Monday, January 23, 2012

Church Music

Since we sang a lame song yesterday for our "Gathering Hymn", and the director's pounding on the piano did nothing to dispel the sense of being in a Catholic lounge, I'll point you to Dan Lord's article in Crisis Magazine for yet another explanation of what Church music should be.

I especially like this section:

The Church put specific prayers and chants in place for every Mass many centuries ago, with the intention that we should sing them regularly and ritually: an Introit at the beginning, a Gradual and an Alleluia after the readings, an Offertory and a Communion.
Each is an exquisite gem that inspires everyone who hears. Each bears an aura of antiquity that is astounding: many of them would have been heard and sung by St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Albert the Great.
The Church prefers that we use these chants today, and yet most of us have never heard them before. The Catholic Church does allow for some latitude in the music planned for Mass, but what was intended as an extraordinary exception has become a universal rule. Sunday Mass is now dominated by songs which are quite often musically inferiorthematically inappropriate, and lyrically shallow. The result is a lack of unity in God’s family and a watering down of the Mass’s inherent beauty.  (emphasis mine)
It's not very long; go read it.


  1. So many people on different pages of the Catholic hymn book these days. We mostly have good hymns and good cantors at our parish but inevitably bad songs sneek in. Why oh why? I wish we could throw out all the songs written in the past 40 years. Some are ok but most are poor. Our Communion hymn yesterday was Taste and See. That hymn makes it very hard for me to pray. I hope I don't offend you, but "tasting God?" Ugh.

  2. You will like this article--by a kindred spirit--and with a kid's perspective, too:

  3. Ah, Church Music... The great divide. I'll admit, I sometimes think Mass would easier to focus if we just had more traddy music. This past Sunday, it was a wee bit discracting b/c IDK what was going on, but the choir was off on everything... Tone, timing. I love to sing and I love to sing to God, but even the Priest was giving them sidelong glances during the Gloria!


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