Author Topic: Is Martin Luther truly the father of congregational vernacular singing?  (Read 586 times)

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AFFIRM: Virtually every Protestant and Evangelical.
DENY: Many Papists calling themselves "Roman Catholic Apologetics"!


Vernacular: Of or pertaining to at least one of those languages other than Latin which are spoken by the people as their native language.

Introduction: Several years ago, it had come to my attention that Pius X in his Motu Proprio attempted to revive, under the name of "active participation", the practice of congregational singing in the Popish Mass and other "solemn liturgical functions" of His "Holy Mother Church".

But space forbids me to list the WHOLE decree in full in this post!

See for the entire decree! There is an important piece of evidence concerning Pius X's TRUE motives which should not be ignored:

This is what must be urged – the Gregorian chant and the means of making it popular. Oh, if I could only make the faithful sing the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei like they sing the litanies and the Tantum Ergo. That would be to me the finest triumph sacred music could have, for it is in really taking part in the liturgy that the faithful will preserve their devotion.

Letter of St. Pius X (when we was still the Rev. Abp. Sarto) while Archbishop of Venice to Monsignor Callegari, bishop of Padua.

And yet, the strict liturgical decrees of the "Holy Mother Church" that Pius X called Catholic categorically PROHIBITED the singing of any hymns in the vernacular during solemn liturgical functions! These are precisely the sources "Catholic Apologetics" use in order to DENY that Martin Luther was the father of vernacular congregational singing!

Sir R. R. Terry, Catholic Church Music, pages 26 - 28! (To see for yourselves, go on Google and search for "The practice is condemned of reciting sext and none in the retro-choir while Mass is being sung"!)


    Decrees Of The Sacred Congregation Of Rites

    2782. (Sti Marci et Bisinianen.) The practice is condemned of reciting sext and none in the retro-choir while Mass is being sung.
    3292. (Guadalajara.)
    1. A custom exists of singing a traditional chant, neither the Roman nor Spanish, but like both, but not the chant printed in the missal— Is it to be continued as a legitimate custom, or to be abolished?
    R. To the first question, no; to the second, yes.
    2. What chant is to be used: the Roman Gregorian chant in approved Pontificals and uniform in the Mechlin Missals, or that of the Spanish Missals?
    R. The Roman Gregorian; and editions are to be used approved by the S.R.C., or copies authenticated by the ordinary. 21st April, 1873.
    3124. (Nicaragua.) The custom of singing hymns in the language of the country during Exposition or Benediction may be tolerated. 27th September, 1864.
    3113. (Valence.) The custom of singing an Aria in the national language during high Mass is an abuse and to be eliminated. 22nd March, 1862.
    3230. (St. Hyacinthe, Canada.) The Bishop is directed to do away with the custom of singing hymns in the vernacular during high Mass, but gradually and without causing scandal. 10th December, 1870.
    3496. (Madagascar.) Hymns in the vernacular during solemn liturgical functions and offices are not to be tolerated; outside liturgical functions whatever is customary is to be followed. 21st June, 1879.

    3827. General Decree concerning high Mass.

    1. Hymns in the vernacular are FORBIDDEN in ALL high or sung Masses: nothing is to be added to or mingled with the liturgical chants prescribed by the rubrics.
    2. Those parts which are alternated with the organ are to be sung or recited in integrity. The Credo to be sung throughout.
    3. No singing during the Elevation. Between the Benedictus and Pater, something may be sung; provided that all the prescribed portions of the liturgy are sung, that the celebrant be not kept waiting, and that what is sung refers to the B. Sacrament. 22nd May, 1894.
    3880. (Bisarchio, Sardinia.) Again the question as to whether hymns in the vernacular, in honour of the feast or mystery of the day, are to be permitted during Mass. In low Mass, yes, with permission of the Bishop. In the high or sung Mass, NO. 31st January, 1896.

The Catholic Choirmaster, Page 81, Volume 4:

