Guitar Mass ?

A few months ago a guitarist/vocalist started joining our pianist/vocalist in place of a cantor at Mass. At first it was OK, he played softly. More and more he seems to be doing his impression of Pete Townshend of the Who. Unfortunately unlike Pete, his playing/singing skills are really not up to speed. Worse, he just stands there at the cantor’s lectern poised to play even during the consecration! God forbid if he actually knealt like everyone else.

He takes away from the Mass. I can see it in other peoples’ faces when he gets especially obtrusive. Should I talk to the music director about this or just continue to pray on it?

By all means talk to the music director. If that doesn’t work, talk to the priest, who should be very concerned about anything or anyone detracting from the Eucharist.

I thought that nightmare was over in the seventies!

Okay, everyone sing along…

Amen, Alleluia
Amen, Alleluia
Amen, Alleluia
Alleluia, Amen

not much substance but they “felt it”.


Are we going to “rock out” for the Lord?

The 70’s much like AIDS, seems to never go away. Anybody remember this liitle tune that made the rounds for a while back then. All the Churches had it.

Put your hand in the Hand of the Man who stiiled the water.
Put your hand in the Hand of the Man who calmed the sea.
Put your hand in the Hand of the Man from Galillee.

Complete with tambourines, handclapping and a lot of swaying in the aisles.

Be glad that the guitarist himself isn’t the music director. Some of us aren’t so lucky. :rolleyes:

He really did start out OK. He didn’t add anything and he does not sing as well as one of our regular cantors, but it was no big deal. He was not offensive at first.

It is getting to be a big deal though as he gets louder and louder. I also detest the fact that he “tunes-up” his guitars just before Mass as people are starting to pray.

The other thing I don’t like is the constant need to “teach” new songs or ways of singing old ones. People used to really sing the Gloria, now many remain silent with our new Tin Pan Alley version.

This story is tangential to the topic, but given the season, not, I think, irrelevant.

In a well known story which happens to be true, in the late 18th century an organ in a Tyrolean church broke down and a man named Franz Gruber wrote a song to guitar accompaniment for Christmas Eve. This pseudo-Tyrolean carol, which is never heard in its charming original form but is always sentimentalized, came to be known throughout the world as, we would say in English, Silent Night. What people don’t generally know is that the original version has a rather subtle classical-style guitar accompaniment rather than the brainless strumming that typifies modern use of that instrument in the liturgy.

The problem exemplified in this thread is neither new nor likely to go away tomorrow. The guitar used in a popular style, even just acoustically, is expressly forbidden along with other worldly instruments, but these prohibitions are almost universally ignored. Some parish music directoirs play guitar as their first and maybe only instrument and would simply dismiss someone as a loony who suggested that their obscene strumming is counter to the spirit of worship. I’m sorry I have no solution to suggest. I do know that the Anglicans have done a better job of maintaining a sense of aesthetics in worship, though I am hardly suggesting a defection to them for that reason.

Coombya my Lord,

I love that song!! But I can’t picture it sung at church!

Oh, Oh, Oh! I remember, I remember (mom stands shaking raised hand!)

thanks for reminding me…:frowning:

I don’t believe the use of a guitar at Mass is in any way prohibited (it may not be preferred like the pipe organ, but it certainly is not prohibited) and I don’t want to cloud the issue. I have heard the guitar played beautifully during the Mass. But this man does not do that. He plays loudly, with marginal ability and he shows very little reverence and respect to the Mass and those around him. I hope to talk to the music director.

My problem is that I remember notions without knowing how to quote the documents, and of course that means I might get something wrong. There is a church directive against “profane instruments” or something to that effect that, like every document on the celebration of the liturgy, is widely ignored. Someone else will know what I mean, or if I am off base here, will correct me authoritatively.

There are also, I am sorry to say, being an organist myself, bad organists, so if the issue is simply that the playing is not good, I do get your point. “Not good playing,” however, can be defined various ways. I attended the funeral of a dear friend where the main accompaniment was guitar. Quite amazing how that instrument, properly played for strummed chords at least, can still be offensive (starting right in, for instance, without even giving the congregation a basis on which to find the first note).

That’s one of the songs scheduled for Mass this coming Sunday. I thought it had disappeared long ago.

We have an organist who played that song from Disney about Little people all over the world while tuning up for Mass.

That song goes back to the fifties. I like the song. I liked the guitar Masses and it’s easier to transport guitars than pianos.
Also, it got younger people back to Mass.

I understand this is from the 70’s although I recently heard it for the first time.

Everybody now!

*"Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name!
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done,
**Hallowed be Thy name!
etc. etc.

*Now hum with joy as the priest prays the doxology, then, all together with even greater enthusiasm!!:
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and glory hallowed be Thy name!
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, hallowed be Thy name!
Amen, Amen it shall be so, hallowed be Thy name!
Amen, Amen it shall be so, hallowed be Thy name!

(swaying as you hold hands with your neighbor and across the aisle is optional, but encouraged!).

Ai yai yai. By all means, speak to your pastor before this guy’s emulation of Pete Townsend escalates to his windmilling his arms and smashing his guitars.

I am afraid you are getting it slightly wrong. It is “hallowedah” with four syllables. I am sorry to report that it still exists in the current hymnal of the United Methodist Church.

I am an old bar room musician, who played pedal steel guitar in bands for almost thirty years. I can’t think of anything that sounds worse, than guitars played at Mass, that are not in tune with each other. My other pet peave, is that they think that after Holy Communion, they have to play every second until the priest stands for the final blessing. Heaven forbid we should have a few seconds without music to reflect and pray. The guitar player at a neighboring parish has a beautiful voice, but has everything pitched so high, that hardly anybody, especially men, can sing. As far as I’m concerned, they could eliminate guitars tomorrow, and I would be happy. End of rant. Merry Christmas to all!

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