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- 11/11/18--13:25: _Dominican Little Of...
- 11/11/18--12:01: _Special FSSP Masses...
- 11/11/18--13:00: _The Litany of St Ma...
- 11/12/18--07:00: _Two Modest Proposal...
- 11/12/18--10:16: _Dominican Rite Cere...
- 11/13/18--11:13: _Painting Created by...
- 11/13/18--13:00: _The Feast of St Bri...
- 11/13/18--16:05: _All Saints and All ...
- 11/14/18--05:00: _Book Announcement: ...
- 11/14/18--09:30: _EF Pontifical Mass ...
- 11/14/18--16:09: _The Holy Mass in th...
- 11/15/18--05:41: _Photopost Follow-Up...
- 11/15/18--16:13: _Exhibition on the C...
- 11/16/18--07:12: _Italian Bishops App...
- 11/16/18--11:47: _Five Recent Article...
- 11/16/18--16:15: _Tradition is for th...
- 11/17/18--06:04: _Beautiful Newly-Mad...
- 11/19/18--07:28: _NLM Exclusive: Inte...
- 11/20/18--05:43: _A Charming Film Abo...
- 11/21/18--04:32: _Continuity or Ruptu...
- 11/11/18--13:25: Dominican Little Office of the BVM and Prayers for Lay Tertiaries
- 11/11/18--13:00: The Litany of St Martin
- 11/12/18--07:00: Two Modest Proposals for Improving the Prayerfulness of Low Mass
- 11/12/18--10:16: Dominican Rite Ceremonial (1869) Now Available for Purchase
- 11/13/18--13:00: The Feast of St Brice, St Martin’s Bad Disciple
- 11/13/18--16:05: All Saints and All Souls Photopost 2018 (Part 3)
- 11/14/18--09:30: EF Pontifical Mass in Ottawa on November 23
- 11/14/18--16:09: The Holy Mass in the First World War: A Photo Collection
- 11/15/18--05:41: Photopost Follow-Up: Prayers for the Dead
- 11/15/18--16:13: Exhibition on the Catholic Arts Competition at St Vincent Gallery
- 11/16/18--07:12: Italian Bishops Approve New Bowdlerizations of the Missal
- 11/16/18--11:47: Five Recent Articles about Funerals and Masses for the Dead
- 11/17/18--06:04: Beautiful Newly-Made Vestments at the Catholic Arts Exhibition
- 11/19/18--07:28: NLM Exclusive: Interview with Early Music Composer Elam Rotem
- Rappresentatione di Giuseppe e i suoi Fratelli (Joseph and His Brethren). Musical drama in three acts, composed in the spirit of the early operas (2014).
- Quia Amore Langueo: Song of Songs and Dark Biblical Love Tales (2015)
Through the kindness of one of our readers I can now make available a volume printed by the Order in 1962 of which I was ignorant. In that year, the Dominican General Curia in Rome published the Dominican Prayer Book, fourth edition. It not only has the Little Office in Latin and English in parallel columns, but also sections of music, devotional prayers, litanies, the Office of the Dead, Penitential Psalms, and so forth. Many of these are also in Latin-English parallel columns.
This volume was intended especially for the members of the “Dominican Third Order Secular” (Laity) and the “Dominican Third Order Regular” (Active Sisters), but I think it would also be welcomed by our friars and cloistered nuns.
Copies are available for purchase at Dominican Liturgy Publications. Although the scans are good, I urge those interested to view the preview first and decide if the quality meets your needs.
This litany is probably one of the very few remnants of the ancient Gallican Rite which survived the suppression of that rite decreed by Pepin the Short and Charlemagne, in favor of the Roman Rite. It is known in a similar form in the rites of territories which border that of the Gallican Rite; in the Ambrosian Rite, it is still sung to this day at the beginning of the Masses of the 2nd and 4th Sundays of Lent, and in the ancient Celtic Rite of Ireland, it was sung between the Epistle and Gospel.
the Stowe Missal (Royal Irish Academy, Dublin; D ii 3, f° 16), which dates to the end of the 8th century, the litany is titled “Deprecatio Sancti Martini pro populo – St Martin’s prayer for the people.” The importation of a Gallican prayer into the Celtic liturgy is explained by the close ties between the monastic practice of Ireland and that observed early on in Gaul, in the time of St Martin.
The attribution of this prayer to him is perfectly plausible: the whole tone of the text takes us back “to the era when Caesar ruled the world.” Without being an exact translation of an Eastern diaconal litany, the similarity of expressions used therein indicates that the text is probably the reformulation of a model litany originally written in Greek. The people’s response, as in the East, is “Kyrie eleison”, here transalted into Latin, “Domine miserere”, or, in the version in the Stowe Missal, “Domine exaudi et miserere.”
Here is the chant notation for it from the Processional of Laon (Processionale Laudunense), published by Jean-François-Joseph de Rochechouart, bishop and duke of Laon (1755). Even in the middle of the 18th century, it preserves all the beauty of the primitive deacon’s chant, in the third mode. The litany was probably originally sung at the beginning of the Mass, like the Great Litany of Peace in the Byzantine Rite, and the Ambrosian Litanies of the Sundays of Lent. Like certain other texts of the ancient Gallican liturgy, it was able to survive the Carolingian suppression by being incorporated among the chants used on the Rogation Days, which were instituted in Vienne in the 5th century, and from there passed into the Roman Rite.
V. Dicamus omnes, Domine, miserere. (Let us all say, Lord have mercy.) R. Domine, miserere.
V. Ex toto corde, et ex tota mente, adoramus te. (With all our heart, and all our minds, we worship Thee.) R. Domine, miserere.
V. Pro stabilissima pace, et prospera Imperii constitutione, supplicamus te. (For long-lasting peace, and the prosperous condition of the Empire, we beseech Thee.) R. Domine, miserere.
V. Pro Congregatione Catholica, quæ est in hoc loco constituta, invocamus te. (For the Catholic Church, which is established in this place, we call upon Thee.) R. Domine, miserere.
V. Pro imperatore nostro, et& omni exercitu ejus, Rex regum. (For our emperor, and all his army, o King of Kings.) R. Domine, miserere.
V. Pro aëris temperie, et fructibus ac fœcunditate terræ, largitor bone. (For mildness of weather, and the fruits and fertility of the earth, Good Giver.) R. Domine, miserere.
V. Pro civitate ista, et conservatione ejus, deprecamur te. (For this city and its preservation, we beseech Thee.) R. Domine, miserere.
V. Pro his qui infirmantur et diversis languoribus detinentur, sana eos. (For those who are sick, and detained by various illnesses, heal them.) R. Domine, miserere.
V. Pro remissione peccatorum, et emendatione eorum, invocamus te. (For the forgiveness of sins, and the correction of them.) R. Domine, miserere.
V. Exaudi nos, Deus, in omni oratione nostra, quia potens es. (Hear us, o God, in our prayer, for Thou art mighty.) V. Dicamus omnes. R. Domine, miserere.
With some modifications (see the text used for the Offertory in this Mass booklet), we sing the Litany of St Martin at the church of Saint-Eugène in Paris, especially on his feast day, on the Rogations, and this year, on November 11, the centenary of the of the Armistice which ended the slaughter of the First World War, on which occasion we ardently pray “for lasting peace, and the prosperous condition of France.”
Mass this morning at the church of Saint-Eugène; the Litany of St Martin begins at 1:03:25.
The original version of this article was published earlier today on the website of the Schola Sainte-Cécile; translation by Gregory DiPippo.
