Author Topic: Mixed choirs  (Read 7781 times)

Offline Julian

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Mixed choirs
« on: April 22, 2017, 01:07:34 PM »
Hello. This is my first post here. I wanted to talk to someone about mixed choirs at the Traditional Latin Mass. This has caused me a great deal of confusion and has done for the past 8 months at least. Essentially I don't understand why it seems a great many traditional Sung Latin Masses (whether diocesan or SSPX) have mixed choirs, when until just a few years before the Council, they were completely forbidden in the Church. Whenever high voices were desired, little boys were recruited, and the practice of boys singing with the monks was a constant practice that goes back at least to the 4th century. Even though women had always been certainly more competent and capable of singing than boys would have been, still only boys and men were permitted.

To me, it seems completely hypocritical to suggest that servers at the altar must be males because it is a clerical role, when this was said precisely for choristers, yet is scarcely practiced amongst traditional Catholics these days. Surely "altar boys" and "choir boys" both go hand-in-hand? Is it surprising that girls flooded onto the altar as "altar boys", less than 20 years after Pius XII, influenced no doubt by Bugnini, allowed a loophole for girls to sing with the choir, in an emergency when there were no boys to be found to sing? This is in direct contradiction with what St Pius X mandated in his motu proprio Tra le Sollecitudini, in continuity with the entire tradition of the Church.

But if traditional Catholic priests could find no altar boys, would they let girls be altar boys at the TLM, in an emergency? No. There's seems to be so much confusion and disorder here, sadly a fruit of the incredibly confusing times in which we live.

In situations where there were not enough clerics to fulfill these roles, they were permitted to be taken up by laymen, perhaps in the hope these men might themselves become clerics. It is widely recognised that altar serving is prime fruit for the cultivation of vocations to the priesthood, but is forgotten that singing in the choir and acquainting oneself with the liturgical texts had also fostered very large numbers of vocations.

Admitting girls to be "altar boys" simply led to the annihilation of vocations, and continuing to admit girl "choir boys" also destroys vocations because of the importance for men to become familiar with the liturgical chant. It also ruins the camaraderie that males have. Men tend to like talking to groups of men. Women tend to like talking to groups of women. Forcing them both together for a solemn duty in Church, makes both uncomfortable. Alas, this is just a fact of human nature.

I could go on with so many reasons why to me it seems like so obviously a bad idea. This is not to be confrontational but to ask, in all sincerity, why this is such a common practice and why so few seem to see what to me seems very obvious. I have spoken to a head SSPX priest where I live and the head of a local Indult TLM organisation about this issue and they both agreed with me but seem hesitant to want to do anything about this. Perhaps it is the fear of saying "no" to people.

Do you agree with me? I just want to help the Church and labour to save souls, particularly my own, in this one short life I have. God bless. Julian.
 
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Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 01:23:41 PM »
Altar girls did not annihilate vocations.  You're better off avoiding dumb rhetoric.

Next, it's mostly a practical thing, in my experience.  Men have avoided doing the heavy lifting in the churches for quite some time now.  Women will fill in the gaps.  Not surprising.


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Offline Graham

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 01:31:59 PM »
I think you're bang on. As for why, it's a combination of entrenched habits and structures (even from well before V2, if we're honest), feminist attitudes and interpretation of documents, and basically a lot of people just thinking this stuff is comparatively unimportant.

If you (anyone) want to change it, be ambitious but strategic and patient, and above all be more skilled and knowledgeable and organized and hardworking than your opposition. Put the time in and prove yourself. Don't think you can march in, point to a church document, and overthrow the existing mixed choir where, to be fair, some women have invested a lot of time and effort and deserve respect even if they aren't conformed to the letter of the law.

