Fuming about ....

The ‘Peter, Paul, and Mary-hippie fest music’ at my parish.

I have tried to ignore it. I cannot help it though. I wind up leaving mass absolutely fuming over the style of music played during mass. I miss the beautiful choral stylings I used to hear. Now, they are not only using guitar (too crude and common an instrument IMO for sacred music), but have added a shaker and a tambourine! Mass used to actually ‘feel’ sacred to me. When I went, I felt that I was part of a holy endeavor. Now, I feel dirty when I leave because I am angry that this horrible music is played.

To make matters worse, My husband attended his second mass with me this past Sunday. The week before we went to the evening mass and he hated the music and laid-back atmosphere. So, he decided we would go to the 8 a.m. service. The music was the same. My husband is more angry over it than I am.

“I thought Catholics held very reverent services”, he said.
“I expect THAT at a protestant church, not the Catholic church.”

To make matters worse, we had visiting priests that talked about their mission churches in India and Africa instead of the homily. My poor husband was in a fit all week because he didn’t get his homily (he is not Catholic and I am praying for a conversion).

He wants me to complain. But, I do not want to be one of THOSE people at the church. But if I do not, I am afraid we’ll lose any chance of my husband ever setting foot in a church again. Any suggestions as to how to deal with this?

Feeling angry isn’t wrong or dirty. Jesus got angry, when he saw a situation that could not rightly be endured any longer. As St. Paul counselled, though, when you are angry, let it be without sin. Do not let the sun go down on your wrath. That doesn’t mean don’t let the sun go down on your resolve to address the situation! It means that you have the power to calm yourself in a day’s time. There is a way to ask for what you want and need that will not turn you into one of “those” people, no matter what anyone else thinks.

As you do this, treat all as Christ, as the least ones. Be kind. Keep in mind that the music at your parish changed because other of our brothers and sisters asked for what they felt *they *wanted and needed. Perhaps they felt the old Mass was stilted and made God distant. Whatever…I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter.

So say something yourself. Admit that you have needs, too. Say that the choices that have been made are not meeting your needs for a Mass that fulfills your need to worship in a reverent manner, and have been implemented so broadly that you have no other choices. You don’t need to make anyone else’s tastes out to be wrong and you don’t need to demonize the guitar to make the point that it falls short in delivering the atmosphere you need (although of course you aren’t being uncharitable or self-centered when you point out that there are rubrics or official guidelines that aren’t being followed).

If you aren’t heard, then do some research around to find out if there are others who have the same needs that you do who are not speaking out. I don’t mean you’re trying to round up a posse. I mean you’re looking for others with similar needs, so that altogether you can, in all charity, let your needs be known in no uncertain terms.

Stay charitable, but don’t feel a need to stay quiet. That is the road to hostility, resentment and bitterness.

PS It isn’t OK to leave out the homily, and it isn’t the same to get it elsewhere, I know, but if you don’t get a homily be sure to go online and look for one. I’ve gotten so I look for them even when I’ve gotten a very good homily. The ones that are written out instead of filmed are available earlier in the week, too. It’s a nice way to prepare for Mass.

I think you should take him to a parish he can appreciate instead–or better yet, admire. If you take him to the parish you have been going to, he may be permanently disenchanted with the Church. On other threads people have insisted that a person with concerns about a parish stick with their present parish and to try to work with theri parish by talking to the priest about such concerns, and by doing other things, but if you do this, you may be attending without your husband from now on.

If nothing else, it may help to attend elsewhere while a solution is being worked out. A need is a need.

I really feel for you and have felt similarly often myself. With myself, I just need to keep reminding myself that whoever is in charge of this thinks that they are doing the best they can do in the circumstances. I would imagine that almost all of the time the performers of this feel proud that they are able to give of themselves to Him. I usually end up feeling so humbled that I don’t even want to complain.

Imagine that someone in the choir wishes they did more traditional music once in awhile, only they can’t make headway because no one ever asks for “that stuff” any more.

Ask nicely, but do ask. Be grateful at efforts on your behalf. You might be pleasantly surprised by the result.