In this article I will look at two of the most common problems: the nearly inaudible, inarticulate muttering of the servers at Low Mass, and the rapid-fire delivery of the Latin prayers by the priest, as if he were in a race against time.
The Dialogue Between Priest and Servers
While it would be ideal to have liturgy served by clerics in minor orders, religious brothers, or seminarians, most of the time, as we know, Catholics have recourse to “altar boys” filling in for acolytes. And I have no complaint about the institution of altar boys as such, provided they are tall enough and mature enough to fulfill their functions in the sanctuary with ease.
However, as we learn from the High Mass, which is the template of the Low Mass, the servers are making responses on behalf of the entire body of the faithful. At High Mass, we all sing “Et cum spiritu tuo,” and at Low Mass (I am purposefully not discussing the dialogue Mass in this article) the servers speak the same words in our place. Moreover, as the Roman Rite has developed, the preparatory prayers or prayers at the foot of the altar have ceased to be purely private prayers for the priest and ministers; they have come to belong to the faithful, too, who treasure them, follow them in their missals or from memory, and wish to hear them at Low Mass. Thus, in my experience, the vast majority of priests utter Psalm 42 and the additional prayers prior to the “Aufer a nobis” with a level of voice that can easily be heard throughout the church.
It is therefore asymmetrical and irritating when the servers mumble, swallow, or whisper their responses to the priest’s well-articulated phrases. It is the liturgical equivalent to someone walking with one normal leg and one peg-leg. Here is how it comes across to the faithful in the pews:
Priest. In nómine Patris, et Fílii, + et Spíritus Sancti. Amen. Introíbo ad altáre Dei.
Servers. Ad Deum qui lætíficat juventútem meam.
P. Júdica me, Deus, et discérne causam meam de gente non sancta: ab hómine iníquo, et dolóso érue me.
S. Quia tu es, Deus, fortitúdo mea: quare me repulísti, et quare tristis incédo, dum afflígit me inimícus?
P. Emítte lucem tuam, et veritátem tuam: ipsa me deduxérunt, et aduxérunt in montem sanctum tuum, et in tabernácula tua.
S. Et introíbo ad altáre Dei: ad Deum qui lætíficat juventútem meam.
P. Confitébor tibi in cíthara, Deus, Deus meus: quare tristis es, ánima mea, et quare contúrbas me?
S. Spera in Deo, quóniam adhuc confitébor illi: salutáre vultus mei, et Deus meus.
P. Glória Patri, et Fílio, et Spirítui Sancto.
S. Sicut erat in princípio et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculórum. Amen.
P. Introíbo ad altáre Dei.
S. Ad Deum qui lætíficat juventútem meam.
P. Adjutórium nostrum + in nómine Dómini.
S. Qui fecit cælum et terram.
And so forth, throughout the liturgy. The dialogue is often so unequal that the priest might as well be the only one speaking, in a bizarre vivisected conversation, somewhat like overhearing a telephone call. If the servers are representing us at the foot of the altar, they are doing a poor job of it. Why don’t they speak up a bit—“enunciate and articulate!,” as my high school rhetoric teacher used to say? Again, this is not about using a loud voice. It is simply about using a normal audible voice and not rushing through the words. They are, after all, prayers, and prayers are worth praying. Deo gratias after the Epistle should sound like it means “Thanks be to God!,” and the same with Laus tibi, Christe.
Am I asking too much of these cute and sometimes clueless boys? No. I believe that those who train altar boys should teach them what the words mean, and teach them how to enunciate them and articulate them at a normal volume and a walking, not running, pace. Not:
P. Kyrie eleison.
S. Kyrie eleison.
P. Kyrie eleison.
S. Christe eleison.
P. Christe eleison.
S. Christe eleison.
P. Kyrie eleison.
S. Kyrie eleison.
P. Kyrie eleison.
Above all, at the end of the Offertory, these words should be distinct and audible at Low Mass:
Suscípiat Dóminus sacrifícium de mánibus tuis ad laudem et glóriam nóminis sui, ad utilitátem quoque nostram, totiúsque Ecclésiæ suæ sanctæ.
And moving into the Preface dialogue, it is totally unfitting to hear the following:
P.…per omnia saecula saeculorum.
P. Dóminus vobíscum.
S. Et cum spíritu tuo.
P. Sursum corda.
S. Habémus ad Dóminum.
P. Grátias agámus Dómino Deo nostro.
S. Dignum et justum est.
The priest is inviting us, in one of the most beautiful phrases of the Roman liturgy, to “Lift your hearts on high!,” and the response should be in earnest: “We have lifted [them] up to the Lord!” Then, in a phrase rich with Eucharistic meaning: “Let us give thanks unto the Lord our God.” To which the response must be equally meaningful, as if the servers are senators speaking for a holy nation: “It is worthy and just.” These are not phrases to be rattled off under one’s breath; they are to be sounded forth in public.
The inaudibility of the servers, the disharmony it creates with the priest, and the lack of “purchase” it offers the congregation are matters that deserve to be taken seriously by the adult trainers who prepare the servers and the MCs who regulate the teams. This is not a difficult problem to correct, but it does require awareness, attentiveness, and follow-through, together with positive reinforcement (“Johnny, it was great how you spoke your responses so clearly tonight. Keep it up!”)
A related matter of concern is the post-Summorum reappearance of clergy who habitually rush through the Low Mass. As far as I can tell, we are dealing in most cases with genuinely devout men who intend no disrespect to Our Lord and no disedification to the faithful. Nevertheless, machine-gun Latin—
—does not carry any conviction of being speech truly addressed to the face of a living Person with whom one is communicating, as two friends would talk to one another, nor, for this reason, can it in fact increase the devotion of the speaker or of the listeners. It seems, on the contrary, to be a lost opportunity on the part of both priest and people for the intensification of acts of adoration, faith, humility, contrition, and other virtues. In spite of the daily repetition of the Mass, we could truthfully apply to its celebration the familiar words of the Quaker who said: “I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” This particular Mass will never be repeated, nor will this particular congregation assist at it. And as we know from the dogmatic theologians, the subjective devotion of the priest and of the people have a role to play in the spiritual fruitfulness of the Mass.
Perhaps the most germane statement made on this subject is St Francis de Sales’s: “Beware of it [haste], for it is a deadly enemy of true devotion; and anything done with precipitation is never done well. Let us go slowly, for if we do but keep advancing we shall thus go far.”
Dom Chautard, author of The Soul of the Apostolate—one of the few truly essential spiritual books written in the past century—has a lot to say on this subject. The author spends several pages unpacking the meaning of the prayer said before the Divine Office, in which the cleric asks for the grace to recite it digne, attente, devote, worthily, attentively, devoutly:
DIGNE. A respectful position and bearing, the precise pronunciation of the words, slowing down over the more important parts. Careful observance of the rubrics. My tone of voice, the way in which I make signs of the Cross, genuflections, etc.; my body itself: all will go to show not only that I know Whom I am addressing, and what I am saying, but also that my heart is in what I am doing. What an apostolate I can sometimes exercise [this way]! …
DEVOTE. This is the most important point. Everything comes back to the need of making our Office and all our liturgical functions acts of piety, and, consequently, acts that come from the heart. “Haste kills all devotion.” Such is the principle laid down by St. Francis de Sales in talking of the Breviary, and it applies a fortiori to the Mass, Hence. I shall make it a hard and fast rule to devote around half an hour to my Mass in order to ensure a devout recitation not only of the Canon but of all the other parts as well. I shall reject without pity all pretexts for getting through this, the principal act of my day, in a hurry. If I have the habit of mutilating certain words or ceremonies, I shall apply myself, and go over these faulty places very slowly and carefully, even exaggerating my exactitude for a while.Another classic text, The Hidden Treasure by Saint Leonard of Port Maurice, counsels the priest in the following words:
Fill my heart with detestation for all haste in those things where I stand in Your place, or act in the name of the Church! Fill me with the conviction that haste paralyzes that great Sacramental, the Liturgy, and makes impossible that spirit of prayer without which, no matter how zealous a priest I may appear to be on the outside, I would be lukewarm, or perhaps worse, in Your estimation. Burn into my inmost heart those words so full of terror: “Cursed be he that doth the work of God deceitfully” (Jer 48:10).
