Monday, April 19, 2010

A Video Every Catholic Music Leader Needs to Watch

33 comments:

~Joseph the Worker said...

That's an awesome video. I had to share it with all kinds of people. Great find and thanks for posting!

Isabel said...

Although I appreciate and value the sacred music you describe, I find it hurtful that you seem to imply that the music that is typically sung at a "Folk Mass" for example, is not suitable for a Catholic mass. I lead such a music ministry and our intention is to lead the congregation to engage in praise and worship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Many times have parishioners approached us to share that they were deeply moved by a particular piece because of the message it conveyed.

~Joseph the Worker said...

I believe that was part of the message in the video - that people's feelings or "being moved" aren't part of liturgical norms as defined clearly by the Church.

nestord said...

If the mass is a reinactment of the crucifixtion (last days of Christ) then we should be singing a cappella. Because if my music history memory is correct, the organ came along a bit after Christ died. There were, however, ridumentary wind and stringed instruments......

nestord said...

Sorry about the misspellings.... I'm a pianist, not a typest

Mike said...

I'm sure there are many fine music ministries and many fine music leaders such as Isabel out there -- and we all thank them. In my opinion, though, based on my experiences with music at Mass, I DO feel myself paying more attention to the good secular music than the Mass when it is really good as in Isabel's case. In the case of sacred music I have found myself to be more connected with the Mass. I believe the video is simply saying we need to get back to a style or type of music that is more in harmony with the action of what is taking place. A Holy Mass is a more sublime function of the soul uniting with God. A sublime type of music, then, is more fitting with what is happening.

Lin said...

What I want to know is why we have congregational singing during Holy Communion. Are we not supposed to be "communing" with our Lord, not singing at Him?

Tim A. Troutman said...

Dear Isabel,

Thanks for stopping by. I certainly didn't intend to hurt.

Joseph the Worker is right - "being moved" isn't the purpose of sacred music if "being moved" is meant in the sense of an emotional response. But if the music moves one to participate more fully in the TRUE spirit of the mass - that is, it moves them to prayerful worship, then it is in line.

Non sacred music by its nature does not do this; it distracts from this in fact. You said that it was because of the message it conveyed that the people were moved. Now that might be true and I dont doubt that it is. But if they were moved to true participation by a contemporary song with emotional music (but orthodox lyrics) then they were moved so in spite of the music and not because of it. Because as stated above and as shown in the video, non-sacred music (such as "Shine Jesus Shine" or "Here I Am Lord" for example) do not tend towards prayerful worship but rather towards distracting from it.

But I can only think of a few contemporary Christian songs with acceptable lyrics for mass. Most of the post 1960s crap (forgive my French but a lesser word won't do) is simply not appropriate for Mass either by lyric or by melody.

But we can debate about this for some time and not come to many conclusions. The authorities of the Church have spoken and as Catholics, we are bound to inform our consciences and sensibilities according to the truth taught by the Church. The Church has stated plainly (in Vatican II) that Gregorian Chant is the proper music of the mass and should be given pride of place.

Sacred and solemn music is objectively superior to contemporary music at mass. To reiterate - none of this is to say that that your ministry is not valid or that you havent made a real impact with people.

I hope that instead of this making you feel like I'm insulting your ministry, that you use it as a learning opportunity and seek to make your music ministry immeasurably better by allowing it to be influenced by the ancient tradition of our holy mother Church.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Lin, that's an excellent point. Congregational hymns during Communion are NOT part of the mass. There is also no such thing as a "gathering" or "sending" hymn. There are entrance antiphons and processionals but not congregational gathering hymns. This is not found in the Roman missal and is not part of the mass.

As if the congregational music wasn't bad enough during holy communion, they increase the interruption by announcing the song number (which almost no one ever sings) over the microphone at many parishes (including mine).

Tim A. Troutman said...

Nestord,

I also prefer a Capella singing (I might be biased bc I'm in a Gregorian chant schola) but organ is proper to the music of the mass during some songs. This article in the Catholic Encyclopedia is helpful.

(Guitar is never proper though!)

Tim A. Troutman said...

Mike - Thanks for the comments. Right on.

