James MacMillan on Catholic Christmas music.

and a few other things, on the drive-by (re percussion soloists Evelyn Glennie and Colin Currie, “Why do we Scots like hitting things?”) It’s an incredibly clear-sighted piece, both about the cultural rot of the season and the Church’s response to it. I look forward to more seasonal music by this master, though I suspect he’ll do better for Advent than Christmas. People don’t like doing the dark side of Christmas, thinking that The Word Become Meat was cold, crying, hungry, wetting his swaddling cloths. We like soft and luminous for Christmas Eve, something I don’t so much associate with MacMillan. But Advent is about looking for Christ’s coming, and which coming isn’t specified.

This was linked from New Liturgical Movement, which elsewhere beats the drum about the Grail Psalms and England’s “samizdat psalms” movement. I would dearly like to see a Catholic judge get a copyright case around these texts. He’d have to find the party guilty; the law is the law, after all. But disappointingly small monetary damages and a lecture about simony and about bringing religious disputes before civl authority might just wake a few people up.


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