Music for new OF Mass in 2010

The problem is that they haven’t done it yet. These publishers know full well that there is a huge market for more solid Catholic hymns, and acceptable settings for the Ordinary of the Mass. After all, there is a huge market nowadays for books for the Extraordinary Form–the writing is on the wall. They make only a token effort at filling that need. One particular publisher even offers a sort of “traditional alternative” but even here, we still see the politically-correct changes and an emphasis on the more modern-sounding selections. I think that they are afraid to offer a truly traditional Catholic (not in the sense of Extraordinary Form, just “traditional”) option because they know full well that this would hurt their market for the new fluffy stuff–which means copyright royalties. I’m also convinced that these publishers have an agenda to shape the Mass into their own image of what the Mass should be, and here again, they’re afraid of losing that opportunity.

On the other hand, the problem with new publishers is that they just don’t have the opportunities and the advertising budgets to effectively get their products onto the market. In my own case, before I change missallettes, I want to see some samples–that’s a huge advertising expense which the big guys can absorb easily, but the little guy can’t. They can also afford to sell their products at lower prices because of volume. The little guy can’t do that without a significant number of parishes willing to pay a lot more for missallettes and willing to take a chance on a company that might not be around in another year.

Personally, I would like to see the US Conference of Bishops make use of the resources available to them and puslish some good, solid Catholic Missallettes, but I doubt they ever will, unless the current publishers push things just a little too far–and they’re too smart for that.

From NPM Web Site:

William Gokelman and David Kauffman of San Antonio, Texas, were selected as the first place winners of a new Mass setting competition sponsored by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM). The selection of the winner was determined by ratings of participants in the NPM National Convention held from July 12 to 16 in Detroit, Michigan.

NPM invited composers to create musical settings of the new English translation of the Mass that is expected to be implemented late in 2011. From more than 150 entries that were submitted, a panel of five judges selected four finalists to be rated by convention participants.

Gokelman and Kauffman’s composition, entitled Messa Rinnovare: Mass of Renewal, may be sung with various combinations of instruments, including guitar, piano, organ, brass, and even full orchestra. It may be sung simply by a congregation alone or with the participation of a four-part choir. [edited]

[see article for more…]

However, the NPM has no authority in the Church. It is more along the lines of a special interest group. Furthermore, in my opionion, based on hearing his compositions and his Mass settings, Bob Hurd has probably done more damage to the liturgy than anything else. Of course, given the nature of the NPM, that should come as no surprise that he is honored.

Hopefully, the prize winners of the settings were faithful to the official text of the Church, because that is a key point.

Now, regarding ICEL, it has released the new translations set to music. These are far superior than anything the publishing houses and their stable of composers have to offer. While the obviously word-for-word fidelity to the text is there, the Gloria is straight-through and the rest of the pieces are simple chant-style. Here is the link:

Priests friends of mine who have already heard the settings are very excited. Not a few of them told me that they are tired of Haugen, Hurd, et al.