Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Msgr. Grau: "Truly Dreadful Liturgical Music"
The New Liturgical Movement blog has posted a paper given at the 20th general assembly of the FIUV (Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce) last November by Monsignor Valentin Miserachs Grau, President of the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music. The title of the paper is IMPLICATIONS OF A CENTENARY: PONTIFICAL INSTITUTE FOR SACRED MUSIC (1911-2011).
I offer here a few interesting highlights from the paper, along with a little commentary.
First, note that the author is the current president of the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music, which was established in 1911. For one hundred years, the Church has had a body devoted to sacred music! In addition, the Institute was formed after years of consideration of liturgical music reform, and 8 years after Pope Pius X’s motu proprio on liturgical music, Tra le sollecitudini.
Here are a few interesting quotes, with my editorial comments, from Msgr. Grau’s talk:
This one is a sore point: the rampant wave of false and truly dreadful liturgical music in our churches.
That dreadful music, is, I am afraid to say, quite “rampant” in our Diocese, and is likely to remain so.
Now we must wonder: if the will of the Church has been clearly declared also in our times, how is it possible that the musical praxis in our churches distances itself in so evident a way from the same doctrine?
How indeed?! Why is it that we have been ignoring what the Church says about liturgical music for over a century? There is clearly a lack of catechesis in this area! In addition, there is a mindset in our Church today that we should be able to select “more relevant” music – as in “contemporary” music. We forget that what’s “contemporary” today becomes an “oldie-but-not-so-goodie” in a very short period of time. In the end, our liturgical music becomes dated, not fashionable. It needs to be timeless. And: