Throughout the next year, and until the implementation of the New Translation of the Roman Missal, The Authentic Update will focus on issues surrounding the New Translation and developments in Sacred Music arising from it. I hope you will visit here frequently and join in the conversation as the Church enters into this remarkable period of liturgical transformation.

Monday, March 14, 2011

An Excellent Article on Vernacular Chant

Fr. Anthony Ruff, well known as one of the great advocates of liturgical chant, has penned the following article for the March Edition of LTP's Pastoral Liturgy magazine.

The Value of Unaccompanied Vernacular Chant in the Liturgy

Forget for a moment the baggage that Fr. Ruff carries as a result of his open criticism of the new translation. This has nothing to do with that issue - when speaking about liturgical chant, Fr. Ruff is definitely on his home turf.

What is perhaps most interesting, and has begun to happen more frequently with little fanfare or comment is the very fact that this article appears in Pastoral Liturgy, not exactly a mouthpiece for things liturgically conservative! And during the past year similar articles have begun popping up in places like the GIA Quarterly and OCP's Today's Liturgy, in addition to the expected places like Sacred Music Magazine and the Adoremus Bulletin.

Chant is once again becoming part of the mainstream music culture of the Church at an accelerated pace, thanks in large part to the new translation of the Roman Missal, and thanks also to the tireless efforts of the CMAA (Church Music Association of America) and their outreach and training programs that have multiplied in the past three years.

I have begun my own "Resource Page" for online resources for liturgical chant.


Anonymous said...

My only problem with his excellent article is than while taking great pains lest we think things should be "elevated" (shudder!)he makes no similar effort to insure that we don't think he is endorsing anything too "low."
"The sacred liturgy is noble in a particular way. Sacrosanctum
Concilium, 34, tells us that “the rites should be distinguished by
a noble simplicity.” Noble does not mean pretentious or pompous
or triumphalistic. Noble means authentic, sincere, truthful,
and beautiful."
Yes, but he doesn't bother to tell us that it means SIMPLE in a particular way, it does not mean puerile, vulgar, or casual -- and let's be honest, which has been the greater danger in our lifetimes?

Chironomo said...


Well yes, but this is Fr. Ruff (quite progressive as he is) writing an article in Pastoral Liturgy (a quite progressive publication). Did you think he was going to come out and make a go at toppling the "noble simplicity" argument, upsetting the Marxist liturgists who are convinced that it is referring to the trappings of a class struggle between the hierarchy and the "common man"?

I'm just impressed that Pastoral Liturgy ran the article at all.