:yup: You can be sure that when my usual parish choir did Panis Angelicus (sp?) they heard my gratitude immediately. And apparently I wasn’t the only one, as I’ve heard more Latin hymns since (and they were stuck in Haugen-Hass!).

Thank you all for the lovely advice. I knew all this deep down, but it helps to hear it.

I plan to ask around. I’m not sure if I could go to Fr or if there is someone I can ask about giving us some of the ‘old stuff’. The choir director perhaps?

I am afraid my husband will not want to go back eventually. I mentioned trying another parish, but he is adamant about staying with this one. He feels a connection to Fr at this church and refuses to accept that he might also connect with another priest. They were both in Kuwait when we went over the first time (Iraq), both are Falcons fans, etc. So, I suppose I will have to make an effort to request some more traditional music.
I fear that what my husband expected and what he got were two very different things and he’s not happy about it at all. He was even bothered by the fact that the Tabernacle is off to the side and not at the very front of the church. When he does convert, I’m pretty sure I’ll have an ‘old school’ Catholic husband on my hands. I find humor in that as I’m somewhere in between on matters of “traditional” vs “VII”.

Our priest’s homilies are printed in “Our Sunday Visitor” each week, so I suggested my husband wait to read it since he did not get to hear it in person. (I think he intentionally looks for points to debate with Fr…but whatever works :smiley: )

Y’all pray for me. I’ve never been the most ‘charitable’ person. I have been told that I have an abrasive personality and I often wind up hurting people’s feelings without meaning to. I am already dealing with a great deal of bitterness and resentment (completely unrelated to the church) and it certainly won’t do to take a course of action that will lead to more of that. Keeping my mouth shut has never been a problem either. In fact, I am just learning to keep my mouth shut because I now fear what might happen if I speak up. It is usually not good. Speaking ‘charitably’ will be a new one for me for certain.

I would love this to happen in my Church. Music is a big part of my life especially that music which has meaning. I do agree that they should have a more Traditional style Mass at one of the sunday services also but really is modernising music in our churches so bad?

I find that more modern music in the church would be to more easily relate and also I would understand it much much more.

Now, they are not only using guitar (too crude and common an instrument IMO for sacred music), but have added a shaker and a tambourine! Mass used to actually ‘feel’ sacred to me. When I went, I felt that I was part of a holy endeavor. Now, I feel dirty when I leave because I am angry that this horrible music is played.

So wait a second you feel dirty because ‘a common instrument’ is being used. How about 'the voice '? That is also a common instrument and ‘a piano’. Guitar music can be very very sacred and is not crude or common at all. And what is wrong with a shaker and a tamborine? These instument are just as good as any other - while we have an an organ in our Church other cultures use a number of different instruments - go visit a Catholic Church in Africa and tell them that their instruments are dirty.

So, he decided we would go to the 8 a.m. service. The music was the same.

If there are a number of you at your parish that prefer the older music then your Parish should put on a service including this.

“I thought Catholics held very reverent services”, he said. “I expect THAT at a protestant church, not the Catholic church.”

These are words that I really dislike hearing, as a Catholic I would not expect someone to compare any other Church to ours in such a way. I once went to a Church of England Church and they did such toward Catholicism. I got really annoyed and really get angry when I hear it the other way - we are not in competition.!!!

Why can a guitar not give out ‘reverent’ music.
[LIST]
*]S: (adj) godly, reverent, worshipful (showing great reverence for god) “a godly man”; “leading a godly life”[/LIST]Just because it has a ‘different’ sound does not mean that the meanings and words are not ‘reverent’.

To make matters worse, we had visiting priests that talked about their mission churches in India and Africa instead of the homily. My poor husband was in a fit all week because he didn’t get his homily (he is not Catholic and I am praying for a conversion).

This is fair enough, maybe you should go ask your Priest why this hapenned. And maybe if next time instead of taking out part of the service they could add them on at the end for those who wish to stay and listen.

