Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Music for the New Translation

The preparation for the new translation is underway.

In an effort to foster diocesan unity, Bishop Sample of Marquette, MI, has indicated that he would like to begin with one common Mass setting that can be used by the parishes/missions as well as for diocesan events. The musical setting chosen is Mass of Resurrection by Randall DeBruyan, published by OCP.

Listen to this Mass here. Or here are some of the various parts separately:

Glory to God; Holy, holy; We proclaim your death; Save us Savior; Amen.

These settings are elegant, simple, beautiful. Although rendered in these samples by a choir and a trumpet accompanying the organ, I think they are easily within the capability of a parish of modest means. The melodies will be easy to pick up by a congregation.

And if every parish in the diocese will have at least this setting as a standard, it will make for great unity at diocesan Masses.


  1. A great pity that "pride of place" is not being given to the fine English plainchant settings that will be given in the Missal itself. Plainchant remains the standard. All else derives from it and is ancillary to it.

  2. Dear Father Mark

    I think that the bishop is simply giving a directive as to which non-Missal setting he wishes to be used in the diocese. Without this helpful directive, parishes would choose other musical settings but there would be no guarantee that of any kind of uniformity, nor indeed a setting of any kind of standard.

    The chant settings in the missal will already have his approval since they are contained in the ecclesiastically approved Missal itself. They therefore need no further endorsement from the diocesan bishop. No doubt those chant settings will also be used in parish and diocesan worship.

  3. Fr. Boyle is correct. Also, at the time that the common diocesan Mass setting was being selected, the plainchant setting of the Missal was not complete on the ICEL website. The idea has been to encourage parishes to look beyond simply reheating the stale Mass of Creation and serving it dressed up in the new text. Most parishes in this rural diocese have relied exclusively on OCP materials for years and have been heavily indoctrinated by NPM. Add to that a heterodox former Director of Worship. The general level of sacred music in the diocese is what one may expect under these circumstances (although there is an oasis here and there...). Chant is of course the ultimate goal but one cannot expect parishes indoctrinated in OCP to make that leap without preparation. The mess that sacred music is in did not happen overnight and it will not be fixed overnight. The Mass of the Resurrection represents a transition to something better. Brick by brick...


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