Use all diligence to celebrate with the utmost modesty, recollection, and care, taking time to pronounce well and distinctly every word, and perfectly to fulfill every ceremony with due propriety and gravity; for words ill articulated, or spoken without a tone of meekness and awe, and ceremonies done without decorum and accuracy, render the divine service, instead of a help to piety and religion, a source of distress and scandal. Let the priest keep the inner man devoutly recollected; let him think of the sense of all the words which he articulates, dwelling on their sense and spirit, and making throughout internal efforts corresponding to their holy suggestions. Then truly will there be an influx of great devotion into those assisting, and he will obtain the utmost profit for his own soul.There is no question that a reverent Low Mass Mass can be offered in 30 minutes by a priest whose Latin flows well, who is extremely adept at the ceremonies, and who knows many of the prayers by heart. It is also true that sometimes Low Mass takes longer than it should because the celebrant is still learning the ropes and has not yet “mastered” the liturgical form. But regardless of the total duration, any appearance of rushing in words or gestures is never edifying and always detracts from the dignity and beauty of the celebration—and consequently from the prayerfulness it is meant to induce as well as the spiritual fruit likely to be derived from it.
Little things make a difference in the spiritual life; why would it not be the same in the greatest act of worship we can offer to God, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass? For a long time Catholics have fought simply to have access to the old Mass, an immense reservoir of grace, doctrine, and godly piety. We should not stop fighting for that access if we do not yet enjoy it, but now that we are some years down the road from the Mass’s reintroduction on a wider scale, it is time to correct the bad habits into which we may have inadvertently slid.
Some may be wondering: Can we possibly concern ourselves with such matters when the Church on earth seems to be falling apart in front of our very eyes? My view, however, is quite the opposite. This crisis we are living is a crisis of worldliness, of lukewarmness, infidelity, and apostasy. The ultimate solution to it is not investigations (however necessary), proclamations of doom and hand-wringing (however correct and satisfying), or a flurry of activism (however tempting). The solution begins and ends with drawing near to the Father and joining with the citizens of the fatherland. Now is the very best time to attend to the service of Almighty God in His holy sanctuary and to do what is right, because it is right, for the love and glory of God.
Dominican Liturgy Publications is now able to make available a paperback reprint of the Caeremoniale juxta Ritum S. Ordinis Praedicatorum, published by order of Fr. Alexandre Vincent Jandel, O.P., Master General of the Dominican Order, in 1869. It was the last ceremonial published for the Dominican Rite. It is reprinted in a convenient pocketbook-size format.
When celebrating the Dominican Rite, this volume should be used in conjunction with the revised rubrics of the Breviary and Missal of 1962. This older book gives detailed instructions for many processions and other ceremonies in addition to those of the Mass and Office. It also supplies instructions that are lacking in more modern books.
The volume is also useful for historical studies, as it includes abrogated medieval rubrics, along with the legislation that changed them; for example, use of yellow vestments for Confessors, something dropped even before the Council of Trent.
Purchasers should note that is a photographic reprint from scans of the original printing, which is itself a bit muddy. We have tried to clean up these scans as much as possible, but they are still imperfect, and the “gutter” is a bit tight. Therefore, purchasers should carefully check the preview to see if the quality is sufficient for their needs.
Readers may find this book and our other publications here.
As a follow up to an earlier piece about the validity of reproductions as art, here is an article about an image produced by three computer developers with no background in art, which sold for a staggering $432,500. AI - artificial intelligence - is the latest fad artist, it seems.
Artificial intelligence is not intelligence as a Catholic would understand the term. I saw recently saw George Gilder (author of Life After Google) talking to Mark Levin about this, and he gave a good explanation as to why. For all the power of the machine to collect and process data, the way in which it does so is limited by the algorithm, which is, in turn, a reflection of the programmer who created it. He is saying in effect, it seemed to me, that because intelligence is a faculty of a spiritual soul, it can’t be in a machine. The idea behind the AI machine exists in the mind of the person who made it, just as the idea behind a work of art exists in the artist who painted it.
Without a spiritual soul, there can be no inspiration, and hence no authentic creativity. The AI machine, therefore, is an artifact and a sophisticated tool in this painting process, and the programmer is the artist.
So is this art? I say yes, perhaps. The artist, in the case of AI-generated paintings, is not the machine, but the programmer or programmers who created it. They can create a good algorithm or a bad one; the test is in the quality of the work that comes out at the end of the process.
My argument is not that the human element isn’t necessary for the creation of art. Rather, it is that the human element is not absent from AI (or from printed reproductions, from photography etc). All of these are just different ways of controlling the production of an image. And just like painting with a brush, the process by which the image is created can potentially produce good or bad art.
Art is the product of artifice, and is by nature artificial. Artificial intelligence, therefore, is a misnomer. It is a creation of the programmer who created the algorithm but it is not in itself creative. AI is artificial like art itself, and the print is an artifact, but AI is not intelligence.
Is this good art? I would say no. Art is as good as it looks, and if it looks good, it is good. And (this is just a personal opinion) I don’t think this is good.
|Ss Martin and Brice|
St Brice with the Infant, from the church of St Médard in Boersch in eastern France. (Image from Wikimedia Commons by Ralph Hammann)
The see of Tours also celebrates within the octave of St Martin another of its holy bishops, the historian and hagiographer St Gregory, whom we have cited above, whose feast is kept on November 17. A very charming story is told that he was unusually small, which must have been very small indeed to be noted in an age when people were generally much shorter than we are today. When he came into the presence of Pope St Gregory the Great during a visit to Rome, the Pope’s expression clearly evinced surprise at his stature, at which he quoted the words of Psalm 99, “He (i.e. God) made us, and not we ourselves.”
Relics on the high altar for the Mass of All Saints
Double Vespers of All Saints and All Souls on November 1
The aim of this new book is to allow easy comparison of the work of the Consilium ad exsequendam Constitutionem de Sacra Liturgia on the prayers of the Roman Missal with those found in the 1962 Missal and the 1970/2002 Missal.
As readers of NLM are no doubt aware, the Consilium was the main body that was responsible for the reform of the liturgy desired by Sacrosanctum Concilium. One of the documents of Coetus 18 bis of the Consilium, known as Schema 186, deals with the reform of the various orations (collects, super oblata, etc.) contained in the Proper of Time of the Roman Missal, and gives draft texts for each day in this section.  In many places, this draft of the orations for the Proper of Time differs significantly from both the preceding liturgical tradition and the outcome of the reforms. These differences, along with the work of the Consilium generally, have increasingly been the object of scholarly study and enquiry in recent years.
Now, in The Proper of Time in the Post-Vatican II Liturgical Reforms, the text of the corpus of orations in Schema 186 is readily available for the first time, and each prayer has been arranged side-by-side with those of the 1962 and 1970/2002 Missals for easy comparison.
