[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.
- 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.
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…