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    As a lover of traditional liturgy, I was momentarily excited by a report last week that, for once in my life, I might actually be hip to the trends. It would be a nearly-unprecedented thing for me, and I’m still…

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    Symbolism and the Language of the Liturgy

    by Rev. Dwight Longenecker

    In his conversations with the journalist Bill Moyers, the mythologist Joseph Campbell commented on the power of lived symbolism in communal life. When the judge comes out in a black robe, sits behind a high desk and calls the court…

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    Palestrina: Master in Music’s Art

    by Paul Radzilowski

    Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was an Italian layman who was born around 1525 at or near Rome, into a world in which most the greatest musicians and composers of Europe were clerics, and disproportionately from Northern Europe.  By his death…

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    Pop Music as a Bridge to God?: Engaging Christopher West

    by R. Jared Staudt

     On the one hand, there is pop music … aimed at the phenomenon of the masses, is industrially produced, and ultimately has to be described as a cult of the banal. “Rock,” on the other hand, is the expression of…

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    Benedict XVI and the Way of Beauty

    by Duncan G. Stroik

     Something unusual is revealed here as well: the house of God is the true house of humans.  It becomes the house of humans even more the less it tries to be this and the more it is simply put up…

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    Jesus Christ Superstar Now

    by Randall B. Smith

    When I was a kid, the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” was all the rage.  Both the local high school and my parents’ church (a large United Christ Methodist affair) each put on large, well-attended performances of the “rock opera” that…

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    The Hero of the Mighty Musical Struggle

    by Jeffrey Tucker

    Several years ago, I received a note from an older man who had been battling much of his life for good Church music, particularly Gregorian chant. He did this in terrible times following the Second Vatican Council when the cultural…

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    How John Paul II Restored Liturgical Sanity

    by Jeffrey Tucker

    We tend to think of the papacy of Benedict XVI as the papacy that put the Catholic liturgy back together again, turning the “hermeneutic of rupture” into the “hermeneutic of continuity.” Rarely receiving the credit for preparing the way is…

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    Five Ways to Ruin the Mass

    by Jeffrey Tucker

    We are getting ever closer to an improved liturgy in the English-speaking world. The new Missal gives us a more dignified language that more closely reflects the Latin standard. The hippy-dippy rupturism of the past is finally giving way to…

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    Is Inculturation an Excuse for Pop Music at Mass?

    by Jeffrey Tucker

    What is the standard by which we should judge the music we hear or sing at liturgy? That’s a huge and controversial question, but a recent experience revealed to me something interesting. It suggest an answer that is completely different…

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    Is Chant Like Folk Music?

    by Jeffrey Tucker

    Somehow we have this impression that Gregorian chant is part of a high Church ethos. It’s for conservatives and traditionalists who favor their liturgy buttoned up, obedient, and strict. On the other hand, this line of thinking goes, people who…

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    Pope Benedict XVI’s Musical Legacy

    by Jeffrey Tucker

    One of the many lasting legacies of the papacy of Benedict XVI concerns liturgical music. Enormous progress has been made in his papacy. Incredibly this progress has happened without new legislation, new restrictions, new mandates, or firm-handed attempts to impose…

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    Why Do People Want to Learn Chant?

    by Jeffrey Tucker

    It was my great fortune to be asked recently to substitute teach a master class on Gregorian chant. The event was the Church Music Association of America’s Winter Chant Intensive. The original instructor for the men, David Hughes, became very…

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    For God’s Sake, Make Music

    by John Jalsevac

    Every Sunday in Christ the King Chapel at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia, the mass is celebrated with all the pomp and ceremony that the traditions of the Catholic Church and the humble means of that small college allow—glittering…

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    Sing we Noël!

    by Christopher O. Blum

    Speaking of his medieval ancestors and ours, d’Alembert once said that “Poetry for them was reduced to a puerile mechanism.” James Madison, echoing him, judged the result of fifteen centuries of Christian civilization to be little more than “pride and…

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    A Music Set Apart

    by Jeffrey Tucker

    The offertory antiphon for the Sunday before the last Sunday of the liturgical year is the famous text “De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine; Domine, exaudi vocem meam.” From the depths, I have cried out to you, O Lord; Lord,…

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    The Reinvention of Parish Music

    by Jeffrey Tucker

    The birthday notification popped up on my Skype window: Jeffrey Ostrowski just turned 31. I had to look again. Only 31 years old? This is a musician who has produced probably two dozen books of music for Catholic liturgy that…

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    The Jewish Precedent for Latin Chant

    by Jeffrey Tucker

    I’ve long written in favor of reestablishing Gregorian chant as the primary musical language of liturgy for Roman Rite Catholics around the world. We’ve taken great steps in this direction with the new Missal in English, which embeds the chant…

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    Musical Corruptions Continue Despite Recent Vatican Interventions

    by Jeffrey Tucker

    The Vatican has intervened in the guidelines on Catholic liturgical music in the U.S. It has sent a message to U.S. publishers that it objects to extending the official text of the Agnus Dei to add additional text. The practice…

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    Catholic Music: It’s Time to Stop Making Stuff Up

    by Jeffrey Tucker

    Every weekend or so, some name composer of mainstream Catholic music is out and about giving a workshop in a parish somewhere. I’ve been to enough of these to pretty much know what they are going to say in advance….

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    Paint-by-Number Hymns

    by Anthony Esolen

    “Are you interested in painting, sir?” asks the cheerful curator of the modern art museum. “No, not me,” says the detective.  He passes his hand across his rumpled hair.  “Now, Mrs. Columbo, she’s different.  That woman is into everything.  She…

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