Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dioceses Taking on the Missal Chants

Janet Gorbitz reports on this weekend's workshop in Shreveport:

The Diocese of Shreveport, Louisiana’s Office of Worship sponsored a music workshop at the Diocesan Catholic Center this weekend (March 18-19). With presenters from GIA (Gregorian Institute of America, Rob Strusinski), OCP (Oregon Catholic Press, Louis Canter), WLP (World Library Publications, Alan Hommerding) and CMAA (Janet Gorbitz), the attendees had the opportunity to hear many new Mass settings for the new Roman Missal translation. Dianne Rachal, the Director of the Office of Worship, was the epitome of southern hospitality, welcoming us with graciousness, comfort and good food.

Bishop Michael Duca gave a short welcome to all attendees on Saturday morning, encouraging those present to embrace the new changes and asking them to work together with the priests to make it possible to sing more parts of the Mass. During the two-day workshop, about 50-60 attendees from the region had the opportunity to sing through several different settings from each of the publishers and were given sample copies of some of the new music that will be available.

The CMAA portion of the workshop was focused on the new Missal chants that are provided free of charge at the ICEL website, as well as musical resources for singing the Mass propers in English. The attendees sang through the new Mass ordinaries, including the Credo III, with ease. They also sang Proper antiphons that are part of the Adam Bartlett’s Simple Propers project and were able to also learn about Chabanel Responsorial Psalms, including one composed by Arlene Oost-Zinner.

A short discussion of CMAA’s efforts to aid church musicians in their quest to make the liturgy more beautiful included the use of the Parish Book of Chant. The attendees were given a very short tutorial on the reading of “square-note” notation and sang a couple of chant hymns in Latin from the Parish Book of Chant during the session.

With the new resources for the proper antiphons in English freely available, the new Missal translation implementation can mark a new era in parish liturgical music in the coming years. Once again, we can all be thankful for the generosity of our Catholic composers who are sharing their work with the Church. Workshops such as this one are great places to get information and music into the hands of more church musicians.