Instruments for Mass


#1

If you had to pick what sort of instrument(s) to have at Holy Mass (other than vocals) what would you consider the best suited for Divine Worship?
I like the strings and piano, the organ is okay and traditional as I prefer, but if you mess it up or play too fast…WOW, it sounds nasty!
Nothing sounds better than the string instruments with a woman or a male/female choir singing to me.

Note: I am young and I absolutely love guitars, but can’t stand them at Mass since no one there can play as good as Stevie Ray Vaughn or Joe Satriani not to mention, they are a distraction there…just like the drums and those hippie tamboring things…

The vocals are suppose to be the only instrument God “made” not “mad” as I stated above…spelling error…seems I had too much stupid powder on my cereal this morning.


#2

PIPE ORGANS!!!
The most Heavenly sound ever. The closest thing to the choir of Angels.


#3

I like pipe organ once in a while, but I prefer an ensemble with piano, woodwinds, and strings.


#4

“Guitars, Drums, Tamborines, Maracas” are no less worthy then a piano…

Pipe Organs are the tops, however…


#5

I never answer polls that are agenda-oriented or slanted. The last choice goes beyond church teaching. The same document that gives the organ a place of pride allows for other instruments. There is nothing that officially distinguishes flutes, violins and guitars. Room for judgement is allowed as to what an individual priest (or parishoner) deems appropriate, but there one billion individual opinions,


#6

[quote=pnewton]I never answer polls that are agenda-oriented or slanted. The last choice goes beyond church teaching. The same document that gives the organ a place of pride allows for other instruments. There is nothing that officially distinguishes flutes, violins and guitars. Room for judgement is allowed as to what an individual priest (or parishoner) deems appropriate, but there one billion individual opinions,
[/quote]

WELL said…

I have been to a Mass where the musicians were mariachis. They were awesome. No, they did not play loud and harshly. They played elegantly – their rendition of Immaculate Mary was awesome.

So while a harp (my favorite insturment of all) and the woodwinds section may seem “better” from an extremely arrogant and bigoted point of view, pnewton hit the nail on the head with his/her comments on what the Church actually directs.


#7

How about some hard heavy metal and some rap music-and some bongos-hey I hear liturgical dancing is even allowed under some instances. Or why not a 12 piece band like at a wedding,we can rock and roll and sing the Our Father to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven.

Absurd-and you call the Traditionalists arrogant-I think the entire premise of these instruments and lack of reverence is arrogance at it’s finest-having the mass change to please you instead of you conforming to God


#8

I hate to say it, but I really don’t like having guitars in mass (or anything else in the family of stringed and strummed instruments), as they are meant for accompanyment with a single or few vocalists. They are very ineffective at backing a choir or cantor. Its very hard for people (as in the vocally untrained laity at Mass) to find the meter of the music particularly for the psalms. If you add a tamborine it becomes a hippy mass.

Most other instruments seem acceptable, as long as they are kept in their place. No need for a lead Saxohone (or Clarinet, or trumpet, or insert your favorite instrument here) during mass. Thats not to say that they may not have a place…before or after mass would be fine. Have a parish concert or dance. Enjoy the music, play what you want…just don’t eclipse the Mass.


#9

PIPE ORGANS!!!
The most Heavenly sound ever. The closest thing to the choir of Angels.

Since I am an organist, I must agree with you. I play all the classic Masses, but no one wants to hear them. I recently went to a Catholic funeral, where the entire music was from Celine Dion. (sp?) This was a Mass, mind you.


#10

There is litiguracal music written for guitar, drums, bass and even saxaphone.

For those of you who don’t condier these instruments, realize that there are those among us who don’t like organs. Organs remind me of those cheesy radio shows from the 50’s? that they re-play on the npr. Stop acting like we are holding oz fest in the church, its no less or more holy than anything that comes off an organ.


#11

I prefer the organ above any of the instruments listed, however, one that wasn’t listed was bells (not santus bells). Our parish has a bell choir and they are very very good, and the sounds truly are heavenly…I prefer this during the preparation of the gifts much more so than a hymn or some cheesy intsrument solo.


#12

[quote=pnewton]I never answer polls that are agenda-oriented or slanted. The last choice goes beyond church teaching. The same document that gives the organ a place of pride allows for other instruments. There is nothing that officially distinguishes flutes, violins and guitars. Room for judgement is allowed as to what an individual priest (or parishoner) deems appropriate, but there one billion individual opinions,
[/quote]

From what I read, it’s actually Gregorian Chant that is supposed to get “pride of place.” From the document Sacrosancutm Concilium (1963)
116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.

But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30.

  1. Religious singing by the people is to be intelligently fostered so that in devotions and sacred exercises, as also during liturgical services, the voices of the faithful may ring out according to the norms and requirements of the rubrics.

120. In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things.

But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship, with the knowledge and consent of the competent territorial authority, as laid down in Art. 22, 52, 37, and 40. This may be done, however, only on condition that the instruments are suitable, or can be made suitable, for sacred use, accord with the dignity of the temple, and truly contribute to the edification of the faithful.

Yet most parishes I visit do not have either Gregorian Chant nor give the organ the status described in this document. Most seem to be opting for something else. Everybody seems to be saying, “Yes, the organ is recommended, but we don’t like it so we choose not to use it at all.” That is not the intention of the church. In this case, we have been given an inch by the magisterium and have taken a mile. If the organ is to be held in high esteem, maybe each parish should buy one first before it invests in drum sets and other instruments. Have the organ music, and then work on including other kinds of music instead of the other way around. Isn’t that reasonable in keeping with liturgical norms? I see too many parishes rejecting the organ in favor of the rock band.


