Thursday, April 24, 2014

DO WE NEED A NATIONAL ENGLISH MISSAL/HYMNAL?

Maybe this could be it or maybe not. How big and heavy is the book? Does it have the daily Mass propers? And how much does it cost? It sounds good in video though! Ever since the disposable missalettes came into vogue after Vatican II, I have despised their throw away mentality. Given the "green movement" I am suprised these haven't be suppressed by progressives in the Church, but progressives seem to like them the most, especially those disposable missalettes and hymnals from OCP. There is something wrong with throwing Scripture and the Church's official prayers for the Mass into the trash.



5 comments:

Joseph Johnson said...

I have advocated for hard-bound missal/hymnals in my parish before (it still hasn't happened yet). Once I obtained the figure for what is spent each year in our parish for the disposable missalettes and compared it to the initial purchase price for missal/hymnals. As I recall, it looked like the missal/hymnal option would be a long-term money saver for the parish (once the missals were purchased we could go several years not having the yearly missalette expenditure and then, after a time, replace a few hard-bound missals on an as-needed basis as they wore out). Further, hard-bound hand missals (such as the "Daily Roman Missal" could be sold in parish gift shops and help raise revenue at a parish level).

Additionally, I'll be honest about this---the missalettes are the "delivery system" that gets a lot of the "bad" music into American parishes (Jeffery Tucker was the first to write of this phenomena). The missalette companies copyright this contemporary style bad music and have an economic interest in it. Why aren't more priests thinking about the need to wean ourselves from missalettes?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone stepped into a typical "Catholic" parish for Mass in the last 50 years. If not, this is what you will find.

You will find a sloppily dressed obese priest and the people who still bother to show up in tee shirts and sweat pants laughing and talking at the top of their voices about anything but God. Nobody genuflects to the Real Presence because they don't believe it any more. Music that is beyond horrendous. Lay people giving constant, non stop commentary on everything and they can't even pronounce ordinary everyday English words. People who bring their children don't set an example of good manners but bring in food and drink and toys and play with the children throughout the Mass. The homily is very feel good and contains nothing Catholic or Christian about it. These people don't even realize they are at Mass. You could have a layperson give a talk and sing a song and they will not know the difference between that and a pontifical high Mass. So I don't think a nice missal is going to help much, call me crazy but I'm just say in'.

Henry said...

I have long been convinced--but especially since I began carrying an OF daily missal to OF Mass and following all the prayers in it just as most people do at EF Mass--that the recapture of a “missal culture” among worshipers is essential for the active prayerful engagement of most people. (Consistent with the lesson of a lifetime of teaching, that most students cannot engage substantial concepts by hearing only, that sound must be reinforced by sight—taking notes, following or following up in a textbook, etc.)

Indeed, at a daily OF Mass where virtually every single person is following (particularly) the propers in a hand missal or missalette, and reciting the antiphons and responses in unison, there is a completely different atmosphere of shared engagement, than at a Sunday Mass where many or most are not participating so fully.

It therefore seems possible that this new OF missal, if widely used in parishes, could be a very significant (and maybe even revolutionary) step in the reform of the reform and the resacralization of parish liturgy. But I wonder whether it’s realistic to expect this to actually happen. How many parishes and parishioners are ready for such a great leap forward?

Pater Ignotus said...

Joseph - Indeed, the cost of disposable seasonal or monthly books is, in about 3 years of paying subscriptions, higher than the cost of "permanent" hymnals.

I think we can begin the weaning process simply be explaining to pastors that, in a very short time, a hard-bound book saves money. As Cosmo Castorini said in "Moonstruck,"

"There are three kinds of pipe. There's what you have, which is garbage - and you can see where that's gotten you. There's bronze, which is pretty good, unless something goes wrong. And something always goes wrong. Then, there's copper, which is the only pipe I use. It costs money. It costs money because it saves money."

As to needing a "national" hymnal, I'd say no. This discussion has been ongoing at the USCCB and in various regions and dioceses for at least 50 years.

JBS said...

Father McDonald,

Good point about the green issue! I would love to see us move away from the individualized, commercialized and disposable liturgical music towards a common repertoire of sacred songs.