The organ in the Roman Catholic liturgy since the Second Vatican Council by Richard Botby Richard Bot | Het ORGEL | Year 103 | (2007) | Issue 2
Het ORGEL 103 (2007), nr. 2, xx-xx [summary]
The current function of the organ in the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands is shaped by a number of factors. Since the Second Vatican Council the position of organist has changed: organ music no longer serves to enhance or decorate the liturgy, but has become an integrating part of the celebration of the liturgy. In practice this means that the organ participates in the liturgical music of ordinarium and proprium, but that it can also have an independent role at appropriate moments, e.g. before the introit, during the offertory or communion, or after the service. The location of the instrument in the worship space is altered as a result of the altered insights regarding the placement of the choir in the worship space. In numerous situations however a choice is made not for a pipe organ, but for an electronium or a piano.
Three composers have been of great importance or the development of the use of the organ in the Roman Catholic Church in The Netherlands: Albert de Klerk, Bernard Huijbers and Jan Raas. The list of new and restored organs in Roman Catholic Churches since Vaticanum II is impressive; the number of new organ compositions is however small. Much is done to educate and equip amateurs, but the number of Roman Catholic students that completes a conservatory study is inconsiderable. The cause is the lack of adequate remuneration and of a sufficient number of places within conservatories that are specifically directed to Roman Catholic liturgical-musical practice. This has resulted in a vicious circle in The Netherlands.