Here is Bulletin_2016-06-12
We will keep this brief because I’m in training preparing myself for the last of the five conversations supposedly based on Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter Laudato si‘. Maintaining composure in the midst of a large group of secular humanists, atheists, and social justicismists requires great skills. What kind of skills? “You know like nunchuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills.” You just never know what type of heresy or lunacy your going to encounter that will challenge your apologetics skills. As soon as I finish this post, I’m heading downstairs to get my nightly glass of that great, tasty drink that made Rocky Balboa and Napoleon Dynamite champions.
1. Join the Conversation: Father is inviting us to join him for the LAST conversation. I would like to believe the that it is the last we hear of this, but I have evidence confirming that this is just the beginning. We’ll talk about that in the next Rules and Tools for Radical Pastors. Meanwhile, my double-dog dare to attend a conversation still stands. Perhaps you might be motivated to attend when you learn that Father says, “this last conversation will prove to be very fruitful to those who participate.” Does “fruitful” in the context of these conversations mean “full of fruits”?
2. Journeysongs: If you missed it, a “new hymnal is on the way.” If you have the time, consider the the information presented by J.A. Tucker in his article Hidden Hand Behind Bad Catholic Music, The.
The article provides worthwhile commentary on the “Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) — the leading Catholic purveyor of bad music in the United States”. If you don’t have the time to read the article here is one big takeaway:
If you’ve been keeping up with the OCP’s latest offerings, you know that the songs from the mid-1970s don’t begin to plumb the depths. The newest OCP hymnals are jam-packed with music from the 1980s and 1990s, with styles meant to reflect the popular music trends of the time. (Actually, they’re about five years behind the times.)
They sail under different names (Music Issue, Journeysongs, Heritage Hymnal, Glory & Praise), but the content is similar in all of them: an eclectic, hit-and-miss bag with an emphasis on new popular styles massaged for liturgical use.
Tucker provides many well-researched insights in his article. Towards the end, he provides a list of things that can be done to free a parish from bondage to OCP’s musical mania. Below you will see the list, but it’s as if he is talking to a pastor who wants to rescue his parish from the grip of OCP. At St. Peter’s our Pastor is heading full speed into the OCP mess and seemingly has no intention whatsoever of changing course. So, as you read each of the three steps given by Tucker, just realize that our radical pastor is doing the exact opposite.
What You Can Do Right Now
The truth is that no one is happy with the state of Catholic liturgical music — least of all musicians — and the OCP is a big part of the problem. So, what can you do?
Step 1 is to get rid of the liturgical planning guides and use an old Scripture index to select good hymns that have stood the test of time (if you absolutely must continue to use the OCP’s materials).
Step 2 is to rein in the liturgical managers and explain to them that the Eucharist, and not music, is the reason people show up to Mass Sunday after Sunday.
Step 3 is to get rid of the OCP hymnals and replace them with Adoremus or Collegeville or something from GIA (no, none of these is perfect, but they are all an oasis by comparison).