Monday, May 05, 2008

De Angelis is our Mass of Creation

(Alert: This is not a scholarly post but sort of a rant.)

On my walk today I had this thought: Missa De Angelis and Credo III are our Mass of Creation. Or at least they could become that...

I know the thought is sickening to some traditionalists out there but lets be honest, you hear it all the time. Its on EWTN all the time because I believe it can be found in the Adoremus Hymnal. Whenever you see a Mass from Rome they use De Angelis and Credo III. *sigh*

Should we be thankful people are using the Kyriale at all? Sure, but lets encourage a little more diversity with it. Our Schola doesn't use the Angelis/Credo III combo that often thank goodness. We follow whatever Mass is to be used for that particular season and when there isn't one prescribed then freedom is considerable. Right now we're on a Credo IV kick but hopefully we'll mix it up soon. A lot of the time we do polyphonic Mass settings.

In fact I think in some places it is heard so much that it may become a caricature. We should avoid its overuse lest we fall into the same trap as parishes where Creation is entrenched. Is the point for its overuse to get the congregation to sing along? I guess that follows with what the bishop's conference wants ... but it severely limits and almost negates the need for a choir.

Our congregation generally doesn't sing with us except perhaps at the Credo and Asperges/Vidi Aquam. Kyriales are provided at the entrance in the vestibule to people can follow along or even sing along if they want.

As snooty as I sound (Yes, I am a music snob!) let me be frank. I would and will GLADLY sing Missa De Angelis for any parish that is just starting out with chant. I think this, even though it seems contradictory to my above point, will provide stability and a certain comfort level with either the TLM or a more reverent Ordinary Mass. But at some point its time to move on and come back to it later on. I'd say after about 3 months the grace period is over.

And I think that is what will happen eventually. For now though lets try and avoid the De Angelis rut as the flag bearer Mass.

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