"Motu Proprio" is Latin for "many posts"
So said TS at the blog with the long Latin name starting with Video.
I just watched EWTN discussion of Summorum Pontificum and it was quite good. One part of it was really funny and I feel almost sorry for the person who called in.
Caller: My question is that I am a guitarist and I have been serving at the Mass for 27 odd years and I can remember the old Mass as a child. My question is how can I as a guitarist fit in in the Latin Mass.
Raymond Arroyo: Fr. Kenneth Baker I will let you take a shot at that one.
Fr. Baker: I can say well get a nice missal with Latin on one side and English on the other and attend it, but don’t bring your guitar. Because a guitar is not a liturgical instrument for the Traditional Latin Mass. It’s the organ or various kinds of musicians. The guitar doesn’t fit into that. It’s not part of the ritual. I think it is important to realize that the Mass of Blessed John XXIII it’s all set exactly how it is suppose to be done. That is people have to learn that when they receive Communion that they have to kneel to receive Communion, they have to receive Communion on the tongue and things like that. There are no altar girls allowed for the Latin Mass and these are the rules and this is the Mass that has been authorized. People are so far removed from it that many of them don’t realize these things and it’s why it is going to take time. I think it is going to take ten years for this thing to really come back, it will start really slow. The Pope himself says most priests don’t know this and they are not familiar with the liturgy, therefore it is not going to be very common to begin with. But I think it is going to grow as time goes by one of our parishioners told me that he and his wife decided last night the difference between ordinary and extraordinary that Americans like things that are extraordinary and therefore the Latin Mass will attract a lot of people because it is now considered to be extraordinary. I thought that was interesting.
“Various instruments”–I really can’t wait for the arguments to begin about the electric organ. Or violins, or flutes, which conjure up pagan and sensuous attitudes. Polyphony will be allowed, but only by certain composers…
That was a very adamant answer, but it’s not exactly the final word.
…. What’s wrong with an electronic organ, assuming it’s used to imitate a normal one?
Get ready for the clown Tridentine Mass.
Oh it’s coming…
Jeff, I saw this discussion and I nearly died laughing when I heard that whiny caller described above.
Raymond Arroyo looked speechless – the long pause before he handed the question over to Father Baker said it all, I thought. He looked as if he was about to burst out laughing himself!
The lively discussion was wonderful – it seemed that the good priests and bishops there were very excited about this development. Their jubilation was almost palpable.
thank you. that was a great way for me to end the day… wonderful chuckle!
Actually, the classical guitar has a long history as a liturgical instrument in Spain.
I think there are guitars and there are guitars. Growing up in Puerto Rico, I remember going to Mass at poor parishes that would have never been able to afford an organ or many other types of instruments and used a guitar or two. It was done in a reverent way and the guitar would be in the background. That is completely different to what I see nowadays in some mainland parishes where the musicians feel like old Woodstock-wannabe rejects.
I have a growing suspicion that, over the next several years, the Traditional Latin Mass community is going to learn the true meaning of “Be careful what you wish for” the hard way.
With the extraordinary use genie out of the indult bottle, it belongs to the Church, not to the traditionalists.
As a classical singer I would like to ask the guitarist if he would mind if I had a chance to offer my gift to God after being disinfranchised my whole life. He’s had 27 years. Lucky him.
Ever notice how at some of the rock’n’roll teen Masseshave guitarists who are so into it? They have a furrowed brow like Springsteen and, sometimes, wipe their brow because all the strumming is a workout. They sing RIGHT into the mic, and they shout at the top of their lungs.
And this is supposed to be meditative?
I just subscribed to Fr. Baker’s Homiletic and Pastoral Review. He was awesome on EWTN.
Why is it FUNNY when someone who has been serving the Church for 27 yrs in the best way he knew asks how he can conform or be of service in the Tridentine Mass? If he doesn’t “get it” a gentle, kind response would do more to enlighten him than would the ridicule of his instrument and his worship, don’t you think?
It is good to be clear about the conformance of newcomers to the TLM, rather than the reverse, but a little kindness wouldn’t hurt. After all to be ignorant BECAUSE of obedience is not a sin!
Regarding those Spanish guitars, and on a slight detour, my college Spanish teacher was a former nun whose family was known for guitar-making. She showed us a film of the process. It’s worth checking out–some of those Spanish guitars are MADE with reverence!
To be fair, I think the panelists were pretty surprised by the question. It’s like saying, “I make heat tiles for spaceships. Where does that fit into the liturgy?”
