Friday, February 29, 2008

Oy! byzcath again...

Administrator replied to a Watched Topic at the site:
http://www.byzcath.org/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=280859#Post280859

[quote=PrJ]My ecclesiology teaches me that the Bishops are the successors of the Apostles and as such have been given the grace of God to lead the Church. From talking to those involved in the translation project, it is clear that the Bishops engaged in this project with a very deep reverence both for their calling as apostolic leaders of the Church and for the grace of God that they have received in their consecration. Therefore, this work (in my opinion) is an example of Apostolic and patristic praxis.[/quote]
I disagree respectfully with PrJ. The good intentions of the bishops and those who served on the committees that created the Revised Divine Liturgy in no way guarantees that the outcome is an example of Apostolic and patristic praxis. Good people can do bad things and we have in the Revised Divine Liturgy nothing less then a tragedy. We have texts and rubrics that are less accurate than those given in the 1964 edition. We have music that both disrespects what people have memorized and makes those singing it sound like English is not their native language (due to the improper accents). Good intentions have hurt a lot of people. Unfortunately, PrJ has fallen into the trap of judging things by the good intentions of those who created rather than the quality of the product."

Wow, what aggrandisement! The Administrator (and owner of) Byzcath.org who is probably a good person himself and who can do no wrong in his own eyes is just as guilty of falling into the trap of believing that if we change what people memorized over the last 40 years (a wink of an eye in liturgical time), there will be tragedy!

What poppycock!

People learned those translations and setting from 1964, grew to memorise them and are now the older generation. Before them was another generation which had memorised the entire Divine Liturgy in Church Slavonic with music that was substantially different than the 1964 settings (which were greatly simplified at the direction of the bishops, not the cantors given the task of setting the words and music).

Now since the Admin who wrote that statement is himself a cantor who has arranged (set) music for the Byzantine Catholic Church, Eparchy of Passaic, he would of course be beyond reproach himself even though his settings followed the same oversimplifications of the 1964 setings and even had his own syllAble problems (which most of us just ignored, being that the inserts weren't official outside the Eparchy of Passaic).

1 comment:

djs said...

Actually, in between the Old Slavonic and the emergence of the 1964 English edition, many parishes were already using English. The English followed the Old Slavonic settings (such as Sokol) very closely. The music was nice, and, as you might imagine, similar to the settings of the RDL.

I remember learning the 1964 settings in parochial school, even after we all already knew the liturgy in English. It was clear to me, even as a kid, that some musicality was being sacrificed. Fortunately our musicianship was such that we pretty much continued to sing the old ways. We never did the liturgical hymns in the grey book correctly.

I don't remember any complaints about our having to learn new music. People were eager to to learn and to participate. I don't recall anyone claiming to be hurt. And we certainly didn't have the spectacle of people trying to be the champion of the whiners, by indulging their sense of being "hurt". But that was another generation. Sigh.