A lovely article on the NLM.
He has put into my heart a marvelous love
for the faithful ones who dwell in his land.
Those who choose other gods increase their sorrows.
Never will I offer their offerings of blood.
Never will I take their name upon my lips.
O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup;
it is you yourself who are my prize.
The lot marked out for me is my delight:
welcome indeed the heritage that falls to me!
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight:
since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.
And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead,
nor let your beloved know decay.
You will show me the path of life,
the fullness of joy in your presence,
at your right hand happiness for ever.
Like a commuter passing a car wreck, I can’t help but look at every liturgical livefeed that Rocco Palmo tweets, even the LA Religious Ed Congress. Egads. Everything sounds exactly like We Are the World, even the (why? why?) trilingual troping of the Agnus Dei. Is there some reason people can’t just sing “Lamb of God” in Vietnamese, Spanish and English?
We Are the World was a hit in 1985. That was almost 30 years ago, well before the featured soloists were born. And that music is dated, while chants written a millennium prior are not. The reason is: the earlier music was not ephemeral. It was not written to satisfy a perceived (usually hopelessly outdated) current theological or musical trend, but to give expression to the deep faith that can truly sustain a Christian.
Not only the music, but the words too, sound exactly like We Are the World, which, with admirable clarity, expresses secular humanism.
The one exception to the We Are the World sound is the the Congress’ theme song, which may be found on this page, and which sounds exactly like the theme to The Love Boat, except with maracas.
During what decade did The Love Boat air, again?
Bruce Ford of The American Gradual has done a marvelous job setting the new translation of the Good Friday Reproaches to the traditional chant. Download the pdf file here.
Several other settings may be found on this thread of the MusicaSacra forum, the most useful community-authored internet website for the serious Catholic liturgical musician.
However, there is one particular liturgical moment that does not seem to be going well. At a spoken Mass, such as many daily Masses, the first line of the Sanctus isn’t making sense. In the old translation, it was spoken like this:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,/ God of power and might.
Now, it seems to be often spoken like this:
Holy, holy, holy Lord/ God of hosts.
We may be missing something important here, which perhaps the translation intended to resolve. In the older translation, the pause between Lord and God had a grammatical effect. “God of power and might” functioned grammatically as an apositive, effectively a description, of Lord.
In the new translation, it seems much clearer now that the words are meant to be invoked as a proper name, “Lord God of Hosts,” “Adonai Elohim Zabaoth,” as we read powerfully in the prophetic Books and the Psalms, or “Dominus Deus Sabaoth” in Latin, which also comes across, phonetically, as a name of power.
I think that in our spoken Masses, we can reclaim a liturgical sense of this revealed power by simply following the punctuation. The rhythm is like the passage from the Gettysburg Address quoted in the title of this post:
Holy,/ holy,/ holy Lord God of hosts.