God if this city for Mass


#1

Our new music coordinator for the Sunday evening Mass brought in this song youtube.com/watch?v=VmC44K0xQLE along with a full drum set to play music on. What do you think.
He is very fond of taking top 20 Christian worship songs and putting them in Mass.
here are the lyrics.

[Verse 1]
You’re the God of this City
You’re the King of these people
You’re the Lord of this nation
You are

[Verse 2]
You’re the Light in this darkness
You’re the Hope to the hopeless
You’re the Peace to the restless
You are

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

[Chorus]
For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater thing have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City

[Verse 1]

[Verse 2]

There is no one like our God
There is no one like our God

[Chorus]
For greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

There is no one like our god
There is no one like our God

[Chorus]
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done in this City
Greater things have yet to come
And greater things are still to be done here

What do you all think?


#2

I think it is a nice song but it is not a style of music that is appropriate for Mass.


#3

It is inoffensive and contains no controversy that would be likely to ruffle the feathers of any Protestant, Hindu or Buddhist who listened to it, and is therefore devoid of any uniquely Catholic or even Christian theology, and ergo completely unsuitable for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


#4

Have you talked to the Pastor about this?


#5

I don’t really see how that follows, since the Psalms are the quintessential music of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and they too (being, as they are, from Jewish scripture) are likewise devoid of uniquely Catholic or even Christian theology. Incidentally, the image of the “City” is a frequent one in the Psalms and psalmodic hymns.

That’s not to say that this song, which I have not gone to the effort of listening to, is or isn’t suitable for Mass. Probably not, at least not for most Masses. But the idea that something sung at Mass must be “uniquely Catholic” is, well, frankly unCatholic.


#6

I should add that psalms are elegantly written and the poetic style they adhere to is certainly within Catholic tradition just as Catholic tradition is a continuation of Judaic history. The song in the OP is hippie dreck, but I suppose that’s just a matter of taste.


#7

Thanks to all who have responded so far. The other thing that is an issue for me is the drums and the practicing before Mass. It is loud, and I mean LOUD.
It seems like every song is a new Christian Worship song from the radio. I love Christian music and love going to concerts but it just seems so out of place at Mass.
Our Pastor is a great man but is from Colombia so he does not seem to quite understand the whole “Christian Rock” music issue. The new Vicar is young and American but is new and I do not have a read on his position yet. Plus I dont want to rock the boat if the issue is trivial. the new Music director is a friend, but is rather progressive and young. I have said things before about the music and it is a joke among many in the music group that I dont like certain songs. They think it is funny to play them anyway. There is one in particular that involves “hand dancing” (Trading my Sorrows, Yes Lord) and during the Chorus everyone does hand signs to “Yes lord” ( A yes sign, followed by a big “L” with the fingers.) I have told my kids not to do it and when the music group found out that I told my kids they specifically try to get my kids to do it and think it is funny.
While I know in my heart it is a trivial issue and that we are all friends, The music issue has really started to bother me.

Before I get some more suggestions I also want to add that this is the Cathedral, so the Bishop is probably aware. And I dont want to switch parishes or go to a different Mass because we help with the youth group and our kids are in the religious ed program that directly follows this Mass.


#8

Both Pastors happily and willingly seem to love singing the songs. It seems more of whole “culture of the parish” thing and not something that will be solved by “Gee I dont like the music” I dont want to be “that guy”, but it is getting out of hand…


#9

#10

It’s a nice song.

I wonder why we can’t have a middle ground. In other words, let the Mass be the Mass and then if one wants to appeal to youth or those who like this type of music, then have concerts or play this music during youth group meetings or church picnics?


#11

Exactly! Why do we have to put every decent christian song we hear into Mass?


#12

I absolutely agree I love Christian music. We listen to it all the time and go to concerts with the kids but it just doesnt seem to flow with the Mass.


#13

I would like to address this post as the former music director (13 years) for the Life Teen program at the parish that is being discussed. The young man being referenced took over for me in June. It was not my decision alone to make, but I highly recommended him for the position, have attended services where he is directing the music several times, and fully support the job he is doing.

The topic of picking music that is liturgically correct has been discussed at great length on a parish staff level. The parish employs a full time music director who has a doctorate in music composition, and the equivalent of a master’s degree in organ performance. The director is also well versed in the documents put out by the Church. He feels a responsibility as the director of music for the Cathedral parish to be an example for all of the churches in the diocese; therefore, he is constantly studying what Rome and the USCCB say about liturgical music.

I worked with him for the past six years after he started at the parish until I retired in June. He and I had many conversations about the degree to which we should use Latin in the Mass, and how to determine if songs are liturgically correct.

