WITH disappointment I read Vincent P. Davy's letter regarding the Papal Mass Competition.
It is understood that the judges were looking for three things: a Mass in a good liturgical setting. of a high musical standard and easy for a congregation to sing. "Excellence" was not one of the criteria for judgment.
Whilst many of the Masses submitted met one or more of these requirements, none proved equally satisfactory' on all three counts. I totally disagree that this was a negative response and am disappointed that Mr Davy should even comment on the professionalism of the judges.
Perhaps some of the well established and respected Catholic composers, whose roots are in liturgical music, will now be encouraged and take the lead in producing some decent music for our Liturgy instead of the "inbred" composer producing a plethora of material which seems to have acquired the unauthorised "Imprimatur" of the Church solely because it is in print.
I think it is high time we faced the reality of the appalling standard of music for the Liturgy today and I find it sad that Mr Davy should think it "inevitable" that the judges did not award the prize of £500.
After all, if they had done, it would seem apparent to the Church of England and Wales that they were saying. "This is the kind of music Catholic composers should be emulating. It is not of a high musical standard, it is not easily assimilated by a congregation but it is a sincere expression of Catholic musicianship."
No, Mr Davy, that just is not on if musical standards are to improve. Thank heavens, for the sake of the future of our Liturgical music the judges had the courage to stand by their decision.
Anne Adams London SEI.