The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) meeting is over now I’m home, and am beginning to be at the point to write about it. I find these meetings tiring, exciting, invigorating, and depressing—all at the same time… Everybody on the commission feels deeply about the importance of good liturgy and good music. We just frequently have differing opinions about what those are and how we go about nurturing them in the church.
The discussion of my proposal on HWHM occurred on Monday morning. There were some clear agreements around the table—most people didn’t like the word “almanac” finding it too old-fashioned. That didn’t bother me, I certainly wasn’t wedded to it. At a deeper level, though, most of the discussion was about theology even if the theology wasn’t overtly discussed or referenced. One person said that the proposal simply didn’t make sense; others saw it as an attempt to completely dismantle what had been accomplished in HWHM. I didn’t see it that way at all. What did become clear was that we had several different—some irreconcilable—understandings of sanctity and holiness. And, in arriving at that point, I think we accurately mirror one of the confusions in our church and one of the reasons why HWHM has been such a difficult body of work to complete satisfactorily.
I believe we did reach an agreement that will move the discussion forward in a new direction. In my previous post I said that I hoped to have certainty and specifics by this point; I don’t. We do have the basics of an agreement. However, there are a number of details to decide if it is to be workable and the last set was worked out in subcommittee work after the close of the meeting and has not yet been agreed to by the whole Standing Commission. Because this will represent a rather radical change, we have agreed not to discuss it until we have agreed on the principles and the main points lest an incomplete telling of an incomplete solution be misunderstood and blown out of proportion.
Trust me—it’s frustrating not being able to say more. However, it’s for the good of the work as a whole. I will, of course, say more when I can.