FrankJGlab said...

As a music director for the Catholic Church for over 20 years, my biggest problem has been the lack of Catholic identity with regard to musical style.

If one attends a Black Baptist Church, you know what kind of music to expect. The same is true for a Greek Orthodox Church and even a Jewish Synagogue.

But, you could possibly walk into a Catholic Church and hear ANY of the previous mentioned styles! And as a music director, I am someone supposed to be proficient in EVERY CHRISTIAN and JEWISH style to make a congregation “happy.”

While Gregorian Chant is the Catholic Musical identity (You usually will not hear it anywhere else) most Catholic Music Directors don't know a nueme from a set of bongos!

When I offer to teach a simple Latin refrain (Dona Nobis Pacem) to CATHOLIC school children, the response I get from the CATHOLIC school principal, CATHOLIC Director of Religious Ed, and CATHOLIC Priest/Pastor, you would think I was poising them with arsenic or breaking rules of “virtus” training.

The Religious Ed person is so daft, she thinks the word “Tradition” on the school slogan begins with the formation of the school football team 50 years ago! AND SHE’S ALLOWED TO TEACH CHILDREN!

I am glad they are changing the Eucharistic Prayer back to the original translation from the Latin. As my Pastor threatens to turn in his keys (a Pastor who requests finger cymbals), I gloat over the changes and am very happy to be “One with Rome.”

Fredi said...

I suggest reading this:
Singing During Liturgy

PPZ said...

The word "entertainment" seems always to be introduced by those who have a strong intellectual indoctrination on what proper worship music ought to be.
And you scratch your heads as to why God allows and nourishes reverts like my self to leave and come back. It is to balance our strong intellectual indoctrination and integrate this with the Breath of God. God Bless. paul zerovnik.

nestord said...

I would recommend reading "The Liturgigal Documents" specifically the section "Music in Catholic Worhip 'The Theology of Celebration'." Section 15 begins "The pastoral effectiveness of a celebration will be heightened if the texts of readings, prayers and songs correspond as closely as possible to the needs, religious dispositions and aptitude of the participants... It should suit their age-level, cultural background and level of faith." Also Sections 26-29 titled "The Musical Judgement" and "The Liturgical Judgement" Letter G titled "The Organist and Other Instruments" sections 37-38 are very illuminating as far as instrumentation is concerned. Enjoy reading the documents -- they are wonderful.

Tim A. Troutman said...

PPZ - I'm not sure what you're getting or what you think I am (or we are) scratching our heads over.

Nestord - The problem with such ambiguous advice that the music match the people's needs, etc. (besides its ambiguity) is that what tends to happen is that the attitude is "well our people are uneducated and have poor taste in music.. therefore we'll give them the bottom of the barrel stuff (aka. contemporary music)." People remain in such a state when only exposed to poor music.

If you raise your kids on McDonald's food, they will grow up not being able to appreciate much more healthy food. I know because I have many friends who grew up like that and to this day eat like children. You take them to a fine steak house and they order chicken fingers.

Likewise, if you grow up only listening to contemporary, when given the choice, you choose the same 'greasy low quality ingredients' songs over and over. It leaves them less satisfied than if they had developed a taste and appreciation for more beautiful music. (This is only about the beauty, not about the appropriateness of the songs). Traditional music is objectively more beautiful than contemporary music just as Mozart is objectively more beautiful than random notes.

As for appropriateness of music, without objective guidelines, many music leaders repeatedly prove themselves incapable of choosing appropriate music when their only guidelines are perceived as "just give the people what they want and can handle." The document you mentioned also says, like Vatican 2, that the Latin chant heritage must preserved but this is routinely defied by the huge majority of Catholic parishes.

The USCCB recommended all bishops instruct ALL the faithful in the missa primitiva. That is, that all the faithful should know the basic chant versions of the ordinaries in Latin. Is your parish carrying this directive out? Mine isn't. That sort of directive will explicitly be ignored but they treat "give the people what they want" as the very gospel itself.

Thanks for the document refs. I'm just venting. :-)

nestord said...

