Altar Girls
#41
(08-09-2012, 02:24 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: Because the Ordinary chants (Kyrie, Gloria, etc.) have their roots in congregational hymns. Those are ideally sung by the entire assembly. I believe every single Roman Catholic on earth should be as proficient in singing the Ordinary of the Mass as in, say, reciting the Lord's Prayer. In order to love and defend the liturgy with all your heart, it's important to have the Ordinary inscribed there first.

The Proper chants belong to the choir of Levites, or to the liturgical choir. They are prayers that are proper to both the liturgy of the day and the ministers of the altar. Some parts of the Mass are for everyone (most obvious example is "et cum spiritu tuo"). Other parts should only be recited by ministers, such as the prayers at the foot of the altar. And yes, I think it's a bit much to have those dialogue low Masses where the entire congregation recites the whole prayers at the foot. But other parts make sense to have in congregational dialogue.

The Introit, Offertory, and Communion were most likely originally congregational, as they were probably psalms with the antiphons interspersed between each verse (the processional antiphons). The Gradual certainly seems to have become clerical, because the deacon would sing it from the gradus. But surely these only belong to a specialized choir later, and their roots were rather in the whole congregation. For instance, have you read The Advent Project, by James W. McKinnon, which explains how he thinks many of the chants were composed? I don't think your division holds water, though, because the texts themselves serve no priestly/clerical function. That is, they are not priestly prayers, but psalms and canticles. Do you have citation for the Ordinary having roots in the congregation, and the Proper antiphons having roots in the choir? And I am speaking about the text/action here, because that is where we would learn about freedom or limitation, not from musical scores, because in that case laymen would be limited too (since most surely clerics composed the chants). Also note that expertise would limit those qualified to sing things such as the Gradual, hence the development of specialized choirs. And we have the influence of the Benedictines of the Roman Rite.

Would you be alright with women singing them in psalm tones?
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#42
(08-09-2012, 02:43 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: The Introit, Offertory, and Communion were most likely originally congregational, as they were probably psalms with the antiphons interspersed between each verse (the processional antiphons). The Gradual certainly seems to have become clerical, because the deacon would sing it from the gradus. But surely these only belong to a specialized choir later, and their roots were rather in the whole congregation. For instance, have you read The Advent Project, by James W. McKinnon, which explains how he thinks many of the chants were composed? I don't think your division holds water, though, because the texts themselves serve no priestly/clerical function. That is, they are not priestly prayers, but psalms and canticles. Do you have citation for the Ordinary having roots in the congregation, and the Proper antiphons having roots in the choir? And I am speaking about the text/action here, because that is where we would learn about freedom or limitation, not from musical scores, because in that case laymen would be limited too (since most surely clerics composed the chants). Also note that expertise would limit those qualified to sing things such as the Gradual, hence the development of specialized choirs. And we have the influence of the Benedictines of the Roman Rite.

I haven't read it, but I wouldn't dispute that the Propers had some roots in congregational singing. Or rather, I can see the antiphons having been repeated by the congregation and a choir singing the full psalms in the ancient Church. If so, this marks a shift in Church history, where the psalms were originally the essential part of the chanting, and then over time, they were simplified until only the antiphons remained as the significant portion of the chant.


Quote:Would you be alright with women singing them in psalm tones?

No. Not unless there was no other option (i.e. there is not a single male capable of singing psalm tones, even if by himself). But if there's no other option, your chapel is in sad shape.

Likewise, if there's no other option, it's okay for a woman to verbally serve Mass from outside the sanctuary rail via making the responses. But again, if that's your only option, your chapel is in sad shape. Men are supposed to step up and take charge of these things.
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#43
So you have no argument then? Because congregational singing of these texts is older than the clerical singing, and fell out of use simply through specialization, not because of sex. And with the authentic restoration of congregational singing, it seems to follow that women would be readmitted to the singing of non-clerical parts of the Mass, which admitted by all was the ancient tradition. Unless you have some citation for the Propers being exclusively clerical by their nature (or even historically for that matter), and the Ordinary being congregational by nature, I don't think you have a leg to stand on here.

Cath. Ency., Congregational Singing Wrote:In the ancient congregational singing both sexes took part; the words of St. Paul imposing silence on women in church being interpreted to refer only to exhorting or instructing.
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#44
(08-09-2012, 03:37 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: So you have no argument then?

