A challenge for those who don't like the music they hear at mass

I’ve recently joined this forum, and I’ve noticed many unfavorable opinions of music played at mass.

Here’s the challenge: Go get your bible.
For the first 2 weeks of July, what songs do you think are appropriate for mass???

Here are the readings: for July 1
1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21
Psalm 16:1-2,5,7-8,9-10,11
Galatians 5:1, 13-18
Luke 9:51-62

For July 8
Isaiah 66: 10-14c
Psalm 66: 1-3,4-5,6-7,16,20
Galatians 6:14-18
Luke 10: 1-12,17-20

My first question if I am to plan music for any given Sunday is “What are the Entrance and Communion Antiphons of the day?”

First we should look for musical settings of those, since they are the first choice of preference; Hymns based on the scriptures of the day are a secondary choice.

I don’t think any of the unfavorable writings I’ve read (and there seem to be many) have any tie to the readings at all. Not all scripture readings have music composed to reemphasize it in the music liturgy.

It seems their beef is with the style and composition of the music and differences in interpretation of what the liturgy calls the music to be (i.e. gregorian chant, sacred polyphony, latin, SATB, guitar and harmony, etc.)

I think most choir directors, choirs, cantors, and parishes do the best they can with the talents and resources God has given them. I’m not sure we can ever all agree on that term “appropriate” mass music.

We shouldn’t forget the real reason we are there and give thanks for the liturgy in all its forms.

This is an excellent point. Look first to the psalms and antiphons from the Graduale Romanum (first choice) or the Graduale Simplex (second choice). Then look to any other collection of psalms and antiphons approved by the bishops. Only then, look to other songs approved by the bishops. This is straight out of the GIRM.

I was taught to start with the Gospel, and other readings, myself, but I’ll add the anthipons below.

(Looking at the entrance anthipons, Several praise and worships songs come to mind…)

I’ve not only read complaints about musical styles… we all have our favorites and everyone is entitled to an opinion, I’ve read many posts here that claim music played at mass does not reflect our doctrine.

Surely someone on this forum who has posted negative comments about music at mass can come up with a few song ideas.
Or… maybe it’s really easier to complain than to try to be part of a solution. ***Please, *** prove me wrong on this one.

July 1: Entrance antiphon:
"All you nations clap your hands, Shout with a voice of joy to God
Communion Antiphon:
O Bless the Lord, my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name
**July 8: Entrance Antiphon:**Within your temple, we ponder your loving kindness, O God
As your name, so also your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.; your right hand is filled with justice

Communion antiphon:
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord; Blessed is he who hopes in God


My Diocessan Director of Music has often asked, “Why do we always gravitate towards hymns based on the scriptures of the day?” He always makes the point that, allthough that is a legitimate option, the GIRM clearly gives preference to the antiphons of the day, as you have just pointed out.

Yesterday, the Feast of Corpus Christi the church I attended - during communion - sang some song where the cantor repeated over and over, “Eat this bread; drink this wine.”

Now I am not one usually to get too exercised about calling the Sacred Body and Blood of the Lord “bread and wine” if it is done in a way that acknowledges that the “bread and wine” are not bread and wine anymore, e.g., adding “miraculous,” “holy,” “sacred,” referring to “bread of angels” or some such. Oddly, the words at yesterday’s Mass had no such qualifier. Normally, I would let even that slide, especially since it was not my parish.

However, in this day when so few Catholics actually believe in the Real Presence - and on the Feast of Corpus Christi - to fail to make the point that the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord really highlighted how far the average Parish has fallen. Of course the sermon that compared the Real Presence in the Eucharist with the presence of Jesus in the congregation just prepared me for the lack of orthodoxy in the communion hymn.

All of which is to say - I’d take anything orthodox at this point even if it were (gack!) syncopated modern dreck unrelated to the readings or feast day. I surrender, terrible taste in music is preferable to mis - or mal-catechesis.

Will answer this later - my hymnals are at home.

This is church teaching.

Jesus Christ is present in three ways in the mass: In the Word of God proclaimed, in the assembly of the people of God gathered, and in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.

Indeed - but the sermon was quite clear that the priest was teaching them as identical. That is not Church teaching.

Obviously, I didn’t hear the “sermon” (homily).

I SUSPECT that the priest was trying to remind you of the presence of Christ in the assembly gathered - because often people love to forget about this and focus on “Real Presence”.

For July one (using the Gather Hymnal)

#528 Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee

#800 Breathe On Me Oh Breath of God

#415 Oh Sacred Head Surrounded

#540 Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Joyful Joyful is a good all purpose praise song, I considered it for that mass.
In the last 2 weeks I stumbled across *“Let all mortal flesh keep silence” *and fell in love with the melody(same as for ‘Christians let us love one another’) I don’t agree with the guitar chords as written in the Gather book, but I found another arrangement in OCP, same melody, same key that sounds absolutely gorgeous with fingerstlye guitar…

The other 2 songs I’m not familiar with, but I’ll look at them.

Looking forward to hearing other ideas…

Oftentimes the priests blur the line way too much.

Especially this one. It wasn’t a first for him. The special irony was to do it on Corpus Christi.

That’s because the Real Presence is unique out of all those ways.

Christ is present in His Divinity

  1. In the Word
  2. In the People Gathered
  3. In the Priest as ‘persona Christi’

But it is only in the Eucharist that Christ is present in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

Christ is present in the Eucharist in the exact same way He exists in Heaven, as a Resurrected Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

Thanks, kage_ar for passing on your ideas. I may use a couple in the future. especially ‘let mortal flesh keep silence’

Unfortunatley this thread mirrors my experience in real life music ministry. There are far more people who willing to criticize than to offer suggestions, get involved, or be part of a solution…

Actually, there are more people who are subjected to bad music than have the skills to produce music, or keep hymnals around the house.

Basically, you’re saying that nobody has the right to complain about drek on the radio unless they have six zillion albums and can write up a programming schedule. It doesn’t work that way.

Everyone has a right to an opinion on this subject – whether they have good taste or bad taste, great musical knowledge or none. Even deaf people experience sound beating against them, so they have a right to comment, too.

And if you think the congregation is a hard sell, try the Judge on the Last Day.

No, that’s not what I said.

A few months back, somebody did this. Try a search.

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