Venting is allowed my friend. Sometimes I wish for some organ music as I minored in organ at school. But acoustically our church is a backwards fan and wider that it is long so an organ would not work well. On occasion I take the hymns and let the Yamaha Clavinova rip the full organ sound but it is for sure not the same as the big beautiful fully ranked babies! Peace my friend

The Gent said...

There are so many things - gosh, where to begin? The statement about a Black Baptist Church - doesn't take into account that the same can be said for a Catholic Church in a Black neighborhood. Been there, seen that. Mike stated he finds he pays more attention to the music. In the video it is stated we do not come to mass to be entertained. Excellent. but why do those of us who have no problem concentrating and participating in the mass regardless of the music have to be bound by those who do? I had a problem focusing when I was younger. Like many I grew out of it. As for guitar being improper - I for one am so glad Father Joseph Mohr was not aware of this when he took the words he had written in 1816 to Franz Gruber and asked that they be arranged for voice and guitar. We might never have gotten "Silent Night" (which, by the way, Gruber wrote in 6/8 time - not the way we sing it now). Oh, and the "broken organ" story may be exactly that. Tim, you appear to be a traditionalist. Not a problem. But until the leaders of the Church (as opposed to "the Church" - which happens to be us) decide to ban these other forms of music outright I see no problem in playing anything in my hymnal. Don't get me wrong. I have no interest in Mega Church Rock and Roll. But there are plenty of good songs that fit the mass. And, as for pardoning your French - no. A person who cannot make a point without using profanity has no point to make.

Tim A. Troutman said...

The Gent - Your attitude is exactly why Catholic music is terrible.

First - what statement about black Baptists churches are you talking about and how does it not take into consideration a Catholic Church in a black neighborhood?

You said "but why do those of us who have no problem concentrating and participating in the mass regardless of the music have to be bound by those who do?"

That's a really dumb point - just think about it. We shouldn't add something that distracts us from the mass just because some people might be able to overcome that distraction. Furthermore, people who are more keenly aware of what is going on at the mass are more keenly distracted by things that don't belong. You probably aren't distracted by "Here I am Lord" because you think the mass IS about you being there in the community. But for someone who knows that the mass is the solemn re-presentation of the sacrifice at Calvary, "Lord of the Dance" is extremely distracting. You try to make yourself look better than the rest of us by claiming that you're not distracted by inappropriate music, but it makes you look worse because it indicates that you don't understand the mass.

You said: "As for guitar being improper - I for one am so glad Father Joseph Mohr was not aware of this when he took the words he had written in 1816 to Franz Gruber and asked that they be arranged for voice and guitar."

That's cool. Guitar still isn't proper for mass.

You said: "But until the leaders of the Church (as opposed to "the Church" - which happens to be us) decide to ban these other forms of music outright I see no problem in playing anything in my hymnal."

This is an awful attitude. "If it isn't banned lets keep doing it even though we know its distracting from the mass."

And this: "And, as for pardoning your French - no. A person who cannot make a point without using profanity has no point to make."

I wasn't literally asking for your pardon (and I wasn't literally speaking French if I have to spell that out). Again- another dumb point. The video, myself, and several others have all made many different points about the music and not a single line depended on profanity. You didn't really respond to any of them except by saying you like Silent Night and therefore we should have guitar in mass... right...

nestord said...

Is the debate really over style? Secular meaning playing "Silent Night" with a guitar (as was commissioned) or with organ? Are we back to the debate organ vs. other?

In my muisc history class, we were taught that secular pertains to the little ditties on the raido/bar rooms where the subject/content of the lyrics does not come from scripture. Sacred comes from scripture.

Does playing it on the organ make it sacred? How about playing "On Eagle's Wings" which is based on psalm 91 on the organ? Is is only sacred now?

Who has been to a church (doesn't matter the denomination) where the instrumentalist was a hack? Admit it, we've all been to that church.

Then we have another church who has a different instrumentalist who is obvioulsy well trained but of a different style from us. Is it a lesser service?

I agree, music is to remain in the background, not to disrupt or overpower the mass. But I think we should agree to disagree that the style of music depends on the musician's training and background.

