chapter  2
14 Pages

Romanization, Nationalism, Protectionism

ByKatharine Ellis

The French plainchant battles of the 1890s and early 1900s traded on long-standing debates opposing art and liturgy, commerce and religion, patriotism and papal authority, liberty and unity, and authenticity, custom, and practical necessity. The initial diplomatic silence of 1868 was doubtless attributable to there being more important items than plainchant on the French/Vatican agenda as Napoleon III tried to intervene ever more closely in the fate of the Papal States. Competition among publishers and printers was traditionally local or national, rather than international; for while Romanization brought increased liturgical unity across France in textual and ritual terms, plainchant still occupied a rather free-floating position as a ubiquitous accessory to the liturgy rather than as one of its constituent parts, and considerable variation in local usage could and did prevail.