Each individual prayer has been keyed into the Corpus Orationum, to make it much easier for researchers to consult this indispensable set of volumes during any future analyses and comparative studies. (The Corpus Orationum collates the orations from over 200 pre-Tridentine extant manuscripts, and makes it possible for one to determine how widely a given prayer was used, when it was used, in what contexts, and whether there are any textual variants.) Various other tools and indices are also provided in the book to aid further study into this important aspect of the post-Vatican II liturgical reforms.
Finally, the Latin text of the first few pages of Schema 186, which explain some of the rationale and methodology of Coetus 18 bis, are provided, along with an English translation.
Below are some preview pages. To purchase the book from Amazon, please follow the links above.
|Sample page for Septuagesima / 7th Sunday after Epiphany / 7th Sunday per annum|
|Sample page for 4th Sunday after Pentecost / 13th Sunday per annum|
|Sample page from the indices|
 Lauren Pristas makes many references to Schema 186 throughout her seminal work, The Collects of the Roman Missals: A Comparative Study of the Sundays in Proper Seasons before and after the Second Vatican Council (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013).
This article by Henri de Villiers was first published in 2014 on the blog of the Schola Sainte Cécile, to commemorate the centenary of the start of the Great War. It is translated and republished here and at Canticum Salomonis in honor of Armistice Day, and the centenary of the first armistice, which occurred this past Sunday.
We shall remember them.
Requiem æternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
“For the Lord will judge his people, and will be entreated in favour of his servants.” (Psalm 134,14) – Mass at the front in France during the First World War.
“The sorrows of hell encompassed me: and the snares of death prevented me.” (Psalm 17,6) –Mass at the front for the French troops. New York Times, February 14, 1915
“I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my firmament, my refuge, and my deliverer.” (Psalm 17,2-3) – 1915: A Mass at the 43rd battery of the 29th artillery regiment between Oostduinkerke and Nieuport.
“My eyes have failed for thy word, saying: When wilt thou comfort me?” (Psalm 118,82) – Holy Mass for the French troops on the front of Champagne in 1915. Collection of Odette Carrez
“The Lord will give strength to his people: the Lord will bless his people with peace.” (Psalm 28,10) – 1915: Sub-lieutenant Pape says Holy Mass for the 262nd infantry regiment. Photograph by Henri Terrier (1887† 1918). Musee de l’Armee, Paris.
“Salvation is of the Lord: and thy blessing is upon thy people.” (Psalm 3,9) – Austrian soldiers receive Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in 1915 in Russian Galicia. New York Times, 23 May 1915.
“Praising I will call upon the Lord: and I shall be saved from my enemies.” (Psalm 17,4) – A Russian priest celebrates the Divine Liturgy for Russian troops in 1915. The soldiers have formed a choir and are chanting the liturgy next to the altar. The War Illustrated Album DeLuxe, Vol. 1; Amalgamated Press, London, 1915.
“I have lifted up my eyes to the mountains, from whence help shall come to me.” (Psalm 120,1) – A priest says Mass for Italian troops on the Italo-Austrian front in the mountains of Tyrol. New York Times, February 27, 1916.
“And they shall call them, The holy people, the redeemed of the Lord. But thou shalt be called: A city sought after, and not forsaken.” (Isaiah 62,12) – April, 1916: Soldiers of the Russian expeditionary corps taking an oath and venerating the icon and cross at the monastery of St Pantaleimon, Mount Athos, Greece. Photograph: Dubray.
“God is with us.” (Isaiah 8,10) – April, 1916: In the Mirabeau camp near Marseille, men of the first regiment of the first Russian brigade pose around their flag, decorated with the face of Christ and emblazoned with the motto taken from Isaiah and chanted at Byzantine Great Compline, in particular on Christmas Day: С нами Бог – God is with us.
“Behold, God is my saviour, I will deal confidently, and will not fear: O because the Lord is my strength, and my praise, and he is become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12,2) – April, 1916: Gathered on the parade grounds of Camp Mirabeau near Marseille, the men of the first Russian brigade receive the blessing from Fr. Okouneff, chaplain of the regiment, before their departure for the front.
“And the Lord is become a refuge for the poor: a helper in due time in tribulation.” (Psalm 9,10) – April, 1916: Gathered on the parade grounds in Camp Mirabeau near Marseille, the troops of the second regiment of the first Russian infantry brigade celebrate Easter, with the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Fr. Okouneff, chaplain of the regiment. The soldiers have formed a choir and are chanting the liturgy next to the altar.
“The sacrifice of praise shall glorify me: and there is the way by which I will shew him the salvation of God.” (Psalm 49,23) – 1916: Renault car-chapel dedicated to St Elizabeth, donated by a businessman from Antwerp to serve the Belgian troops.
“In that day man shall bow down himself to his Maker, and his eyes shall look to the Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 17,7) – French soldiers assist at Mass before going into battle. Source: Vive la France, William Heinemann, Londres, 1916.
“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak: heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.” (Psalm 6,3) – Mass in an Austrian military hospital in 1916.
“Thou shalt no more have the sun for thy light by day, neither shall the brightness of the moon enlighten thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee for an everlasting light, and thy God for thy glory.” (Isaiah 60,19) – A priest, probably the famous Fr Paul Doncoeur, S.J., celebrates Mass at an altar – nicknamed the altar of Fr. Doncoeur – carved into the 1st Zouave Quarry, in the quarries of Confrécourt in the Soissonais. Paul Doncoeur was a Jesuit who become a military chaplain in 1914. He participated in the battles of the Marne, Aisne, Champagne, and Verdun, and was seriously wounded at the Somme. Then he rejoined these regiments for the battles of Reims and Flandres. His bravery and dedication to assuring a Christian burial to soldiers who died on the battlefield earned him an immense renown: seven citations, the War Cross, the Legion of Honor. This altar was sculpted by the 35th and 298th infantry regiments in 1914. There is a patriotic inscription written below: “God save France.” On the right, a ladder gave direct access to the front lines.
“In my affliction I called upon the Lord, and I cried to my God: And he heard my voice from his holy temple: and my cry before him came into his ears.” (Psalm 17,7) – Mass celebrated for Austrian prisoners of war. Illustrated War News, Vol. 1, Illustrated London News and Sketch, London, 1916.
“But I, O Lord, have cried to thee: and in the morning my prayer shall prevent thee.” (Psalm 87,14) – A chaplain preaching in a French church transformed into a hospital.
“This hath comforted me in my humiliation: because thy word hath enlivened me.” (Psalm 118,50) – Mass for the troops in the region of Soissons.
“By this I know, that thou hast had a good will for me: because my enemy shall not rejoice over me.” (Psalm 40,12) – Mass at the front.
“Offer up the sacrifice of justice, and trust in the Lord: many say, Who sheweth us good things?” (Psalm 4,6) – French soldiers hear Mass in a chapel in the trenches: New York Times, February 25, 1917.
“Come and behold ye the works of the Lord: what wonders he hath done upon earth, Making wars to cease even to the end of the earth. He shall destroy the bow, and break the weapons: and the shield he shall burn in the fire.” (Psalm 45,9) – March 1917: M. l’Abbé Louis Lenoir (1882-1917), military chaplain to the 4th colonial infantry regiment, celebrating Holy Mass for the troops at Gravena (Greek Macedonia), shortly before his death in May 1917.
“Turn away from evil and do good: seek after peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 33,15). – Mass on the Italian front in 1917.
“Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the just wait for me, until thou reward me.” (Psalm 141,8) – Austro-Hungarian prisoners of war assist at Holy Mass in a prisoner-of-war camp in Italy in 1917. British Library.
“Be thou mindful of thy word to thy servant, in which thou hast given me hope.” (Psalm 118,49). – Abbé Even, chaplain of the 51st division. Photograph taken 10 September 1917 by Paul Castelnau (1880 † 1944). Médiathèque de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine, Paris.
