Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Liturgical Entertainment

Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith
One of the people who are singing at the Prayer Vigil ay Hyde Park sent me this email about the programme for what was originally entitled the Liturgical Entertainment. I am sure somewhere there is the Holy Rosary and three o'clock everything will stop for the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and somewhere nuns will appear to sing Sext and None, Vesper will of course be part of the Liturgy when the Holy Father appears.
It will, won't it?

What surprises me is that for a Pope who has said so much about chant and the more noble music of our Christian heritage there is so little of it.
As someone who came across Timothy Dudley-Smith, when he was a rather hardline President of the Evangelical Alliance I am surprised his Tell Out My Soul is being used, he did after all deliberately leave out the line, "Hence forth all generations will call me blessed", so adverse was he to Roman Mariolatry! I am sure that the sound of Rutter, Farrell, Walker, Foley and the great Kendrick will make up for it.
Here is the email:
Thank you for taking up the invitation to sing at the Papal Vigil in Hyde Park.

I am delighted to say that the choir will consist of 160 singers from nearly all the dioceses in England and Wales. Together with 50 singers and 50 musicians from the New English Orchestra, you will provide the majority of the accompaniment to the Vigil. You will also be on stage (under cover should it rain) and in close proximity to the Holy Father. It should be an experience to cherish for many years.

The programme for the afternoon is as follows:
12.00/12.30 tbc Doors open to the public
12.30- 14.00 Information slides on big screens
14.00- 16.00 Part One Various acts by different music and drama groups from across the country
16.00-17.00 Part Two Procession of diocesan youth, parish representatives and representatives from Catholic charities and organisations.
17.00-17.50 Part Three A presentation on the Heart of the Church
17.50- 18.15 Part Four Build up to the arrival of the Holy Father
18.15-19.45 Part Five Vigil Liturgy
19.45-20.15 Part Six A “Soft Close” with musical accompaniment.
The full choir will sing to accompany the procession in Part Two, the build up to the arrival of the Holy Father (Part Four) and the liturgy (Part Five). To avoid having to be seated on stage from 14.00 – 20.15, you will take your place on stage at 15.40 and have a comfort break back stage between 17.00 and 17.40.

The music which you are being asked to sing is:

Part Two: Save us Lord our God (Rutter): 4-part refrain (not including the descant). Verses sung by the NEO.
Christ be Our Light (Farrell): All verses and chorus in unison.
Out of Darkness (Walker): 4-part harmony, verses and chorus (not including the descant; 1st chorus is in unison).
One Bread, One Body (Foley): Chorus only in unison.
Shine Jesus Shine (Kendrick): All verses and chorus in unison.

Part Four: Halleluiah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. Prout Edition.

Part Five: Opening Hymn: “Christ be beside me”
Psalm response
Gospel Acclamation: Alleluia Beati (Walker): Refrain in unison
Lord Jesus Christ your light shines within us (Taizé): 4-part harmony
Adoramus Te (Taizé): 4-part harmony
Lead Kindly Light
Tantum Ergo
Tell Out My Soul (Dudley-Smith): Unison

What you need to bring
1. Please bring with you Prout’s edition of the Halleluiah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
2. If you have them (we’ll be charged post-event for reproducing every copy we do not have): 4-part Vocal Scores (or your own individual voice part) for the 2 Christopher Walker pieces: “Save us Lord our God” and “Out of Darkness”.

Thursday Please be at Hyde Park for 2 pm. Entry to the site (see attached map) is on South Carriage Drive, close to Hyde Park Corner. The rehearsal will begin on stage at 3 pm and finish by 6 pm.
Friday Please be at Hyde Park for midday for a full rehearsal which will hopefully finish by 6.30 pm. Please be prepared for periods of inactivity while other groups are rehearsing. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be available (free of charge) through the course of the afternoon.
Saturday Please be at Hyde Park for 9 am. There will be a morning rehearsal, time tbc. You will be free to relax in the performers back stage changing room between 12.00 and 15.40 but won’t be possible to leave the site.
The Vigil will end at 8 pm and we estimate that you will be able to leave by 8.30 pm.
The following dress code applies only to Saturday. Dress is informal for the rehearsals on Thursday and Friday. We ask that for Saturday afternoon you wear black trousers or skirt and a shirt (and jumper) of a single plain colour (bearing in mind that the temperature may require you to wear more than one layer). In other words: no garments with stripes or printed patterns. Please also avoid wearing white which is apparently sensitive to the cameras.
Please bring photo ID. You will be issued with a security pass on Thursday which will be valid for the 3 days.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
I look forward to seeing you on Thursday 16th.

With kind regards,

Rev. Andrew Headon BSc STL MBA, Hyde Park Vigil Co-ordinator


Matthew said...

Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

dominic said...

Tantum Ergo....that sounds vaguely Catholic (gosh, eucharistic, even) at least.

As for the rest. Hmmm.

OK, one piece by Newman, and Taizé are not altogether bad.

But for most of the rest.

Oh dear.

Deacon Stephen Morgan said...

This is pitiful, absolutely pitiful. It says everything you need to know about the state of liturgy in these poor benighted islands. All it lacks is a slot for +Cormac to do his 'Val Doonican in a scarlet cassick' act. Jesus mercy. Mary help!

John Fitzpatrick said...

The person who sent you the e mail will especially enjoy singing (and rehearsing for 2 days) Shine, Jesus, Shine. Surely, while they were about it, they should have included typically English music such as Knees Up Mother Brown.

Et Expecto said...

Do they know that Shine Jesus Shine was voted the worst hymn ever written?

I'm No Sunbeam said...

Well, it does sound pretty awful, though having been to WYD, Benedict has a way of making things solemn even when the music is shocking pap. Sadly, some of these choices are probably the only way to ensure that people sing; this is what Catholics are singing in their churches every Sunday.

In any case, better that the English Church shows itself as it is, rather than giving a false impression of perfection. Maybe Benedict'll remember what he had to endure when it comes to appointing new bishops...

Copernicus said...

A pity to see so much sneering. You'd think we were discussing opposition politicians, rather than fellow Christians at prayer.

Prayer is the key word here - the music selections reflect the musical language of prayer for the vast majority of those who will be gathered in Hyde Park. You could hijack the event and make it a stern lesson in (what you wish were) the music of the Roman Rite. But that would be an RE lesson, not, ahem, authentic liturgy.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Some of us actually believe in the principle of Lex credendi, lex orandi, lex vivendi.
You are right it is supposed to be prayer, prayer has to be right in order for our living to be right.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I am sneering - there seems to be a clear attempt to re-present the Catholic faith here - that is quite inimical and something I wish to distance myself from.

nickbris said...

Lets all hope & pray that St John Ambulance is there.

nickbris said...

GOOGLE are getting too big for their boots,they are trying to rule the World.

Hope our friends in the Orient emasculate them soon

Steve said...

Whats all this about "photo ID" required. Ididn't know that we had to have ID cards in this country.

"He compelled everyone rich and poor to be branded on the right hand or on the forehead and made it illegal for anyone to buy and sell unless they he had been branded" Rev 13:16

georgem said...

The option of a citizen's arrest by Dr. Dawkins grows more attractive by the minute - of the organisers.

David Joyce said...

Papal events organised by local churches are always atrocious, at least in the last few decades (and the Pope didn't get out so much before then!). If you want to see the Holy Father, go to Rome.

Copernicus said...

a clear attempt to re-present the Catholic faith

There's nothing heterodox in any of the songs chosen, if that's what you're suggesting. Or do you believe otherwise?

The more important point concerns what you call lex vivendi. No Christian should deem themselves exempt from 1 Corinthians 13:1. I think the warning contained in it covers sneering.

pelerin said...

They have left out the skateboarding priest!

But seriously, Copernicus mentions that prayer is the key word here yet they have 'Shine Jesus Shine' a hymn sung at the First Communion of one of my grandsons who was 7 at the time and presumably chosen as suitable for young children. How many 7 year olds will be present in Hyde Park I wonder? This particular hymn merely produces amusement among adults certainly not prayer.

Fr Ray Blake said...

"There's nothing heterodox in any of the songs chosen, ..."

There is no content to any of the songs chosen. It is faith-lite!

Jekyll and Hyde said...

It could have been worse - the Hokey Kokey could have been included; even allowing for its supposed Catholic connection.

shadowlands said...

'A pity to see so much sneering. You'd think we were discussing opposition politicians, rather than fellow Christians at prayer.'

I agree, not so much on this blog, but just in general. Since joining blogger I have certainly discovered the differing camps within my Catholic faith. It makes me so sad and disheartened sometimes.
Like an outsider in my own Church, if it ever was my own Church, of course. Me being a Vat 2 brat.
I'm goin to bed, to say my rosary. They can't take that away from me.

I might become a mooney if things get much worse.

another vat brat said...

The enjoyment or dislike of music is so subjective that naturally people will have strong opinions about it. I do not believe it is sneering. As a Catholic and as a a musician, am l not entitled to a heart sinking feeling at the selection of 'Shine Jesus Shine.'

Fr Ray Blake said...

It is not just a matter of personal preference, it is matter of what is part of our Tradition.
The Roman Missal, recently the CDW have issue clear directives about "Catholic" music, some of this stuff seems a deliberate two fingered gesture to all that.

georgem said...

