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  #16  
Old Dec 5, '12, 12:11 pm
KLJM12 KLJM12 is offline
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Default Re: Praise Music Used in The Catholic Church

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At one and the same time, however, you know how the story ends, and it doesn't end with the sorrow of Calvary. It ends with the joy of Easter - the resurrection. It ends moreso with the JOYFUL hope (and those two words were actually part of the liturgy up until last year) of His coming again.

Remember Sundays are called mini Easters and not mini Good Fridays. Remember that the Mass is called the wedding feast of the Lamb, not His funeral meal. Above all remember it is called Eucharist - thanksgiving. Sorrow and gloomy long faces certainly are poor ways to give thanks IMHO.

We are indeed to be joyful and celebratory (though always in a way which is compatible with reverence).
No one is claiming that Sunday is not a mini-Easter either. Obviously we are to be joyful during Sunday. However, It is important to note that the Mass is more of a Sacrifice than a meal, and primarily so. When people start thinking of the Mass as primarily a supper, then irreverence is introduced. This is not opinion either (considering the catechetical crisis in our parishes all over the country and the lack of respect for the Blessed Sacrament that was unheard of 60 years ago).

Being somber, contrite, and reverent are the best ways to give thanks to the Lord our God during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Giving thanks does not always have to be a happy and fun time.

Celebrate after Mass. That is what is proper.
  #17  
Old Dec 5, '12, 12:12 pm
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For me, it doesn't get any better than the hymn "Immaculate Mary." I think you would find most people believe that to be a reverent, beautiful, hymn. However, it is only about 150 years old, which to us is old. However, I wonder what those in Church were thinking when it was sung around 1858 just after being written.

Heck, does it get any more beautiful than "Ave Maria?" Schubert's composition is only about 175 years old. He composed much of what we hear in Mass today and many have theorized that he was a deist or even atheist!

I think it would be interesting to hear what they are singing in 150-175 years and how they are singing it.
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  #18  
Old Dec 5, '12, 12:27 pm
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Default Re: Praise Music Used in The Catholic Church

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How can this be so difficult? You are watching Christ have nails driven through his hands and his feet. He is dying in front of you. Then you are approaching the altar and eating a piece of His most holy Flesh. At that moment in time, if one considers what is actually going on, there is no cause for clapping, laughing, singing, or having a great time. I did not say one could not be joyful interiorly. Just that the circumstance is not one of outward expressions of joy.

I was only expressing in my previous comments that the liturgical music so often used, conveys a different messge than one of somber joy. Good grief no one ever said that we can't be joyful that Christ gave His life for us and allows us to eat His Flesh.
We are just all over the place here.
Who is talking about laughing and having a great time? Noone but you.

So if joy and reverence are not incompatible, which it seems that you are admitting, should not the music not reflect that? If you are truly joyful, it is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and it cannot be held for yourself interiorly. You can experience it interiorly, but it must be radiated. Music is a great vehicle for that. The Mass is not a funeral as a previous poster pointed out. I think you are confusing joy with a flippant happiness.

What we boil down to here is opinion and taste in music.
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  #19  
Old Dec 5, '12, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: Praise Music Used in The Catholic Church

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The only music that is to be used in the liturgy, according to Sacred Tradition, is the gloriously sublime Sacred Music, gregorian chant, composed by the greatest musical minds Western civilization had ever produced.

What you are experiencing is one of the many bad fruits of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).
A fairly exlusive concept of the word "ecclesia" don't you think? When considered against the reality of diverse peoples and styles of worship ALLOWED BY the Church?
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  #20  
Old Dec 5, '12, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: Praise Music Used in The Catholic Church

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The only music that is to be used in the liturgy, according to Sacred Tradition, is the gloriously sublime Sacred Music, gregorian chant, composed by the greatest musical minds Western civilization had ever produced.
Oh come on. Even the staunchest traditionalists don't claim that Gregorian chant is the only music that's appropriate for the liturgy. At the absolute least, sacred polyphony, later plainchant, and liturgical organ music are all well-suited to the liturgy.

