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Thursday, 30 April 2009

An Anonymous "Yoot" on Liturgical Music

Over at Dr Jerry Galipeau's newish blog, in an ongoing discussion of the aptness and utility of different styles for use in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, an anonymous but sage whippersnapper has this to say:
One thing I get tired of as a young adult is the (well meaning) idea that we youngsters need to be hooked in via popular music. I find four major problems with that-

1- We don't all like the same music.

2- We don't get to tap into the music of our heritage, and we can't connect to it if other people decide we shouldn't hear it.

3- Generations are segregated and end up being pitted against one another in the battle of taste.

4- Music based on popular trend dies more quickly in the larger market than in the Church. This is why people make fun of us for hanging on to 70's style music when the rest of society has moved on.

I often go to an EF Mass these days. And I like the feeling that it is one family, not so much separated by tastes and generations. It is more like what I've experienced at various Eastern Rites, where the Mass is just the Mass, not the possession or creation of any one age group.

Regarding style, as I read Vatican documents more and more, it seems the wisest course of action in recovering a Catholic identity should be to aim for what the Church is asking in terms of sacred music. Seeing as the Mass is intended for all peoples and at all times, why not move toward mostly chant and polyphony in the sung liturgy and go for popular music in a rich and varied devotional life? Everyone wins.

Market-driven and profit concerns aside, I think this is our best option.
I find it sad that, as an earlier commenter in the same thread said, young people are leaving the Faith to attend mega-churches because of their taste in music, but I find it even sadder that thinking Catholics would find changing the music to suit anyone's taste is the answer.

If they have appropriate catechesis before they have drivers licenses, Catholic would put up with John and Darlene Edward as music ministers in order to partake of the Body and Blood of Christ; and the greatest performers of the greatest music in the universe would not lure them to worship instead with a sect of whose sanctuary it could be declared, as Blessed John Newman (IIRC,) is purported to have remarked about a beautiful Anglican church, "As the angel at the tomb said, He is not here."


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