Next question: What if the congregation absolutely hates what is being played? Do we continue to shove it down their throats (in their ears?) What is worse -- a miserable congregation or organ/piano/guitar use? Shouldn't the volume of singing from the congregation be joyous or prayerful when the occasion calls for joy and prayer?

I love this debate and I think it will always be going on and on and on but it should be clean and non-threatening....

Pike Thomas said...

I find the usage of the liturgy documents here very selective, especially going back to Pius XII before Vatican II and neglecting almost all post-Vatican II church documents, except again some very selective quotes from JP II, d Benedict XVI, and of all people, Cardinal Arinze!

I remember Cardinal Arinze being queried at a conference in Dallas several years ago as to where he got his liturgy expertise. Best he could come up with: "I am a parish priest." Humble, perhaps, but not to inspire confiecne that he knows any more than a tone-deaf, esthetics-blind outlook.

Try the various documents from the US Bishops on Liturgy, the more authoritative General Instruction on the Roman Liturgy 2002, and a fuller reading of JPII's commentaries on Tre La Sollecitudini in 2003 (Musica Sacra) and you may receive a much different view.

Selective also were the various views of the liturgy, all from a pre-conciliar mentality, including black vestments, multiple gradations of ministers, liturgy facing the altar turned away from the people... really!

I found a concept of community totally lacking in the remarks of the natrrator and the emphasis on rublics and fine garb (itself admittedly "borrowed" and time-bound to the upper class Roman of the 5th Century- "evening attire" and secular indeed in its origin). With that as example, why could we not then also borrow from today's styles - in garb and music.

I refuse to believe the sacredness of the liturgy requires our binding it to the music, language, garb and other "accidentals" from a former age.

You are doing the liturgy and the Church no favor by attempting to keep it hostage to one particular style!

Reverend Pike Thomas, Shreveport

Tim A. Troutman said...

Hi Rev. Shreveport,

Thank you for your comments. It's hard to tell exactly to what degree you and I disagree on this matter because I don't know what failure to acclimate to Vatican 2's instructions on the music looks like in your experience but in mine, it looks pretty bad. (I'll remind you that V2 said that Gregorian chant should be given pride of place; Latin heritage should be preserved etc.. )

The Gent is a perfect example of the poisonous attitude that infects so many of those pushing the heretical anthropocentric liturgical expression on the Church. "The Church says we shouldn't do X, but she didnt say we absolutely cant do X. That means we can do it every Sunday."

If I was looking to hear sacred music in today's age, the absolute very last place I would look is a Catholic parish precisely because that's the very last place it will be (in my experience.)

I think nestord and maybe some others have taken me (and maybe the video) to mean things that we dont. For example, the Catholic Church says that the organ is proper to liturgical music. We dont think that means that guitar is forbidden at mass in the same way that say.. using grape juice for consecration is. But we can be confident that the Church does not intend for us to make consistent use of inappropriate musical instruments.

You mention community. Again; last place on earth I'd ever go to find a vibrant 'community' is a Catholic parish. Just go to any Protestant church and you'll see what I mean. When you try to inorganically force something on the people that they dont understand, and when you violently and inorganically disrupt the hermeneutic of continuity and toss out ancient and beautiful tradition and replace it with music not suitable for children having banal lyrics; and when you strip the parish walls, reject the cruciform for the auditorium, turn the priest's back on God and seat the people around him in a self-enclosed circle, you get exactly what you find at a modern Catholic parish. An empty and hollow excuse for a liturgy. There is ZERO community.

I sound like a "Trad" I guess. And you can write me off if you like. All I'm saying is this - the very thing you are trying to do is guaranteed for failure the way you're doing it. A man cannot keep trying to please himself if he wants to be happy. He must turn his eyes outward to others; it is our vocation. He who loves his life will lose it. It is the same in liturgy; the parish that stays in that self enclosed circle, singing songs about community (that is, about themselves) and playing the same low-grade music they hear on the soundtrack to sleazy romance movies, that parish will lose its vibrancy.