I'd also say it's a stretch, from the standpoint of history, to claim flat-out that Gregorian chant was composed by the greatest Western musical minds of all time. Greater than all the later classical composers and composers of sacred polyphony? Greater than Brahms and Mozart and Palestrina and Bach and Beethoven? Gregorian chant is beautiful and the ideal music for the liturgy for a number of reasons, but it's just silly to claim that it the most technically and artistically accomplished music of all time.
  #21  
Old Dec 5, '12, 1:30 pm
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Default Re: Praise Music Used in The Catholic Church

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Oh come on. Even the staunchest traditionalists don't claim that Gregorian chant is the only music that's appropriate for the liturgy. At the absolute least, sacred polyphony, later plainchant, and liturgical organ music are all well-suited to the liturgy.

I'd also say it's a stretch, from the standpoint of history, to claim flat-out that Gregorian chant was composed by the greatest Western musical minds of all time. Greater than all the later classical composers and composers of sacred polyphony? Greater than Brahms and Mozart and Palestrina and Bach and Beethoven? Gregorian chant is beautiful and the ideal music for the liturgy for a number of reasons, but it's just silly to claim that it the most technically and artistically accomplished music of all time.
Cosign. While I believe that Gregorian Chant is ALWAYS the most appropriate music, I do not believe it has absolute dibs on celebrations of the Roman Rite.
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  #22  
Old Dec 5, '12, 1:48 pm
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Default Re: Praise Music Used in The Catholic Church

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How can this be so difficult? You are watching Christ have nails driven through his hands and his feet. He is dying in front of you. Then you are approaching the altar and eating a piece of His most holy Flesh. At that moment in time, if one considers what is actually going on, there is no cause for clapping, laughing, singing, or having a great time. I did not say one could not be joyful interiorly. Just that the circumstance is not one of outward expressions of joy.

I was only expressing in my previous comments that the liturgical music so often used, conveys a different messge than one of somber joy. Good grief no one ever said that we can't be joyful that Christ gave His life for us and allows us to eat His Flesh.
Actually...we're not. The Mass is the UNBLOODY sacrifice of Calvary made present before us.

I work closely with many young people in the Church. I love Gregorian chant as much as the next person, but the reality is that most young people don't. Why are Steubenville Youth Conferences so popular? I think there are many reasons for this, first among them is the work of our Lord. But, I don't think we can ignore that the music appeals to the senses of the average young person.

I'd rather have young people come to Mass and be converted to being a disciple of our Lord than not coming. If Matt Maher and his music can be the conduit to that conversion, so much the better.
  #23  
Old Dec 5, '12, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Praise Music Used in The Catholic Church

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Indeed we ought be joyful as Catholics, in this I agree. Especially when receiving our Lord in the Blessed Eucharist. However, this is an inward joy.

It is the exact same moment in time when he was crucified 2000 years ago. It is his death. period. The exact moment when Our Lady was at the foot of the cross weeping for her Son. When our God was killed. And it is happening right before our eyes. Would you feel compelled, with the Blessed Virgin to your side, to express your joy outwardly at that moment in time? I very much hope not.

This is not to say that we ought disobey the rubric of the OF and be silent. The point that I was originally tried to make was that the Mass is not a time for lovey-dovey emotions amongst the faithful. The music ought set the tone for the Sacrifice. Drums, guitars, and modern vocals do not do justice to the action taking place.

The definition of reverent is " showing or feeling deep and solemn respect ". Modern music is not appropriate to fulfill this role. Ever. Why would anyone want secular-sounding music at the Mass? It is because people forget too often that a death is taking place.

Dear KLJM12,

Cordial greetings and a very good day. A warm welcome to the world of CAF and I trust that you will find your time here spiritually profitable and informative. Jolly splendid post and my sentiments entirely.

There is in much contemporary Catholicism, dear friend, an inordinate emphasis on being joyful and smiling, which I think has been imported by former Evangelical converts who have crossed the Tiber to the Church. Unfortunately, the singing of repetitive ditties and rousing 'worship songs' has gained currency within Catholicism in recent decades and this has not been conducive to a spirit of reverence and a sense of the numinous within divine worship. Indeed, a want of due reverence has resulted in Holy Mass resembling more a Protestant Pentecostal style service, complete with hand clapping and swaying in the pews. This irreverent informality, of course, suits the free and easy approach to public worship favoured by so many today, especially the youth, as it is much less formal and dignified. It is also a lot less demanding than Gregorian Chant and even the traditional hymn singing.