If you attend the Life Teen Mass at this parish, you will notice pieces of Latin used in the Mass to expose the young and older parishioners (the older of which actually make up the majority of the congregation at this Mass) to Latin. This is an entirely different topic, but I’m illustrating the amount of time and attention to detail that is put into the music program at this parish. I actually disagreed with the use of Latin in the Mass, and this is one point where the music director and I compromised. Jesus didn’t speak Latin…so…anyway, that would start a whole new thread and get us off track. I did incorporate Latin out of respect for my boss, despite never understanding how it still has a role to play. This is something that the Church is encouraging, so it’s not my place to ignore that at the Mass, even if I have doubts and discussions about it outside of Mass.

With regards to using contemporary music at this Mass, I fully support it (as the former choir director), the music director for the parish supports it, and the clergy supports it. I also support the new Life Teen choir director, and think his selection of ‘God of this City’ was entirely appropriate for Mass. I actually sat in on bass the night that he chose that song.

This is the Catholic Church, though, so my opinion doesn’t matter, nor does the opinion of anyone else besides our bishops. The beauty of the Church is that we have wise people who have thought through all of these issues, taking into account Scripture and Tradition. The U.S. bishops released a document called Sing to the Lord, and that is where this Cathedral parish takes its direction from, in addition to the bishop of the diocese (not just the opinions of my self and the music director).

I would suggest reading paragraphs 67-70 of Sing to the Lord (npmrc.org/documents/SingToTheLord.pdf). I will post paragraph 70 here:

  1. The cultural context refers to the setting in which the ritual and spiritual dimensions come into play. Factors such as the age, spiritual heritage, and cultural and ethnic background of a given liturgical assembly must be considered. The choice of individual compositions for congregational participation will often depend on those ways in which a particular group finds it best to join their hearts and minds to the liturgical action.

This parish offers a variety of music to meet the diverse cultural needs of the parish. Every Sunday there is a Mass that uses the organ and a full choir; a guitar/piano group that plays music from Breaking Bread; a Spanish group for the Spanish Mass; and the Life Teen group to appeal to a younger crowd, though, as I mentioned earlier, most of the people in attendance are not teens. They are people who have a cultural connection to this type of music.

I will sum this up by saying that I go to Mass first of all for the Eucharist. From there, I am willing to go at a different time or different parish to find music that speaks to me. There are so many options in the Treasure Valley of varying quality. Find one you are comfortable with, but don’t try to change something that most people enjoy.

I will agree with you on the hand motions. I never supported that, and frequently told the girls not to do that. It’s fine at a youth convention, but I haven’t been able to find anywhere supporting doing hand motions at Mass.


#14

[quote="Peter22, post:13, topic:297811"]

With regards to using contemporary music at this Mass, I fully support it (as the former choir director), the music director for the parish supports it, and the clergy supports it. I also support the new Life Teen choir director, and think his selection of 'God of this City' was entirely appropriate for Mass. I actually sat in on bass the night that he chose that song.

Excellent post. As a charismatic, convert, I was getting depressed reading the posts previous to yours. Reading most of the Catechism prior to my conversion, I came across very little that specified what "flavor" of music was required for the mass. I've read silly posts about how the only appropriate instrument is the organ; no electric guitars, no drums, no fun... When asked about African masses & their various musical instruments (including DRUMS), these naysayers would say "Oh that's OK, its their culture." Like organ music is our culture??

From experience over the last four years, I've found masses with contemporary music had much better participation by the faithful & a lot less folks "raced" out the doors when it was done. In fact, most times more people lingered around to fellowship afterwards, a good thing. I think this is signifcant when you consider the "mass" exodus by young people from the faith, after their confirmations.

The bottom line, the ultimate responsibility for conduct of the mass (& music) is the priest/bishop, in accordance with Church doctrine. Its great that some parishes have separate traditional & contemporary masses, with music appropriate to each. Anyone want to bet which one young people lean to?

I think the song would be GREAT at mass.

[/quote]


#15

Yeah, the traditional one. People have mentioned more than once on this thread that there’s more older people at the contemporary Masses…


#16

I was hoping to keep this on an anonymous level without pointing out which parish and where it is. I think it is important to keep things on a conversational level and not a personal level.
I obviously disagree with your view on the passage from Sing to the Lord. I think it is not so much a “cultural” issue but a lack of education issue. If we are letting Christian Rock artists dominate liturgy then we have fallen into a popularity argument and not a reverence argument. I would point to the idea that our Pope has expressed a love for traditional music in the Mass and also that the youth are fully capable of understanding and in fact yearning for something of substance.
There have been other abuses as well. the Hallelujah was changed a few years ago to a song that was used by JPII as his entrance song for WYD and was not an approved version to be used as the Hallelujah. Words have been added to the Angus Dei and the Great Amen. Adding the word " singing" is not correct. Not to mention the full circle “Huddle” during the Our Father.

