Monthly Archives: October 2014

Gee, thanks

Hello, parishoner! Good to see you. Let me shake your hand.

“¿Como esta, Tim?”

Excelente. ¿Y usted?

“No excelente. Tengo gripe.”

Gee, thanks for shaking my hand while you have the flu, sir.


Visting a very secular wedding

I may be Catholic, but many of my associates from work and college are not. Nonetheless, they still get married, believe it or not. And as such, I get invited to these weddings.

It’s not what I am used to, of course. There is something to be said for the Catholic rite, which eliminates a ton (though not all) of the stupidity you find in much modern wedding ceremonies. So really, I am unaccustomed to non-Catholic weddings, and even less so to weddings that don’t mention God at all.

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That was the case here; he’s an atheist and she (the coworker) more or less sorta is. On many important issues, we disagree. But we acknowledge the goodwill of the other; Pope Francis would, I hope, be proud.

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Death by liturgy committee

I was at a meeting for all the music ministers at one of my parishes. It was at this meeting that we would listen to the newly selected Mass setting and get ourselves acclimated to it. So the music director started to play it.

And the musicians all started to look at each other. The new Mass setting was not very good. It was a revised version of an old setting that was good, but this revised version was not good at all. Being the good musicians and complainers we are, we immediately complained. It was hard to sing the Gloria verses. The accompaniment stunk (although, to be fair, it wasn’t great the first time either). Who picked this, anyway?

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Is it time to retire “All Are Welcome?”

Let me make this case apart from the musical aspects. This isn’t my favorite hymn (I avoid it at my main parish but get stuck with it sometimes at others), and I like many things by Marty Haugen. There are more than a few people who simply loathe the hymn and want it gone for that reason. Fair enough. I want to make a different case that the answer is yes.

In and of itself, the hymn is something the Church should strive for and has nothing in particular that’s actually against Church teaching. But it certainly doesn’t contain the whole of Christian teaching.

But since it gives a truth that out of context can be twisted, it gives dissenting groups an opening. “Oh, yeah! So we’re actually welcoming, suckers!” they may say. And so they are doing their best to use the song as a semi-political shot at the Church, we are better off without it. Por ejemplo, this congratulations-you’re-excommunicated women’s “ordination” ceremony:

Now, church music can be hijacked for other reasons. You will never hear this Bach toccata and fugue at Mass , because the connotations give us Halloween thoughts, not sacred ones:

Back to our subject. It’s a popular hymn amid many non-dissenting Catholics as well. Perhaps, we could reclaim it from the dissenters. It’d be tough. Marty Haugen isn’t Catholic, and neither is the hymn particularly so. And really, is it worth the time and effort to do a reclamation project on it? Nah. Better to let it go and focus on other hymns.

Reviewing Mass settings, 3 years into new translation

As I play at multiple parishes and get exposed to more than a few different Mass settings, the last three years since the introduction of the new Mass translation have given me a lot to work with. Here’s a quick review of the settings I’ve come across since they went into effect:

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