#13

[quote=Chris-WA]From what I read, it’s actually Gregorian Chant that is supposed to get “pride of place.” From the document Sacrosancutm Concilium (1963)116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.

But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30.

  1. Religious singing by the people is to be intelligently fostered so that in devotions and sacred exercises, as also during liturgical services, the voices of the faithful may ring out according to the norms and requirements of the rubrics.

120. In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things.

But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship, with the knowledge and consent of the competent territorial authority, as laid down in Art. 22, 52, 37, and 40. This may be done, however, only on condition that the instruments are suitable, or can be made suitable, for sacred use, accord with the dignity of the temple, and truly contribute to the edification of the faithful.

Yet most parishes I visit do not have either Gregorian Chant nor give the organ the status described in this document. Most seem to be opting for something else. Everybody seems to be saying, "Yes, the organ is recommended, but we don’t like it so we choose not to use it at all." That is not the intention of the church. In this case, we have been given an inch by the magisterium and have taken a mile. If the organ is to be held in high esteem, maybe each parish should buy one first before it invests in drum sets and other instruments. Have the organ music, and then work on including other kinds of music instead of the other way around. Isn’t that reasonable in keeping with liturgical norms? I see too many parishes rejecting the organ in favor of the rock band.
[/quote]

The document does not say that…

Keep in mind it also says “pipe organ” as opposed to an electronic organ or synthesizer. Pipe organs are expensive to buy and maintain and with today’s technology, electronic synthesizers can simulate the pipe organ extremely well, along with the sounds of a piano as well…


#14

[quote=Nota Bene]The document does not say that…

Keep in mind it also says “pipe organ” as opposed to an electronic organ or synthesizer. Pipe organs are expensive to buy and maintain and with today’s technology, electronic synthesizers can simulate the pipe organ extremely well, along with the sounds of a piano as well…
[/quote]

Sure it does. Here it is again:
120. In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things.
If this is not a glowing recommendation, then I don’t know what is. Let’s not get legalistic here. Notice no other specific instrument is mentioned with such high regard.

I don’t think they are excluding electronic instruments that sound just like a pipe organ here either. Who cares as long as they sound the same? I also enjoy the piano. I’m just saying that you won’t even find the “sound” of a pipe organ–be it real or electronic, in many parishes, not because it’s expensive, but because people prefer something modern with a beat. In that, they are ignoring paragraph 120.


#15

You’re on dangerous ground here, Chris. Don’t quote the *actual *documents of Vatican II.

Instead, you must only quote expert liturgists *interpretation *of the documents of Vatican II. “Do not quench the Spirit” of Vatican II.

If you continue to quote Vatican II verbatim, people might start to think you’re something dangerous, like a Traditionalist. :tsktsk:


#16

[quote=Meggie]There is litiguracal music written for guitar, drums, bass and even saxaphone.
[/quote]

No doubt. By modern mediocrities.

For those of you who don’t condier these instruments, realize that there are those among us who don’t like organs. Organs remind me of those cheesy radio shows from the 50’s? that they re-play on the npr. . . …

If “cheesy radio shows” have destroyed your ability to appreciate sacred music, maybe you shouldn’t have listened to so many. And maybe they were even intended to do what they seem to have done to you.


#17

[quote=romano]No doubt. By modern mediocrities.

[/quote]

Oh, I am sorry, romano, no living person ever wrote a song for Mass…:rolleyes:

[quote=romano]If “cheesy radio shows” have destroyed your ability to appreciate sacred music, maybe you shouldn’t have listened to so many. And maybe they were even intended to do what they seem to have done to you
[/quote]

I am just saying that organ music is not any more holy to me than led zepplin is.


#18

Well, that’s not how the magisterium sees it, so your choice now is to go along with official church teaching or do it your own way. I only say this because today the church has a lot of the latter, which causes many problems much bigger than the one we’re discussing now.

I have just shown an official church document stating that the organ “…adds a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things,” but you don’t find it any holier than Led Zepplin music. So who is right here–the magisterium or you?

You see it’s just that simple. All of us have a choice to either listen to the Pope and the bishops and follow their guidance, or to reject them because of our own preferences.


#19

[quote=BulldogCath]How about some hard heavy metal and some rap music-and some bongos-hey I hear liturgical dancing is even allowed under some instances. Or why not a 12 piece band like at a wedding,we can rock and roll and sing the Our Father to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven.

Absurd-and you call the Traditionalists arrogant-I think the entire premise of these instruments and lack of reverence is arrogance at it’s finest-having the mass change to please you instead of you conforming to God
[/quote]

Right on!
I also think that the Our Father ws not meant to be a “song”. Perhaps chanting is best, but I was at a Mass where they made us sing the “give us this day our daily bread” part twice and it made it sound like they were confusing musical "feeling with actual legitimate emotions…it reminded me of Sesame Street…man, that makes me nauseous.

Organ, violins, cellos, harps and vocals (including of course the Gregorian chanting). Ah, how beautiful…
Mass should be Heaven on earth, not Billy Bob’ Schin Dig, Travis’ Ho-down or Pepe’s Salsa Fiesta.


#20

I think that all of those instruments can add to the worship of God. The music director at our church has a doctorate in music and happens to be the most talented classical guitarist I have ever heard. I would rather hear him play than have somebody mediocre on the organ. If any of these are excessive (particularly drums), then they most definitely shouldn’t be used. For example: Mass at school once, a guy played his guitar garrishly and sang some crazy songs. It was horrible (and disrespectful IMO). At our teen mass, they use a piano, guitar, drums, and sometimes flute (the guitar and drums are very subdued), and the music is beautiful. Now, personally, I like the organ, and I never get to hear it enough. And, as for singers, only if they actually know how to sing, please (oo, and the choir that sings at our church is good)

Eamon


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.