I’m still kind of flummoxed that parishes in the U.S. are using recorded music.
In our diocese, it’s not allowed.
It’s OK for parishes to play recordings of chant BEFORE the Mass, and I think that’s very conducive to worship and preparation of our hearts towards Mass (although I personally dislike chant, but I know that others love it).
But once the Mass starts, all the music has to be live, both the instrumentals and vocals.
And I’m glad of this! If we can’t even play and sing to the Lord, how on EARTH will we feed the hungry, house the homeless, visit the sick and the prisoner, etc.–all the truly hard stuff. Singing and playing music should be a picnic, a pleasure compared to these sacrificial acts of love (which we should also do with joy for the sake of Our Lord Jesus, Who gave Himself for us!).
Also, our diocese makes it clear when preludes, postludes, and communion meditations are allowed. During Lent, all of these are supposed to be gone as we pare down the Mass to a minimum.
I attended a Mass on Saturday evening this past week (had to attend a funeral right before, so I just stuck around), and I thought it was lovely that instead of a Communion hymn (congregational), the organist played softly (on the piano) during Holy Communion.
Now I love Communion hymns and think that of all the hymns in Mass, these are the most Biblical (Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn following the Last Supper). But I did like the instrumental hymn during Holy Communion. Many in the congregation were elderly, and the instrumental music was much easier for them than trying to get back to their seats, kneel those who could, which means I wasn’t kneeling), open the hymnal, hold it open while kneeling, and sing–that’s a lot!
Anyway, I could become a proponent of an instrumental or even a vocal solo during the Holy Communion time.