How does the entrance song of the Mass function within the Roman Rite? What can it express theologically? What should Roman Catholics sing at the beginning of Mass? In this groundbreaking study, Jason McFarland answers these and other important questions by exploring the history and theology of the entrance song of Mass.
After a careful history of the entrance song, he investigates its place in church documents. He proposes several models of the entrance song for liturgical celebration today. Finally, he offers a skillful theological analysis of the entrance song genre, focusing on the song for the Holy Thursday Evening Mass-arguably the most important entrance song of the entire liturgical year.
Announcing the Feast provides the most comprehensive treatment of the Roman Rite entrance song to date. It is unique in that it bridges the disciplines of liturgical studies, musicology, and theological method.
Jason J. McFarland is the assistant editor at the Secretariat for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) in Washington, DC. He holds music degrees from the University of South Dakota College of Fine Arts and a PhD in liturgical studies from The Catholic University of America. For many years he has been a member of the professional choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He is a lecturer at The Catholic University of America and a member of several professional organizations, including the North American Academy of Liturgy and the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. His articles and reviews have appeared in Pastoral Music and Catholic Studies.
Carefully researched, clearly articulated and insightfully argued, Announcing the Feast will stand as a major resource for all involved in the study of liturgical music for years to come. A multidisciplinary tour de force. The careful reader will come away with presuppositions challenged, new ideas carefully nuanced and presented and a wealth to bring to the question of `what is next' for the continuing task of implementing the reformed liturgy.
Msgr. Kevin W. Irwin
Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies
The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC
This is a very important book for two straightforward reasons: it represents the best tradition of liturgical scholarship in shedding light on the complexity of the origins and development of the entrance song of the Mass; it does so at a time when the implementation of the new English translation of The Roman Missal naturally strengthens our desire to revisit the basic elements of the liturgy and to evaluate our experience in the light of tradition. This highly accessible study raises crucial questions for all who have a love and concern for the liturgy in general and liturgical music in particular.
Msgr. Andrew R. Wadsworth
Executive Director, International Commission on English in the Liturgy
This is an important book by a promising young scholar on a timely topic. It gives solid historical and theological information on the development of the entrance song or chant, with wise guidance on what this means for the Church's liturgical practice today.
Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB
Associate Professor of Theology, St. John's School of Theology•Seminary
Moderator of the popular liturgical blog Pray Tell
Jason McFarland assists all those who are responsible for the liturgical life of the Church to address the question, `What shall we sing at the start of Mass?' and to answer it in a way that is faithful to the Council's call for authentic liturgical renewal.
+ Allen Vigneron
Archbishop of Detroit
Announcing the Feast is an important book for both liturgical scholars and pastoral musicians. McFarland's meticulous scholarship offers a history of the entrance song using a method that takes seriously the context of every worship event. This book will inspire those who read it to take another look at how their musical choices `announce the feast.'
Judith M. Kubicki
Associate Professor of Liturgy
President, North American Academy of Liturgy
In these pages, we find a sure and sophisticated knowledge of the past, but also an understanding of the present and a sense of the future to which we are moving. McFarland's knowledge of the chant tradition is here for all to see, but so too is his sense of what is pastorally required at this time. He rejects the false antagonisms that have troubled the liturgical life of the Church in recent times and speaks instead of a new synthesis-between the chant tradition and the other music which has appeared since the Council to foster greater participation and local adaptation. McFarland speaks of the need for creative fidelity, and this is surely right. McFarland's work not only points the need for such things but actually helps to create them.
+ Mark Coleridge
Archbishop of Canberra
I'm unaware of any book like [Announcing the Feast] in terms of focus, argument, and evidence. It is engaging and straightforward but clearly the result of many years of in-depth research. It makes a major contribution toward helping us understand just how crucial is the entrance to the Mass itself.. On a personal note, I warn you that if you are a liturgy geek like I am, this book is not something you want to have arrive in your mail box while you have other things to do. I found myself wildly distracted by its contents and argument, and nearly unable to put it down.
Jeffrey A. Tucker, Managing Editor, Sacred Music, Chant Café blog