November 3, 2009 at 1:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We, the delegates to the 24th National Meeting of Diocesan Directors of Liturgy, met in Baguio City  from September 21-24, 2009 to discuss the pressing issue of “The Music of the Liturgical Year”.  The meeting was held under the generous auspices of the Most Rev. Carlito Cenzon, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Baguio.  We express profound gratitude to him and to his clergy and faithful.  We are pleased to share the outcome of our common study.

  1. The Constitution on Liturgy teaches that “sacred music is to be considered the more holy in proportion as it is more closely connected with the liturgical action, whether it adds delight to prayer, fosters unity of minds, or confers greater solemnity upon the sacred rites” (art. 112). The statement applies with equal force to the music that blends or integrates itself with the liturgical year.
  2. Each season of the liturgical year possesses distinct character and content.  By its lyrics, melody, rhythm, and use of musical instruments the music for the Mass should allow the faithful to enter into the spirit of each liturgical season. Thus, the assembly will readily associate the music with the corresponding season and by constant use assimilate its meaning and spirit. It is necessary to capture the distinctive character of each season, for example, the joyful anticipation of the season of Advent or the penitential mood of Lent.
  3. Recourse should be made to the legacy of Gregorian Chant especially in the Graduale Romanum as model for the music of the liturgical year.  We need to compile suitable vernacular music for the Ordinary of the Mass, in much the same way as the compilers of the Graduale Romanum had done. We refer to the greetings and responses, Kyrie, Gloria, Alleluia or gospel acclamation, Credo, Sanctus, memorial acclamation, the Great Amen, Lord’s Prayer, and Agnus Dei.  Likewise, the settings need to be classified according to the theme of each liturgical season.
  4. We strongly encourage composers to use the liturgical texts in the Sacramentary and Lectionary as lyrics for their compositions.  In accord with the Roman tradition, appropriate psalms may be used in an antiphonal manner as entrance, offertory, and communion songs.
  5. For the Ordinary of the Mass, composers should strictly follow the translation approved for liturgical use, taking utmost care that what is sung accords with the official text so that there will be uniformity in the recitation of basic Christian prayers like the Lord’s Prayer and Glory be.
  6. The quality of musical performance is highly valued in our cultural world.  There are occasions when the assembly should not be deprived of an uplifting experience of worship through exceptional musical performance like choral singing in some parts of the Mass according to the liturgical norms. This is based on the principle of progressive solemnity that distinguishes the seasons of the liturgical year and promises something that the assembly can look forward to when feasts like Christmas and Easter are celebrated.

As we share with the local Churches these conclusions of our meeting, we commit ourselves to promote in our country a musical liturgy that respects the character of the liturgical year, the artistic value of music, and the musical culture of the Filipino people.

That in all things God may be glorified.


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