I mean, geez, maybe wait and do some research _yourself_, since it’s your craft and not the priests’ one. And maybe your tiles are meant for the outside wall of the parish church, not the inside one, and they won’t work as a ciborium — does that make them less useful? Of course not.
Let the record show, Your Honor, that Fr. Kenneth Baker is Fr. Kenneth Baker, SJ proving there are some Old School Jesuits still running around.
I really can’t wait for the arguments to begin about the electric organ. Or violins, or flutes, which conjure up pagan and sensuous attitudes. Polyphony will be allowed, but only by certain composers
Kathy, there are no arguments.
The electronic organ is verboten unless the parish in question cannot possibly afford a pipe-organ.
Violins, flutes, etc., are authorized under the provisions of the 1958 Instruction—so long as it’s not “show tunes/band music, etc.”
Popes, beginning with GREGORY (c. 600 AD) have made it clear: Gregorian Chant is the foundation and the model for sacred music.
You could look it all up. The guitarist is out of a job. Thank him for his service to date. Offer remedial organ-lessons.
Dad29, every rule you mentioned involves value judgments and exceptions. There will be plenty of arguments.
Polyphony from every age? Only Catholic composers? What, no Mozart? No Ave Verum?
How poor does an electric-organ parish have to be?
So the organ has been recommended a few times in vatican-y documents. Great. I love it. Especialyl big fat delicate North German baroque(catholics built boring organs).
What about the famous Silent Night story? (was it a priest or a proddy pastor?)
There’s nothing wrong with a guitar per se more than with a violin or a flute (ugh, and I speak as a flautist) or nose flute or whatever. Bring in the electric guitar and drums, if you have something suitable to play on them. It’s the music that matters. The harmonica, for goodness sake. Okay, some have “associations”, but absolutely speaking short of a wow-stick or whatever you call them, what instrument could not conceivably be ever used in litugical music?
personally I’m a no instruments at all woman, for preference, and think Mozart should be play edonly by speical indult for the indigenous tribes of Bavaria and Austria, but once you’re out of the Gregorian+possibley some organ (wind/string) help for the voices, I don’t see how you can except in a few cases of comedy noises say “this cannot be used because of what it is”. Pastoral reasons, local circumstances, etc yes, but absolutely?
For the record, I have been at a 1962 Mass with Shine Jesus Shine etc. Full of terribly reverent and pious teenagers.
It was a bit weird,mind.
I am not a fan at all of folk-mass happy-clappy guitar music but I feel obliged to mention that the guitar and other stringed instruments were used sometimes, along with shawmns, organs, trumpets, trombones and even castanets (wielded by a special deputation of choirboys called the Seises, who were deployed on feastdays), to accompany motets and mass parts in Renaissance Spain and Latin America. The big difference between this and Marty Haugen is that they were playing very classical, very traditional stuff by Alonso Lobo or TL de Victoria or their contemporaries which lacked the emotional abandon of most modern stuff. (I imagine motets were also sung a capella or with only continuo provided by organ or a recorder consort, too.) My rule of thumb–yes, liturgical guitars, but only for stuff written 400 years ago!
I watched the program and I would NOT describe that caller as “whiny” In fact, the man prefaced his comments “I don’t intend this to be contentious” I was given the impression that he was genuinely curious (if a bit naive) about the role of guitar in the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite – I cannot get the picture out of my head of Elvis and his band standing before the Communion rail playing that awful song at the end of “Change of Habit” (if you wish to join me in this personal hell, you can search for it on youtube!) Nevertheless, I think that would have been an excellent opportunity to speak about the suitability of Gregorian chant for the Roman Liturgy (either in its ordinary or extraordinary expression). The organ is preferred as an instrument (if you must have instruments) BECAUSE it is the instrument which most closely imitates the full range of the human voice – “pipe organ” because the manner in which the sound is produced is about as close as you can get to air/vocal cords, etc.
On the other hand, I don’t think Fr. Baker (SJ) came off as condescending or ridiculing the man’s question.
“The organ is preferred as an instrument (if you must have instruments) BECAUSE it is the instrument which most closely imitates the full range of the human voice – “pipe organ” because the manner in which the sound is produced is about as close as you can get to air/vocal cords, etc.”
I never knew that. Hmmm. Having a reason beyond personal preference feels much better. Thank you, Fr Totten.
Also, imagine how the reactions of musicians might differ if we offered suggestions like:
“–yes, liturgical guitars, but only for stuff written 400 years ago!” as Matthew did, only perhaps worded as an invitation to put the instrument at the service of particularly beautiful music…Just a thought…
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