Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Special Invitation to Priests

From Reverend Robert Pasley, CMAA Chaplain:
We send out a special invitation to all seminarians and priests. Please consider attending the 2012 CMAA Colloquium in Salt Lake City, Utah, from June 25 through July 1. Pope Benedict XVI has called for a hermeneutic of continuity in interpreting all Catholic teaching. There is no greater need for continuity than in the Sacred Liturgy. If we follow the official musical program given by the Church, we will immediately begin the process of restoring our Catholic Identity and revivifying the Sacred Treasury of our musical heritage. Priests, however, must be at the forefront of this revival. If they do not sing their chants, then the solemn sung Liturgy can never be realized, no matter how magnificent the parish choir is.

Mother Church has always kept the chants of the priest very simple so that the Mass could be sung by almost any cleric. Seminarians all learned the chants of the priest by just hearing them sung them year after year. The problem is that the sung Mass, especially with the celebrant chanting his lines, has, for the most part, been dead for the last forty years. If we are going to foster continuity, then every priest must know how to sing his chants. We have lived through a forty year span when there were no set melodies for the liturgy in English. Priests made up their own chants or sung what they may have heard from this composer or that composer. There also has been a mixing of Anglican, Byzantine and other chants. Just as they would never sing Roman chant in their Liturgies, so we should never sing their chant in our Liturgy.

If you are going to sing the Rite, sing it right! That is where the Colloquium comes in. We have a new Missal and the chants are now standardized in our Roman Tradition. You do not have to be a professional musician. You may not even know how to read music. You will have seven days to begin the process of understanding what you have to do. We can never cram everything into seven days, but we will give you a start and give you resources to take home with you. You can then get your local choir director to help you on your way. If your own music director needs a brush up, consider sending him or her to the Colloquium as well. Fathers, you not only are absolutely necessary to consecrate the Holy Eucharist, you are also absolutely necessary for the Mass to be sung properly according to our Tradition!!!!!

Please consider attending. It is a wonderful event and you will not be disappointed.

Father Robert C Pasley, KCHS; Chaplain of the CMAA; Rector Mater Ecclesiae, Berlin, NJ