Remember that whatever you are feeling there are others feeling the opposite. I myself would love to see a more ‘my generation’ friendly service. Rather than concentrating totally on how old our music must sound, I would prefer our music to be modernised and relate to the youth of today, this can be mixed with both old and new music in one service. I don’t understand when people say that this music is bad, most have never even listened to the words. Usually I find that it is ‘change and difference’ that they do not like. —> Well if my church does not change its oldfashioned look and start relating to the younger generation it is going to fall, even with primary school connected when I go to Church I see no younger generation to keep the church going.

Protestants may be wrong about certian ideas and words but they are definatly right on evangilising in my area and modernising so as to relate to and be easier to understand for the younger generation…I am aware I just ranted for a while, I am sorry for doing this all on your post but it gets me quite worked up when people will not move from their old fashioned ideals even if it means no Catholic youth to carry on the Church. I mean you know offence, just think about some of the things I said and maybe you might see there are some good points of this new music.

Holy is the Lord God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
Holy is the Lord God Almighty
The earth is filled with His glory
The earth is filled with His glory

by Chris Tomlin

How is this not Reverent? It definatly fits in with my faith and as far as I am aware is similar to old Hymms only it uses a guitar!

God is Holy right?
The earth is filled with His glory right?

I am trying to understand what is so bad about this?

“but really is modernising music in our churches so bad?

I find that more modern music in the church would be to more easily relate and also I would understand it much much more.”
My Dear Fellicia , I am glad you like hippie music. My Mother and Father do as well. It is my personal opinion that it has no place in church.

“Now, they are not only using guitar (too crude and common an instrument IMO for sacred music), but have added a shaker and a tambourine! Mass used to actually ‘feel’ sacred to me. When I went, I felt that I was part of a holy endeavor. Now, I feel dirty when I leave because I am angry that this horrible music is played.”

“So wait a second you feel dirty because ‘a common instrument’ is being used. “

I believe that I explained exactly why I feel dirty when I leave mass. It most certainly was not because of a guitar. If you would care to examine the sentence structure it plainly explains that my dirty feeling is from my anger not a guitar.

“How about 'the voice '?”

The voice is the most perfect instrument given us by God. I would certainly prefer the naked voice to the nuisance of music we have now.

“ That is also a common instrument and ‘a piano’. Guitar music can be very very sacred and is not crude or common at all. And what is wrong with a shaker and a tamborine? These instument are just as good as any other - while we have an an organ in our Church other cultures use a number of different instruments - go visit a Catholic Church in Africa and tell them that their instruments are dirty.”

I appreciate your heartfelt sentiment in defense of the lowly guitar and other instruments. I truly do. You seem to be a very enlightened woman and so, please forgive me when I say this, I am shocked that you fail to recognize or respect the fact that I do not enjoy the guitar or the hippie style music played at my church. It has become a distraction for me in the worship of Our Lord. I take my faith very seriously, so this is a real problem. A very serious issue, quite unlike being bothered by blue nail polish (which is ugly, but feh. To each their own) If I wanted to be entertained, there are any number of festivals near my home that I may partake of. Were I in a church in Africa or India, I might expect things to be a little different. And now this music is endangering the chance that my husband, an agnostic/former pagan, might turn away from the church-because they played hippie music.

“I thought Catholics held very reverent services”, he said. “I expect THAT at a protestant church, not the Catholic church.”

“These are words that I really dislike hearing, as a Catholic I would not expect someone to compare any other Church to ours in such a way. I once went to a Church of England Church and they did such toward Catholicism. I got really annoyed and really get angry when I hear it the other way - we are not in competition.!!! “

Not in competition? Clearly, you are not familiar with the type of Southern Baptists I was raised by and grew up with. Clearly, you do not understand non-denominational churches are primarily businesses who entertain people to get their money. A few good souls in them, I am sure…by and large they do consider us competition that is why they attempt evangelization of Catholics.

I suppose it could give out sacred music. It falls short on my ears, though. I don’t think badly of you for your apparent like of the instrument. I hate it though (in church). And you don’t get to castigate me for it because you feel otherwise.

Your church does not have to change anything. It will always be the church and nothing will prevail against it. I listen to people all the time saying the church must change or it will die out. Bull. She will no longer be the church IF she changes.

If you want something other than the Catholic church as she is, move to whatever it is you do want.
I knew one of you would come out of the woodwork if I mentioned this. You seem to take it as a personal affront. It is MY opinion. Respect that.

