Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Sunday, 8 March 2009

"Overwrought with Personal Expression"

Hmmmm... reminnnd you of anyone? as Craig Ferguson would say in his most mincing, leering voice.

A letter to the editor in Zenit wisely states that the true purpose of liturgical music is the same as of Icons, and that the same principles apply:
Iconography and liturgical music should aid in the configuring of our minds and dispositions toward Christ, not toward ourselves. Some modern "religious art" and "liturgical music" is often so overwrought with personal expression that the sense of the person of Christ is obfuscated and the personality of the composer of music or the artist is exalted to the point that the sense of Christ's presence is diminished. Good iconography and liturgical music does not make Christ more present, but it certainly does make us more attuned to his presence with hearts more open to his graces.
There is a piece making it's way around St Blog's delineating the difference between devotional music and liturgical music which is very much to the point.
And yet the former is routinely sandwiched into silence that would best be broken only by the latter, (I don't care whether the culprits are Jesus-Is-My-Boyfriend songs, or Edwardian religious ballads in waltz tempo -- YEEEEEEEEESH.)
Having just come from Brownie fly-up, the idea of personalizing, privatize, sentimentalizing, and ultimately DEGRADING the Liturgy is heavy on my mind and soul...

Oddly, I think it also contributes to the degradation of that god of the Regressives, FullConsciousActiveParticipation.

No, no, give'm a job, a nice little role, maybe with a few speaking lines to get'em to come to Mass!


lvschant said...

I have to know... what is "Brownie fly-up"???


Scelata said...

Oh, I shouldn't have said that... "Brownie Fly-up" is a real thing, the ceremony when Brownies "graduate" to being Girl Scouts.
I was never either, but my five sisters all were, and one of them whined for years, even when she was a young adult, that "Mom missed my brownie fly-up!" so my family use that as short-hand for made up ritual on which too much importance is placed. (Yeah, Mom missed it... um, she was in the hospital giving birth, you'd think that would mitigate the blame, huh?)
Anyway, our parish loves to shoe-horn made up rituals into the Mass, and I refer to them all as "Brownie Fly-Up."

The most recent one was an interruption of the Mass by having the parents of the 70 some children who will make their first communion in a few months stand up, take a pledge to be faithful Catholics and get their progeny to Mass, present the little ones with a token of some sort as a sign of that pledge, be blessed by the rest of us doing the "Heil (somebody)" gesture.... business as usual.

(Save the Liturgy, save the World)