New Mass settings disappoint parishioners

June 18, 2012

When the revised English Mass was talked about in the sermons or in the WCR, it was with the idea that the Church was going to give a version closer to the Latin that I grew up with.

It seemed like it wouldn't make any significant difference except for some of the wording. We were going to be provided with cards with the correct responses. However, one thing was overlooked that saddens me and many others very much.

Nothing was ever said that the music of the proper of the Mass (Gloria, Kyrie, etc.) would be revised. What a tremendous letdown. Why was that aspect kept secret?

I've been in many churches here in Edmonton and in Saskatchewan and talked to a lot of people and not one has said that the musical rendition of the proper of the Mass was better. As a matter of fact, they were all as disappointed as I.

What was wrong with the way we were singing it before? It was more melodious, made more for congregational singing. What replaced it is, in my estimation, horrible.

We are never told where to look for the music with notes and only trained voices can cope with it. Only the choir seems to know where it comes from.

I would ask and plead that we go back to the Latin music or, at least, stay with what we had before the new versions. The congregation is singing even less now than ever.

Vatican II clearly wants the singing to be congregational. We don't go to Mass to hear a few voices from the choir like as in a concert. Isn't the music ministry supposed to select hymns and the proper of the Mass that is made for the congregation rather than for the choir itself?

J.P. Grimard

Editor's Note: The new Mass settings were discussed in detail at the 2010 Western Conference on Liturgy in Sherwood Park and reported in the Oct. 11, 2010 WCR. The new music was also mentioned in at least three articles in the WCR in the fall of 2011. As well, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops published a book with the new Mass settings and 40 new hymns called Celebrate in Song. Some parishes purchased copies of that book for their congregations.