Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments: May 2009 Archives

Damian Thompson's blog entry the other day on trendy liturgical music is right on but I can only bring myself to say, no kidding. Saying that the "liturgists" have made our liturgical life a laughing-stock is correct but it's clearly an understatement and patently too polite. In my mind the poor state of the Liturgy has driven more people away than we care to admit.

Here Thompson is relating to us the reflection (informed judgement) of James Macmillian to the new Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols. MacMillan is considered Britain's "best" liturgical musician alive. His insight is nothing new and in fact doesn't go far enough. People of reasonable intelligence and liturgical sensibility think --not feel-- that the state of the Liturgy today, particularly in parishes, is rather rotten to the core. Little of the liturgical music we get today is beautiful, true and good.

Hence, I think we live with horrid agenda-driven sense of the sacred Liturgy which praises humanity more than the divinity, especially when it comes too music because we don't know any better plus we've been beaten down by the ecclesiastical establishment who want no controversy. Add to this the vapid liturgical formation purported to be the mind of Vatican II and current scholarship. I'd like to hear, just once from the pastoral musician crowd, that they've only been serving pablum since the end of the Holy Synod in 1965. The experience of the Liturgy is more often than not off-putting and too often trite. AND we wonder why many abandon the Catholic faith.
Adé Béthune.jpg

Today is the 7th anniversary of death of Adé Béthune, a renowned artist and liturgical scholar of Newport, Rhode Island. Much of her influence was known through the Saint Leo League --an organization to assist the laity and the clergy to live the sacred Liturgy more fully. Out of the Saint Leo League came the publication, Sacred Signs, which published a quarterly review of articles on the liturgical arts (iconography, book reviews, articles, parish helps, museum notes; Sacred Signs is timely now as it was when still in print. She had a passion for liturgical art and sacred music, especially Gregorian Chant.

Adé was an Oblate of Saint Benedict of the Abbey of Saint Gregory the Great - Portsmouth, where she is buried in the abbey cemetery. When I was at the abbey recently I made a special point in visiting her grave to offer a prayer for her.

The collection of her artist work and intellectual work is held at The College of Saint Catherine (St. Paul, MN).

You can read the Catholic Worker obit for Adé and the Time Magazine piece on Adé's work in 1962.

May she rest in peace.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



Humanities Blog Directory

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments category from May 2009.

Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments: February 2009 is the previous archive.

Sacred Liturgy & Sacraments: June 2009 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.