I have no argument that the Propers, or the antiphons which once were part of much larger Proper chants, were once congregationally chanted. If a church wants to congregationally chant the Propers, then it may do so. When I said "no" earlier, I wasn't including congregational singing. I've seen congregational singing of the antiphons at Vespers before, for example. That's fine.

But having those done by a specialist choir with women seems to be effectively telling Saint Pius X to go screw himself.
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#45
To add to the debate on altar girls:

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt88.html

It seems to me that if women were to be excluded, the argument would arise from the symbolism of the sanctuary and the altar, and not from the threat of women priests. But even there it seems that this would exclude laymen and minor clerics too. And we know the vast majority of minor clerics are lay people, many of whom will probably not become priests. How can we reconcile this?
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#46
(08-09-2012, 03:51 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: I have no argument that the Propers, or the antiphons which once were part of much larger Proper chants, were once congregationally chanted. If a church wants to congregationally chant the Propers, then it may do so. When I said "no" earlier, I wasn't including congregational singing. I've seen congregational singing of the antiphons at Vespers before, for example. That's fine.

But having those done by a specialist choir with women seems to be effectively telling Saint Pius X to go screw himself.

He's in heaven, and we have a new Pope. Maybe Pius XII was flipping him off too?
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#47
(08-09-2012, 03:53 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: To add to the debate on altar girls:

http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt88.html

It seems to me that if women were to be excluded, the argument would arise from the symbolism of the sanctuary and the altar, and not from the threat of women priests. But even there it seems that this would exclude laymen and minor clerics too. And we know the vast majority of minor clerics are lay people, many of whom will probably not become priests. How can we reconcile this?

Clerics are, by definition, not laymen, even if they have only minor orders. Lectors and acolytes instituted under the new order, though, are still laymen. (In other words, a Novus Ordo seminarian doesn't become a cleric until he's ordained a deacon.)

I'm personally all for restoring the minor orders to parish use. Ordain all the altar servers and chanters to the minor orders, I say. That's what the Council of Trent envisioned. No one was paying attention, though.

Council of Trent, Session 23 Wrote:CHAPTER XVII.
In what manner the exercise of the minor orders is to be restored.

That the functions of holy orders, from the deacon to the janitor,-which functions have been laudably received in the Church from the times of the apostles, and which have been for some time interrupted in very many places,-may be again brought into use in accordance with the sacred canons; and that they may not be traduced by heretics as useless; the holy Synod, burning with the desire of restoring the pristine usage, ordains that, for the future, such functions shall not be exercised but by those who are actually in the said orders; and It exhorts in the Lord all and each of the prelates of the churches, and commands them, that it be their care to restore the said functions, as far as it can be conveniently done, in the cathedral, collegiate, and parochial churches of their dioceses, where the number of the people and the revenues of the church can support it; and, to those who exercise those functions, they shall assign salaries out of some part of the revenues of any simple benefices, or those of the fabric of the church,-if the funds allow of it,-or out of the revenues of both together, of which stipends they may, if negligent, be mulcted in a part, or be wholly deprived thereof, according to the judgment of the Ordinary. And if there should not be unmarried clerics at hand to exercise the functions of the four minor orders, their place may be supplied by married clerics of approved life; provided they have not been twice married, be competent to discharge the said duties, and wear the tonsure and the clerical dress in church.


As for the Mass being exclusive to priests, I think this is obviously not the case at the very least because solemn Mass requires a deacon and subdeacon, who may not necessarily also be priests.
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#48
(08-09-2012, 03:56 PM)Scriptorium Wrote: He's in heaven, and we have a new Pope. Maybe Pius XII was flipping him off too?

It seems like it, actually. Or Bugnini was, through Pius XII, if one believes Pius XII was too ill to enact these in his own name in 1955.
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#49
(08-09-2012, 04:01 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: It seems like it, actually. Or Bugnini was, through Pius XII, if one believes Pius XII was too ill to enact these in his own name in 1955.

That, of course, is a trad myth.
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#50
(08-09-2012, 04:00 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: As for the Mass being exclusive to priests, I think this is obviously not the case at the very least because solemn Mass requires a deacon and subdeacon, who may not necessarily also be priests.

The priest and deacon have orders. The subdeacons are ultimately lay people, but firmly committed to the vocation of the priesthood (i.e., advanced in seminary). This connection between servers and people committed to the vocation of the priesthood seems to have been broken quite a while ago.
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