Singing these songs emphasizing the community misses the entire dynamic of the marital analogy which is exactly to which sacred worship is ordered. The Church is the bride of Christ; when she gathers to offer herself up along with His perfect sacrifice, she sings HIS praises, not her own. The gaze of the modern parish is fixed ever inward (just as you would have it - to emphasize the community). But such an inward gaze betrays a profound lack of understanding and a lack of charity because it grievously fails to symbolize a healthy marital dynamic. In love, the gaze is always fixed on the OTHER not the self! That is why, every orthodox song is vertical; it sings the praises of God; it does not pat ourselves on the back - it does not even mention us. It isnt about us. The sooner we realize that, the sooner we can engage in true worship of our God.

I hope you'll consider these things. We sheep desperately need shepherds who will light us on fire. We cannot and will not rally around the banner of the community. It has no power. We can and we WILL rally around the banner of Jesus Christ. The irony is, that if you lift Christ up (and not the community) you will build a community.

Tim A. Troutman said...

Rev., also regarding your other comments about not binding ourselves to accidentals of certain times and places - I agree but with important caveats.

First a note about music. From a strictly musical standpoint, not all music is equally suitable for every occasion. Moonlight Sonata is not appropriate at a graduation. This is NOT a cultural accident. Lord of the Dance is not appropriate at mass. Again - NOT a cultural accident.

Gregorian chant IS ALWAYS appropriate in the Latin rite mass. Now this is only a cultural accident insofar as it is related to this particular style of sacred music but not so far as its inherent sacred nature. Byzantine chant, for example, is just as sacred, but not appropriate for mass in the Latin rite precisely because of its Eastern heritage (which is a cultural accident).

Now nothing anyone has said that I know of, indicates that the music has to be old. We can create new sacred music. The point is that it has to be sacred. Not all music is sacred and that is the point of this video.

Ive got more to say on this but I need to get to some other things. I hope you'll check out the Pope's book "Spirit of the Liturgy" and honestly consider his (very weighty) opinions.

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nestord said...

I'll always love this debate. And as Tim said, "I'll remind you that V2 said that Gregorian chant should be given pride of place; Latin heritage should be preserved etc.. "

As you said, the documents are vague; I find the V2 statement just as vague. What exactly is "pride of place?" Is there a statement following saying that the mass in its entirety is solely that "place?"

Does the preservation of the Latin heritage mean using music that 90% of the American churces cannot identify with because of lack of catechesis? I need to read more myself and hope to get a copy of some of the books you have recommended.

Oh, Tim in my last post I did mention that sacred music should be dereived from scriptures. I do agree that the Christian music played on the radio is not appropriate for liturgy because a great majority of it is not based on scripture. And there is an over use of "I" and "Me" where congregational singing should be about "us" and "we." I do love the drive and energy though and I will admit we use it for our Youth praise and worship masses.

As a professional choral choach, I find it very very difficult with the ranges and rhythms to adapt it for choral or congregational use though. However, our Youth choir is so dynamic, and so loyal to this music that they do a fantastic job and I find myself relearning my faith through their passion.

Tim I think you also hit an important note when you mentioned "culture." We live in cities where all cultures live in tight knit groups. For example, there is a chuch down the road from us that only does Spanish and Philipino (Tagolog) services. I have had the privilege to play music for both and even though I could not understand a word, I was witness to wonderful unity, solemnity and incredible respect for the Word and Body.

I find it ironic that this past Friday I attended the Va. Symphony's performance of Leonard Bernstein's "The Mass" while chatting with you folks. The presider sings of how he wants his congregation to "see ME under these cloths." It shows the debate over issues and how it can tear people from each other. But mostly I love how it ends with forgivness and love.

And as I heard in a banquet this past Sunday, "If everyone is in agreement, then only one person is thinking." Peace everyone!!

The Gent said...

Tim:

You surmise an awful lot from one response. Most of it erroneous, as most conclusions drawn from one impression tend to be. Let us go over a few points.

"First - what statement about black Baptists churches are you talking about and how does it not take into consideration a Catholic Church in a black neighborhood?"

Read FrankJGrab's comment about the music in a Black Baptist Church. My point was that the music of the community feeds church music and vice-versa. I've heard gospel choirs in Catholic Churches. Some are good, some are bad.

"We shouldn't add something that distracts us from the mass just because some people might be able to overcome that distraction."

