Skip to comments.Catholic Liturgical Music and Church Art (my title)
Posted on 11/15/2003 3:54:15 AM PST by Dajjal
The New Seekers would have cleaned up, not to mention the New Zoo Revue.
Neither of these formative influences on modern Catholic liturgical music were in the running, however, at the annual Unity Awards hosted by the United Catholic Music and Video Association (UCMV).
So Clothed in Love by Tom Kendzia took the honors for Liturgical Album of the Year and Liturgical Song of the Year ("The Eyes and Hands of Christ").
Listen to a few representative cuts (I find saving the mp3s to my desktop and playing them back works best):
"The Eyes and Hands of Christ" * mp3
"I'm Gonna Sing" * mp3
"Clothed in Love" * mp3
(The cover art for Clothed in Love likely will earn its own place in the Fr Sibley gallery.)
This year's Unity Awards theme song, "Together We Stand," will appeal if you can't wait until brunch for a Sunday helping of Kenny G-inspired muzak.
But if you want to bust it up with something more "now," something with more street cred, try this mp3 clip of the Unity Award-winning rap/hip hop song of the year, "MC God" from Love Never Fails, by Jesse Manibusan and Ken Canedo.
* Chris at Maine Catholic blogs on the imprimatur the Marty Haugen style of hymn has been given by the US bishops.
The OCP monopoly on liturgical music doesn't appear ready to be broken any time soon, given the favored relationship the banal hymnodist trust enjoys with the bishops.
Portland Archbishop Vlazny is both a member of the USCCB subcommittee on liturgical music and chairman of the board of Oregon Catholic Press. Meantime, OCP produced the official World Youth Day theme and CD and and partnered with the USCCB Evangelization Secretariat on Disciples in Prayer, a musical companion guide to lectionary readings that has a foreword by Cardinal Mahony
* A central figure in the Gnome School of missalette clipart describes how he got into church art:
Soon Erspamer was showing in galleries around the country, but something was missing. He spent six months working on a one-person show and decided to slip in some subdued religious imagery. It turned out wonderfully well, but the gallery owner rejected every piece, saying no one would buy it. Furious, Erspamer threw the huge urns and plates in the Dumpster and decided to start doing what he wanted to do.
He got a job designing a new church in Texas: the layout, the stained-glass windows, the frescoes. Job after job followed, all through word of mouth. He studied liturgical design at the Catholic Theological Union and began educating parishes about the rich symbolism lost with Vatican II. "We started replacing statues with potted plants, and like any revolution, the cleansing went a little too far. There was a break in the ability to decipher symbolic language, and now there's a whole generation that has no idea what anything means. They don't look at art as a springboard for meditation, they look at it as pretty wallpaper. I keep telling parishes, 'This art is supposed to speak to your soul. Every time you see this, it should invite you to come back and pray and discover.' "
The things one finds doing a search on Br. Erspamer: Who knew there was a blog mad for his art?
Or that he designed a campus chapel at Emory named for former Atlanta Archbishop Paul Hallinan, who as chairman of the US bishops' liturgical commission in 1967 hailed the advent of the New Liturgical Man?
Archbishop Hallinan said reformed liturgy also must recognize the fact of anthropology. According to Dr. Margaret Mead, the Balinese people are delighted with the new Catholic reforms in worship.
With a language that sounds like a bell, an imagination enough to produce a miracle play at a moments notice, the people of Bali are ready to take the Christian tradition, and give its ritual a new and delightful form, rich in their own symbols. What they could do with our own funeral rite, with equal parts of Latin and medieval gloom, staggers the imagination of every card-carrying reforming liturgist, he said.
Margaret Mead and the Balinese meet '60s liturgical reform: If only modern liturgy were as inspired as the Small House of Uncle Thomas.
troll art ping
To me the old-fashioned woodcut is a legitimate form of art. But it has to be done well from an artistic point of view. I'm no artist (I can quick sketch things like furniture or a bump on a horse's leg as an aide-memoire, and that's about it) but I could do this stuff on my head and crank it out by the ream.
Here's some good stuff in the woodcut style as an antidote:
Eric Gill was an early 20th century artist who combined his Catholic interests, he was a friend of the distributists, with his pan-sexuality and admiration of D.H. Laurence, author of "Lady Chatterly's Lover." Was it any coincidence that he became the inspiration for post-Vatican II Catholic art?
Actually...a "Velvet Elvis" Catholicism might be a slight improvement on some of the garish ultra-mod silliness the fringe libs have thrown up in some of these churches. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have an art problem. I really don't understand why bishops have not imposed some sane guidelines on sacred art/architecture to be followed (which they atucally enforce). We can't allow cabals to trash our churches.
Have you ever seen any of the so-called "art" on the cover of OCP's Today's Liturgy or the music books the organist and cantor use? Generally, it's a closeup, and it almost invariably looks like somebody's practice pieces. Tacky, banal, sophomoric, slipshod, abstract in the extreme. Sigh...
Eric Gill's work looks familiar to me, but I think of him as primarily a sculptor (which is where his work gets that heavy quality). He in his turn is simply a two-dimensional version of Rockwell Kent
He doesn't have the delicacy of line of the old Germans, but he is a vigorous and talented early 20th century American artist.
How many American prelates come from homes of privilege and discernment where high culture was recognised and accessible? Growing up in the American middle class and finding yourself on a diocesan chancery/canon law track by the time you're 25 is a hard way to acquire an aesthetic formation. Being culturally bereft, the American episcopacy lacks confidence in its own taste even when it manages to have one, and so is easily bullied by those with an ideology to push.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.