 

Offline Julian

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2017, 01:58:13 PM »
We are only friends here. I am just trying to help the Church in its sore hour of need, and I hope you are too. Having personally grown up as an altar boy having to serve with girls, they sadly ruin the purity of many of the altar boys. Bl. Jacinta of Fatima said "priests must be pure, very pure", and altar girls ruins this for potential seminarians, even priests themselves. Many of the people I used to altar serve with at the NO, no longer even go to Church. This may be for a variety of reasons, but certainly forcing especially adolescent teen males to be around adolescent teen females is a recipe for all sorts of spiritual disorders, even for the congregation, who will have their eyes constantly drawn to young females at the altar. The Popes of the past full well knew this and just forbade it.

I mean. I assume you are against altar girls? I thought this was a traditional Catholic forum. Your last paragraph could equally be said in support of "altar girls", "female priests" and other abominations of these sorts. Should "women fill in the gaps" where there is a shortage of servers, or priests? This is the inherent contradiction that roots in the mind of those ideologically committed to being OK with females in the choir. I assume that post was made in haste and I wish to discuss this in all charity and patience.
 

Offline Julian

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2017, 02:36:02 PM »
Yes Graham. Much patience is required these days when talking about the Church. It is still a great blessing to even have the Faith and to be able to attend a TLM. I too have no disrespect to females who sing at TLMs, many of whom can sing well and want things in the Church to improve. But the traditions of the Church are what they are, and they are what nurtured and cultivated the great Saints of history, both male and female. This seems to basically be a dead end for many traditional Catholics. Either they insist on male choirs or they will probably end up caving in to girl altar boys. It seems to much of a contradiction to last. My personal opinion is that mixed choirs is as close as it can get to a liturgical abuse for the TLM. Your advice is helpful.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 02:43:25 PM by Julian »
 

Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2017, 03:50:41 PM »
We are only friends here. I am just trying to help the Church in its sore hour of need, and I hope you are too.

Duh?  I only run the forum and am involved with the local church. 

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Having personally grown up as an altar boy having to serve with girls, they sadly ruin the purity of many of the altar boys.

What?  Just... what?  You need your head examined then.  How did the girls dressed in floor-length white robes 'ruin the purity' of the altar boys? 

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Bl. Jacinta of Fatima said "priests must be pure, very pure", and altar girls ruins this for potential seminarians, even priests themselves.

No duh priests must be pure.  Pretty straightforward.  Altar girls don't ruin purity, though.  Unless you're some kind of deviant, I guess?  And if PRIESTS are "having their purity ruined" by altar girls, holy cow he shouldn't have been ordained.  (Maybe the women altar servers by you are all 20-something smokeshows, but whenever I've seen a NO have girl altar servers, it's usually either retiree women or children.)

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Many of the people I used to altar serve with at the NO, no longer even go to Church. This may be for a variety of reasons, but certainly forcing especially adolescent teen males to be around adolescent teen females is a recipe for all sorts of spiritual disorders, even for the congregation, who will have their eyes constantly drawn to young females at the altar.

Maybe them not going to church is a function of serving with you.  :^) 

You honestly sound like you have some sort of sexual problem.

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The Popes of the past full well knew this and just forbade it.

So, were women forbidden from the altar because men couldn't help but check out the altar girls, or is it because altar serving is a task designed for clerics? 

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I mean. I assume you are against altar girls?

Yeah.  I'm also against altar boys.   ;D 

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I thought this was a traditional Catholic forum.

Oh gosh, one of you people.  "Someone expressed anything but full support for my opinion and now this whole forum isn't even a tradCath forum.  Do you even trad'dom?"  Please.  Registered a few weeks ago, 2nd post is questioning this being a traddy forum.  C'mon.

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Your last paragraph could equally be said in support of "altar girls", "female priests" and other abominations of these sorts.

I mean, not really?  One, in the last couple decades, has been reduced to a purely functionary level.  This is what happens when you reduce things down to just the laity.  Whereas there's a pretty clear divine dictation that womynprysts aren't allowed.  Your rhetoric is lazy and sloppy. 

