Half a century has passed since the March 5, 1967 promulgation of Musicam Sacram (MS). Intended as one of several guides to the implementation of Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC), this document has, to some extent, influenced liturgical music since the Second Vatican Council, yet it has also, to some extent, been ignored. Fifty years is enough time for the Church to digest a document. Music directors, choir members, pastors, and bishops would derive great benefit from looking again at the guidance MS offers.
The following analysis of MS will begin with the question of its present authority, continue with an appraisal of its strongest and weakest elements, and conclude with a brief treatment of progressive solemnity (a principle that receives its first mention in MS). It is to be hoped that mature reflection on this important text will help to guide the ongoing work of sacred music in accord with the authentic intentions of the council fathers…(Here)