However, this thread obviously hit a nerve. And it is a nerve I don’t want to hit. My family absolutely loves everyone who is involved at this Mass. We have grown up with you and you with us. The music at our Mass has become a distraction from the Sacrifice to me. And that may very well be my problem to work through. For my part, I struggle with and will continue to work on not letting such trivial things distract the focus of the Mass. And you are correct that some probably like the music but even if “most” liked it that does not mean it is without it’s own issues. And part of the problem with these issues is the way people are not free to have an opinion or input. That is why I do not feel that I can make it an issue or even bring it up anymore.
But most concerning to me is the “if you don’t like it you can leave” mentality that it seems many have. What a hurtful thing to say. We are talking about the Eucharist. A bruised ego is hardly something to compare that to. And we are supposed to be “All at the table.” That kind of attitude is not charitable nor is it intellectual. It smacks of the intolerance that only those who espouse “tolerance” are allowed to have.
If you wish to continue this conversation feel free to PM me and let us remember that being charitable, that is assuming the best intentions of someone, is very important. I love and care deeply for the new Music Director and I absolutely appreciated every single minute of time you personally devoted to serving my family and our parish. Which is why I am disappointed and saddened that this did not remain a general discussion thread and was outed as a specific parish. As you can see from the responses everyone was charitable but also not in agreement with the situation. I am hoping your response was from a bruised ego and not from your heart. I never intended to publicize the people involved, it is regrettable that it could not be kept anonymous. Remember, the Mass is about the Sacrifice of Our Lord for us. And while I think you overstepped the line in your response I recognize in myself the problem of letting this get to me and needing to “vent”.
my apologies.


#17

Yeah, the traditional one. People have mentioned more than once on this thread that there’s more older people at the contemporary Masses…


#18

First of all, it is VERY rude of you to point out that you know the parties involved here. This forum lets people post without revealing their personal information. For you to have figured this out and then publically announced it borders on cyber stalking. :mad:

This parish offers a variety of music to meet the diverse cultural needs of the parish. Every Sunday there is a Mass that uses the organ and a full choir; a guitar/piano group that plays music from Breaking Bread; a Spanish group for the Spanish Mass; and the Life Teen group to appeal to a younger crowd, though, as I mentioned earlier, most of the people in attendance are not teens. They are people who have a cultural connection to this type of music.

Thanks for that.

So what you are describing is one of those parishes where each Mass has a theme or a gimmick. And no Mass is just a regular Mass for people who want simple, CATHOLIC liturgy.

Moore11,

What you seem to have is an overabundance of people who think they are liturgists. They are degreed professionals. They want to make sure everyone knows they are degreed professionals and as degreed professionals, several rungs above us “ordinary” lay people. They make sure that they are appreciated for their productions. And that’s what they are - productions. None of us who are not degreed professional liturgist had better question their choice of productions or they will come back like Peter did and put us all back in our proper place.

I hope there is another parish you can attend. I know you don’t want to go but it seems you are outnumbered. Sorry you are having to endure this. I have been there too and it is very painful to see every Mass twisted to the whims of a music director or lay pseudo liturgist.


#19

I can understand how you feel. I have a hard time with the newer rock style contempory music. I do not find myself dwran into the Lords presence as much when I sing them. Sometimes they even seem to get in the way. I am not against singing a new song to the Lord ;the scriptures even tell us to do so. I just have a hard time with this style and many of the songs seem so shallow. Perhaps if I were younger it would be differant. I am glad I grew up with another type of music and singing in the church . I think that the churches are really loosing something by going compleately to this contempory style.


#20

First of all, I’ve never heard of the song “God if this City” before, it sounds grammatically nonsensical. How dare this progressive play such nonsense!

Second, perhaps you could post a line-up of music for mass of songs and mass parts that you feel appropriate and get back to us. For inspiration, you could go to the Life Teen official website and look at suggested songs for the aforementioned week’s liturgy and you’ll see a lovely song called “God of this City” reccommended. Or if you don’t approve of the suggestion provided by Life Teen, the organization of which your mass is named after, you could write a few songs of your own, perform and record them, and then post them here. I’m sure you could sell your record to all those previous commenters.

Finally, music should not have the ability to distract us from mass, only add to it. If it does distract, it suggests a lack of focus or inability to concentrate on the blessed gift of the Mass, which is unfortunate.


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