The presuppositions here are incredible. Some? I can hardly believe I am unique. How long have you been attending mass? My point here is that the mind wandering is a choice. When I said I outgrew it I meant everything that is implied by that. Your conclusion that "it indicates that (I) don't understand the mass" would have to improve immeasurably just to be foolish.

"That's cool. Guitar still isn't proper for mass." I will allow you your opinion. But that is all it is.

"If it isn't banned lets keep doing it even though we know its distracting from the mass." Again, your opinion.

As for your response in re my not
pardoning your French:

"The video, myself, and several others have all made many different points about the music and not a single line depended on profanity."

Depended on - goodness, i would like to agree but "Most of the post 1960s crap (forgive my French but a lesser word won't do)" does contain profanity - and you make it a point to say that no other description but a profane (in the obscene sense) one will fit the music. So: is the quote I am responding to selective memory or a lie?

Oh, and I would be oh, so remiss if I failed to respond to this:

"The Gent is a perfect example of the poisonous attitude that infects so many of those pushing the heretical anthropocentric liturgical expression on the Church. "The Church says we shouldn't do X, but she didnt say we absolutely cant do X. That means we can do it every Sunday.""

As someone who leads my parish's congregation in some Gregorian chant almost every week I will think of this piece of foolishness frequently. And I promise you I will share both the comment and its source with anyone who, like me, needs a really good laugh.

The Gent said...

Tim:

You surmise an awful lot from one response. Most of it erroneous, as most conclusions drawn from one impression tend to be. Let us go over a few points.

"First - what statement about black Baptists churches are you talking about and how does it not take into consideration a Catholic Church in a black neighborhood?"

Read FrankJGrab's comment about the music in a Black Baptist Church. My point was that the music of the community feeds church music and vice-versa. I've heard gospel choirs in Catholic Churches. Some are good, some are bad.

"We shouldn't add something that distracts us from the mass just because some people might be able to overcome that distraction."

The presuppositions here are incredible. Some? I can hardly believe I am unique. How long have you been attending mass? My point here is that the mind wandering is a choice. When I said I outgrew it I meant everything that is implied by that. Your conclusion that "it indicates that (I) don't understand the mass" would have to improve immeasurably just to be foolish.

"That's cool. Guitar still isn't proper for mass." I will allow you your opinion. But that is all it is.

"If it isn't banned lets keep doing it even though we know its distracting from the mass." Again, your opinion.

As for your response in re my not
pardoning your French:

"The video, myself, and several others have all made many different points about the music and not a single line depended on profanity."

Depended on - goodness, i would like to agree but "Most of the post 1960s crap (forgive my French but a lesser word won't do)" does contain profanity - and you make it a point to say that no other description but a profane (in the obscene sense) one will fit the music. So: is the quote I am responding to selective memory or a lie?

Oh, and I would be oh, so remiss if I failed to respond to this:

"The Gent is a perfect example of the poisonous attitude that infects so many of those pushing the heretical anthropocentric liturgical expression on the Church. "The Church says we shouldn't do X, but she didnt say we absolutely cant do X. That means we can do it every Sunday.""

As someone who leads my parish's congregation in some Gregorian chant almost every week I will think of this piece of foolishness frequently. And I promise you I will share both the comment and its source with anyone who, like me, needs a really good laugh.

Tim A. Troutman said...

The Gent,

My emotion got the better of me in my response to you but everything I said was true, and you haven't showed any of it to be false or made any good points.

"My point was that the music of the community feeds church music and vice-versa. "

I agree.

"The presuppositions here are incredible."

What presupposition, exactly, is so incredible when I say we shouldn't play distracting music?

"My point here is that the mind wandering is a choice."

Because of the weakness of the flesh, we should do everything we can to aid the laity in focusing their mind on the worship and refrain from doing anything that would tend to distract. There is nothing "foolish" about this statement.

Re: Guitar at mass - I retract my statement about it not being proper. The Church obviously recommends against it but has not said it's improper.

""If it isn't banned lets keep doing it even though we know its distracting from the mass." Again, your opinion. "

No it's not. This is an opinion I was contradicting. I take it to be yours; if I've misjudged, then it doesn't apply to you and we can forget it.

