First time post to Catholic Answers. I am an organist and a choir director at a regular, Novus Ordo parish. I work with kids and have been working on getting them to sing Gregorian Chant. We (the sixth, seventh and eighth graders) will be singing both the Latin Introit and Offertory for Ash Wednesday.
I have read the documents of Vatican II, (and earlier) and how “Gregorian chant should have prize-place in the liturgy”, etc… Pope St. Pius X wrote, in his Motu Proprio on Sacred Music: “the more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savor the Gregorian form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple.” How is it then, that Life-Line Masses and other entertainment-laden styles, have made it in to the church?**
I would argue that it is because of the circus-like atmosphere of many Catholic churches that our people don’t know their faith. To try to fight the indifference of a confused congregation, the priest then inserts his own ego, tells jokes and tries to be funny and relevant. Sadly though, the people end up both confused theologically and irritated at his demeanor, or so wrapped up in his charm that they forget, yet again, what is really happening on the altar. Either/both ways, the people are doomed to theological ignorance and thus can’t be fed what is eternally significant and necessary.
“And it is vain to hope that the blessing of heaven will descend abundantly upon us, when our homage to the Most High, instead of ascending in the odor of sweetness, puts into the hand of the Lord the scourges wherewith of old the Divine Redeemer drove the unworthy profaners from the Temple.”
-Pope St. Pius X