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A "Humble" Pat on the Back

by Gary Penkala

As we start a new calendar year, I thought I'd slip out of my usual demeanor, steeped in self-conscious humility, and "toot the horn" for CanticaNOVA Publications. The BCL Liturgy and Music Subcommittee in October 2006 established a consultation among publishers, prior to the issuance of Sing to the Lord. CanticaNOVA Publications was represented, along with the three major Catholic publishers, OCP, GIA and WLP. I presented to the committee the seemingly "novel" notion that publishers have a responsibility to provide quality music and faithful/orthodox texts to the public. As can be seen in catalogs of other publishers, this is not necessarily the case. Haphazard and trite music abounds, as do lyrics that stray from the official texts, or that are confusing and/or heretical. CNP has always stood for faithful orthodoxy in our music and texts. We feel it is the very least we can provide to Catholic musicians. Our goal is not to "make money at any cost" by mega-marketing absolutley anything that will sell. We hope you understand and appreciate our concern for the Church, for her liturgy, and for the musicians (including ourselves) who work in the trenches every week.

To help you understand that there are many, many faithful musicians like you who turn to CNP for information, support and materials, we're throwing humility to the wind and printing some of the testimonials we've received from you and your colleagues. We promise after this article, to slink back to our low-key, behind-the-scenes posture. We promise to provide you with the best possible resources, faithful to the Church, and useful to her loyal music ministers.

  • We will be singing the "O Antiphons" for our very first Advent Lessons and Carols and plan to sing the Mass portion in Latin for our Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Your website and publications have been an oasis in my search for more traditional music and materials in the Catholic Faith — (and I cannot thank you enough for that, alone!) We will be looking forward to working out our Latin pronunciation again.
    — from Syracuse NY
  • are the best I knew you could help me out.
  • Thanks for your fantastic reply regarding choosing music for a cathedral rededication. Your answers were perfect and I appreciate that.
  • Thank you for your your prompt response to my note, and also for your comments on CBW III, with which I heartily agree. Unfortunately, having abandoned Books 1 and 2 some years ago, and having given both editions away, we are stuck with Book 3.
    — a Canadian customer
  • You must hear this often, but I want to add my voice to those thanking you for the helpful content on your site, particularly the Liturgical Planning, CNP Feedback, and Musical Musings pages. A seminarian in our parish mentioned CanticaNOVA and Music for the Liturgy a few months ago and I checked it out. The change your material has brought about is absolutely phenomenal. I discarded 60% of the choral music on file: everything from Broadway tunes, pop songs (yes, even a Beatles song that was used in Mass before I arrived), and beautiful choral pieces with texts that are clearly not in keeping with Catholic doctrine.
    — a California customer
  • Your site is about the only site on which I could find the Gospel or Alleluia Verses!
  • I just discovered your website today and must write to say Thank-You! This website with all its wonderful extras is a Treasure. Our church is planning to return chant to the Mass and move back to more traditional Hymns. Your Liturgical Planning and Musical Musings sections have given me "the Armor of God and the Sword of the Spirit" (if you will) towards the Fall season and the return of the choirs.
  • Thanks for the personal note. I appreciate your manner of doing business!
    — from California
  • Thank you so much. I am so excited about finding this music!
    — from Texas
  • Thank-you so much for your very prompt and helpful reply.
  • Thank you. Your web site continues to help me every week. I love it.
    — from Mississippi
  • Thank you ever so much for you last email. Your article on hymns is exactly what I have been looking for to take to our parish school. Everyone is so concerned with "learning outcomes" except when it comes to music. I can now take this article to the principal and PTA and ask if we can't set some specific goals in the area of liturgical music.
    — A school teacher
  • Thanks for the link. I use your website often to plan both English and Spanish liturgies. I just use hymns in Spanish that are similar to the suggestions on your page or that fit the themes. Thanks for the resources.
  • Thanks, that's a great thought! Hope all is well for you at Cantica Nova. I refer people to your website all the time — you are doing great work!
  • Thanks for you consideration. I placed my order in France. Actually I was on the website of The Abbey of Saint Peter in Solesmes earlier, but found it quite confusing to use. It is an unusual service to recommend a cheaper source and miss a sale. I will not forget this service.
    — a customer in Germany
  • Such prompt service! Be assured my payment will be just as prompt. Thank you....looking forward to hearing beautiful music.
    — from Massachusetts
  • Excellent — thanks! God bless you for the work you're doing. Your site has been an invaluable resource for the parish as we reclaim our music for Christ.
    — from Tennessee

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