Sunday, July 22, 2007

High Mass/Low Mass

Today I served the RCIA Reunion Mass, which was a very interesting experience. As it was attended by people who had come home through the RCIA programme the priest and catechists decided we should show them what home they had come to by having a Latin High Mass (Ordinary Form obviously) but the Music Directress didn't like this idea. When she was told the Gloria, Sanctus and Agnus Dei were going to be in Latin plainchant she shouted, 'Oh, shut up' and stormed out of the sacristy. She then jumped in at each of those times accompanying Paul Inwood style tunes on the electric keyboard. The only thing she couldn't put a stop to was the professional singer we had got in to sing 'Panis Angelicum' at Communion, however she did fight back by singing some happy clappy song straight afterwards.

One of our Lay Pastoral Assistants suggested to the priest that we mke that Mass our regular Traditional High Mass and Father agreed as long as he has enough people to help him keep it going, ie a Thurifer (that's usually me and obviously I can't be there every week), musicians who like Gregorian Chant. So keep my parish in your prayers that this will happen and will make a difference.

18 comments:

Mark said...

Gosh; I think the Music Directress a) thinks she's obviously very important; but b) is quite rude, by cuttting in.

Joe said...

The wretched woman should be sacked. She should take her directions from the priest - not impose her own (inadequate) liturgical preferences.

Karen said...

How irritating. At our NO Mass in English, we do it in the vernacular, but at times through the year we do the Lamb of God in Latin, (especially during Advent and Easter) and our Cantor (female) often does a solo Panis Angelicus or the Ave Maria just after the regular Communion song. Good music is good Music. [and we've been doing this for years.]

Where do they get these kumbaya people? Whatever. We'll pray for you! :-D

Jordan Potter said...

I wonder if something couldn't have been done to prevent her from deliberately wrecking the liturgy. In any case, one hopes your parish will soon have a new music director, since the one you've got has proven herself incompetent at her job. There's no excuse for such misconduct. In my parish, we also have a music directress who has great disdain for Latin in the liturgy, but I hope she would never pull a stunt like this one.

Anonymous said...

Get the Music Directress involved in Gregorian Chant. She could be great at it and give a wonderful contribution.

Patrick said...

Who's Paul Inwood?

Anonymous said...

Prayers being prayed e'en now as I type.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)

Giles Hawkins said...

Music directress? I think the proper term is 'You are fired'. Forget the idiotic music directress thing, cantors, etc. Find a good Anglican organist (they need to convert anyway) and replace her. At least and Anglican worth their salt would already know the music you want a need to augment and support decent liturgy.

Anonymous said...

As a musician, I understand that woman's fury. It's simply unacceptable for that priest to make such demands of the musician, not to mention (presumably) such a drastic change from what the parish usually did. I am on the traditional side of things, but if my boss were to say to me "I want On Eagles Wings four times on Sunday", he wouldn't have an organist for that Sunday.

YOU JUST DON'T DECIDE MUSIC ON A SUNDAY! Not for a musician who can cope, such as me, and not for one who obviously can't handle the request! It's just plain wrong!

-Gavin

Fr. Scott Bailey, C.Ss.R. said...

I once received a response like that from a Music Director. On Monday morning she was unemployed. Sounds like the tail is wagging the dog here. The Pastor needs to take control of the parish. Unfortunately, in my experience, very few seem to have the will or the gumption to do so.

John said...

Thousand years of LATIN rite tradition, and LATIN is still seen as out of place in a LATIN rite mass.

The Roman Church is a LATIN Church...

...Its not that complicated..

Anonymous said...

Was the music director told in advance, or five minutes before Mass started? On other blogs, people seem to think this matters.

I don't. Either way, the music director was rude beyond belief.

antonia said...

goodness that is awesome!

How could a Choir Director contradict a Priest's decision on the music of the liturgy?! How shameful.

antonia said...

whoops! as I clicked 'publish' I just realised I wrote "awesome" instead of AWFUL!

It is awesome the Latin High Mass was celebrated...but awful that the Music Directress acted as she did.

dcs said...

YOU JUST DON'T DECIDE MUSIC ON A SUNDAY! Not for a musician who can cope, such as me, and not for one who obviously can't handle the request! It's just plain wrong!

OK, that might excuse a musician storming out of the sacristy. But I don't see how it would excuse a musician trying to wreck the liturgy. In this case, the musician could simply have refrained entirely from singing and playing the organ.

Jordan Potter said...

It's simply unacceptable for that priest to make such demands of the musician, not to mention (presumably) such a drastic change from what the parish usually did. . . YOU JUST DON'T DECIDE MUSIC ON A SUNDAY!

Nonsense. We don't know they decided on a semi-Latin liturgy at the last second. You're jumping to conclusions with next to nothing to go on. But even if they did, how difficult could it be for her to give the opening tone of each chant and then sit back and silently stew in her juices? Her spoiled adolescent antics showed everyone what is really important to her about Mass, and it's not Jesus or the faithful assembled to worship -- it's her own personal preferences.

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

My boys act as thurifer every week at Benedictions..i'm kind of not going to say we only do the old form of Mass..but then we don't have abuses like you described...

big benny said...

i'm really not happy with you labelling this music director as a 'directoress', it's no wonder that she got the hump if she picked up on the sexist, disrespectful and dismissive discourse around her by (presumedly) all male clergy. whether she was told in advance or shortly before (and i too get the impression that it was only very shortly before mass), it's clear that she was not included in the discussions and was presented with the decision as a fait complete. surely, as director of music, she should have been included in the process and had she been she probably would have been more accepting and helpful. as it was, her opinion or perspective was not even listened to and so effectively the only option left open to her was to play up like this. even though what she did during mass was clearly wrong, i can understand how having been 'ambushed' with this decision at short notice, she responded as she did. if it had been done properly in advance, her emotions would have had time to calm down and she could acted more rationally. there may well have been valid arguments (or difficulties to be thought through) against introducing a sung latin mass out of the blue. surely, some cathecisis and planning (so as to ensure that the people are familiar with singing chant) was appropriate here. i think this is a classic example of clergy dominating rather than animating. the macho attitude is clearly shown in the follow-up comments and boasting of hiring and firing - oh how powerful you are father(s). i'm hoping the director of music took issue with your summary dismissal and with not following any proper disciplinary process. come on, you have to do these things properly with consultation and sensitivity or you'll never get people to 'buy-in'. i really don't see how delibrrately acting brashly and getting peoples backs up un-necesarilly will help your cause. you lost a potential ally that day, and what's worse you seem to be gloating about it without any remorse that you have created another lost sheep.