What the Council actually intended.

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I've had some interesting experiences recently in this context.

Because we're still getting to know our new pastor and his style (last Lent was a blur as he arrived less than a month before Ash Wednesday), I mentioned something to our Music Director about the directives in the GIRM about using instrumental music only to support the singing during Lent except on a few special days. She did ask about preludes and postludes at the last liturgy meeting and Father said No.

She's not happy with this, and there are moments when I'm sorry I ever brought it up, as it is not of such major consequence. She has said to be recently, "how come everybody does it ?", "is this new?" and that "the Ordo says it's OK."

As far as I know, it's always been in the post Vatican II GIRMs.

I took a look at the Paulist Press ordo, and sure enough, while it quotes the GIRM paragraph 313 accurately, it immediately adds a quote from an individual somewhat widely-published scholar (a canonist, actually, with expertise in liturgy and sacramental applications) about pastoral adaptation and following the spirit of the instruction rather than the letter of it.

No wonder there's confusion -- most people think if it's in the Ordo, it's official, which is not quite the case. The material in the Ordo has various levels of authority. Imprimaturs are just about doctrinal issues, not practice.

I think the confusion and the feelings here are a good example of the current situation. When someone says "what we're doing is not in agreement with the documents," the first reaction is usually disbelief and the second, in my experience, is accusations of rigidity.

Hey, I don't make the rules, I just happen to know them and know where to track things down. And I do think we should take the regs more seriously, so that if we decide we can't follow them completely in a proper Mediterranean spirit (as with baptism by the preferred method rather than pouring water on the head) we know the context and the reasons.

I finally said to the Music Director that not having preludes and postludes was a form of penance for Lent. The exchange has been fairly amicable, just genuinely puzzling for her.

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This page contains a single entry by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. published on March 11, 2006 10:58 AM.

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