I am very happy that more people have embraced this rite of the faith.
I think that the Russian Church, may theoretically do a better job with their western rite than have the Antiochians. Fr. Aidan Keller's musical instincts seem to be to be among the best out there. Though his hymn translations are at times lacking, they are often based upon accuracy in translation more than fitting the right metre. The antiphons and responsories in english he made are nearly flawless. Though the synod of milan has done equally if not better work at times. The more churches than can use his Sarum Psalter, or milan's materials, the better.
The more western rite churches there are the less their are excuses for limited musical offerings. What the Antiochian Vicariate has is "OK" but it is not enough to sustain one who has been spiritually fed the the musical diet of the typical byzantine liturgy church.
Sure it is.
Ideally they ought to use more of the plainchant gradual at these masses and improve their music.
We'll try to get things up to your standards.
Not to mention put it into modern notation for those too challenged to learn the older, simpler neumes.
Actually, the neumes are easier to learn for non-music trained people.
The St Ambrose Hymnal, the standard musical output of most antiochian WRO parishes, put together by Fr. Nicholas Alford and his wife (very good people) is hardly the ideal hymnal for western rite churches. Many of them are great hymns, but the melodies and spirit of much of it is I think too "protestant".
I'm racking my brain trying to figure out how a melody could be Protestant.
At any rate, it's just a simple fact that these hymns are much more meaningful and beautiful to many of those who use them, than any other musical options they might want to seek out. Truth is truth, beauty is beauty and it all belongs to the bosom of the Church. You might not like where it came from because of who or what it might be associated with, but cultural and pastoral reasons do (and always should) trump that.
I appreciate the work that went into it, and wouldn't wish to disappear entirely but I really dont think it should have the high position it does, more a coincidence of being in the right place at right time than that it is a credible example of historically accurate western rite music.
This "high" position likely varies from parish to parish, but if it achieved any sort of preference, it was definitely a bottom-up thing, and not something imposed from the top. In other words, it must be doing a damn fine job and suit the needs of the people if this is really the case.
I've talked with a lot of different people that came through the doors of our Western Rite parish, who had many hang-ups, and I can tell you flat out that none of them had to do with the fact that we were singing one set of hymns over another.
It's just not that important to some people. Our hymnography does not have the same place or role as that of the Eastern Rite. In fact, most of their hang-ups had to do with things that would've been perhaps even more
glaring if they went to an Eastern Rite parish, such as the invocation of Mary and the veneration of icons.
There are a lot of Orthodox in the US who would go to a WRO parish if one is available.
Quite true, however I have doubts that they are not going to stick to it unless the musical offering can be more mature and in line with historic western plainchant and or falso bourdon/2 to 3 part polyphony/organum.
Your doubts don't really seem to be based on anything, unless you've had tons of encounters with people for whom this was a huge hurdle. Honestly, this just hasn't come up in my WRO parish, which has been around for almost 20 years now...