It is said that Christians have much to be joyful and smile about and that each Sunday is a sort of minor celebration of Easter, but Holy Mass is supposed to be a solemn occasion. Moreover, there is, dear friend, a complete misunderstanding as to what authentic Christian joy actually is. True joy is something deep within a man's soul and is often not even expressed in the countenance, but is is, nonetheless, very real. It is, as I know from personal experience, the sort of joy that will get a man through his darkest affliction filled hours by giving him the necessary fortitude to withstand his various trials and tribulations - it is the 'joy of the Lord' which is his strength. In any event, it needs to be remembered that not everyone who has a smile upon their face necessarily has a smile upon their heart.

Having said that, dear friend, I will sing anything provided that it is orthodox and provided that it fosters a holy reverence. Much of the great Anglican hymnology is jolly splendid stuff and fits the bill perfectly and I was pleased to discover that Catholic parishes here in the UK do include many Anglican hymns in their hymnals. However, the majesty and splendour of those Anglican hymns are poles apart from Pentecostal style worship songs, which lack depth and a sense of the numinous and are more at home in a sing along party atmosphere.

The need of the hour is to teach our present day youth to approach divine worship in a more reverent and dignified manner, inculcating to them that the Sacrifice of the Mass is a very solemn occasion - "Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness".


God bless.


Warmest good wishes,



Portrait



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  #24  
Old Dec 5, '12, 5:41 pm
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  #25  
Old Dec 5, '12, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Praise Music Used in The Catholic Church

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I hope that all who do not find modern liturgical music reverent and worshipful will be able to find and joyously attend a more traditional Mass, just as many of us who do not find ancient music worshipful or beautiful are able to joyously attend a more modern Mass.

Holy Mother Church is truly wise to allow for so many different musical styles in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass!
I certainly hope so too. The problem lies in the fact that for 50+ years, we have been permitted this contemporary music to spread and gain a toehold (some might say, a death grip) in 95% of parishes around the world. The problem is that the music preferred by the Church, that is proper antiphons, psalms, Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, the use of the organ and of Latin, have been all but nonexistent since the reforms of Vatican II. It is interesting to see people "vote with their feet" when they are given the option of one or the other whatever type of thing.

Certainly there is a wide spectrum of licit music that is acceptable for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Unfortunately, the likes of OCP have gained such currency in the Church of today that it is difficult to express the idea that this wide spectrum exists, rather than a tiny band of contemporary compositions from a small farm of composers mostly working in the 70s and 80s.

It would be fantastic even if a significant minority of parishes provided music in the vein of types that have been discussed here, particularly of the types recommended by the Church. But the fact remains that that music has been unavailable and unheard for many decades. The fact remains that many of the faithful are not so much resistant to this kind of music as they are resistant to any kind of change happening. As I am exploring in my own thread, when you throw away the old trusty hymnals and impose chant by fiat, a lot of things can and will go wrong. But I do have faith in God, as well as faith in human nature. I believe that people can be obedient and open-minded when it comes to the mind of the Church. I believe that if people are properly catechized and prepared, that they will welcome, with open arms, liturgical reform that conforms to the will of God and of the Church. I grant that contemporary music with certain instruments can still be offered to the faithful who need it, in a pastorally appropriate setting, but I firmly contend that the requirements of the Church should be first and foremost considered when effecting liturgical reform of any kind, especially music.
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  #26  
Old Dec 6, '12, 4:01 am
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Default Re: Praise Music Used in The Catholic Church

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I certainly hope so too. The problem lies in the fact that for 50+ years, we have been permitted this contemporary music to spread and gain a toehold (some might say, a death grip) in 95% of parishes around the world. The problem is that the music preferred by the Church, that is proper antiphons, psalms, Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, the use of the organ and of Latin, have been all but nonexistent since the reforms of Vatican II. It is interesting to see people "vote with their feet" when they are given the option of one or the other whatever type of thing.