"does contain profanity - and you make it a point to say that no other description but a profane (in the obscene sense) one will fit the music. So: is the quote I am responding to selective memory or a lie?"

Neither one, you're confused. Let me explain. I said a lesser word wouldn't suffice to describe the music. That's merely literary convention / hyperbole. I don't mean it literally. I could have gone into great length describing the bad music but I decided not to. I thought everyone reading this would be wearing big boy britches and wouldn't be distracted by my shortcut. Apparently I was wrong.

Go back and re-read my original statement. Replace the word that has thrown you off with "junk" or if that is too strong for you, try "unpleasantry" or whatever word you want. If my point is invalidated by replacing the word, then you are correct that my point depended on profanity. But if not, then you are wrong. You will find clearly that the point is still the same. Therefore you are wrong.

"As someone who leads my parish's congregation in some Gregorian chant almost every week I will think of this piece of foolishness frequently. And I promise you I will share both the comment and its source with anyone who, like me, needs a really good laugh."

I'm glad to hear that you lead the congregation in Gregorian chant. (Somewhat less thrilled at your plans to make fun of me, but I guess I won't raise too much of a fuss.)

But if you're incorporating Gregorian Chant with your parish music, then I'm wondering what your objection is to this video and to what I've written here? I don't understand? It sounds like you're doing the right stuff - so none of this really applies to you. Why would you take issue with something that probably doesnt apply? All we're saying is that music in mass should be sacred! What's your objection to that? I said that music shouldn't distract you from the central act of worship in the mass - you disagreed with that too. What's the deal brother?

The Gent said...

Tim:

I have no confusion on a simple point. You chose to use profanity and then denied that you had used profanity. This has nothing to do with wearing big britches, as you put it. You don't like the "folk" music being used in the mass. Fine. But there are plenty of words that convey your dislike that are not profane. My parish uses a mix of the chant and folk idioms. I appreciate what you are saying - there are styles of music that do take away from the mass. Not everything written or used is proper (music from "Godspell", as an example). Many of the songs I was singing as a music minister back in the early '70's have not survived the test of time. Which is OK. Well intentioned does not always make for proper music. My wife, who joined the Church 7 years ago, loves Christian pop (200 CD's and counting (sigh)). I can count the number of songs I have heard that I would even begin to consider for a mass one 2 hands. Or less. Remember my Mega Church rock comment? What we have denied ourselves (and given with a vengeance to non-Catholic Christians) is a proper venue for this type of music. I suggested having concerts at a synod that I attended. From the looks I got....
Hoo-Boy!
I have no intention of making fun of you. But - you don't know me
and we have never discussed anything in real depth. And yet you used me as an example of something you consider heretical. That goes way over the line. This is not, as far as I can see, a challenge to the articles of our Faith. I am opinionated (Duh) and I can get very angry in arguing points. But I could never even conceive of doing what you did. I chose to laugh and say what I said because I was stunned. Insulted. And very angry at your nerve. Near as I know, we both love our Church and the mass. In discussing this I never lose sight of that.

Tim A. Troutman said...

The Gent -

Sorry for the offense I caused. I was out of line. I think in the end we agree much more than we realized.

The Gent said...

Tim: I would like to apologize as well. My first comment did not leave a good impression. I remember the period from 1971 through 1976. In rock that was the so-called singer-songwriter era (Carole King, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, John Denver et al). This was the same period that a lot of the music of Weston Priory and the St Louis Jesuits came out. Secular and religious music sounding alike. On the heels of Vatican II (stay with me) it was a heady time. I know we over reached. I know songs were used for mass that, on reflection, I would not use today. I know the Holy Father went from liberal to conservation over some of the things that happened during this time. But I truly think the period has run its course. Most things, with guidance, self-correct. I think a lot has blown over.

I do think you and I do agree more than we don't.

Take care and may God Bless and Prosper all that you do.

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Anonymous said...

nestord,

You said:

"And there is an over use of "I" and "Me" where congregational singing should be about "us" and "we.""

You want to take that comment back, my friend? Congregational singing should be about "You" (meaning God), NOT I, me, we, or us. ;)