Saturday, 14 February 2015

Fr Joseph Gelineau, SJ

I was struck by the quotation here of Fr Gelineau's words, some of which I had seen before. I was aware that he had said that the Roman Rite had been destroyed. I was not aware that he had said that the Liturgy was a permanent workshop (or possibly as my friend Ttony has pointed out, 'studio', if the French word used were atelier.)

But the quotation touched on something Ttony and I have discussed, which made me draw him to Ttony's attention on Twitter (@themunimentroom, of the excellent blog of that name).

I should know better. Ttony's response was to suggest that I look him up in Bugnini's index. That seemed a good idea: apart from that quotation, all I knew of him was his psalmody. So what was his role in the Reform (sic) of the Liturgy? 

As the family were all out this morning, and after walking the dog, of course, I sat down with Bugnini.  Here are the fruits of my labours. There are 14 references to Fr Gélineau (sic) in Bugnini's index.
1  Director of Song (sic) at the first outing in French (in private, as a trial) of the new Ordo Missae   (Oct 22, 1965) (p152) 
2 Paper at Conference of Translators of Liturgical Books (November 9 - 13 1965) ‘seventeen papers by great masters of the international liturgical world, among them Martimort, Pascher, Matéos, Tilmann, Bruylants, Roguet, and Gélineau (sic).’ (p221) 
3 Member of Group 10 of the Consilium (as expanded in 1967), studying the Order Of Mass (p337) 
4 A member of a group convened to refute the Pope’s wishes about the new rite of the Mass. ‘The whole matter caused some dismay, since the Pope seemed to be limiting the Consilium’s freedom of research by using his authority to impose solutions. Least convinced of all were the experts, who saw not a few difficulties in reducing the Pope’s wishes to practice. A special committee of Fathers and consulters was elected’ - including Gelineau as an expert  (1968). The politics of this are not quite clear, but Bugnini adds a footnote: ‘It seems that the special committee appointed by the Consilium was the result of a “secret” agreement reached at a limited gathering of German and French periti (experts) at the French College on April 23.’ (p370) 
5 Relator for the sub-committee of Group 10 convened to ‘deal with’ Eucharistic Prayer IV. (?1966)  (p450, note) 
6 Member of the special study group convened (1971) to look at the problem of widespread use of unauthorised Eucharistic Prayers. Charged with looking specifically at ‘forms of congregational participation.’ (p467 notes) 
7 Member of the study group set up (1973) to compose Eucharistic Prayers for Children. (p478 note) 
8 Key member of the Eucharistic Prayers for Children group: ‘The third meeting was attended only by the men chiefly responsible for the redaction of the prayers (Fischer, Gélineau (sic), Rennings and Rimaud), the observers…’ (1974) (p479) 
9 Member of the group (12bis) set up to look at the intercessions in Lauds and Vespers (1967) with subsequent responsibility for composing intercessions for Advent, along with Patino. (p556 notes) 
10 Member of Universa Laus, ‘an International Study Group on Song and Music in the Liturgy, …founded at Lugano in April 1966.’  There was some controversy about whether the (self-established) Universa Laus was encroaching on the work proper to the Holy See’s Consociato Internationalis Musicae Sacrae. Bugnini is clearly on the side of Universa Laus. ‘The Consilium… urged that there should be no misconception of what Universa Laus was doing; at the same time it advised that the position and the competencies of the Consociato be clearly stated. These two goals were accomplished through communications between Monsignor Overath on behalf of the Consociato and from Father J. Gélineau (sic) on behalf of Universa Laus.' (p889) 
11 One of the experts consulted about the Instruction on Sacred Music in 1965 (p901 note) 
12 He is mentioned the controversy surrounding the Instruction on Sacred Music (1966): ‘The emphasis is on the Consilium not having followed the Pope’s instructions, whereas the musicians did follow them. Father Gélineau (sic) is twice attacked, on the grounds that some points in the instruction depended on his ideas, as though the document was aiming to canonize these ideas.’ (p910 note) 
13 Member of the study group convened (1973) to ‘lend its assistance in matters liturgical to the Central Commission for the Holy Year’ which was to be celebrated in 1974-1975 (p924) 
14 Listed as a Consultor to the Consilium in the Appendix (p946)
Fr Gelineau died in 2008: Requiescat in pace.

Had one time enough, (and need of great penance) it would be interesting to do the same exercise for some of the other experts...

However, it did make me think that for Lent I should resume reading my Bugnini and recording my impressions as I go. I have had a bit of a break, but Lent seems a good time to resume.

So thanks, in the sincerest possible way, to Ttony for that...

UPDATE (updated)

According to Paul Inwood, here, there is no accent on the e in Gelineau's name. I was led astray by Bugnini (with thanks to Lazurus for pointing out the Inwood tribute). I have now corrected this, except where I am directly quoting Bugnini.


Ttony said...

You are, of course, very welcome.

There are two or three things to take from this. First, as I tweeted, that Gelineau was an apparatchick, rather than an ideologue, of the reform movement.

Second, as we might have surmised, he was in the thick of composing his vernacular psalmody long before it would be licit liturgically. (This is a sign that what we might think of or call Bugnini's reform was well under way in the time of Pius XII.)

Third, when Paul VI disagreed with the reformers, they weren't afraid to stand up to him: they obviously confined their belief in his infallibility to matters of faith and morals.

What we need (and no, I'm not volunteering) is a history of what was going on post-WWII beneath the level of the things that D Alcuin Reid highlights in his Organic Development. Who was being encouraged by whom to experiment and innovate in the Liturgy below the Roman radar?

Ben Trovato said...

Yes, that would be a very interesting and instructive study. Who might do it? And how?

Ben Trovato said...

Here's a potential source of information for that study of yours, Ttony:

Ttony said...

I've just dipped in but have found an excuse: don't forget I've already got "Bad" Marini for Lent.

His view on the Jan 1968 episode referred to in Bugnini's footnote 4 above:

"This was the beginning of the not always unanimous dialogue between the Pope and the Consilium that would eventually lead to the promulgation of the new Ordo Missae in 1969."

(It really is worth reading pp 369-372, making sure not to skip the footnotes.)

Lazarus said...

My own hunch here is that it is part of the same wave as nouvelle theologie and ressourcement. Once you get it into your head that we need to cleanse off the accretions and get back to some primaeval purity, two things have happened. First, you expect radical change to result. Secondly, you have created a blank historical canvas on which you can project your modern fantasies. I'd only add that I don't think this impulse is wholly bad: it just needs a measure of humility and wisdom which is quite difficult to find.