Tuesday, December 27, 2011

More Inspirational Music for Christmastime: Michael Iafrate & the Priesthood

More Christmas-season music (and music for meditation and inspiration all year 'round), and this, too, is a resource provided by a wonderful theologian-songwriter-activist to whom Bilgrimage has connected me: at his website M Iafrate (& the Priesthood), Michael Iafrate has links to his various albums, which include links to some of the songs on these albums.  You may already have noticed Michael's name in my bloglist, since it includes his catholicanarchy blog, and I did a posting this past September summarizing Michael's powerful theological reflections on militarism and discipleship, which notes that Michael is a doctoral student in theology at University of St. Michael's College in Toronto, Steve's and my alma mater.

I like the gritty, down-home, honest-to-God quality of Michael's singing.  Overtones of Johnny Cash, Pete Seeger, Woody and Arlo Guthrie, James Taylor, and other significant singers who have strong ties to the Appalachian area from which  Michael himself hails . . . . I'm especially moved by Michael's rendition of the Magnificat on the album "The Rebel Jesus."  The song's called "The Canticle of the Turning."

When I listen to this and other of Michael's songs (and to those of Fran Schultz and John Bijarney, blog-friends I've mentioned in previous postings), I can't avoid thinking that Rome spectacularly misses the boat when it mandates liturgical changes from on high, ones crafted by clerical technocrats working in secret and total isolation from the people of God.  A tremendous amount of creativity and deep spirituality abides among the people of God, among the church's poets, songwriters and singers, mystics, and pray-ers.

Had Rome availed itself of the resources of the people of God as it hobbled together the new liturgical translations, we might not have ended up with the stilted, pompous, Godawful mess we now have--which Steve and I experienced this Christmas eve when we attended Mass with a friend.

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