(I am on the Liturgy Commission and ask the following for one of our choir directors)
We’re working on a common repertoire for all the choirs, including Mass ordinaries, so that the congregation will participate more in the singing. However, all of us choir leaders differ in our knowledge of music in the liturgy, and what we deem appropriate and inappropriate (heretical).
I am not professing to know more than the others, but at the same time, I know that we have differing opinions about what’s acceptable. I’ve heard and read things (from official resources, word of mouth, Googling, our former pastor) about what’s optimal and what’s inappropriate for liturgical music.
However, I know that I can’t really propose ideas at music subcommittee meetings without the resources to back it up. I know already from the various personalities of the choir directors, in addition to the personality type of our pastor; I know that I need official resources.
My concern is that if I don’t research what is correct/acceptable and what isn’t, we may be creating a common repertoire that is in contradiction to Church teaching (on music in the liturgy).
We use the Breaking Bread (BB) Hymnal and pastor has said it is “theologically sound.” :bigyikes:
These are the concepts that I’m unsure about:
- Marian songs during communion,
- Marian songs after communion (such as the recessional hymn),
- Songs that glorify the congregation instead of God (we are this, we are that, we are so great…examples would be We Are Many Parts, Song of the Body of Christ, and many other songs in Breaking Bread that are composed in such a way),
- Songs that refer to the altar as a table,
- Songs that speak as if we are God in the first person (Be Not Afraid, I Am the Bread of Life, and many other songs in BB).
I’ve ordered a book entitled Why Catholics Can’t Sing and am hoping that it might point me in the right direction.
Thank you for any assistance or links to past discussions on this topic.