Certainly there is a wide spectrum of licit music that is acceptable for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Unfortunately, the likes of OCP have gained such currency in the Church of today that it is difficult to express the idea that this wide spectrum exists, rather than a tiny band of contemporary compositions from a small farm of composers mostly working in the 70s and 80s.
At this time in history, various musical styles, including contemporary musical styles, are still considered "liturgically correct" and not only allowed, but encouraged for use in the Holy Mass. No parish is doing anything "inferior" to offer the best music in modern styles that they are capable of offering.

I doubt very much that that OCP infiltrated the Church in the U.S. and "took over" the "good music" out of any "sinister" motives.

Rather, the OCP was able to meet a very genuine need for easy Mass music that could be sung or listened to by people who had virtually no knowledge or background in choral singing due to the decline or elimination of music education in the public schools beginning in the 1970s.

IMO, OCP is to be highly commended for meeting that need. Without them, it is possible that there would be no Mass music, other than in the "big city" churches that are able to attract musicians and parishioners from nearby universities.

For several years in the early 1980s, all sports and arts were eliminated in our city's public schools due to lack of funds. There was a large exodus of children and teenagers to the parochial and private schools in the city, and also the beginnings of a home school movement. But the majority of families didn't have the income to leave the public schools for private schools.

I know that other school districts in the U.S. have experienced the loss of sports and arts due to lack of funding. The pressure on public schools to vamp up the academics (math, science) is tremendous, and has resulted in a decline in the arts and sports programs.

In our city, public school elementary students currently receive a mere half hour PER WEEK in choral singing. Unfortunately, the music used in many of these chorus times is hip-hop or Tejano, or some other music that is appealing to African Americans and Hispanics. Euro-Centric music is simply not done, mainly out of fear of offending people and creating racial tension. (Our public schools were embroiled in a discrimination lawsuit in the 1990s that really hurt the schools.)

We simply MUST take into the account the considerable harm that the complete or partial loss of public school music programs, even for a few years, has had on music in our churches and in the secular realm as well. It is not a question of Christians being "unwilling" to sing more traditional music, or "rebellious" against traditional music. The people don't know HOW to sing or even listen to this type of music! We would have an easier time teaching cats to sing chant, rather than graduates of the U.S. public school system.

I think that sometimes, those of us who revere music and raise up our children counter-culturally by giving them a rich music education in our homes tend to think that other people are doing the same thing we are doing. Not true. In many homes, the only music heard is pop music. In more homes than we care to admit, traditional and classical music is not only ignored, but denigrated.

Various posters on CAF suggest that "if we did Gregorian chant in the Mass, the kids would come." I think they are not being realistic. Certainly some teenagers would be attracted to this music because it is a novelty. Also, there are always teenagers who are "counter-cultural" and willing to buck the current trends and be true to themselves.

But because of the lack of music education and training, both in and out of schools, the majority of teenagers, along with the majority of adults, would find the chant unappealing and would very likely fall into the habit of avoiding Mass.

We are facing some very real and huge barriers to bringing "traditional" music back to the Catholic Church and for that matter, back to the Protestant churches. A lot of work must be done, and there are very few workers to do this work. Do NOT oversimplify the issue of "traditional vs. modern" Mass music.
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Old Dec 6, '12, 5:39 am
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Default Re: Praise Music Used in The Catholic Church

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At this time in history, various musical styles, including contemporary musical styles, are still considered "liturgically correct" and not only allowed, but encouraged for use in the Holy Mass. No parish is doing anything "inferior" to offer the best music in modern styles that they are capable of offering.

I doubt very much that that OCP infiltrated the Church in the U.S. and "took over" the "good music" out of any "sinister" motives.

Rather, the OCP was able to meet a very genuine need for easy Mass music that could be sung or listened to by people who had virtually no knowledge or background in choral singing due to the decline or elimination of music education in the public schools beginning in the 1970s.

IMO, OCP is to be highly commended for meeting that need. Without them, it is possible that there would be no Mass music, other than in the "big city" churches that are able to attract musicians and parishioners from nearby universities.

For several years in the early 1980s, all sports and arts were eliminated in our city's public schools due to lack of funds. There was a large exodus of children and teenagers to the parochial and private schools in the city, and also the beginnings of a home school movement. But the majority of families didn't have the income to leave the public schools for private schools.

I know that other school districts in the U.S. have experienced the loss of sports and arts due to lack of funding. The pressure on public schools to vamp up the academics (math, science) is tremendous, and has resulted in a decline in the arts and sports programs.

