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Monday, January 2, 2012

An Incredible Gift for Spanish-speaking Catholics

 



Over at the Church Music Association's Musica Sacra forum, one of its esteemed members, Fr. Matthew Spencer, made, in my opinion, one of the most important contributions to Spanish-language liturgical music.   Not only is Fr. Spencer working on the Spanish-language equivalent to the Simple English Propers, he has also set the Ordinario to music, as well, basing himself on the chant setting used by ICEL for the revised Roman Missal.  To be more accurate, he uses the Jubilate Deo settings for the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei.

Here it is:


One thing is to listen to the mp3, which is most helpful.  It is an entirely different and more wonderful experience to actually chant this setting during Mass.   One parish down here in the South Texas hinterland has begun using it and it has met with success.  In fact, one of the priests was quite pleased with it.

The setting is simple and quite beautiful.  It enhances the beauty of the Mass by infusing in it the essential components of solemnity, dignity and majesty.  It is far superior to the compositions offered by OCP and other commercial houses.  These tend to sound like ranchera pieces or salsa numbers.  Lamentably, some of the settings OCP promotes tend to tinker with the texts, especially the Gloria.   Ordinario I vastly surpasses the over-hyped Misa Luna, published by WLP.  While Misa Luna puts the liturgy at the service of the music with endless musical interludes and needless repetition of the text, the simple chants of Ordinario I remind us that music serves the liturgy.  As a Paulist priest friend of mine puts, "The music should enhance the liturgy."

For too long, the Ordinary Form of the Mass, as prayed in Spanish, has suffered from substandard, slipshod musical settings that, sadly, do not necessarily respect the liturgy.  It took the conviction of one priest to finally give the faithful a magnificent setting that does justice to the prayers of the Church.

Muchisimas gracias, Fr. Spencer!

NB:  Because Fr. Spencer has placed Ordinario I in the Creative Commons, there are no copyright issues to the usage of this setting. 



1 comment:

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