No-one is sneering at fellow Christians at prayer. No, really. Obviously, I can only speak for myself but my opprobrium is reserved for the organisers of the Hyde Park event who seem to believe that this kind of stuff is the fulcrum of the ingathering for the youth of the Church.
I bet nobody asked them and I'd be very interested to know how many under-30s were involved in devising this saccharin menu.
My experience in parishes which doggedly use these tunes is that the lips of young people in the pews remain firmly closed. The horrible suspicion is that it is the hierarchy of a certain age who are the fans and are helping to stick it in the face of a Pope who has made clear his dislike of it. That's not very hospitable to say the least.
However, I am cheered by reading on the Mulier Fortis blog that there's a short evening vigil planned at the Wimbledon Nunciature where the Pope will stay. There will be no liturgical entertainment. I hope very much to be able to attend.

Asteroid said...

Lord, save us from "Shine, Jesus, Shine".

I had to put up with it in various protestant churches (including one where the pastor's son was Graham Kendrick's gardener!) and found, with despair, that I couldn't escape it as a Catholic.

I couldn't even escape it in a Welsh theological college because one student there was the person who translated it into Welsh and added some nationalism to the words.

Anyone would think that the Catholic Church didn't have a rich heritage of music to draw from.

David Kitto said...

I think the organisers have done a great service by selecting the content, so typical of the mainstream church.

It will show the Holy Father at first hand, the perilous state of the Catholic Church in this country and may urge him to rectify the situation as a matter of extreme urgency.

shadowlands said...

Serious question, does the Pope dislike 'shine Jesus shine'? Has he specifically said so? This hymn is the most talked about on blogger. I actually bought the Grahame Kendrick album, back in the day......I also went to see him in concert at the N.E.C. Then there were the Maranatha singers, they were Americans....aaaah yes, memories of wayward Vat 2 youth, when it was Ok to have a guitar hanging off your garments and a tambourine tinkling at the side of you!
I don't think fellow Catholics should perceive this choice as against them, or a two finger salute. It's part of their Catholic identity, we wouldn't look on people's past relics or statues as insulting, so try and see that some people met Jesus through songs like these, met Him as a person. It was all they had, as their experience.

I suppose it is very inclusive and encourages one to believe that the Holy Spirit might indeed, one day, despite our protestations ( both catholic and protestant) be poured out on ALL flesh. The Holy Spirit will insist on blowing where He Wills, it seems....

I like the last verse best.Here it is, for those who missed it.

Lord, I come into Your awesome presence
From the shadows into Your radiance
By the blood I may enter Your brightness
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness
Shine on me
Shine on me


Bet it's in everyone's head now, even if they do hate it!

Perhaps, in order to find some spiritual good use for it, Father's should give it as a penance ! ;)

Claz said...


Thank you for posting this up.

I hope you don´t mind that I´ve referenced it in my own blog. I´ve written a piece on why I don´t think the entertainment reflects the young Catholic Church. Considering this event is meant to be for young people, the selection´s pretty poor.

santoeusebio said...

The programme presumably reflects the current state of the Catholic Church in E&W so is it not better that it is as it is so his Holiness can appreciate just how awful things are?

I thought yesterday's epistle about poor shepherding and lost sheep was particularly apt.

Hestor said...

Trust shadowlands to stick up for what is banal and asinine...

Michael Clifton said...

Copernicus and Shadowlands. You are perhaps missing the point which others are trying to make here that the music represents the type we are used too and that type is deeply unsatisfactory. It fails to satify the basic premise of prayer, the raising of the mind and heart to God in prayer. Instead it represents a kind of low brow pop approach, lets all be happy. Incidentally if it is pouring down they might add in "Our God reigns (rains) and for the 7 year old "If I were a butterfly"

universal doctor said...

And here was I thinking that the Holy Father liked to talk about the synthesis of faith and reason, or faith being something in which one matures, or the hermeneutic of continuity (to borrow a phrase). Seems like those who are putting the entertainment have never heard of any of this. But, as has been said, perhaps it is best as it is, so that the Holy Father (if he didn't already) can really know just how bad things are in this vale of tears.

Physiocrat said...

Glad I am 1000 miles away. The liturgy is always at least OK and I have never come across any music that was less than respectable for a Catholic liturgy, even though there tends to be a shortage of Latin chant (Gregorian Chant in Swedish is the norm which really I am quite coming to like).

Independent said...

They forgot "I wish I was a fuzzy, fuzzy bear" which used to be sung at the school attended by my children!

Where is Elgar? Where is the "Dream of Gerontius"? Where is anything other than a mimimal connection with Newman? Where in the spirit of Anglicanorum Coetibus is there anything connecting with the English Cathedral tradition of church music? Why not apropriate what is among what is best culturally, musically, and with theological content?

