Music in Latin and such...

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by ScottEmerson, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    One of my favorite composers of today's era is Morten Lauridsen. His music is amazing! I would love so much to hear his songs being sung at church. However, his music is in Latin, French, and so on. What are y'all's (that's how we say it in Florida, you know) feelings about singing hymns and special music in languages other than English?
     
  2. DanielFive

    DanielFive
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott, do you speak in tongues. Tell me you are not seriously suggesting that we should have singing in a foreign language within our church services. Please :confused:
     
  3. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/jrhodes.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Messages:
    3,944
    Likes Received:
    0
    LATIN TEXT
    O magnum mysterium
    et admirabile sacramentum,
    ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
    jacentem in præsepio.
    Beata virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt
    portare Dominum Christum, Alleluia!

    ENGLISH TRANSLATION:
    O great mystery
    and awe-inspiring sacrament,
    that animals would see the
    newborn Jesus sleeping in their trough.
    Blessed be the Virgin Mary,
    whose loins were worthy to bear Christ the Lord,
    Alleluia.


    Scott, I LOVE MORTEN LAURIDSEN'S MUSIC! It's incredible in a way that is so unlike much of the 20th-21st Century classical music. Some of the most wonderful worship songs that have ever been written were in the first centuries of church music... and all for the longest time were written in Latin (the language of the church.)

    As much as I would like to use some of this music with my choir, much of it is technically very difficult, even without the language barrier. So unfortunately, I don't see a time in the near future when I could see Faure's Requiem done in my Baptist church.

    As far as it being "tongues" or inappropriate, I find this a narrow-minded view. I believe that many alternative communication could be used in a worship setting, if proper translation was given for those who don't understand. Some of the most reverent and worshipful times I have had in worship were to a hymn or worship song or CCM song sung and signed at the same moment.

    Scott, I have Morten Lauridsen's Los Angeles Symphony Chorus CD with everything he had written up to that time... including "O magnum mysterium". Not only is it astounding music, but I feel that the composer's heart is evident in the chords and phrases.

    Thanks for bringing him up! I didn't know anyone else loved his music like I do. Just my humble opinion. [​IMG]

    In His Grip,
    joshua
     
  4. Mike McK

    Mike McK
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    6,630
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've never heard of him, Scott. What kind of music is it?

    I think singing in other languages is great.

    Here in the greater Phildelphia area, we have a lot of non-English speakers in our community. This includes in our churches.

    Because Enda is not from here, he may not realize how big an issue this is in urban areas.

    We have a Baptist church here that caters to the Spanish speaking community, one for Ukranians speakers (we have a lot of Ukranian refugees here) and one for Koreans.


    I've only had two semesters of Spanish, but it's been my great pleasure to have the chance to speak to people about el amor y la tolerancia de nuestro Señor Jesús Cristo in their own tongue.

    I even got to sing "Amor Conquista Todos" in Spanish for a Spanish speaking congregation (they were very gracious about my lousy Spanish, by the way).

    I think it's a great idea and, as more and more non-English speaking immigrants come here, we're only going to see more and more of it.
     
  5. DanielFive

    DanielFive
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    0
    Fair enough point, I have no objection to immigrants singing in their own language. I wouldn't imagine though that there would be many Latin speakers wondering into the church unless you get a bus load of disallusioned priests. [​IMG]
     
  6. Mike McK

    Mike McK
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    6,630
    Likes Received:
    0
    God bless you, Enda.

    I'm praying for you.
     
  7. DanielFive

    DanielFive
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mike, that was an honest attempt at humour, i'm not being provocative here. Please, for the sake of other people reading this just try to exercise a little charity. You truly grieve the Spirit. [​IMG]

    Joshua,

    I take your point about people being told the meaning of the lyrics, which is vital I would say. But I'm sure you know that I am opposed special singing by conviction. I believe that everyone should partake in the worship and honestly believe that this can only occur in congregational singing.

    I would also suggest that the lyric you quoted has a very Roman Catholic sound to it. Is it a Catholic song?
     
  8. Mike McK

    Mike McK
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2001
    Messages:
    6,630
    Likes Received:
    0
    :confused:

    I'm deeply sorry if anything I've said here has offended you.

    The Bible says to pray for one another and I'm praying for you.

    All I meant to do was offer an encouraging word to let you know that I was praying for you but I apologize if it came across differently.
     
  9. DanielFive

    DanielFive
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    0
    I appreciate that, lets move on.
     
  10. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agreed. Morten Lauridsen is absolutely amazing. He comes up with harmonies that sound brand new, even with such a classical feel.

    The year after I left Samford, the A Capella Choir did several of Lauridsen's work. My senior year, I was stuck singing Bach's "Singet Dem Herrn," and some pieces from Christensen (from St. Olaf's collection). Half of our presentation were spirituals, including several pieces from Moses Hogan. These are the songs we sang in worship when we went on a mission trip/tour in Germany, when we weren't working with the kids.