“All the flocks of Cedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nabaioth shall minister to thee: they shall be offered upon my acceptable altar, and I will glorify the house of my majesty.” (Isaiah 60,7) – Field altar for Mass in the open air, installed in the back of a car in 1917. Photograph: Georges Pila.
“All ye inhabitants of the world, who dwell on the earth, when the sign shall be lifted up on the mountains, you shall see, and you shall hear the sound of the trumpet.” (Isaiah 18,3). – June 22, 1918, blessing of Polish flags in the woods of Beaulieu, Aube. Photograph: Auguste Goulden.
“You shall have a song as in the night of the sanctified solemnity, and joy of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe, to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel.” (Isaiah 30,29) – 1918: Mass celebrated in Amiens Cathedral, where the walls have been reinforced with sandbags to protect them from bombardments.
“In the year that king Ozias died, I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and elevated: and his train filled the temple.” (Isaiah 6,1) – Interior of Amiens cathedral, with sandbags to reinforce the building against shelling, 1918.
On Tuesday, November 6, the Order of Malta in the Dallas area commemorated the centennial of the end of World War I with Solemn Vespers of the Dead at the University of Dallas’ Church of the Incarnation, celebrated by Fr Carlos Hamel of the Fraternity of St Joseph the Guardian (Diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, France). The Schola Cantorum Stellae Solae, directed by Brian Bentley, sang the Gregorian chant. The “Remembrance Day” Vespers drew well over a hundred participants from the university and local area, including clergy of the Dominican and Cistercian orders, as well as a dozen seminarians. (Photos by Anthony Mazur, reproduced by permission.)
The Institute of Christ the King’s apostolate in Kansas City, Missouri, located at Old Saint Patrick Oratory, held a solemn Mass for the war dead for the centenary of the end of the Great War. As Armistice Day fell on Sunday, the Mass was held on Monday, November 12th.
On Tuesday, November 13th, the church of St Vincent Ferrer in New York City held its annual Requiem Mass in the Dominican rite, sponsored by the Catholic Artists Society, the Society of St Hugh of Cluny, and the NY Purgatorial Society. Johann Michael Haydn’s Requiem in C was sung by the St Vincent Schola, led by James Wetzel, music director and organist.
And finally, here are two Masses for the dead celebrated on All Souls’ Day at the Brompton Oratory in London.
The exhibition continues through Sunday, Dec. 2. Gallery hours are from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and Thursday until 7 p.m. The Gallery is closed on Mondays and Nov. 21-26 for Thanksgiving. A complementary catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
The penultimate petition of the Lord’s Prayer as proposed will read in Italian “non abbandonarci alla tentazione – do not abandon (leave) us to temptation.” The traditional reading, “non indurci in tentazione - lead us not into temptation” has been in use for centuries, like its English analog, and is known to every Italian, even those who never attend Mass or pray. On a pastoral level, there is absolutely no need to change it whatsoever.
It is also, of course, completely wrong as a translation. The Greek verb in question “eisenenkēis” does not mean “abandon.” It is a form of a highly irregular verb  “eispherō – to bring in, lead in, carry in, introduce.” No dictionary lists “abandon” or any synonym thereof as a translation. It is as if Christians have not been praying “lead us not into temptation” in countless languages for over 19 centuries, as if no one has ever bothered to consider what these words mean, and comment on them. It is impossible to believe that pastors with the cure of souls in Italy (or anywhere else) are suddenly besieged by anguished parishioners, tormented at the thought that the Eternal Father might be leading them into temptation. But even if that were the case, is it really an improvement to suggest that God cannot lead us into temptation, but can abandon us in it?
It is equally impossible to believe that there could be another, even more grotesque and unjustifiable mistranslation, and yet there is. A phrase of the Gloria in excelsis has also been modified, from “pace in terra agli uomini di buona volontà – peace on earth to men of good will” to “pace in terra agli uomini, amati dal Signore – peace on earth to men, loved by the Lord.” I hazard a guess, and no more than that, as to the rationale behind this. To speak of “men of good will” implies that there are men who are not of good will, one of the most basic facts about human existence, and one which the Church has for over half a century wasted enormous time and effort on denying. The new reading permits the insertion of a comma, turning the phrase “loved by the Lord” into a non-restrictive adjectival phrase, (“men, who are loved by the Lord”), in a way that cannot be done by translating the actual text.
Our readers may be curious as to whether this new version of the Gloria, if it is approved, will present Italian churches with the same problem recently faced by the English-speaking world, when the new translation was promulgated, and musical settings of the old and hideous paraphrase became unusable. The answer is, Probably not. There is much to be said for the thesis that in many places, the post-Conciliar reform made everything that was worst about pre-Conciliar liturgical practice normative, and Italy is decidedly one of those places. The four-hymn sandwich over a Low Mass is as common as it ever was, although the Low Mass itself is now in the vernacular, and often miked-up so loudly as to destroy all possibility of contemplation or recollection. It is normal for the Gloria to be recited by the congregation, not sung, even on major feasts like Christmas and Easter.
However, the will of the Council is sometimes fulfilled in Italy, vis-à-vis the preservation of Latin in the liturgy, by the use of the so-called Gloria of Lourdes. This turns one of the Church’s most ancient hymns into a responsorial psalm (and one as unpleasant to listen to as any responsorial psalm) by the frequent repetition of the words “Gloria, gloria, in excelsis Deo”, leaving the rest to a solo cantor, or, more often, to be recited (not sung) by the congregation.
The Italian Bishops’ also wrote in their final communiqué (again, as reported by Avvenire), “in a particular way, the suggestion is made to take care for the quality of singing and the music of the liturgies.” (in modo particolare, si suggerisce di curare la qualità del canto e della musica per le liturgie.) Their Excellencies would do far better to actually take this to heart, and apply their collective efforts to improving the appalling music heard in most Italian churches, rather than to “fixing” translations that were not broken.
 “Eispherō” is a compound of the proposition “eis”, which means “into” (not “in”), and the verb “pherō – to bring, to carry.” The latter is a highly irregular word, in that it derives its various tenses from different roots, like the English “be, am, is, etc.” The present form is “pherō”, but the future is “oisō”, and the aorist, from which the verb in Matthew 6, 13 is derived, is “ēnenka.” This accounts for the radical difference between the main verb form by which it is located in a dictionary, and the specific form translated in the Lord’s Prayer, or mistranslated, as the case may be.
|Photo courtesy of Liturgical Arts Journal|
I would like to mention here four recent articles of potential interest to NLM readers, and give a few excerpts.
The first is “The scandal of the modern Catholic funeral,” one of my daily columns at LifeSite.
Once upon a time, a very important person in my life died. I attended the funeral. It was a Novus Ordo canonization ceremony, conducted by a priest and three women in skirt-suits ministering in the sanctuary. Everyone at the funeral was dressed in black—except for the priest, who was wearing white. The disjunct was glaring and tasteless. The contrast between the deep human instinct of mourning, which can be said to be an ineradicable part of the sensus fidelium, and the crackpot liturgical reformers who introduced white as a color for Masses for the dead, was never so obvious to me.A few weeks ago, Dr Joseph Shaw, the Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England & Wales and a much-appreciated blogger at LMS Chairman, officially joined the bloggers writing for LifeSite. In this capacity he has given us two articles of note:
The day before, however, my family and I had gone to a traditional Requiem Mass, sung by a priest friend. The contrast was not just profound, but shocking. Between that day and the following, we were emotionally suspended between two radically different offerings for the dead: one that took death with deadly seriousness, that cared about the fate of the departed soul, and allowed us to suffer; another that shuffled death to the side with platitudes and empty promises. The contrast between Friday’s black vestments, Dies irae, and whispered suffrages and Saturday’s stole-surmounted white chasuble and amplified sentiments of universal goodwill seemed to epitomize the chasm that separates the faith of the saints from the prematurely ageing modernism of yesterday.
