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Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Desire to Restore The Church's Liturgical Identity

When I have more leisure and more internet access, it is both comforting and heart-breaking to surf for news from hitherto unknown outposts in the great struggle in which I and other Catholic musicians find ourselves. This fellow seems to have shared some of my experiences in his previous post, (although there is more good news for him from the place he has left, and he seems to have landed someplace more ... amiable?)
[News from a former parish] is bittersweet, however. I struggled the entire time I was music director .... to raise the awareness of sacred music's important roll in the liturgy and was met with ridicule and sometimes outright uncharitable antagonism....

But, a word of caution: if this introduction of Latin polyphony and chant are nothing more than a novelty (what the writer called "balance" between contemporary and Latin), or an attempt to appease the more serious-minded musicians in the choir and select people in the pews, rather than being built on a foundational understanding that this particular music is, in the final analysis, the only music exclusively proper to the liturgy, it will eventually fail. It ceases being a function of the liturgy and what the Church calls for, and becomes an attempt to appeal to tastes or preferences.

The re-introduction of this music for me is not just a hat-tip to nostalgia or a way of pleasing the "traddies", but is at it's core driven by a desire and commitment to restore to the Catholic Church's unique identity what has been horribly lost over the last 40 years.

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