Sheridan Gilley speaks of the " philistinism of English Roman Catholicism, which has spent a generation destroying everything that was most beautiful about itself"("The Ecclesiology of the Oxford Movement:a Reconsideration", Nova I.1 (1996), p 9). The replacement of worship by entertainment would appear to be part of this process.

shadowlands said...


If I had read your comment yeaterday, I would have turned into a Mooney, for sure. However, my emotional explosion had already happened, and I am going to offer part of my rosary for you instead. For some reason, I felt a tremendous sense of the love that God has for you, when I read your comment. Not natural in my sensitve and easily bumped spirit. I love it when that happens, really convinces mr of God's power at work, inspite of myself.

What a mighty God we serve, eh?

By the way, what does banal and asinine actually mean? It sounds dead posh. I might start putting it im my 'about me' description.

shadowlands said...

Father Clifton

Thank you for taking the time to make your comment. I appreciate it.
I was once less than gracious to you, in a comment on your blog, and now seems like a good time to publicly say sorry for that. I often act first, then think later. I am truly sorry for my comment Father. I hope you will forgive me.

georgem said...

Praise to the Holiest in the Height, anyone?

pelerin said...

There is an item in the Catholic Herald this week saying that 'The Priests' are going to be singing at the Hyde Park vigil. So one piece of good news for the 'entertainment' there.

Rusticus said...

Pelerin on Shine Jesus Shine:

"This particular hymn merely produces amusement among adults certainly not prayer."

I'm afraid you're wrong. It doesn't produce amusement from me.

Nausea, yes.

Amusement, no.

justin said...

Why is everyone so worked up over this? This is merely a prayer vigil not a liturgical event. Therefore the liturgical norms on what constitutes sacred music need not necessarily apply. For example, at non-liturgical events like Novenas, etc. Catholics sing even more trite, overly sappy hymns (dare I say Newman's contemporary, Fr Faber was the writer for much of them).

The music which will be sung at the Mass at Westminster Cathedral just a few hours before this event, and again at the beatification Mass a few hours after this event should leave everyone in no doubt what authentic Catholic liturgy should look and sound like.

This is just a prayer meeting. No big deal.

Newminster said...

Et Expecto said...
Do they know that Shine Jesus Shine was voted the worst hymn ever written?

Are you sure about that? I thought that honour went to Colours of Day

anne said...

Spare a thought for those of us who are representing our Parishes and Diocese in the choir. Along with a few others I am trying to get my head around Halleujah Chorus and Shine Jesus Shine being in the same litugy. Alas we are called to make sacrifices in our lives, perhaps this is one for some of us) and we can implore our Lord that they are accepted for the salvation of souls and the conversion of our country. Thankfully God's grace and mercy can 'shine' through regardless

K. Töpfer (aka Martial Artist) said...

Inasmuch as the Holy Father quite clearly beleives that sacred music should reinforce or enable our sense of awe at encountering the mystery that is God, I would strongly suspect that a part of the Anglican patrimony about which Anglicanorum cœtibus speaks is transcendent and truly sacred music. Consequently, I am baffled why the music of Byrd or Tallis (if not both) is not included amongst the music at the Vigil. Both were clearly Catholic, from Catholic families, and their music is transcendent. Seeing this sterile programme now published gives me considerable consolation that I did not subscribe to the guided group tour from the US to the beatification that is organized by the Cardinal Newman Society here in the States. But that is all the solace it provides, considering next year's intended European holiday (including time in England/Scotland). The state of liturgy in the UK seems about as bad as it is here in the US.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

Martha Bux said...

Maybe this will make shine Jesus shine tolerable?

Domine, lux amoris tuae fulget,
fulgens in medias tenebras;
Jesu, Lux Mundi, nobis adfulge,
libera nos per veritatem quam nunc nobis adfers.
Adfulge mihi, adfulge.
Fulge, Jesu, fulge. Hanc terram gloria Patris imple.
Arde, Spiritus, arde. Corda nostra accende.
Flue, Flumen, flue gratia et misericordia gentes inunda.
Domine, emitte verbum tuum et fiat lux.

2 Domine, veni ex tenebris in conspectum
numinosum tuumet in lucem tuam.
Per sanguinem licet mihi ut splendorem tuum intrem.
Me perscrutare, me tempta, tenebras meas totas consume.
Adfulge mihi, adfulge.
Fulge, Jesu, fulge. &c..

2 Sicut splendorem regalem tuum contemplamur,
sic vultus nostri exhibeant imaginem tuam,
gloriam gloria mutantes,
vitae nostrae acta tua, hic reddita, narrent.
Adfulge mihi, adfulge.
Fulge, Jesu, fulge. &c..