I found myself thinking: The greatest miracle of our times is that the Catholic Faith has survived the liturgical reform.
“Why Catholic funerals prior to Vatican II better expressed death’s gravity”
The chants of the traditional Mass for the Dead, called by the first word of the Mass proper, Requiem, include some of the Church’s most ancient, solemn, and moving. They express the seriousness, the gravity of death, and seek God’s mercy for those who have died. It was shocking to many when the Dies Irae and other chants were removed from the Mass for the Dead in the liturgical reform that followed the Second Vatican Council. Annibale Bugnini explained the reasoning of the reformers as follows (The Reform of the Liturgy p. 773):And “Why Christians must honor those who have died in war”:
"They got rid of texts that smacked of a negative spirituality inherited from the Middle Ages. Thus they removed such familiar and even beloved texts as the Libera me, Domine, the Dies irae, and others that overemphasized judgment, fear, and despair. These they replaced with texts urging Christian hope and giving more effective expression to faith in the resurrection."
The idea that the texts at issue “overemphasize” “despair” (how much should despair be emphasized, one wonders?) is a gross mischaracterization. The texts of the ancient Mass for the Dead speak of God’s mercy and the gift of salvation, in the context of human guilt and God’s justice.
It is an unsurprising sociological fact that people are more willing to sacrifice themselves for their community if they see that such sacrifices in the past have been honored by the community. If we are not prepared to honor them when they fall, we should not expect our young people to put themselves in harm’s way for our protection.(As a side-note: NLM readers might not expect to find liturgical commentary at LifeSiteNews, which has built its reputation as a pro-life, pro-family, general news source; but this expectation is not quite accurate anymore, now that Dr Shaw and I are writing on liturgical topics there with some regularity.)
Last but not least, Shawn Tribe, founding editor of NLM, continues to promote the best and most beautiful elements of the Catholic liturgical aesthetic at his site Liturgical Arts Journal, as we see in “The Value of Black as a Liturgical Colour” and “Constructing a Catafalque for the Requiem Mass.”
May each passing November, and indeed the passage of each one of Christ’s faithful into eternity, be accompanied by obsequies and orisons worthy of the dignity of Christian baptism, testifying to the reality of the Four Last Things and redolent of the piety, devotion, and earnest prayer of the ages.
His accomplishments as a performer along with these educational resources would already be more than enough feathers in the cap of any 33-year old musician. But there is something much more fascinating about Elam Rotem. He is a first-class composer of music in the style of the early 17th-century, not as an academic exercise or as an ironic postmodern reconstruction, but simply because he so deeply understands and loves the music of the early Baroque that he thinks musically in this language and speaks it in the form of new compositions. What is more, he sets to music texts of the Old Testament in their original Hebrew. The result is stunning new music that communicates with the dramatic intensity, lush elegance, and sonorous beauty of Monteverdi — as in this setting by Rotem of the Song of Songs 4:8–11, “Come from Libanus, my spouse, come from Libanus, come…” (the composer is the one playing, and singing from, the harpichord):
Or in this Sinfonia à 3:
Rotem has written two large-scale multi-movement works in this style, both of which have been recorded in sumptuous performances that I have listened to many times with great enjoyment, and cannot recommend too highly:
Naturally, such a countercultural but brilliantly successful endeavor is of immense interest to me, and I would think to many NLM readers, since those of us who celebrate or assist at the usus antiquior are promoting a liturgy (and its musical repertoire) that embraces the ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods, yet remains present among us down into our own times, and is still being enriched with new works of art — be they new churches, new vestments, new furnishings, or new musical compositions in Latin. For us, too, old forms of art are still alive, and that which may seem to some to be “dead” has never ceased to be the living language in which we worship.
I asked Mr. Rotem if he would be willing to do an interview for NLM about his work in the ongoing (and evidently burgeoning) early music revival. He graciously consented.
Interview with Composer and Early Music Specialist Elam Rotem
Peter Kwasniewski (PK): Mr Rotem, thank you for sharing your time and expertise with readers of New Liturgical Movement. We are interested in the question of the continuing relevance of the past to the present, particularly in the use of ancient religious rites, languages, and art forms. Music is frequently discussed in so-called “traditional” Catholic circles, above all the extensive use of Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony, which are treasures of our heritage. So we are well-disposed to the work you are doing.
You have written some magnificent music in a late Renaissance or early Baroque style. How did you end up coming to this style as opposed to an earlier or later one? What is special about the early 17th century in your eyes and ears?
Elam Rotem (ER): The period around 1600 is unique in music history. New ways of composition, which are almost opposite to the ways in which music was composed until then, were invented and used. The concept of a single soloist that is half-singing and half-reciting (recitar cantando) and accompanied by simple harmonies, made it possible to tell stories in an immediate and dramatic manner. In addition, composers were exploring new harmonies that were not used before, and took the liberty to do so based on the texts that they were setting. If the character of the text was soft and sweet, so was the music. But if it was harsh, they didn’t mind composing harsh music that was intentionally unpleasant. The music’s main purpose was to amplify the text. Such stylistic environment is great for communicating emotions to the listeners, and especially for storytelling.
PK: Strikingly, your works are composed in Hebrew, which is not a language that has been much used for choral music intended for Western European and American audiences. What’s it like to set Hebrew in a musical style whose main languages were Latin and Italian? Do you have precursors or models you can look to? Do the Latin versions of texts from the Hebrew scriptures and their historic settings influence your work with the original language?
ER: I was inspired by the Hebrew psalms of Salomone Rossi (1622). Rossi, on the one hand, was a “normal” court musician, playing and composing instrumental and secular vocal music. He worked at the Gonzaga court in Mantua together with Claudio Monteverdi, and took part in Monteverdi’s productions. On the other hand, he also attempted to introduce Western/Christian musical traditions into the Synagogue. His Psalms and prayers in Hebrew were meant to be performed as part of the liturgy. Rossi was the first to bring such an idea to life and to print music in Hebrew. When trying to fill the big gaps in Rossi’s biography, I imagined how, in addition to his rather conservative liturgical works, he might have also composed some dramatic works in Hebrew for some special holidays, and how such works had little chance of survival, as the only surviving documents related to Rossi are his Venetian musical prints.
When composing, I had much pleasure working with the original texts in all their untranslatable beauty. Composing biblical Hebrew in stille rappresentativo is quite different from the motet style of Rossi, so I had to find my own way of doing so. The accents of the words in Hebrew are typically on the last syllable, which proved to be quite a challenge when trying to make the text flow in a recitar cantando manner.
|Renaissance polyphony in Hebrew by Salomone Rossi|
PK: You have composed many works from biblical texts on love (Quia Amore Langueo) and have written a veritable oratorio on the story of Joseph (Rappresentatione di Giuseppe e i suoi Fratelli). What attracted you to these parts of the Scriptures, and in general, is there something you are looking for when you choose your texts or themes?
ER: I composed Joseph and His Brethren first. I love the story, and I love how the original text tells it; very condensed and to the point, in an almost dry manner. So when suddenly a touching or poetic moment occurs it is amplified by the contrast to the other drier parts and the result is very moving. It was an enjoyable challenge to use this biblical text as a kind of libretto and bring the story to life. Apart from Joseph and His Brethren, in Quia Amore Langueo there are also some dramatic scenes (“Amnon and Tamar” and “Samson and Delilah”), as well as poetic motet-like texts from the Song of Songs. What I loved about the Song of Songs is the colorful texts full of images and contrasts — very appropriate and similar to the texts used around 1600 in general.
