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Thursday, 21 February 2008

CS Lewis on Taste in Sacred Music

I really have got to knuckle down and read some of the books I have stacked all over the house, there are several Lewis tomes I mean to have at.
Anyway, Christian Reflections is NOT one of them, but this lovely excerpt is inspiring people around St Blogs, so I may just have to make the piles higher:

There are two musical situations on which I think we can be confident that a blessing rests.
One is where a priest or an organist, himself a man of trained and delicate taste, humbly and charitably sacrifices his own (aesthetically right) desires and gives the people humbler and coarser fare than he would wish, in a belief (even, as it may be, the erroneous belief) that he can thus bring them to God.
The other is where the stupid and unmusical layman humbly and patiently, and above all silently, listens to music which he cannot, or cannot fully, appreciate, in the belief that it somehow glorifies God, and that if it does not edify him this must be his own defect.
Neither such a High Brow nor such a Low Brow can be far out of the way.
To both, Church Music will have been a means of grace; not the music they have liked, but the music they have disliked.
They have both offered, sacrificed, their taste in the fullest sense.
But where the opposite situation arises, where the musician is filled with the pride of skill or the virus of emulation and looks with contempt on the unappreciative congregation, or where the unmusical, complacently entrenched in their own ignorance and conservatism, look with the restless and resentful hostility of an inferiority complex on all who would try to improve their taste – there, we may be sure, all that both offer is unblessed and the spirit that moves them is not the Holy Ghost.

So, Come to the Water, (except for the Lor-or-or-ord!) may be a source of grace to me this weekend, or otherwise.
It's up to me.


lvschant said...

Yes. We must remember that taste in music (and other things as well) is such an individual thing. So... as so many of the parishes in the Church have become accustomed to the 'coarser fare', although it would not be our first choice, we must put aside personal preferences occasionally and appeal to those to whom this music has meaning. We must resist the arrogance and lack of charity that can creep in.

Scelata said...

I think I may need to print this one out and post it on my orgna console.
And in the notebook I bring to Liturgy meetings.
And on the desktop of the computer on whihc I program musci fro Mass.
And next to the phone from which I talk to other people in the parish...

Oh, heck, I'll just get a tatoo.

(Save the Liturgy, Save the World)