So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

O give me a home... . A new hymnal for Canada?

Please excuse the slightly irreverent tone in the following blog post. Frustration has temporarily taken over.

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Rumour has it that a new Catholic Book of Worship (English sector) hymnal is in the works.

Given a long history of marginalizing the venerable heritage of the Church—with the exception of awkwardly set Responsorial Psalm texts, Proper chants (Introit, Offertory, Communion) have yet to appear in the pages of a CBW series hymnal—contrary to the express will of the Second Vatican Council that the Church's rich legacy of sacred music necessarily include Gregorian chant, not to mention authentic sacred polyphony, one might be forgiven a measure of skepticism which precludes hope that the next hymnal will be on par with publications such as those produced by Corpus Christi Watershed, for example.

Let's face it, Canada is a long way from appreciating the artistic treasures buried by the sophistry of misguided liturgists who routinely deny where the Church should be liturgically according to the authoritative documents of the Church while asserting a fallacious 'pastoral sensitivity'—i.e., the Church should be where the people are "at"—that stunts the faith of believers who have been fed the worst sonic pablum for nigh on four decades.

Given past and perhaps current leanings, there is likely little one can do to persuade the compilers of the next Canadian hymnal that it's time the Church abandon the politically correct and borderline heterodox texts, sappy devotional song texts and saccharine settings of the Mass which do little to hand on (tradere) the Faith undefiled.

What little art that might be hidden among page after page of banal ditties in the next hymnal will likely be a grudging nod to the beauty of holiness merely to give the appearance that the compilers are trying to be fair to all tastes. Sadly, the prevailing notion that appealing downward toward the lowest level of artistic appreciation still infects liturgical thinking among diocesan and national liturgical commissions. Meanwhile, capable college age Catholic voice majors who are tired of the drivel they are forced to sing at Mass, disaffected by shabby repertoire and an equally shabby attachment to trashy music among priests and ill-informed parish music leaders, are welcomed and employed by protestant communities that present Catholic sacred music in their services.

With the above in mind, here is a suggestion for a song to be included in the next edition of the (c)atholic Book of Worse-ship.

Tune: Home On The Range (c. 1870s)
Apologies to: Daniel E. Kelley (composer) and Brewster M. Higley (original lyricist)
Rome Is Deranged
O give me a home, a true Catholic Rome,
where the orthodox believers pray,
and solely is heard the Lord's unsullied word
as it was in Pope Benedict's day.
Rome, Rome is deranged
'cuz the Kasperites crapped in its nave.
It smells like Hans Kung, whose theology's dung,
and its diaper really needs to be changed.


  1. Who cares? The Novus Ordo is a bastard ritual that debases the true Sacrifice of Our Lord. The sooner Catholics come to realise it, and that the traditional Mass is what will give them the grace to survive these times, the better. It is the perpetual flogging of a dead horse!

    1. Thank you, David, for the comments!

      In answer to the question "Who cares?", I must admit that the purpose of commenting on developments concerning the OF Mass has become more tentative for me in recent months.

      A few reasons I now attend (and promote) the Ordinariate Mass are because it is always reverently celebrated ad orientem, the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar and the full Offertory are prayed, and the Roman Canon is used exclusively. Though Latin plainchant is definitely my preference, the English chant (propers) is beautiful, too. Add to those reasons the superb English hymnody and Latin polyphony sung by a small but competent group and there is plenty of reason for anyone to attend the Ordinariate Mass. It continues to be a source of that vivifying grace of which you speak. The Divine Worship (Mass) of the Ordinariate attracts many of the EF congregants for daily Mass.

      And, serving the Low Mass is not that different from serving an EF Low Mass. There are some particular differences, to be sure, due to the addition of prayers such as the Prayer of Humble Access and the Post-Communion Prayer of Thanksgiving.

      I would only offer a single two-part qualification for persisting in flogging, as it were, the Ordinary Form: 1) the purpose of flogging the metaphorical dead horse is not so much to rouse the horse but to awaken Catholics stunted by decades of bad catechesis to the deficiencies associated with the Ordinary Form, both in terms of its celebration and its ordering or content; and 2), by drawing comparisons between the ideal envisioned by the Second Vatican Council, the TLM and the Ordinariate Liturgy, for starters, draw attention to why the EF (TLM/Usus Antiquior) merits greater appreciation by all Catholics.

      I do confess to harbouring a faint hope that the next conclave might place a man at the helm (Cardinal Sarah?) who will steer the Church closer to the EF Mass, perhaps with a few minor revisions to the TLM in keeping with the trajectory leading up to the Council. E.g., Readings in the vernacular (as is done even in some FSSP parishes I've noticed online); updating of Saints feast days.

      Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.

      P.S.—The EF Mass here in Victoria, BC, has grown considerably over the past year or so. There are more than a few college age people and there are a few families with young children among the 40 to 50 who attend weekly. Laudetur Iesus Christus! The schola is comprised of some 9 singers, or thereabouts, mostly college age.


"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

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