PK: Do you think it would be legitimate to compare the nation of Israel’s revival of Hebrew as a spoken language, when it had more or less been extinct, with your revival of Baroque musical language?
ER: This was suggested by Barney Sherman in an article about my compositions. I will just comment that I didn’t make a “revival of the Baroque musical language,” I merely took one more step on the same path that the early music scene was taking: instead of only adding ornaments or parts to existing compositions, or improvising pieces, I did a bit more. And I’m certainly not the only one; for example, Guido Morini performed and published his Baroque opera Solve et Coagula.
PK: Naturally, there will be critics who wonder how it is possible to “express oneself freely as an artist” if one must adopt the strictures or constraints of a certain musical style. What would you say to those critics?
ER: Art was and is always based on constraints. I don’t believe it’s important which constraints you use. As a performer and researcher, I did (and do) all that I can in order to “feel at home” with the music of around 1600. I’m playing this music for a living and this is my primary musical language. If I want to create and not only execute music, I will naturally use the language I know best in order to do so.
PK: I guess I would also ask the “inverse” of the last question. Modern art has boasted about “originality” for a long time now, but to be realistic, we do not seem to be living in an age of many great composers and great masterpieces. Do you think the modern idea of creativity or originality — that we must always be seeking something “new” — has something to do with our lack of worthy output?
ER: I do believe in the concept of “something new,” but on a smaller scale. It was not different in past periods: for example, Monteverdi composed a madrigal based on texts that had already been used by other composers, but there was still a place for his version — a new version of the music — although the text, musical language, and medium were the same as in other existing compositions. I think that the difficulty starts when the musical language and the medium must also be reinvented by the composer; it’s as if every time we want to say something we would have to invent a new language. Even assuming that the invented language is coherent and contains inner logic, it could be compared to trying to communicate using a language unknown to one’s interlocutor; if the listeners don’t understand the language, their experience is limited because they lack a stylistic frame of reference.
My focus on the style of the early 17th century frees me of this concern, seeing that composers of that time were bound to specific stylistic conventions.
|Profeti della Quinta|
PK: You and your colleagues in Basel are dedicated to the art of paradox: early music played in the contemporary world, on new instruments of period design. Can a historic musical style speak to moderns with the same “grammar, logic and rhetoric” with which it spoke to its original audience?
ER: I can’t know how the original audience experienced the music. I do know that around 1600 musicians were interested in expressing human emotions and moving the hearts of the listeners, and I believe that this can still be done today.
PK: Would you say that the qualities of early instruments are a major influence on and inspiration for your desire to compose in this style? Which comes first, the style or the instruments? Does something as subtle as the tuning system — which, as we know, went through so many variations in Western history — also influence your compositional voice?
ER: Instruments and temperaments are just certain details in the whole picture. They are important and inspirational, and it’s a good place to start (indeed this is how the early music movement started), but they are not the essence. The essence is the understating of the musical language, and in the case of dramatic music, the communication of the text and emotions.
PK: Our times have seen a remarkable increase in the use of male vocalists (altos, countertenors, falsettists) for parts that (outside of English choir schools) were conventionally given to female altos and sopranos. What do you think of this development? What motivated you to choose only male singers?
ER: Indeed the period around 1600 is the beginning of the inclusion of female singers in performances; before that period, one can say that generally music was performed predominantly by males. Most of the repertoire we are singing in Profeti della Quinta was probably performed by male singers, but we do include female singers sometimes (and definitely female instrumentalists). Otherwise, since this is the ensemble I’m working with, I composed the pieces especially for its singers, and tailored it to their abilities. This is, by the way, yet another aspect of historical composition, since baroque composers often composed a part with a specific performer in mind.
PK: How has your work — your compositions and the playing of your ensemble — been received in the early music world at large? Of course, early music specialists learn to improvise (and organists have never stopped doing it), but do you see any other musicians beginning to compose in the early Baroque style?
ER: My works were received warmly by the public, but with mixed feelings by some critics. It is always much appreciated, but some (especially musicologists but not only) still are not sure if such a thing is a “legitimate” work of art. I obviously think it is, and the public in the concerts seems to agree. By the end of 2018 Joseph and His Brethren will be performed for the fourteenth time and more performances are planned in the future. I think that this is not bad for a piece composed in the 21st century, in which many of the newly composed pieces are only performed once… As I mentioned above, there are other musicians in the early music scene that are doing similar things, but perhaps not on the same scale.
PK: Where have you found your work best received?
ER: Whether it was just one or two small pieces, or the complete Joseph and His Brethren, my compositions have been well received everywhere we perform them. Naturally, because of the language and cultural relevance, the performances in Israel were received with even more appreciation. As I mentioned above, when the human emotional experience is in the center of attention, it can and does speak to a wide public.
PK: Do you ever compose in other styles, whether earlier or later than the early 16th-century idiom? If so, will you share those works with your public, or are they just for private use? Are you working on any big projects at the moment, either of composition or of recording?
ER: Up to this time, I haven’t composed music in other styles. Unless I would also perform and research music in other styles, I don’t think I would compose in them. My intention is not to imitate music from other periods, but to express myself in the language I know best. At the moment I’m not working on any new compositions, but some new CDs of Profeti della Quinta are coming out soon: Psalms by Alexander Utendal (ca.1530-1581) and a collection of madrigals (Amor, fortuna, e morte - Madrigals by de Rore, Luzzaschi, Gesualdo & Monteverdi).
Here is a trailer for Joseph and His Brethren:
A final thought. The philosopher Charles Taylor is famous for claiming that modern man, who is a conscious and free self negotiating a world of optional beliefs and engagements, is forever cut off from the “enchanted cosmos” of pre-modern man, who naively saw himself as dwelling in a world of spiritual realities as real as, or more real than, material ones. We moderns are irreducibly different — there is “no way back.” I would think that a confirmed Taylorite would consider Rotem’s enterprise impossible, or merely academic or parodical. And yet, it only takes a pair of functional ears to discover that it is no such thing: it is eminently possible, convincing, passionate, and powerful. Crucially, it is experienced immediately and intuitively by those capable of understanding music; in other words, not as the result of a “lifestyle choice,” as Taylor imagines religion must now be, thanks to our awareness of alternatives. Might this give us a reason for thinking that the art of music is one way of refuting the thesis that naive access to an “enchanted cosmos” is no longer available to us, that we are cut off from our premodern ancestors?
Please visit my new personal website, www.peterkwasniewski.com, for news, information, article links, sacred music, and the home of Os Justi Press.
Follow the link, here, (you won’t be able to access it through the image unfortunately).
“How will I know you?” I asked him.
“I'm over six feet tall and look like a monk,” he said. “You’ll recognize me.”
Just to show how little I knew of this world, I remember standing at the gate to platform 7, the appointed meeting point and looking around. Then in the distance, I saw this tall man walking towards me, with a long beard, black robes and a cylindrical hat.
“Oh my God,” I thought. “It’s Rasputin.”
Nevertheless, I instantly connected with him and liked him. He was so generous in teaching me all that I could possibly learn that weekend. It was also my introduction to icons and the Eastern Rite.
He was a Rassaphore monk at that point - he talks about this phase of his life in the video. I remember him telling me much later that when he was a hermit, surprisingly, his life was much busier than later on when he was a working artist with a family. People used to flock to see him, even though he was in an isolated spot in rural Shropshire. I think he told me that in the last year he was living in the hermitage, 3,000 people visited.