What is irreverant about it? Nothing in the lyrics. But like all ‘forward thinking’ changes it is much more insidious. It causes one to think about things other than God (at least it does me). It sounds a sour note on my soul. It makes me feel as though I am at a camp meeting (music is supposed to elicit a feeling, an emotion) but I not at a camp-meeting. I am at Mass! And so it creates confusion and confusion is the work of the devil, dear.

I am so very pleased that you brought ‘your generation’ into this. I have several issues with ‘your generation’. Your need to take wonderful, beautiful traditions and rip them apart puzzles me to no end. Instead of creating something new, you have a desire to destroy everything you see as ‘old’. Why? Leave it alone and go start something fresh.

You cannot judge a piece of music only by the words. To say what is holy in a way that seems flippant does not give the impression of reverence, but of its reverse.

Again, I am not saying that the intention is to be irreverent or even that the music is wrong. I’m not making a blanket condemnation of guitars, or even–gasp!–tamborines. I am saying that the effect these instruments create may in fact be objectively wrong for some people. If music even seems to treat that which is holy in a profane way, it is upsetting rather than uplifting. It can give scandal. It does have a lot to do with how the instrument is played. Even the most splendid pipe organ can be made to sound as if it is directing performing monkeys in little velvet pants, rather than supporting worship (heaven forbid).

The solution is not to shout down the people who are scandalized by music that seems to profane the Mass. (I’m not saying you are shouting, BTW, but that this is sometimes the response chosen.) An attitude of reverence is an objective interior reality. We can choose our attitude, yes, but there gets to be a point where we can ask too much of others. There needs to be some room for accomodation. At present, the accomodation is mainly towards people who do not have enough music background to realize that music not accompanied by percussion and a fast beat does not automatically qualify as a dirge. The penduluum needs to swing back.

It sounds as though they are not just maintaining some status quo, but are adding music (and instruments) of this style to the detriment of other styles, and doing so at more than one Mass. When such a change is made, especially in something so important as liturgical music (a necessary or integral part of the liturgy, according to Vatican II), there must be a sound justification offered. Ask the pastor for such a justification. Ask him why one style of music is taking predominance in the parish to the detriment of all other styles? And ask him if this predominant style is the style that most fully meets the Church requirements for liturgical music (many council and papal documents available on this, try www.adoremus.org for a start). And tell the pastor that this music and its dominance is making it very hard on your husband’s ongoing journey into the Church.

Also, ask your pastor why music that spans only some 40 years of the history of the Church is given pride of place to the exclusion of music that spans 1950+ years of the history of the Church. If he says it’s to attract young people, tell him that young Catholics roll up their eyes at the “lame” music of their refuse-to-grow-up parents, and want music that is more sacred. See reformedworship.org/magazine/article.cfm?article_id=542 for evidence of this.

Finally, be sure and have your husband listen to www.choraltreasure.org to hear the other 1950+ years of sacred music produced by the Church. :slight_smile:

You’re claiming that traditional music pre-dates even the first Mass? Even chant is not documented back *quite *that far. Certainly organs are not. Go back too far, and we’ll be stuck with the shofar. :wink:

Something that has not been mentioned is that poorly-rendered guitar music is sometimes what you get when the parish is too cheap or too poor to pay for a good organist and music director. It is the fortunate parish that gets truly fine music for free. In fact, the parish falls short if they do not at least offer just compensation those who do so much more than their share of the work. Those who are undercompensated may also feel it their due to provide the music they personally like, and at the level of competence their free time allows, since it is all the payment they get. Who can blame them? The people who contribute nothing towards preparing the liturgy each week? Palastrina didn’t work for free.

In other words, some parishes get just the music they deserve, by getting what they paid for.

Well, you certainly did warn us:

I’ve never been the most ‘charitable’ person. I have been told that I have an abrasive personality and I often wind up hurting people’s feelings without meaning to.

Glad to see you have this self-awareness!:thumbsup:

My Dear Fellicia , I am glad you like hippie music. My Mother and Father do as well. It is my personal opinion that it has no place in church.

