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Online Edition:
October 2012
Vol. XVIII, No. 7

News and Views

Conference Explores What Makes "Sacred Music" Sacred | Liturgical Institute's Church Architecture Workshop | Cardinal Burke: Liturgy, Law, and the New Evangelization

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Conference Explores What Makes “Sacred Music” Sacred

“Sacred music has many meanings to different people, intrinsically, and depending on the context of creation and performance. What makes ‘sacred music’ sacred?” A conference, “James MacMillan and the Musical Modes of Mary and the Cross”, sponsored by the Notre Dame Department of Theology, focused on this question. The conference, held September 13, 14, and 15, offered “three days of creativity, connection, celebration and debate around the issues surrounding the creation and perform- ance of sacred music.”

The festival conference featured composer and guest lecturer James MacMillan, in residence to attend the premiere of his new motet, Cum vidisset Jesus [When Jesus had seen His mother], with a panel of other distinguished composers, conductors, and scholars.

Other questions the musicians considered: How do we engage our congregations into performances that unite us in service but are also beautiful and uplifting to all? How do we communicate through music to any audience the spiritual values we treasure? Is the decline of sacred music in certain congregations a result of financial stress or lack of musical education? Can the training of children in sacred music works assist in saving classical music and the arts in general in our society?

Information: theology.nd.edu/graduate -programs/master-of-sacred-music/conference-mary-and-the-cross

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Liturgical Institute’s Church Architecture Workshop

The Liturgical Institute at Chicago’s Mundelein seminary is presenting a conference October 25-26 on “The Glory of Catholic Architecture: Renewing Tradition, Engaging the Heavenly.” The conference will be held at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake Conference Center, Mundelein, Illinois.

Speakers include leading theologians, architects, and artists, most of whom are familiar to AB readers for their works on Church architecture that have been featured in these pages.

Father Uwe Michael Lang, a priest of the London Oratory, noted scholar, and author of Turning Towards the Lord and The Voice of the Church at Prayer, will present the keynote address, “What Makes Architecture Sacred?”

Denis McNamara, author of three books on Catholic church architecture and a faculty member at Mundelein’s Liturgical Institute, specializes in the intersection of sacramental and biblical theology with new church design. He will address the group on “Church Architecture as Heaven on Earth: 2002-2012.”

Duncan Stroik, of the Notre Dame University School of Architecture and principal of Stroik Architects, is well known for his designs for several of the nation’s largest “new classical” churches. His address is titled “Process, Problems, and Progress: Building a New Church.”

Jeff Greene, of Evergreene Architectural Arts, an expert in traditional techniques for murals and decorative finishes, will speak on “Ornamental Painting in Churches: Artistic & Theological Possibilities.” His firm recently completed the renovation of Baltimore’s historic Basilica of the Assumption.

A “Live Design Clinic” will include projects submitted by conference participants, whose photos and drawings of churches needing renovation, preliminary designs for new churches, or site plans will serve as a starting point for design development by architects who will give parishes and building committees design ideas for their churches. The clinic will be directed by David Meleca, an award-wining architect who specializes in traditional design, and James McCrery, of McCrery Architects in Washington, DC, also a leader in classical ecclesiastical design.

For more information contact: Barbara Nield, phone: 847.837.4542 e-mail: litinst @usml.edu; or visit the conference web site: usml.edu/liturgicalinstitute/conferences/architecture%202012/architecture%202012%20home%20.htm.

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Cardinal Burke: Liturgy, Law, and the New Evangelization

In an address at the convention of the Canon Law Society of Kenya, Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, stressed the necessary connection of the “new evangelization” with the justice embodied within the Church’s canon law. His address, “Canon Law at the Service of Justice and Freedom in the Church as the People of God,” took place in Nairobi on August 28, as reported by Zenit news agency August 31.

The cardinal’s address focused on Church’s canonical discipline and its “irreplaceable role in the work of the new evangelization” within a secularized culture.

Liturgical law, Cardinal Burke said, “must enjoy the primacy among canonical norms, for it safeguards the most sacred realities in the Church.

“It is interesting to note,” he continued, “that in his first Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis, Blessed Pope John Paul II confronted the abuse of general confession and general absolution, of the essentially personal encounter with Christ in the Sacrament of Penance, reminding us both of the right of the penitent to such an encounter and the right of Christ Himself, and that, in his last Encyclical Letter, Ecclesia de Eucharistia, he urgently addressed abuses of the Church’s discipline regarding the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

“In Ecclesia de Eucharistia, [Pope John Paul] declared:

I consider it my duty, therefore, to appeal urgently that the liturgical norms for the celebration of the Eucharist be observed with great fidelity. These norms are a concrete expression of the authentically ecclesial nature of the Eucharist; this is their deepest meaning. Liturgy is never anyone’s private property, be it of the celebrant or of the community in which the mysteries are celebrated. The Apostle Paul had to address fiery words to the community of Corinth because of grave shortcomings in their celebration of the Eucharist resulting in divisions (schismata) and the emergence of factions (haereses) (cf. I Cor 11:17-34). Our time, too, calls for a renewed awareness and appreciation of liturgical norms as a reflection of, and a witness to, the one universal Church made present in every celebration of the Eucharist. Priests who faithfully celebrate Mass according to the liturgical norms, and communities which conform to those norms, quietly but eloquently demonstrate their love for the Church. [EE §52]

“As is always the case, knowledge and observance of canonical discipline frees us from the false impression that we must make the Sacred Liturgy interesting or stamp it with our personality,” Cardinal Burke emphasized; and this also “frees us to be the instruments by which the presence of Christ, the Good Shepherd, among His people is rendered more visible, and the action of the Sacred Liturgy bears His stamp alone.”

Cardinal Burke said a version of his address will be published in The Jurist, the canon law journal published by the School of Canon Law at the Catholic University of America.

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