Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pius X: The Organ at Mass

I was reading over at the NLM their FAQ on Sacred Music and then jumped over to Pope St. Pius X ‘s motu proprio Tra le Sollecitudini.  I think it should be re-read, re-signed, and re-implemented.  I mean, why not right?  It was ignored the first time from what I hear, so why not give it another go?

 

This section on the Organ will have most of you cheering, no doubt.

 

VI. Organ and instruments
15. Although the music proper to the Church is purely vocal music, music with the accompaniment of the organ is also permitted. In some special cases, within due limits and with proper safeguards, other instruments may be allowed, but never without the special permission of the Ordinary, according to prescriptions of the Caeremoniale Episcoporum.

16. As the singing should always have the principal place, the organ or other instruments should merely sustain and never oppress it.

17. It is not permitted to have the chant preceded by long preludes or to interrupt it with intermezzo pieces.

18. The sound of the organ as an accompaniment to the chant in preludes, interludes, and the like must be not only governed by the special nature of the instrument, but must participate in all the qualities proper to sacred music as above enumerated.

19. The employment of the piano is forbidden in church, as is also that of noisy or frivolous instruments such as drums, cymbals, bells and the like.

20. It is strictly forbidden to have bands play in church, and only in special cases with the consent of the Ordinary will it be permissible to admit wind instruments, limited in number, judiciously used, and proportioned to the size of the placeprovided the composition and accompaniment be written in grave and suitable style, and conform in all respects to that proper to the organ.

21. In processions outside the church the Ordinary may give permission for a band, provided no profane pieces be executed. It would be desirable in such cases that the band confine itself to accompanying some spiritual canticle sung in Latin or in the vernacular by the singers and the pious associations which take part in the procession.

 

Look at number 19.  Wow, that’s rough.  A LOT of parishes have pianos these days.  #21 Sounds like an allowance for New Orleans funerals and the like.

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