Recent Postings
By Sandra Dooley on 6/27/2011 1:01 PM
I would like to talk a little more this week about the music settings that have been composed or revised for the new translation. Since the announcement last week that parishes may begin using the new settings in September, this has become an important consideration for all of us as we prepare for the new translation. A very helpful resource has been made available through the National Pastoral Musicians organization (NPM), and if you are not a musician, you might want to share this information with the musicians of your parish.


Michael Silhavy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has compiled a directory of all the musical Mass settings available through publishers. It is a comprehensive list that includes information about each setting, such as title, composer, publisher, parts of the Mass included, voicing, instrumentation, language(s), etc. Only music from known publishing companies is included, so once you have found settings in the list that you think will work in your parish, you...
By Sandra Dooley on 6/20/2011 10:57 AM
We received a big surprise this past week from the Bishops’ meeting in Seattle. Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Divine Worship, announced that diocesan Bishops may permit the gradual introduction of the musical settings of the people’s parts of the Mass from the new edition of The Roman Missal beginning in September. Until last week, it had been very clear from the USCCB that there was to be no variation on the date of implementation. Everything was to happen on November 27, the First Sunday of Advent. This new development was made in response to numerous requests from Bishops, and also from musicians, who have argued that the acclamations and, especially the Gloria, could be more effectively introduced gradually over a period of time rather than all at once on the date of implementation. Of particular concern has been the Gloria, which is not sung during Advent.

This option will give parish musicians much more leeway in choosing how and when to introduce new Mass settings to their communities, and I hope that all Bishops will permit it in their dioceses. It may be a challenge for publishers to have materials available by September for parishes that need them. Publishers have already been on a tight schedule in preparing editions of the new edition of The Roman Missal as well as choral editions of the new Mass settings, new hymnals, and other worship aids. It will also be a challenge for parishes to figure out how they will make the music available to people in the pews, particularly if they are preparing to begin using new hymnals on November 27, and it may be a particular challenge to those parishes/musicians who have not yet decided what settings they will introduce with the new translation. But, in general, I think this news will be welcomed by most parish musicians.

By Sandra Dooley on 6/13/2011 10:51 AM
I recently acquired a copy of the recording of the Eucharistic Prayers of the new translation of The Roman Missal. The recording is done by Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle, Washington, and was produced by Word Library Publications.

I decided to listen to the recording because I will be giving a number of presentations in the coming months about The Roman Missal, primarily to liturgical ministers around the diocese, as we prepare for the implementation on November 27. I want to be familiar with the new Eucharistic Prayers.

This is the same recording I mentioned a few weeks ago that a priest friend had listened to, the recording that softened his resistance to the new translation, helping him to better understand and accept the changes that have been made.

As I listened to the words of the new translation, a few things came to mind:

1.      I was surprised that what I was hearing did not sound so very foreign from what we hear now at every Mass. There was a word every now and then that struck me as clearly new and different, but, for the most part, the entire Eucharistic Prayer sounded prayerful and not that different from what we hear now. This was probably at least, in part, due to the fact that the words were very well read/proclaimed, with obvious preparation.

By Sandra Dooley on 6/13/2011 10:15 AM
Recently, I came across an article in America magazine (May 23, 2011) by Cardinal Roger Mahony, retired archbishop of Los Angeles. The article piqued my interest on two levels: it is about The Roman Missal, of which I have a keen interest, and I worked in the Los Angeles Office for Worship until two years ago, when my husband’s job necessitated our move back to Florida where we had raised our three children.

While Cardinal Mahony admits that he is not satisfied with every change in the new translation of the Missal, he speaks of this time of preparation and transition as a “graced moment” in the life of the English-speaking Church.  He also makes an interesting comparison between the current and the new translations as old and new friends. I think that is a helpful analogy. Certainly, we are familiar and comfortable with the language that is used in our liturgies. Many of us have been praying the same words of the Creed, the Gloria, and other parts of the Mass for over 40 years. But change is a part of life, and, just as we make new friends at different times in our lives, we experience changes in other areas as well and it is now time to welcome the new translation and be open to its riches and insights.

By Sandra Dooley on 6/7/2011 11:53 AM

This past week, our diocese held a number of readings sessions of new Mass settings. The sessions were intended primarily for music directors and choir directors and were held in different geographical areas of the diocese. The purpose of the sessions was twofold: to give music/liturgy leaders of the parishes some idea of what is available musically in the new translation and to also give the diocesan leaders a sense of what will work well in our parishes. (The diocesan music director and music committee are planning to choose a small number of Mass settings to recommend to parishes and also to choose a bilingual setting for diocesan celebrations.)

There were about 25 of us at the session I attended, and we sang through the Gloria; the Holy, Holy, Holy; and one or two Memorial Acclamations of a variety of Masses from four publishers.

I hope that this is also happening (or has already happened) in your diocese. It is a good way to familiarize yourself with the available new and revised Mass...
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