Monday, August 29, 2011

The place of the propers - news story

The Catholic Review has published an interesting news story about the propers of the Mass and whether and to what extent they should inform music selections. I'm quoted and this is mostly because Jerry Galipeau of WLP suggested to the reporter that he contact me. I'm very grateful for that. That was a very fair and kind thing to do; otherwise the reporter would have never heard of this blog or the Church Music Association of America.

I had a 30 minute long discussion with the reporter and it went well. I'm not unhappy with what he quoted but of course I didn't write the story and there are some obvious problems with the overall take. One does not gain from the story the fullness of the issue here: the proper texts aren't just another source text for music at Mass; they are the whole basis of Christian liturgical music at Mass and have always been. How do we know this? By looking at the history of the liturgical books. Even today: when you hold a Graduale Romanum in your hands, you are holding the music book of the Roman Rite. This is a very difficult point to get across to people because it requires a complete re-arranging of how we think about music and the Roman Rite.

In any case, I'm thrilled about this story, which is the first that I can think of that deals with this very important topic.