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Should "women fill in the gaps" where there is a shortage of servers, or priests? This is the inherent contradiction that roots in the mind of those ideologically committed to being OK with females in the choir.

So a server is at the level of a priest now?  C'mon.  Now, if you wanna start saying that the minor orders should be restored, and liturgical servers should be clerics again, I can get on behind that.  (But then you'll have to reduce/get rid of muh altar boys and muh future seminarians).  But that's not really what you seem to be saying. 

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I assume that post was made in haste

It wasn't. 

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and I wish to discuss this in all charity and patience.

I doubt that.
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Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2017, 03:54:36 PM »
Yes Graham. Much patience is required these days when talking about the Church. It is still a great blessing to even have the Faith and to be able to attend a TLM. I too have no disrespect to females who sing at TLMs, many of whom can sing well and want things in the Church to improve. But the traditions of the Church are what they are, and they are what nurtured and cultivated the great Saints of history, both male and female. This seems to basically be a dead end for many traditional Catholics. Either they insist on male choirs or they will probably end up caving in to girl altar boys. It seems to much of a contradiction to last. My personal opinion is that mixed choirs is as close as it can get to a liturgical abuse for the TLM. Your advice is helpful.

Does the bolded imply that you can't abuse the TLM?  O.o
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Offline Maximilian

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2017, 04:27:41 PM »
Hello. This is my first post here.

Started off with a bang.


 This is not to be confrontational but to ask, in all sincerity, why this is such a common practice

Influence of Protestantism. Does a 90% female choir at a TLM look any different from the similar choir at your local protestant denomination? Well I guess today's TLM choir looks just like a Protestant choir from the first half of the 20th century, so we're behind the times but catching up.


Do you agree with me?

Yes, absolutely.
 

Offline Maximilian

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2017, 04:30:41 PM »

Altar girls did not annihilate vocations.  You're better off avoiding dumb rhetoric.

Really? I would call that simply stating the obvious.


Next, it's mostly a practical thing, in my experience.  Men have avoided doing the heavy lifting in the churches for quite some time now.  Women will fill in the gaps.  Not surprising.

I think you have reversed the chicken and the egg. Men have been driven out of the churches for many decades now. Once something becomes a female thing, then men and boys will refuse to have anything to do with it. So once you allow females into the choir, then men will flee. And it will become a totally different thing than what it used to be.
 
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Offline Kaesekopf

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2017, 04:45:00 PM »

Altar girls did not annihilate vocations.  You're better off avoiding dumb rhetoric.

Really? I would call that simply stating the obvious.

Really?  You wouldn't blame things like rampant Modernism, vocation directors/seminary rectors/bishops rejecting orthodox men from seminary, those same letting the queers have a free-for-all, or a hatred for tradition, but rather altar girls for annihilating vocations?  O.o  In the hierarchy of "this causes a problem", "girls at the altar" pales!

Quote

Next, it's mostly a practical thing, in my experience.  Men have avoided doing the heavy lifting in the churches for quite some time now.  Women will fill in the gaps.  Not surprising.

I think you have reversed the chicken and the egg. Men have been driven out of the churches for many decades now. Once something becomes a female thing, then men and boys will refuse to have anything to do with it. So once you allow females into the choir, then men will flee. And it will become a totally different thing than what it used to be.

Men have been driven out only insofar as they're willing to be driven out.  The Church was run and is still run exclusively by men.  You can't tell me it's the fault of women.  Makes no sense. 
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 04:50:25 PM by Kaesekopf »
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Offline Jayne

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2017, 04:51:39 PM »
Do you agree with me? I just want to help the Church and labour to save souls, particularly my own, in this one short life I have. God bless. Julian.

I agree with you that there should not be mixed choirs.  I do not, however, feel as strongly about the issue as you seem to.  I have no problem understanding why priests would not make this their top priority among all the needs in the Church right now.  I wouldn't either.

