Electric Guitars and bass in the Choir? Advice

My parish choir has just announced in the bulletin that they are seeking new musicians. They then added, “We are especially interested in electric guitar, bass, drums and winds. A special invitation goes out to any of our teens and young adults.”

I’m 100% for getting younger people to be active in the Church, but I just don’t know what having an amplified electric guitar, bass, and drum set will do to our atmosphere.

Our Choir, this one at the 5:30 pm Mass, has their own mindset, and sometimes their own melodies they like the congregation to say the Our Father. Sometimes it bothers me that they have long flute interludes between the end of the Our Father and the “For Thine is the…” segment while we are all still holding hands.

There’s about 10 musicians in the choir now: One lead singer (who’s really, really gifted and good!), three back up singers, two acoustic guitars, a flute, a violinist, a bongo drum player, and a lead pianist (who’s the conductor/director)

Am I being over-reactive in wanting to write an email to the Pastors at our Church about not wanting amplified electric guitar, bass, and drums at the 5:30 pm Mass?

It’s difficult for me to get to the earlier Masses, so if they do start this rock band music, I see myself driving to a much smaller parish three miles away.

I’m wary of writing a letter because two of the musicians are also in another small ministry I’m in. I don’t want to upset that relationship. And, they may not want the electric amplified instruments as well, they’re 50’s or so.

I just see the new direction as ‘not really Catholic’ and not really conducive to feeling the Holy Spirit.The parish may see it as a way to bring in youth. Should I concede the 5:30 pm Mass to this experiment without voicing myself? Because it may workout.

I don’t know. Advice?:slight_smile:

Real singers do it acapella.


We can soon expect hordes of people descending to tell you to write to the Bishop, a Cardinal, the Nuncio, your grandmother (well, you should probably do that last one anyway). Oh, and they’ll tell you to go to the EF.

The real answer? Talk to your priest about your concerns, as he runs the parish. But one Mass out of all of them in the entire weekend having “contemporary” music, to me, isn’t the end of the world.

I agree that the rock concert atmosphere is not fitting for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, but since these things are often allowed, the only leg you have to stand on is your conviction. Go ahead and write your pastor respectfully. If you feel you can respectfully find a way to tell him you’d rather go elsewhere than have a rock band at Mass, you may want to mention it. Just respect your priest (I’m sure you already do, just a reminder) and resign yourself to accept his decision like a good Catholic. If the only Mass you can make there becomes a rock n’ roll Mass, I think you should take your own suggestion and quietly change to a different parish. It doesn’t have to be dramatic. You just need to be able to pray at Mass, end of story.

I fail to see why this matters.

That looks like a small jazz combo, so maybe its not a rock-style lineup. I’d wait and see how it sounds. If you want to draw a line, ask that the amp settings are not rock.


Because 1.) Rock n’ Roll has its origin in illicit sexual behavior; and, 2.) those of us who grew up “before rock n’ roll” (i.e. pre-Elvis) find it disturbing in the context of the Mass. It distracts us from worship.


I would opt for the small parish, since it is only three miles away.

:thumbsup: I’m nineteen and I totally agree!! But it seems like there could be a balance, as long as it’s done reverently I guess. If they started doing electric guitar solo’s in Mass though…:eek:

maybe the little combo is just going to play hymns in an acoustic setting (on the amp) with generic church or shuffle strums.

I’d give it a try.


I was born long after Elvis (well maybe 4 years before he died) and I find it disturbing in Mass. Just wanted to point out its not a generational thing. :slight_smile:

Personally, when I think of flutes, violins, bongo drums, and acoustics I find it hard to picture a rock concert. Whether the electric guitar changes that depends on how they incorporate it within the already existing framework. I imagine it can be done really tastefully, sounding more creative and mature.

Psalms 150 : 1-6

Quick, lets argue about something entirely subjective, when the reality is the OP can simply talk to a couple of people, collect information, and then make the choice of where he wants to go to Mass!

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: AMEN!!! :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

God bless

It worries me that you say there’s a “Thine is the Kingdom” at the end of the Our Father. That is not in the Mass. It should NOT BE in the Mass either, it shouldn’t be added to the Our Father. Something similar is said…“The Kingdom, power and glory are yours now and forever…” in response to the Priest shortly after the Our Father, but it is not part of the actual Pater Noster itself. I would write and ask your priest about that as well, while keeping in mind he is a priest and deserves our respect no matter.

I think you should write to your parish priest about ALL of what the choir is doing. Bongo’s? Guitars are bad enough. This is not sacred music. We don’t do the Salsa dance during Mass, or any dance at all.

I doubt you’ll upset the other musicians. You can write to the priest, and ask him not to reveal your name. You can also write the director, and request him to not say your name.

Do voice yourself, these things are grossly inappropriate for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass! God Bless :signofcross::byzsoc:


suggest it be an acoustic or classical guitar. Express what you are concerned about to your music director and priest. Just because it is electric doesn’t mean that it will be a rock concert. You need to see who steps forward and what they can do.

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