In our city, public school elementary students currently receive a mere half hour PER WEEK in choral singing. Unfortunately, the music used in many of these chorus times is hip-hop or Tejano, or some other music that is appealing to African Americans and Hispanics. Euro-Centric music is simply not done, mainly out of fear of offending people and creating racial tension. (Our public schools were embroiled in a discrimination lawsuit in the 1990s that really hurt the schools.)

We simply MUST take into the account the considerable harm that the complete or partial loss of public school music programs, even for a few years, has had on music in our churches and in the secular realm as well. It is not a question of Christians being "unwilling" to sing more traditional music, or "rebellious" against traditional music. The people don't know HOW to sing or even listen to this type of music! We would have an easier time teaching cats to sing chant, rather than graduates of the U.S. public school system.

I think that sometimes, those of us who revere music and raise up our children counter-culturally by giving them a rich music education in our homes tend to think that other people are doing the same thing we are doing. Not true. In many homes, the only music heard is pop music. In more homes than we care to admit, traditional and classical music is not only ignored, but denigrated.

Various posters on CAF suggest that "if we did Gregorian chant in the Mass, the kids would come." I think they are not being realistic. Certainly some teenagers would be attracted to this music because it is a novelty. Also, there are always teenagers who are "counter-cultural" and willing to buck the current trends and be true to themselves.

But because of the lack of music education and training, both in and out of schools, the majority of teenagers, along with the majority of adults, would find the chant unappealing and would very likely fall into the habit of avoiding Mass.

We are facing some very real and huge barriers to bringing "traditional" music back to the Catholic Church and for that matter, back to the Protestant churches. A lot of work must be done, and there are very few workers to do this work. Do NOT oversimplify the issue of "traditional vs. modern" Mass music.
At our local Catholic school they simply added another credit requirement that all but forced many students out of the music program.The public schools cut the arts first when tax levies fail.

This thread brings to light issues of culture and taste. The fact is, the wealthy white Western European male is not going to dominate the world's culture as he did through most of the last 2000 years. Our tastes in music will reflect that fact, there is no way around it. If you want to hear pipe organ and chant used universally at Mass, this is not a good development. But if you are an African person for instance, this is a great development.

Those who are determining culture will be more Oriental, Mideastern, Hispanic and African, relatively speaking. And the communication of this culture is instantaneous... the cat is out of the bag and it's not going back in. The days when one culture could hand-write music and liturgy, for a homogeneous audience, without input from other cultures, and have it be the same for 1600 years, are over. It's a done deal. The question needs to be, how do we keep and honor our tradition while at the same time respecting the needs and cultures of people who do not know our traditions, or may know them and even resent them?

If music at Mass expresses the truth of the Church, it needs to be respected regardless of genre.
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Old Dec 6, '12, 5:59 am
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If music at Mass expresses the truth of the Church, it needs to be respected regardless of genre.
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Old Dec 6, '12, 7:58 am
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I don't think we should generalize that persons of African or other descent, young people, or even those who like modern music styles outside of church want these things always in church. My wife is Japanese, is not a Catholic, and likes modern R&B (sadly). But she would hate to hear something sounding like a Catholic Jay-Z in church when she comes with me! I like rock among many styles of music I have affection for, but I hate Christian rock style music and prefer traditional hymns, organs, chant of the Mass, etc. in church. It's reverent, timeless in a real sense, and beautiful...it fits worship in the Mass much better by my lights than do guitars and raspy singing.
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Old Dec 6, '12, 8:48 am
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I don't think we should generalize that persons of African or other descent, young people, or even those who like modern music styles outside of church want these things always in church. My wife is Japanese, is not a Catholic, and likes modern R&B (sadly). But she would hate to hear something sounding like a Catholic Jay-Z in church when she comes with me! I like rock among many styles of music I have affection for, but I hate Christian rock style music and prefer traditional hymns, organs, chant of the Mass, etc. in church. It's reverent, timeless in a real sense, and beautiful...it fits worship in the Mass much better by my lights than do guitars and raspy singing.
I don't disagree with that at all. Actually one of the points of my post is that we should NOT make assumptions about what music works best for all people at Mass.
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