It is not liturgical to sing Motets or anything whatsoever in the vulgar tongue, during Solemn Liturgical Services, as it is contrary to the following ecclesiastical DECREES [note: vulgar tongue does not mean indecent language, but only a language other than Latin, i.e. the VERNACULAR languages] – “Potestne tolerare praxis quod in Missa solemni (vel solum in cantu) praeter cantum ipsius Missae, cantetur in choro a musicis aliqua laus, vulgo dicta Aria, sermone vernaculo? [Is it lawful to tolerate the practice wherein in solemn masses and/or only in singing beyond the singing of the very mass itself, there may be sung in the choir of music any praises commonly called airs, in the vernacular languages?] Resp. Negative, et Abusum eliminandum” (S. R. C. Mart. 1862). [Answer: Negative, for this abuse must be exterminated.] “It is forbidden, in the solemn liturgical functions, to sing anything whatsoever in the vulgar tongue” (Motu Proprio). “Prohibitum est cantare lingua vulgari Missarum solemnia" Decr. May 31, 1894, Jan. 31, 1896, Jun. 25, 1898). It is also forbidden to sing in the vulgar tongue, “dum sacra Communio distribuitur per notabile tempus.” (Decr. Jan. 14, 1898). [Meaning, while the Holy Eucharist is being distributed for a notable interval of time.] “Cantica in vernaculo idiomate in functionibus liturgicis non sunt toleranda, sed omnino prohibenda; extra functiones liturgicas servetur consuetudo” [songs in the vernacular language in liturgical functions must NEVER be tolerated, but on the contrary, entirely FORBIDDEN; such a custom - i.e. the congregational singing of hymns in the vernacular languages – must be confined to situations outside of liturgical functions] (Decr. 3496)...

In conclusion, ... [although] there are so many who do not know anything at all about the Motu Proprio of the late Pius X, and all the above Decrees and regulations, which seem clear plain and thoroughly intelligible; but [even so], if such ignorance may be tolerable, to a certain extent, on the part of the lay organists, it should and must NEVER be tolerated, with impunity, in clergymen, of whom the Holy Scripture says: “Labia sacerdotis custodient scientiam, et legem requirent ex ore ejus!” The writer invites his brothers to consider also the serious words of St. Augustine: “qui erunt homines, per quos a vobis error auferatur, cum vos elegerit Deus, per quos errorem auferat ceterorum?”. And, before coming to some efficacious and fruitful conclusions, (as we shall note in the next issue), I suppose that someone who perhaps might think me a rigorist or an extremist, would fain like to know whether the above mentioned prescriptions bind in conscience, or whether they are merely good suggestions. At first sight each of my good readers may naturally understand that all the cited Decrees are not personal opinions of mine [nor are they malicious anti-Catholic slurs and calumnious fabrications devised by the Protestants], but strict Regulations of our Holy Mother Church, which desires us to consider the liturgical Rubrics as rules not only directivae sed praeceptivae, seu “Leges LITURGICAE IN CONSCIENTIA OBLIGANTES” [i.e. not just directive, but preceptive: ALL LITURGICAL LAWS ARE BINDING ON THE CONSCIENCE!] Then let us take to heart, and give all due attention and consideration to the following tremendous words: “Si quis dixerit, receptos et approbatos Ecclesiae catholicae ritus in solemni sacramentorum administratione adhiberi consuetos, aut contemni, aut sine peccato a ministris pro libito omitti, aut in novos alios per quemcumque Ecclesiae Pastorem mutari posse, anathema sit.” (Conc. Trid). [If any man shall affirm the the accustomed rituals of the church for the solemn Mass can be despised, freely omitted, or changed into new rituals on the part of the pastors: Let him be Anathema!] — Madamus, ut... in Missis et divinis officiis celebrandis, aliisque ecclesiasticis functionibus obeundis. recepti et approbati Ecclesiae catholicae ritus, qui in minimis etiam 'sine peccato, negligi, omitti vel mutari haud possunt, peculiari studio ac diligentia serventur.” (Benedictus XIII). [We COMMAND that in the celebration of Mass and other divine offices, the customary rituals of the church, because they cannot even in the least be despised, omitted, or changed without therefore resulting in a MORTAL sin, should be diligently studies and practiced.] G. V.
« Last Edit: Sun Apr 15, 2018 - 08:57:45 by jjeanniton »

Offline MeMyself

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How sad it would be to deny congregational singing! Corporate worship is one of the ways my spirit is encouraged! I would hate to be denied that!

Offline chosenone

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How sad it would be to deny congregational singing! Corporate worship is one of the ways my spirit is encouraged! I would hate to be denied that!



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I also have to inform my fellow users that a certain Papist malignant calling herself a Traditionalist Catholic, named Dr. Carol Byrne, has told certain MALICIOUS LIES about "active participation" in the Holy Mass!

To find her website, use: She makes what she considers to be a plea AGAINST vocal participation in the divine liturgy on the part of the congregation! But I will now expose the lies she is telling!

Some Malicious Falsehoods and Misrepresentations of Dr Carol Byrne in Part I of her Series on the Dialogue Mass!

Lie #1: "By common consent, the post-Vatican II Hierarchy of the Church maintains that “active participation” of all the faithful in the liturgy is “the aim to be considered before all else” (1) – even, as it turned out, before respect for Tradition, reverence for the Blessed Sacrament, a sense of the transcendent, or decorum and modesty in the house of God.

