Welcoming the new Missal: Suggested “pillars” for study

By: By Jennifer Willems

Liturgical renewal is constant, according to Msgr. Stanley Deptula.

“It’s not like we do the recipe once and we get it right forever,” said the director of the diocesan Office of Divine Worship. “We always need to go back to the touchstones, back to the pillars.”

During his presentation on June 11 at the Diocesan Summer Institute, Msgr. Deptula encouraged those who “want to go deeper” in their study of the Mass and the new texts from the third typical edition of the Roman Missal to lean on four “pillars” of liturgical theology and renewal. The first is “Sacrosanctum Concilium” (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy), the first document published after the Second Vatican Council.

“If you haven’t read it or it’s been awhile since you read it, pick it up,” he suggested.

The second “pillar” is the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, “an instruction manual to the Mass.”

“There’s a lot of great theology, a lot of great rationale to what we do and why we do it,” Msgr. Deptula said. “I try to reread it at least once a year.”
He credited a 2001 document, “Liturgiam Authenticam,” with starting this moment of liturgical renewal by calling for a retranslation of the liturgy in all the language groups. “This isn’t just an English-language adventure. It is part of the universal renewal,” Msgr. Deptula explained.

He also recommended that they read a 2004 Vatican instruction called “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” which offers “great theology, great practice and some great concrete instructions.”

Diocesan “pillars” include Bishop Daniel R. Jenky’s 2011 Festival Letter, which is devoted entirely to the Mass and the new translation of the Roman Missal, and a booklet compiled by Father Christopher Layden called “A Study of the Mass.” The booklet and accompanying slide show will be the focus of a series of workshops offered throughout central Illinois this fall.

The final “pillar” Msgr. Deptula mentioned had spent the morning with the Summer Institute participants. Father Douglas Martis, director of the Liturgical Institute and chair of the Worship Department at Mundelein Seminary in the Archdiocese of Chicago, was one of the presenters at a day for the priests of the diocese last fall and will return to speak to the permanent deacons in September.

The Liturgical Institute is scheduled to facilitate a workshop for pastoral musicians on Saturday, Oct. 22.

To assist the parishes, schools and Newman Centers of the Diocese of Peoria in making the transition to the new Mass texts, Bishop Jenky asked a committee of musicians to make recommendations for Mass settings and hymns that would give everyone a “common language.”

Musicians around the diocese met with Msgr. Deptula and Dr. Sherry Seckler, diocesan director of sacred music, to sing through the new Mass settings and suggested two of them for use in central Illinois. The first is the chant setting that will appear in the new Roman Missal and likely be published in missalettes.

The second is the “Mass of Wisdom” by Steven R. Janco. Published by World Library Publications, it was written for organ, brass and handbells as well as piano, woodwinds and guitar. (To listen to it, go to Sing the New Mass and click on New Musical Settings.)

“It is, in theory, rather elastic,” Msgr. Deptula said. “It will fit many different situations, many different styles of celebration.”

Revised settings of Masses currently in use, such as the “Mass of Creation,” are available, but the committee opted against recommending one of these. Msgr. Deptula said they felt it would be more difficult for people to put new words to a well-known tune.

Parishes may want to learn other settings and are encouraged to do so, but Msgr. Deptula said Bishop Jenky is asking pastoral musicians to make people familiar with the chant setting and “Mass of Wisdom” as a starting point.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops helped the faithful last week by approving use of musical settings for the new Roman Missal beginning in September.

The committee also suggested hymns — “the great classics of our faith” — for a “Canon of Hymns” with the hope that it will help those who plan Masses and educate young people.

“There are some hymns that no Catholic should grow up without knowing in their heart,” Msgr. Deptula said.

He also made available a “Canon of Chants” — “chants that every parish should know.” A CD will be available by July 1.

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