perfectly well-intentioned men full of faith. On the other hand, not long after that the whole culture underwent revolutionary changes in basic assumptions and probably that had a more lasting effect on actual liturgical practice and music than the theories of the liturgical historians, although they certainly got things rolling.
KP: But wouldn't some liturgists have fit into both camps? CS: Later on they may well have adapted presuppositions about secularization to fit their historical views. However, early Christians would probably have run in terror from the idea that there is no distinction between the sacred and the secular. There was a clear distinction in mind especially where they were in the coliseum faced with the power of the secular state in the form of wild animals.
KP: But I am thinking ofa particular Conciliar peritus, a bona ide Patristics scholar, who addressed the Council fathers in Latin on the role of Mary in the writings of the early Church Fathers and then almost immediately turned around and started promoting Hootenanny Masses in America.
CS: Well, I suppose he could have been thinking this was the 20th century equiva lent of the simplicity of early Christian home Masses. Things being very simple and "acclamatory" and "relevant," etc.
KP: In conclusion, is there anything you would like to add? CS: Yes. There are great signs of hope, but the corollary virtue of hope is patience. In my own experience teaching at the seminary virtually every student that I have met to one degree or another believes that the church desperately needs to recover her lost heritage of sacred music and beautiful worship. It will be a long time before these cler ics-to-be earn positions of power, but they and a few of their immediate predecessors will some day be the influential people in the Catholic Church. So sooner or later things will happen and in a few places things are happening already. But experience shows that even where right thinking people are in charge it takes time for things to trickle down to the parish level. So all kinds of hope is called for, some of which may be fulfilled in surprisingly gratifying ways, but all kinds of patience is called for equal ly as well.
KP: Thank you very much Professor Shenk. CS: Thank you.