Indeed. It is your PERSONAL opinion. By way of full disclosure, it is also MY personal opinion. I despise the “hippie” music. That said, there is nothing illicit or wrong about hymns that have a modern or contemporary sound. While we may prefer Bach to Haugen, it still comes down to personal preference.

I believe that I explained exactly why I feel dirty when I leave mass. It most certainly was not because of a guitar. If you would care to examine the sentence structure it plainly explains that my dirty feeling is from my anger not a guitar.

I have been “forced” due to health problems to attend a parish that also employs a “hippie” group - the singer looks like John Denver. You are correct that it is MY SELF RIGHTEOUS ANGER that ruins the Mass for me. I allow my own personal preferences to interfere with my participation in the Mass. It is a revelatory moment when one recognizes the horrid thoughts going through ones mind during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

I appreciate your heartfelt sentiment in defense of the lowly guitar and other instruments. I truly do. You seem to be a very enlightened woman and so, please forgive me when I say this, I am shocked that you fail to recognize or respect the fact that **I do not enjoy **the guitar or the hippie style music played at my church.

But it’s not about our personal “enjoyment” is it? While some may find it more uplifting to hear the great chorale music of the Classical period during Mass, our full participation should not be contingent upon what music is playing.

It has become a distraction for me in the worship of Our Lord. I take my faith very seriously, so this is a real problem.

Because you ALLOW it to cause distraction, just as I do, at times. Anything can be a distraction in Mass - too many children crying, inappropriate attire, people talking, cell phones going off, etc. WE make the choice to remain centered on the mystery of the Mass.

A very serious issue, quite unlike being bothered by blue nail polish (which is ugly, but feh. To each their own) If I wanted to be entertained, there are any number of festivals near my home that I may partake of.

But you are contradicting yourself here - first you say you don’t “enjoy” hippie music and you follow that by saying you don’t want to be entertained. You do - it’s just that your idea of entertainment includes a different style of music.

Were I in a church in Africa or India, I might expect things to be a little different. And now this music is endangering the chance that my husband, an agnostic/former pagan, might turn away from the church-because they played hippie music.

It is impossible that the style of music would be the cause of anyone turning away from the Church. To be blunt, that’s just hooey. If faith is hinging on “personal opinion”, then perhaps you might benefit from speaking to your priest about how to overcome this stumbling block.

I suppose it could give out sacred music. It falls short on my ears, though. I don’t think badly of you for your apparent like of the instrument. I hate it though (in church). And you don’t get to castigate me for it because you feel otherwise.

Unfortunately, you don’t get to castigate your priest or the parish because they feel differently than you.

Your church does not have to change anything. It will always be the church and nothing will prevail against it. I listen to people all the time saying the church must change or it will die out. Bull. She will no longer be the church IF she changes.

I’ve been around a LONG time - before VII. This “hippie” music has been in our Churches for almost 35 years now. I think our Church will prevail over the guitar.

I knew one of you would come out of the woodwork if I mentioned this. You seem to take it as a personal affront. It is MY opinion. Respect that.

And you should respect your parish.

I am so very pleased that you brought ‘your generation’ into this. I have several issues with ‘your generation’. Your need to take wonderful, beautiful traditions and rip them apart puzzles me to no end. Instead of creating something new, you have a desire to destroy everything you see as ‘old’. Why? Leave it alone and go start something fresh.

Is this the part where you show your “abrasive” side?:frowning:

You are not bound to remain at a Parish where the music offends your sensibilities. But it sounds like your husband has made a choice and it may be that you both will have to learn to overcome your anger issues. I also observed by your statements that your husband prefers this parish because:

He feels a connection to Fr at this church and refuses to accept that he might also connect with another priest. They were both in Kuwait when we went over the first time (Iraq), both are Falcons fans, etc.

IMO, these are rather superficial reasons for staying with a Parish you so clearly dislike. Yet, your husband would rather “suffer” through guitar Masses because he and Father like the same team?

Find another Parish or find peace at the one you have chosen.