In the video, Aidan also talks of his connection with Ian Knowles, the directory of the Bethlehem Icon Centre. I met Ian - I’m thinking perhaps 15 years ago now- at an icon painting workshop run by Aidan in Shropshire. It was obvious then that he was a talented artist.
One of the great advantages of learning to paint with Aidan, I always thought, is that he always explained not only what to do, but why we do it, and how through his own analysis of traditional icons he had worked out what to do. Aidan was self-taught and so he always generously taught us his approach to this. This meant that we came out of his classes able to propel ourselves, to some degree at least, without constant supervision. It was these methods that became the starting point for my effort at articulating some general principles for Christian art education, which I described later in my book, the Way of Beauty and built into a course called A Study of Artistic Method for Patrons and Artists, which is a 3-credit elective in Pontifex University’s Master of Sacred Arts program.
Aidan describes these methods in his excellent book The Techniques of Icon and Wall Painting.
Schema 186 (De Missali, 27), dated September 19th, 1966, is a 69 page document (with a 16 page addendum) drafted by Coetus 18 bis of the Consilium. It begins by proposing various policies and criteria for the reform of the collect, super oblata, postcommunion and super populum prayers of the Roman Missal, asking if these criteria are pleasing to the Consilium Fathers (pp. 1-4). The bulk of the schema is given over to the texts and references for the proposed corpus of prayers for the Proper of Time (pp. 5-53, with corrigenda on pp. 68-69). This is then followed by the group’s proposals for the reform of the prefaces (pp. 54-67, plus Addendum, pp. 1-16).
In a certain sense, albeit not its original one, it seems good to us that, even in these things [i.e., the reform of the Mass orations], the desire of the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy that “richer fare may be provided for the faithful at the table of God’s word” (no. 51) be used to introduce into the Roman Missal the venerable riches of Latin euchology, not only because their form is beautiful, but also because of their true, important, theological strength. 
The mention of Lent brings us to the second citation, scarcely any better in this regard:
In addition, there are some orations that have lost their historic value, or that no longer conform to the norms of Christian life today...This would appear to be a misquotation of Sacrosanctum Concilium. Dom Placide Bruylants, O.S.B., at this point the relator of Coetus 18 bis,  ranks the two “natures” (indoles) as primary and secondary. However, when one looks at what the Constitution actually says about the season of Lent, we read the following:
For the second type, the majority of the Lenten orations will suffice as an example. For the memory of and preparation for Baptism, which according to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (no. 109a) is the primary nature of this season, are almost entirely absent. With respect to the second nature, namely the penitential character, it is evident almost exclusively in the language of fasting, and neither the spirit of penance in general nor the preparation for the paschal mystery is sufficiently treated. 
The season of Lent has a twofold character: primarily by recalling or preparing for baptism and by penance, it disposes the faithful, who more diligently hear the word of God and devote themselves to prayer, to celebrate the paschal mystery. This twofold character is to be brought into greater prominence both in the liturgy and by liturgical catechesis. Sacrosanctum Concilium presents the two elements of 1) recalling or preparing for Baptism, and 2) penance, as equal, as two sides of the same coin. It goes on to say that it is this duplex indoles which is to be given greater prominence in the liturgy. Instead, in the course of their work, Coetus 18 bis prioritised one “nature” over the other, and claimed a mandate from the Council to do this. It is entirely possible that their revision of the Lenten orations reflects this misreading of SC rather than the expressed intentions of the Council Fathers.
Those who have read Archbishop Bugnini’s history of the reform will have had the sense that certain members of the Consilium, including its secretary, knew that they were going beyond what the Council Fathers envisaged, while claiming apparent continuity with the Constitution and the liturgical tradition.  However, it is one thing to find confirmation of this in the secondary literature surrounding the liturgical reforms (whether written by prominent figures or not), and quite another to find it in the primary sources of the reform, in the minutes of the Consilium itself.
As it happens, next year will be the 50th anniversary of the Novus Ordo Missae, with the following year being the same anniversary of the reformed Missale Romanum. A half-century on from this major part of the reforms, the question is still present as to whether this reform is what the Fathers of Vatican II really had in mind on December 8, 1963, when Pope Paul VI solemnly promulgated Sacrosanctum Concilium. In fact, as we find ourselves further and further from those heady decades of the 1960s and 1970s, we see more and more people asking this question. As Dom Alcuin Reid wrote last year:
[T]here is an increasing body of material available from those involved in the reform of the Sacred Liturgy following the Second Vatican Council, as well as credible new scholarship emerging, which demonstrates that what resulted from the call for a moderate general reform of the liturgy was not that which the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council intended but rather a product of the desires, opportunistic triumphs, and even the ideological agendas of key persons who took control of the implementation of the reform. 
 Schema 186 (De Missali, 27), 19 September 1966, p. 1. English translation from Matthew P. Hazell (ed.), The Proper of Time in the Post-Vatican II Liturgical Reforms(Lectionary Study Press, 2018), p. 220. Latin text: Aliquo modo, non proprio certe, visum est nobis, quod etiam in hac re, respondendum erat optatis Constitutionis de sacra Liturgia (no 51) “ut ditior mensa verbi Dei paretur fidelibus”, iterum introducendo missali romano antiquas divitias euchologiae latinae, quae non tantum formae pulchritudine, sed authentico momento theologico pollent.
 Cf. The Collects of the Roman Missals: A Comparative Study of the Sundays in Proper Seasons before and after the Second Vatican Council (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013), p. 113.
 Schema 186, pp. 2-3. English translation from Hazell, The Proper of Time in the Post-Vatican II Liturgical Reforms. Latin text: Dantur insuper nonnullae orationes, quae momentum suum historicum amiserunt, vel non amplius conformes sunt normis vitae christianae hodiernae... Pro alteris, exemplum magnae partis orationum Quadragesimae sufficiet. Nam, memoria et praeparatio baptismi, quae secundum Constitutionem de sacra Liturgia (no 109, a) prima indoles sunt huius temporis, fere omnino absunt. Quoad secundam indolem, characterem nempe poenitentialem, patet quod in orationibus fere unice de ieiunio loquitur, et non sufficientur tractatur neque de spiritu poenitentiae in genere, neque de praeparatione mysterii paschalis.
 Dom Bruylants died suddenly in 1966, and was replaced as relator by Dom Antoine Dumas, O.S.B. For the differences this event made to the work of Coetus 18 bis, see Lauren Pristas, “The Orations of the Vatican II Missal: Policies for Revision”, Communio 30 (Winter, 2003), pp. 621-653.
 SC 109. Latin text: Duplex indoles temporis quadragesimalis, quod praesertim per memoriam vel praeparationem Baptismi et per paenitentiam fideles, instantius verbum Dei audientes et orationi vacantes, componit ad celebrandum paschale mysterium, tam in liturgia quam in catechesi liturgica pleniore in luce ponatur.
 For example, in discussing the provisions in SC regarding use of the vernacular, Bugnini writes, “The Council’s intention was to open the treasures of the table of the Word and of the Eucharistic table to the people. Is there anything that is not part of the liturgical action of God’s people? No! Everything belongs to them. Nothing is excluded from their attention and their participation... If, then, the purpose of using the vernacular in the liturgy is to enable the assembly to participate consciously, actively, and fruitfully, there is no justification for using in any part of the sacred action a language that the people do not understand.” (The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 [Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1990], p. 112)
 “Liturgy, Authority, and Postmodernity”, The Catholic World Report, 22 October 2017.