Let Us Sing...

This just in...the scoop on the music to be performed at the National Park Mass, to be celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on April 17. The pope will hear a 65-voice intercultural choir singing in French, Zulu, Spanish and other languages, a 250-voice Papal Mass choir, a 175-person children's choir and an 80-person gospel choir. The music was chosen by an archdiocesan committee, with approval from the Vatican.
"It is music that represents our long Catholic and Christian tradition and the current diversity of our church," according to Tom Stehle, director of music for the Mass.

The music to be performed includes:
*"Plenty Good Room," a spiritual arranged by Washington Symphonic Brass founder Phil Snedecor.
"Send Forth Your Spirit," by Andrew Wright, and "Ave Verum," by Mozart, sung by the children's choir.
"The Papal Mass choir singing "Sing Aloud Onto God Our Strength," by Daniel Nelson.
*"The Intercultural choir singing "Let' Isikia," a South African tune arrnaged by Tracy McDonnell ,and "Source d'eau Vive" by C.E. Haugel.

No word yet from those who have complained about the lack of chants.

By Jacqueline L. Salmon |  March 25, 2008; 2:57 PM ET
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Wat a great blog, I love this pope

Posted by: Chris | March 25, 2008 08:15 PM

That's outrageous. Why isn't there more traditional Catholic music? All of this is simply too much.

Posted by: Timothy | March 25, 2008 08:17 PM

Wow the music choice is dissappointing, it will put a damper on the whole day for me

Posted by: Peter | March 25, 2008 08:20 PM

This choice will displease more people than it cheers. But that would be true of just about anything.

What concerns me is the term "Performed." Music at Mass should be sung, not performed. Most of it should also be singable by the congregation. That would eliminate quite a lot of chant, which does not elicit much participation. And purists forbid women to sing chant in public worship anyway.

I'd suggest if you have a ticket for any part of this jamboree and feel dismayed, your best option would be to auction the ticket. And don't imagine Sydney WYD will be any better. Big reservations over there about the music.

Posted by: Mary | March 26, 2008 05:01 AM

If they sang the Chant Propers of the mass they would not be "performing" but rather singing the mass. Also they might have a better representation of the unique heritage of what chant is. BTW, what tradition are they talking about the last 40years of the top ten hits?
I especially like the South African tune that is arranged by the irish woman, MacDonnell,

Posted by: elisabeth | March 27, 2008 12:20 PM

If they sang the Chant Propers of the mass they would not be "performing" but rather singing the mass. Also they might have a better representation of the unique heritage of what chant is. BTW, what tradition are they talking about the last 40years of the top ten hits?
I especially like the South African tune that is arranged by the irish woman, MacDonnell,

Posted by: elisabeth | March 27, 2008 12:20 PM

Would you post a link to the entire list?

I found out that the choir will be singing "Tu Es Petrus" as Benedict enters, but the diocesan news site doesn't have anything else listed.

Posted by: Julia | March 27, 2008 01:42 PM

Yes, let's stray away from those rock band songs like "Ave Verum Corpus". Remember that your definition of "traditional Catholic music" isn't necessarily the same one as your neighbor.

What the blog doesn't mention is that the readings (and music) are centered around Pentecost, which includes people speaking in tongues, hence, the different languages. For those of you who want the world's billion or so catholics to sing the same 10 chants all the time, I hear the Tridentine Rite is making a huge comeback. Go enjoy it, and let the rest of us have a joyous day.

Posted by: Joe in SS | April 1, 2008 04:28 PM

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