Just how did the Bishops arrive at this astonishing conclusion? By falsely presenting the reforms they have implemented as a continuation of the work of Pope Pius X whose motu proprio, Tra le Sollecitudini (TLS) first contained the word “active” in its Italian (though not, significantly, in its Latin) version to describe lay participation in the Mass."

Refutation: This statement of hers may be true in many things, but as shall be shown later, is false when it comes to congregational singing.

Lie #2: "It is pertinent to ask how such a word [i.e. active participation], dangerously imprecise in its scope, could have found its way into a juridical code of sacred music intended to apply the Pope’s instructions on the liturgy with the force of law and by his own Apostolic Authority."

Refutation: While this papist malignant does admit that the Motu Proprio is indeed a juridical code (if not also an infallible dogmatic DOCTRINE) of church music, the words "Active Participation" are precise and exact, since every word of that Motu Proprio makes up a statute which like all other statutes must be strictly construed. Therefore the words "active participation" MUST be construed in their plain and ordinary meaning, which we Protestants KNOW and have ALWAYS known means congregational singing.

Lie #3: "“Activity” had never been a defining characteristic of lay participation at Mass throughout the Church’s history. Therefore, some explanation is needed as to why it suddenly acquired an overwhelming significance in the early part of the 20th century and how it came to have a far reaching effect in the Liturgical Movement.

History has shown that the single word “active” created a Mexican wave that rippled through the 20th century, gathering momentum as it went, until it engulfed the entire Church with the blessing of Vatican II’s Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium on the Liturgy (1963). Ever since, “active participation” has taken on a life of its own and continues to be reinforced with a zeal surpassed only by the hostility of the reformers for the traditional Latin Mass."

Refutation: The only "activity" that Pius X is talking about (and earnestly encouraging) on the part of the laity is congregational singing (or reciting the responses in an audible voice) of those parts of the Liturgical text prescribed by the rubrics (but the question is, what part belongs to the people and what part belongs to the choir).

Lie #4: "We know from one of the progressivist Fathers of Vatican II, Card. Godfried Danneels of Belgium who had been involved in drafting the Constitution on the Liturgy, that the aim of “active participation” was to democratize the liturgy by blurring the distinction between priestly and lay roles:

“From its very beginnings, the aim of the liturgical movement, which originated in Belgium in 1909, was to close the gap between the official liturgy of the priest and that of the people. The term ‘active participation’ was born out of this movement and has since become part of our common usage.” (2)"

Refutation: The term "active participation" appears in the Italian version of the Motu Proprio - not just once, but at least TWICE! It could not have been merely the invention of the sort of Liturgical Movement that originated in Belgium in 1909! And besides, there was already a heroical Liturgical Movement in full progress in the 19th Century during the "Catholic Revival"! Virtually every bishop of every diocese and archdiocese repeatedly, over and over again in many strict decrees, expressed their earnest desire to revive congregational singing in the Holy Mass! Yet it was STILL forbidden to sing anything - even hymns - in the vernacular during solemn liturgical functions!!! Even if the exact phrase "active participation" had been absent until 1909, the very concept itself had long already existed before then!

But anyhow, the point is that Dr. Byrne's arguments are nothing but a CAVALIER DISMISSAL of the HEROIC and RIGHTEOUS CRUSADE of the Catholic Revival of the 19th Century (specially of the St. Caecilia Movement in Wisconsin among German "Roman Catholic" immigrants) to restore congregational singing in every solemn liturgical function!

Lie #5: "Its usage [i.e. the term ACTIVE PARTICIPATION!!!!!] has become so common that hardly anyone now stands aghast at the suggestion that lay people can be “empowered” to exercise an official role in the liturgy through their “active participation.” This was a concept promoted by Vatican II, but the traditional teaching of the Church, as explained by Pope Pius XII in Mediator Dei, is different. (3)

From this we learn that the priest, through the Sacrament of Ordination, acts in the name of the Church, in an official act of the liturgy. Lay people, however, by virtue of their Baptism, merely associate themselves with the official liturgy through internal participation (by faith and prayer).

The result of the new emphasis on “active participation” was that the people in the pews, who had generally participated in the ceremonies of the Roman rite in silence, were now transformed into rivals in a liturgical war with the clergy over the right to officiate in the public prayer of the Church."

Refutation: There is an important question she fails to address: If this silent and merely internal participation was indeed the intention of Pius X, well then, why would not only he himself, but also hundreds and thousands of high ranking dignitaries in the Church, nay, virtually every parish priest, bishop, archbishop, Monsignor, and cardinal in the 19th century make NOTABLE EFFORTS to restore congregational singing into the solemn liturgical functions???

