From a student at Notre Dame University:
Two Sundays ago we had guest musicians for Mass from Holy Cross College: a roughly fifty year old piano and electric (!) guitar man with a roughly 20 year old percussionist / crappy singer. At first I figured they would do praise and worship songs; not great but whatever. Oh no, I could not have been more wrong. I am not making the following up:
Entrance: Jesus is Just Alright with Me (Doobie Brothers)
Offertory: Morning Has Broken (Cat Stevens)
Communion: People Get Ready (Rod Stewart)
Recessional: Spirit in the Sky (One Hit Wonder)
Truly bizarre. Of course it was completely offensive, non-liturgical, etc. But what was (to me) fascinating is the 50 year old lead man: he actually believes he is making the faith relevant by using such music. Can you imagine being a college student, attending Mass at Holy Cross, and hearing your baby boomer parent's type of music being played at Mass? Run for the hills.
When we got home I immediately put on some renaissance polyphonic chant on the principle that when someone has been force feeding you stale Budweiser the best cure is a fine wine.
First, how impressive is it that a student would recognize those songs and correctly identify two of the four artists? ("Spirit in the Sky" was recorded in 1969 by Norman Greenbaum. "People Get Ready" was a hit for Rod Stewart but was first recorded in 1965 by The Impressions and was written by Curtis Mayfield. And, yes, I had to look 'em up.)
Secondly, how depressing is it that this sort of nonsense takes place? I know, I know, it's been going on for a long time. But, really, the Doobie Brothers?
Third, why is that when Catholics attempt to pull this sort of "rock/folk" silliness, they always stink at it? Seriously, has anyone ever heard a "guitar Mass" or "folk Mass" or "rock Mass" featuring good singers? Anyone?
Finally, fine wine is good. Very good. But a Rogue Mocha Porter is equally scrumptious, especially compared to a stale or fresh Budweiser.