Thursday, August 9, 2012

Enculturation in the New World-the Redux

This is Charles: I received the following email from Adam Wood and even though what follows expresses his initial reaction to some communication he'd received, we agreed that both the email and his musing were worth sharing. To whit-

Adam: I just read possibly the most humbling comment I've ever received. On my post "Gregorian Chant is for Radicals: Part 1"
My daughter and I are part of a choir that is under the aegis of a Benedictine monastery in a third world country. This basically means that you have about 10 amateurs who do their best to keep up with the choir director, who has no choice but to sing with us while strumming on his guitar, as no one knows how to play any other instrument. We also have a very good guitar player who is only 16, but seems to be more content playing Guns n Roses. The rest of the choir is made up of housewives and women who have to work all day. Our participation is more wishful thinking than anything, but our collective goal is to make beautiful music for God. My daughter was recently introduced to Gregorian chant. She began to cry because she said “Mom, we´re never going to sing like that!” I had to agree, but she has her heart set on learning Gregorian chant. We don´t have any places that have Gregorian chant in this country that I know of, so it certainly will be a challenge.

I responded via email- assuring her that Chant is, in fact, much easier than it seems, and asking if it would be helpful to point her in the direction some free online resources. I also asked where she is and what language they use for Mass. I did a search for email address, and I suspect she is in a Spanish-speaking country. Also, I don't know if she is a missionary or a local. What really struck me was the disconnect between the us (the LitMus haves) and the vast majority of Catholics- the LitMus Havenots. Like- maybe we're all spending a little too much time debating the finer points of liturgical hermaneutics, or trying to convince goofy suburbanites to give up their Gather Comprehensives- maybe we need to make a more concerted effort to serve these types of communities.