Lie #6: "The subject matter of Tra le Sollecitudini was the restoration of sacred music, particularly Gregorian chant, in the Church’s liturgy. Its purpose was to lay down the true principles of liturgical music, both vocal and instrumental, to be disseminated throughout the world.

It is of the greatest importance to our study that this motu proprio was not about congregational singing in the liturgy but about the clergy and the choir as the only legitimate executors of liturgical chant. It laid down no obligation for the congregation to join in the chant or requirement for lay people (apart from selected choir members) to be trained in liturgical singing. Nor did it state or even imply that silence on the part of the congregation indicated an absence or deficiency in their full participation in the liturgy."

Refutation: The only "evidence" she can present to "prove" this point of hers is, as we shall see, is to claim that the document contains NO words which could be justly construed as a call for congregational singing. She has committed at least three fallacies: first, assuming that absence of evidence constitutes proof of absence, and secondly, ignoring evidence, though technically external to the document in that they not are explicitly mentioned word-for-word, yet even so, showing first of all, that Pius X had already promulgated similar decrees (because he already held those SAME opinions) when he was only a bishop, archbishop, or cardinal Sarto in his respective (arch)diocese, and containing materially the SAME ideas and rules and regulations the Motu-Proprio is decreeing, and secondly, how Pius X himself had applied and interpreted these very regulations on church music (when he was not yet the Pope) before he published them as Pope in the form of the Motu-Proprio, and thirdly, ignoring important circumstantial evidence dating from before he became Pope, which can only be construed as a desire to restore a form of active participation in the liturgy:

Letter of St. Pius X (when we was still the Rev. Abp. Sarto) while Archbishop of Venice to Monsignor Callegari, bishop of Padua:

“This is what must be urged – the Gregorian chant and the means of making it popular. Oh, if I could only make the faithful sing the Kyrie, the Gloria, the Credo, the Sanctus, and the Agnus Dei like they sing the litanies and the Tantum Ergo. That would be to me the finest triumph sacred music could have, for it is in really taking part in the liturgy that the faithful will preserve their devotion.”

Also, she ignores another important piece of evidence:

Regulations for Sacred Music in the Province of Rome, Pp. Pius X, February 2, 1912:
In the courses of parochial instruction or on other suitable occasions, they (the parish priests of Rome) must expound the Holy Father’s lofty purpose in reforming sacred music and invite the faithful to second their endeavors, chiefly by taking an active part in the sacred functions, singing the Common of the Mass as well as the psalms, the well-known liturgical hymns and the hymns of the vulgar tongue.

Lie #7: "The motu proprio was first published in Italian on November 22, 1903, in the Acta Sanctae Sedis, the official organ of the Holy See, but the Latin version bearing the same date did not see the light of day until much later, after many intervening documents. Both texts can be accessed here. (4)

This wide separation of the texts is a departure from the protocol observed by the compilers of the Acta Sanctae Sedis, who normally published vernacular and Latin texts consecutively for the purposes of transparency and convenient reference. Furthermore, it was uncharacteristic of the Holy See’s policy to issue a legislative document of such weight and solemnity concerning the entire Catholic world in the vernacular and only much later in the universal language of the Church.

Another notable anomaly is the manner in which the Latin version is dated. Instead of the customary format found in the Acta Sanctae Sedis since 1865, it was written according to the method of calculation of the ancient Romans as X Kalendas Decembris. Thus the impression is given that the Latin text had been composed long after TLS, as if it were an afterthought and of relative unimportance. Only those who are familiar with the ancient dating system would realize that X Kalendas Decembris is, in fact, the equivalent of November 22, the same date as TLS. (5)

This has prompted some to assume that the Italian version, simply because it appeared first, is the official papal text. (6) TLS may be “official” in the sense of having been published by officials of the Vatican bureaucracy, but the fact remains that the Latin is invariably the only authoritative and official version of papal documents, even if it happens that this text only becomes available later." Therefore the Italian version cannot represent the true mind of the Pope.

Refutation: While all the facts she may have presented in these paragraphs may be true, the conclusion of hers is false because it ignores other pieces of evidence. The evidence she has may be true and genuine in all its present parts, but it is incomplete and insufficient to tell her the WHOLE truth. 

Thus we have the first seven MALICIOUS LIES of that no good traditionalist obscurantist Papist malignant named Dr. Carol Byrne! TO BE CONTINUED!
« Last Edit: Sun Apr 15, 2018 - 09:32:36 by jjeanniton »

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