Music during Mass


#1

I have noticed an influx of musical instruments like guitars and drums during songs at Mass. This seems to be a bit too much Protestant influence. Since when did we get away from organs? Agree or disagree on Protestant influence.


#2

I think it is the influence of our secular culture and the way it has influenced secular religious music, which is a mainstay in many non-Catholic churches, particularly in
the non-denominational mega-type churches.

It's also due to our own growing ignorance about the Mass and about sacred music. Many Catholics cannot differentiate between sacred music and secular-style religious music. This is true even of priests.


#3

I agree on the Protestant influence as that is what has influenced music at Holy Mass. I wish only the organ and choir/schola were used but I don't see many Catholic churches doing that soon. Vatican II never, ever, ever imagined this or wished for this --- so that is sad to see. Read some of the Vatican II documents to see what actually is supposed to happen at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass according to the Ordinary Form. I suggest reading Sacrosanctum Concilium.


#4

[quote="opus101, post:2, topic:329560"]

It's also due to our own growing ignorance about the Mass and about sacred music. Many Catholics cannot differentiate between sacred music and secular-style religious music. This is true even of priests.

[/quote]

I strongly agree with this!


#5

Psalm 150

1 Praise ye the Lord in his holy places: praise ye him in the firmament of his power.

2 Praise ye him for his mighty acts: praise ye him according to the multitude of his greatness.

3 Praise him with sound of trumpet: praise him with psaltery and harp.

4 Praise him with timbrel and choir: praise him with strings and organs.

5 Praise him on high sounding cymbals: praise him on cymbals of joy: let every spirit praise the Lord. Alleluia.


#6

[quote="JM3, post:5, topic:329560"]
Psalm 150

1 Praise ye the Lord in his holy places: praise ye him in the firmament of his power.

2 Praise ye him for his mighty acts: praise ye him according to the multitude of his greatness.

3 Praise him with sound of trumpet: praise him with psaltery and harp.

4 Praise him with timbrel and choir: praise him with strings and organs.

5 Praise him on high sounding cymbals: praise him on cymbals of joy: let every spirit praise the Lord. Alleluia.

[/quote]

Of course other instruments can be used at Holy Mass reverently. But, the way they are used now is as if it were a performance. I have been to beautiful Holy Masses where there was an orchestra.


#7

Have you tried to learn to play the organ?

I have. I'm an excellent pianist and I often play for Mass. I decided two years ago to learn how to play the organ (pipe) with the goal of playing for Mass and being able to play for more traditional-style Masses, including the Latin Mass.

I can now play three hymns. And one of those hymns is an advent hymn. I can play a few Bach preludes and postludes. I'm working on a Vierne piece.

I am working on one of the AGO examinations (hymns), but it is really slow going because (1) it's very difficult to find the time to practice (2) it's even more difficult to find an organ to practice on that is available when I am able to practice and (3) the organ is just darned hard to play because it requires both hands, both feet, but only one brain to manage all this!

Here's one more problem, which isn't a problem for me, but for others it might be: my lessons cost $250,00 a month. I take from the best liturgical organist in our city.

So IMO, that's one of the reasons why you see more guitar than organ in the Mass. My cousin taught himself to play the guitar in only a few MONTHS, and he plays in clubs and at competitions. But an organ takes years to be able to learn well enough to play for others.

Another reason why you see more guitars than organs is the cost of a guitar vs. an organ, not just the initial purchase price, but the maintenance and repairs.


#8

[quote="holyfamily1, post:6, topic:329560"]
Of course other instruments can be used at Holy Mass reverently. But, the way they are used now is as if it were a performance. I have been to beautiful Holy Masses where there was an orchestra.

[/quote]

The OP seems to think that it is a "Protestant influence". When, in actuality, it is an American secular influence.


#9

:popcorn:

Pride of Place, my friends. Pride of Place.


#10

:thumbsup:


#11

[quote="Elizium23, post:9, topic:329560"]
:popcorn:

Pride of Place, my friends. Pride of Place.

[/quote]

:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


#12

[quote="Minnesota1, post:1, topic:329560"]
I have noticed an influx of musical instruments like guitars and drums during songs at Mass. This seems to be a bit too much Protestant influence. Since when did we get away from organs? Agree or disagree on Protestant influence.

[/quote]

My guess is that the organist advancing average age makes it impossible for them as a group to continue in the numbers you wish. And there is a very small pipeline of organist coming up compared to guitarist, drummers and keyboardist. In the end you make do with the skills church members bring in, strumming cowboy chords with a boom chuck on a guitar it may be or do without musicians. Even if you tried to train your own organist you will face attrition from people who stop practicing the faith and those that may take their in demand skill to a paying congregation or secular organization.


#13

THANKYOU!!!

I have often wondered about this question, ie. how hard is it for a pianist to learn to play the organ, so that I would have some idea of how many potential organists are out there and whether they can easily step into the organist’s job.

Our parish has one organist who plays every second week. She is quite old and I have grave fears for the state of music in our parish when she is gone.

Your post also explains why we have a plethora of guitar music compared with organ music at Catholic Masses - it’s simply the issue of the cost and ease of learning.

It looks like my efforts at improving the music in the parish will be better directed towards having sensible guitar music, rather than hoping for more organists.

Thanks again! You’ve cleared up one of the liturgical mysteries!

As to the OP’s question, I don’t think it’s the Protestant influence at all, as rather confused/lazy/dumb Catholicism which gives us intolerable music. Many Protestant churches have fine organ and choir music, and many of the others have, at least, tolerable modern music. I suspect that the state of Catholic music turns of some potential converts.


#14

[quote="JM3, post:8, topic:329560"]
The OP seems to think that it is a "Protestant influence". When, in actuality, it is an American secular influence.

[/quote]

Either way or opinion., does a rockband type musical instruments belong in the church is the point. Is this done to satisfy secular or Protestant type church services/Mass, which is my fear.


#15

We have an all-men choir in our parish singing on Sunday mass. We have an organist who play very good and we felt gratified including the parishioners as we sing all the hymns during the celebration of the mass which I think is the most important. That is; feeling that the Lord is really with us during the mass.


#16

[quote="Minnesota1, post:14, topic:329560"]
Either way or opinion., does a rockband type musical instruments belong in the church is the point. Is this done to satisfy secular or Protestant type church services/Mass, which is my fear.

[/quote]

I would think that "rockband type musical instruments" are fine for Mass, if used properly (and the OF Mass is not a "Protestant type Mass" FYI). I just wish that musical directors would learn that people not trained to sing do better in the key of Eb. It seems most don't know this or don't care. Oh, well. I'll just keep changing octaves. :shrug:


#17

People spend their time and their money on what is important to them.


#18

Guitars have been used for a long time - since the 60s when everything was changed to English. It was the time of folk music and so songs like Kumbaya were sung during the Mass. The music has changed somewhat but the guitars just never went away after that.


#19

[quote="Elizium23, post:9, topic:329560"]
:popcorn:

Pride of Place, my friends. Pride of Place.

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup:


#20

Our parish has a high-school kid who plays the organ, and very well.


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.