Outstanding, Bishop Doerfler! From a mom whose house and church have always been filled with chant and polyphony, thank you so very much! http://www.ccwatershed.org/blog/2016/mar/31/sing-lord-all-earth-bishop-john-f-doerfler/
I’m sure there will be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth at this line:
b. Effective immediately, no other hymnal may be purchased.
I think I just might have cried tears of joy at that one. No more Häagen-Dazs (our pet name for Marty Haugen and David Haas)??? What will the people do? How will they worship?!? Oh, I know, maybe they’ll actually learn the Catholic hymns and chant that sustained the saints! Woot!
Now, to those who will cry, “Our kids are just not going to get this!” or “Latin? It’s a dead language!”, nobody will ever accuse me of being a linguist. Heck, forget Latin, I slaughter the English language on a daily basis, which is really, really bad for a homeschooling mom. Guess what? My kids learned Latin just fine. Not only did they learn it, they learned what it meant. They learned the history behind it. They learned what most people in my Gen X generation did not – why it’s important. Surprisingly, they weren’t scarred for life (or at least not for that reason). Yes, parents! They can be taught to eat big people food.
So, how did we do this, you may ask? We started them young, which, I’m happy to see, is part of Bishop Doerfler’s plan. It’s a perfect time to learn music and a language. Sadly, I did not and am a complete failure at both. I’ve had to work at it a bit more than my kids. But, sorry, people, it’s still not that hard. There are reasons there are memes like this:
The music is what helped me memorize the Latin, and from there, the translation just wasn’t that hard. I can now translate a lot of the non-sung stuff without using the cheat sheet found on the opposite page of the missal. Why am I telling you just how unlearned I am? Because I’m the perfect of example of, “If I can do it, anyone can!” My kids, well, they’ve surpassed me by a mile.
What’s going to happen with the poor children who can’t sing Barney songs in Mass? I’m betting some really awesome children’s choirs will pop up. This will please a lot of people except the ones who have mini-Whitney Houstons who won’t get the rippin’ solos anymore. For most parents, you’re in for some serious beauty from your kids! The bishop is focusing on chant here, but I can tell you polyphony is not far behind. When you hear the amazing things that can come out of some, say, nine to fourteen year olds singing in parts, you will be brought to tears. When you see how heavenly the Mass can be accompanied by such kids, you will realize that it’s not really about them (although you can still be super proud they’ve just helped to raise the level of worship).
So, parents, before any of you start chastising the bishop for this one, realize he has a reason for doing this and it’s to help all of his flock. You will survive the trauma of not hearing Häagen-Dazs at Mass. Soon, you won’t even know it’s missing. You’ll be hearing the music of the saints. Try to look at this as a privilege (I can tell you many around the country are jealous). Encourage, help, donate to this effort. You will be amazed at what your kids will show you about the Faith.
I hope and I pray that more bishops will follow suit. Music is a powerful thing!