Perhaps the sense of urgency that you appear to be experiencing around this issue is a sign that you are being called to take some sort of action.  I think you will be disappointed if you expect all trads to share in your feelings about this.  People, even those who agree with you, are going to choose their battles.  They may make different choices than your own.
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Offline Graham

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2017, 04:52:21 PM »
Admitting girls to be "altar boys" simply led to the annihilation of vocations

It could be read to mean that altar girls are the sole cause of vocations falling off a cliff, but I doubt it was intended to mean that. Let's say it contributed.
 

Offline Maximilian

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2017, 05:18:21 PM »

Altar girls did not annihilate vocations.  You're better off avoiding dumb rhetoric.

Really? I would call that simply stating the obvious.

Really?  You wouldn't blame things like rampant Modernism, vocation directors/seminary rectors/bishops rejecting orthodox men from seminary, those same letting the queers have a free-for-all, or a hatred for tradition, but rather altar girls for annihilating vocations?  O.o  In the hierarchy of "this causes a problem", "girls at the altar" pales!

You can start your own thread to talk about the role played by "rampant Modernism, vocation directors/seminary rectors/bishops rejecting orthodox men from seminary" in reducing vocations. I'm sure they played a part. But this thread is about females participating in clerical roles. That also played a part, a very major part. Look at the protestant churches with female pastors. No self-respecting male would even set foot in the building. The conciliar church is following that trend not only with altar girls and female choirs, but with female "pastoral administrators."

Once men decide that something is a female activity, participation by males rapidly drops to zero. Consider the example of cheerleaders. Once they were all men. Then females were introduced. Now it is a virtually all female activity.

The same is true even of names. "Lesley" used to be a man's name not that long ago. It's hard to imagine naming a boy "Lesley" today.
 
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Offline Maximilian

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2017, 05:32:03 PM »

 I have no problem understanding why priests would not make this their top priority among all the needs in the Church right now.  I wouldn't either.

I think that is a mistake. Female choirs drive men out of the church. I see it happening at the two traditional parishes that I attend. A pastor who thinks this isn't a serious issue will not be able to understand why his parish never grows.

The above is a practical consideration, but there are also more fundamental reasons why this is not a peripheral issue.

1. The teaching of Pope St. Pius X. All traditional parishes with female choirs are violating the teachings established in Tra le sollecitudini. Every violation of such traditional norms seems like a small thing at first. They never appear big enough to be worth fighting about. But ultimately they lead to the death of the enterprise.

2. A restoration of true traditional Catholicism would not look like the failed experiments of the 1950's, but rather like the vigorous, virile religion of the middle ages, a time when you had thousands of men in monasteries all across Europe chanting the liturgy of the hours and further thousands of men performing the world's most beautiful music in hundreds more cathedrals. This was a serious activity and a true profession, in addition to being a vocation. As long as we are satisfied with amateur choirs of parish females singing vernacular hymns during Mass, we are not making any progress in returning to a traditional Catholic practice.
 
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Mixed choirs
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2017, 06:06:20 PM »
I could be completely wrong here (because I'll admit I don't know anything about it), but I'm under the impression that women are only forbidden from singing the propers and the versicles (because the propers and the versicles are priestly, thus on a higher level liturgically and reserved for the schola). But the hymns and the responses are to be sung by the congregation, and the women are part of the congregation, so I don't see why it's not ok?

edit - I'm also under the impression that women are allowed to sing even the propers when the occasion calls for it. I was once at a SSPX Mass and the nuns sang the propers and I think the versicles (not sure why... I guess the schola couldn't do it that day for some reason). I asked a priest about it afterwards, and (if I understood him correctly) he told me that the reason that the nuns were allowed to do that is because the singing isn't strictly a "liturgical" function so it's not forbidden. (He did say that the nuns would not have been allowed to serve the Mass as servers, since hat is strictly liturgical and is forbidden.)
« Last Edit: April 22, 2017, 06:17:25 PM by Daniel »