A few years ago I got together with some friends at my parish and the parish seminarian and we helped another friend, an older parishioner, move to his retirement home. It was a pretty fun day.
Fast forward a few years and the seminarian, now a priest, is assigned to a parish that needs some cantoring (canting?) help. Tonight I sang at his Mass, which was beautiful, and particularly beautifully sung. Later he told me that he was a member of the schola that sang on his seminary’s Vespers album, which has been mentioned here and on the NLM before.
Friends, this is the future.
In seminaries in the US, England, and Rome, singing the Mass is the new normal. I met seminarians from 3 English-speaking major seminaries last year in Rome, and in every single seminary, Reform of the Reform liturgy is considered the norm. The Simple English Propers are everywhere.
These seminarians are the pastors of the not-too-distant future, and then everything will change. What pastors sing in the seminary is formative for their future decisions regarding pastoral music. Reform of the reform musicians will be able to form cooperative working relationships with pastors who understand very well how sacred music is supposed to sound, and how the chants of the Mass are integral to Sunday liturgy.
Everybody hang on, ok? It won’t be long now.