    Agreed wholeheartedly. In fact, I know some students who hear words like "bulwark" in certain hymns and can still worship, even though he or she knows a little about what it means. Songs in Latin or Greek or whatever can also be used to glorify God - after all, he knows what the words mean, right?

    I really need to find and invest in some of his CD's. I've got the ones that have been recorded by the group at my school, and I'd love to hear more. You also may want to check out the version of his "Dirait-on" performed by the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet (I believe that's the group.) Simply amazing.

    He is awesome. I wish that our church was able to do it as well - perhaps if we found a group of 20 or so (We have about 250 in choir) who really could read and perform music, we could do a small group.

    I'm listening to Lauridsen again - now I'm in the mood!
     
  11. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2000
    Messages:
    29,402
    Likes Received:
    12
    One Sunday a month I put Latin words to a song or hymn in the bulletin. I was AMAZED at the number of people who KNEW Latin - really blessed by High Schoolers who worked on it throughout the service!

    Panis angelicus fit panis hominum; dat panis coelicus figures terminum. O res riabilis! Manducat Dominum pauper, pauper, servus et humilis.

    (Heavenly bread that becomes the bread for all mankind; bread from the angelic host that is the end of all imagining. Oh, miraculous thing! The Son of God will nourish even the poorest, the most humble of servants. – Latin Hymn AD 680)
     
  12. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've never spoken in tongues. My late grandfather did, though. Twice. Both times were when he was in prayer. He prayed more than anyone I knew. Twice, he began speaking words that he honestly didn't know what they meant. He said that he felt the presence of the Holy Spirit quite strongly. My grandfather is from a Presbyterian background before becoming Baptist, and even had a personal copy of "Why Tongues Ceased." Needless to say, after his experience, he threw the book away.

    That said, God understands the words. I do believe that singing the ancient hymns, such as "Mighty Fortress Is Our God" in the original German, can be a great way to worship Christ, as well as appreciating the heritage of our faith.
     
  13. Sherrie

    Sherrie
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    10,274
    Likes Received:
    0
    I do not mean to sound mean here, so forgive me if it comes out that way.

    But isn't it much simplier to worship and sing praises to God in our native tongues (Languages), So that all can sing and know what they are singing.

    When I am singing to the Lord, I should know what exactly it is I am singing. When I am praying, I should know exactly what it is I am praying. Why add all the complications.

    Jesus spoke easy; simple words. Nothing fancy or showy. God made a way for all men to come to him. Why does man want to complicate, and add confusion to it.

    Sherrie
     
  14. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    3,417
    Likes Received:
    0
    So what if I sing a song in a language that I know? What if I sing a song in which I may not know the language, but I know its translation?
     
  15. Pete

    Pete
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2002
    Messages:
    4,345
    Likes Received:
    0
    Funny story...

    I hit the reply button here, was just about to start typing, then remembered Elisheva Shomron's Kadosh...

    Kadosh kadosh kadosh
    Adonai Elohim tz'va'ot

    Asher hayah
    V'hoveh v'yavo


    I have been debating wether or not to ask Pastor if he thinks it could be added to the "play-list" [​IMG] ...So there goes another smart reply out the window for me huh [​IMG]

    I haven't heard Morten Lauridsen, but if that "Blessed be the Virgin Mary, whose loins were worthy to bear Christ the Lord" translation is accurate I would have to pass on it.

    Pete
     
  16. Sherrie

    Sherrie
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
    Messages:
    10,274
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I sing a song in church...congregational singing...Just because you say this is what it is....I am only singing what I know to be so.

    Ava Maria....its real pretty when you hear it. But when you really know whats going on...it is not pretty. It is not something I would sing to my Father.


    Just because the music leader likes fancy-smancy, and things sound really great, does not always make for a good worship. Singing songs to God is important. It should be from inside you. Not a show.

    If you (not you personaly) like a song that is in a foreign language and you understand it, and you want to sing it, go ahead. But you should not expect others to, just because you said this is so.

    I also could understand a spanish group of people going to church, and the church having spanish songs to sing.

    But I must agree, No one speaking Latin only will be coming.

    God Bless
    Sherrie
     
  17. Joshua Rhodes

    Joshua Rhodes
    Expand Collapse
    <img src=/jrhodes.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Messages:
    3,944
    Likes Received:
    0
    True, it does have a Catholic flavor. That may come from the fact that 1) it's in Latin, and 2) the text is as old as the Gregorian chants of the early church.

    I think one of the "snags" to the Latin, is that so many people are hung up (especially in the Baptist church it seems) about Mary. I believe that Mary was a human being. That she sinned, and that she was (obviously) no longer a virgin after her other children were born.

