Startled at the Difference

I started singing at ordinary form Mass probably 12 years ago or so, and I remember the bad old days, all too well. In the early days, it was all about hymn picking and trying to make sense of silly Psalms and unsatisfying Mass settings. It took forever and it was not very satisfying. Actually, it was grim.

Next came the improvements: better Mass settings, better chanted Psalm, eliminating extraneous noisy stuff like a purple “Great Amen” and the like. We fixed one thing at a time and became better and better. But still, those hymns!

Then we discovered Mass propers. At least we had some parameters.

Then came the Parish Book of Chant. That was glorious because now we could actually tap into our great musical history. It was archeological work, and singing this music seem to make the Roman Rite more authentic.

Then came the flood. The Simple English Propers. Communio. The Parish Book of Psalms. The Missal Chants.

Now when I arrive on Sunday morning, I know exactly what to do. The confusion is over. The music is right there, a given. I know what to practice and how to make it happen.

The distance between way back then and now is truly night and day. Every week, I find myself so thankful for these great resources. They’ve changed everything.