This view is probably the single most destructive error in the whole subject of Catholic liturgical music. The Church gives us clear guidelines, standards, models of what she wants her liturgical music to be. She holds up clear ideals which are to be emulated, and which can only be properly emulated by composers who are steeped in the sensus Ecclesiae. She clearly states that in the matter of liturgical music, one song or style is not as good as another. And nowhere does she state that it all comes down to personal preference.

I’ve been on enough of these threads to know where this will go and I am not going to get bogged down in a document competition. I am sure you can present your case with some pretense of authority, but you must know that there is no prohibition against the use of modern liturgical music.

Therefore, it is not illicit. All arguments for or against are merely personal preference.

And to clarify: I wish there WAS a prohibition against the Praise and Worship hymns. I abhor this music in Church. But, I also realize that I make a choice where to attend Mass - I am usually not forced to sit through “Lord of the Dance” at gunpoint. If I must attend, through circumstances beyond my control, then it is my responsibility to overcome my difficulties and make myself completely available to the Lord during the Mass. I figure if He doesn’t like the music, He will make it stop.

Sorry but you just can’t get from

to

All arguments for or against are merely personal preference.

To the OP:

Why not go to your Pastor and ask him whether there is a Mass available that uses the more traditional Church music? If there’s not, ask him, why the change?

My pastor happens to like some of the modern praise & worship songs, and our parish gets the OCP Breaking Bread book. He is loyal to the Magisterium, and has cleaned up a good deal of the “spirit of Vatican II” nonsense in a tactful and non-confrontational manner. He is also letting us know in advance about the changes in the Liturgy, giving us all time to get used to the idea.

He’s a good example to me of what a Christian, a Catholic, and a priest should be; and it’s worth it to me to put up with the OCP stuff to stick with him.

Besides, there are signs of hope… my favorite, the 7 pm Mass, which is especially for the college kids, now includes the Salve Maria (chant) and I haven’t seen a song sheet there for a while.

We also had an all-chant Mass with our new Associate Pastor this summer, and the music sheet is still in the back of the OCP! :thumbsup:

Ruthie

To the OP: I remember a story about one of the saints, I wish I could remember which one. He had a terrible temper, and asked the Lord to help him win victory over it. Then he left the chapel and the first thing that happened was that he ran into a brother who was very rude to him: someone he had always gotten along with! Shortly thereafter, another brother whom he had always had good relations with lost his temper with him. The saint-to-be blew up, then ran back to the chapel, begging the Lord to help him understand. You guessed it: the Lord was giving him extra opportunities to overcome this spiritual fault of his!

Maybe the Lord isn’t doing this to you, but perhaps there is an opportunity to make some lemonade here. Your husband, too, might realize that we don’t go to God as consumers looking for a product, but as beggars in need of sustenance. Being grateful for what we get is not a bad spiritual exercise. Surely the Lord will be pleased if you make the most of this bad situation, instead of giving him yet one more problem child to deal with.

Well, it isn’t true that one kind of music is as good as another, but I wouldn’t argue it the single most destructive error. I think the most destructive error is in believing that even legitimate differences over liturgical music make patience, kindness, or the other elements of the Christian love that we are commanded to put first into optional exercises.

The most important thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. St. Paul’s caution about not becoming a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal is surely apropos here.

From my post to the OP, you know I agree with the substance of what you’re saying, but you are not saying to just shut up and take it, no matter what, right? I agree with learning to accept those things we cannot change, but I hope you’re not arguing a total abdication of responsibility or a total roll-over when it comes to being as forthright with your own needs as you are willing to listen to the needs of others.

I don’t mean to get into a parochial fight over music, but there is nothing wrong with speaking up instead of carrying around a lot of resentment over an issue we haven’t been willing to speak up about. Nobody has to get crucified over rubrics, let alone likes and dislikes, but surely we can learn to communicate like civilized people. Even the pagans can manage that!

There are times when we do have to accept bad circumstances, there are places where there is nothing to be done for a certain amount of time but continue to patiently endure bad liturgy, but we owe it to everyone involved to repectfully speak up when things are not right. You never know what good things might happen.

And: let those of us who enjoy good music and good homilies week after week pause for a moment to give thanks. Surely we are greatly blessed!! :slight_smile: :thumbsup:

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