    BUT... The translation was "Blessed be the Virgin Mary, whose loins were worthy to bear Christ the Lord." I believe this is merely a Scriptural statement, and not a "Catholic" thing or a "non-Catholic" thing.

    "Blessed be the Virgin Mary." Scripture says she was a virgin. (Luke 1:34) Scripture says that she was blessed and highly favored. (Luke 1:28-30, 42) I think the "loins" part makes us uncomfortable, but that may be just a cultural thing.

    As far as singing Latin in church, I think some churches could and do use Latin in church in worship. In fact, my last church had Mozart and William Byrd Latin motets in the choir library! (And no, they were doing these things long before I started serving there... I did not impose my heathenistic classical teaching on these poor, innocent folks HAHA! [​IMG] ) They were quite used to singing classical music, and that included Latin and sometimes German texts. True, not every church is like this, and I would say that this is not the norm by any stretch of the imagination. But that does not make it wrong or inappropriate, just unique. [​IMG]

    Sherrie, it's good to see you back. Come more often!

    In His Grip,
    joshua
     
  18. Ruth

    Ruth
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is some really wonderful music out there that was written by composers whose native language was not English - and we are doing ourselves a great disservice by never using it simply because we don't speak that language! That being said, most of the music under discussion has been translated into English equivalents, which should be acceptable to all but the most rabid of purists. As a singer myself, it is important to me to know what I am singing - I can fake Latin with the best of them, but don't have a clue what it means so I NEED the translations!

    It is very hard for a congregation to follow and sing something in a language they do not know, so for congregational music I really feel that an English translation is crucial. When you are talking about a choir or other vocalists, if a written translation can be easily provided to the listeners then to me it seems acceptable to perform the work in the original language (if you can persuade the singers to learn how to pronounce it correctly - I really despise singing in German, for instance, and can't seem to get it right).

    I occasionally sing "Panis Angelicus", and use an English translation with this wording:

    O Lord most holy;
    O Lord most holy;
    O loving Father, Thee would we be praising always.
    Help us to know Thee, know Thee and love Thee;
    Father, Father, grant us thy truth and grace;
    Father, Father, guide and defend us.
    Rule Thou our wilful hearts,
    Keep Thee our wand'ring thoughts;
    In all our sorrows let us find our rest in Thee;
    And in temptations hour,
    Save through thy mighty pow'r,
    Thine aid O send us;
    Hear us in mercy,
    Show us Thy favor,
    So shall we live, and sing praise to Thee.

    I truly do not know of another song that has lyrics any more appropriate for us to praise our Father. Every time I sing this song, I feel closer to God - and my hope is that this feeling is transmitted to those who are listening.

    Ruth
     
  19. DanielFive

    DanielFive
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joshua, it's not the "loins" part as much as the "worthy" part that makes me uncomfortable. Being RC up until 3 years ago I know what they mean when they say Mary was Blessed/Worthy etc.

    Mary herself said, Luke 1 :48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden...

    I think it is clear that Mary did not consider herself to be worthy of this great honour.

    But I suppose thats a different issue anyway, just thought I'd explain why I brought that up.

    With regars to the music and the language issue the only thing I would add is ....

    1 Cor 14: 14-17

    For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
    What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also.
    Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
    For thou verily giveth thanks well but the other is not edified.

    v 19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

    I'm sorry Joshua but I just cannot see how you can disregard the principle that Paul applies here, never mind accusing me of being narrow minded. I'm not trying to be awkward I just disagree with Scott's proposal and like Sherrie I can't see how worship would be improved in any way other than aesthetically (which is not what God requires of us) by introducing a language which is not understood by the congregation.

    I don't feel I'm being unreasonable here, don't take it personally.

    I'm not accusing anyone of sin here, just asking you to consider the issue from a Scriptural viewpoint rather than just looking at it from an aesthetic perspective. No doubt many of these songs/hymns are beutiful to listen to, I just don't think that is how we are to judge wheather something is appropriate or not.

    Would you agree with any of that?
     
  20. Dale McNamee

    Dale McNamee
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello Everyone!

    My church has done the Durufle',Faure',and Mozart Requiems as part of our Palm Sunday liturgy. The Latin texts are printed in ther bulletin,along with their English translations so that all can follow along. We usually have an orchestra,large SATB choir(50+ voices),and soloists for these services.

    Also,from time to time,our choir will sing some ancient plainchant pieces for the offeratory as well as sacred pieces written by Handel,
    Mendelsohn,Bach,Mozart,etc.

    As for Latin being a "strange tongue",medicine and law use it fairly heavily,as does biology. [​IMG]

    Here are some other Requiems to check out: Brahms,John Rutter's,Andrew Lloyd-Webber's.

    In Christ,
    Dale
     

Share This Page

Loading...