-free (which one would think should go without saying, but actually needs to be said), but also that it should express the faith.

Let's say that there is a text free from doctrinal error. Does it express the faith in any one of the many possible ways that this can be done? Does it say something true about Christian salvation, or about the person of Jesus, or the responsibilities of discipleship, or the love of God?

Without this positive criterion of expressing the Catholic faith, it is possible to write hymns that promote a watered-down version of Catholicism, a worldview that is little more than deistic, very vague, and, I would add, very boring.

I have written before about this worldview. It is widespread and, I believe, the biggest threat to Catholicism, often institutionalized and rewarded. While perhaps not strictly speaking heretical, hymns that support this worldview do not express the Catholic faith in a positive way. They may or may not express some humanistic substitute doctrine, such as psychological well-being in place of salvation, or a philosophical doctrine, such as a Hegelian understanding of death and rising.

In any case, vague and not-clearly-Christian hymns dilute the faith life of Catholics. With so many excellent texts in circulation, there is no good reason to use them. They ought to be avoided.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Sacrosanctum concilium: No 3 in Our Series on Vatican II

Readers of Chant Café might be very interested in this talk on the liturgy document, Sacrosanctum concilium.  In this talk, we look at the liturgical movement, Mediator Dei and all manner of liturgy related questions with regard to Vatican II.

Remember to check back next Monday after 6p EST for our next installment!

Sacred Music Symposium 2017, Los Angeles

Over at CCWatershed, Jeff Ostrowski has news about an upcoming event.

In case the idea of liturgical extravaganzas emanating from L.A. give you the willies, be not askeered -

this promises to be nothing like the famous Rel. Ed. congresses.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Ecumenical Councils in General: No 2 in our Series on Vatican II

What is an ecumenical council anyway?  Why do we have them, and why are they so important in the life of the Church?  This episode explores why!

Remember to check back next Monday after 6p EST for our next installment!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Music for this Blessed Christmastide

I know he has been mentioned before, if not here, then on the MusicaSacra fora, and if you're anything like I, items that should be of interest don't always register if they are not immediately useful for whatever pressing need one feels as a musician, but....
Oh, my, Phillip Stopford!!!!!
As it happens, having no duties, or responsibility, or work as a musician, m musical needs are rather limited right now.
It being that time of year, some Crusaders for Life sang Phillip Stopford's heartbreakingly appropriate lullaby for the Holy Innocents at the state capitol building in Illinois.
And it being that time of year, (I don't know about you, but my creche and tree have another week to go....) it remains appropriate. It was a joy to discover this composer, like receiving one last Christmass present, because...
Oh, my, Phillip Stopford!!!!!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Why Vatican II is Important: Number 1 in Our Series on Vatican II

St John XXIII announces Vatican II:
Gaudet mater ecclesia!

In our first installment of our series of talks on Vatican II, we talk about why this council is so important to the life of the Church, and why it is crucial that we understand how interpretive questions really influence everything in the life of the Church.

Remember to check back next Monday after 6p EST for our next installment!