But this is coming from our Holy Father - a person who, I believe, we are to follow before our local bishops. As you say, opinions are opinions, but if it’s coming from one of our Holy Father, I believe his opinion holds much more ground than any of us.
You think this statement is saying that most people are too ignorant to write sacred music. To me, that doesn’t mean so at all. We wouldn’t want to go to a doctor who wasn’t “profoundly steeped” in his medical training or a theologian who wasn’t “profoundly steeped” in Catholic training and study or the “sensus Ecclesiae”. “Sensus Ecclesiae” just means the “Sense of the Church”. If that is taken to think that our Holy Father is saying most of us are too stupid or ignorant to compose sacred music, that’s putting a lot of words into his mouth.
Now, I wouldn’t call it “high-fallutin” - that’s a sure way to put it down to people who are not exposed to it. My grandparents used to think this music was “high-fallutin”. It wasn’t until they had a granddaughter who started playing piano and classical voice did they see that it was just pure music like any kind of music they listened to - not music for the intellectual elite. I am certainly not of the intellectual elite. I come from blue-collar stock whose parents worked their way up in life - like most Americans. Difference was, my parents - who were already on the outs of society because they were an interracial couple (Filipina and Caucasion) - never put down things, taught us that just because we don’t understand something doesn’t mean that it’s strange, elitist or “high-fallutin”.
Now I know that there are people who do espouse that and it’s sad. I know this even from teaching children. The youngest children were always the most open-minded about music. The older ones, already had preconceived notions either learned from their families or their peers. The job as teacher was to break that revolving cycle and do things to show that it is just normal music.
Nobody is saying that sacred music has to be ancient music. And chant is not piled into that category. It is and always has been in a category unto itself.
I’m not sure if you read my previous post, but this has nothing to do with “good enough”. I even said that some of the most beautiful “sacred” or “religious” music that I love and probably would be relegated to “High” music really should only be reserved for religious concerts. And of the sacred music from various centuries that I love and is appropriate for mass, I prefer some of it to some of the chant. Chant has been used in high and low masses. So this has nothing to do between high and low music. Both High and Low sacred music is acceptable at mass. What needs to be observed in the music is if the composition itself, whether or not it is composed by the most genius composer, is appropriately written for during the mass and follows the tenants laid out by the Church and further bolstered by our Popes through history.
Side note - I’m a normal person just like most of us on here and don’t live in an ivory palace and do know people who like “On Eagles Wings”. They are usually people my parents’ age (50s/60s) and is usually used for funerals of people around that age. At the same time, I have experienced time and time again in all various gigs - sacred and secular - that most of the people who claim they don’t like classical or ancient music, have never really listened or knew a person who did this music. When they are an audience to my performance at a concert or private event or are at a church for a wedding or a sacred concert, etc. many times, I received the same feedback that they originally never thought they would like this music, but were basically proven wrong after they heard me sing. Basically, we need to help people expand their horizons whether with music or anything else.
Wow, that is not the case at all.
I can say the same for so many of my generation who think music like “On Eagle’s Wings” is laughable and hoaky and had it forced down our throats growing up in the 80s and 90s, being told that this is the only music of the Church and the other “stuff” is “meaningless” and “old” now. Yeah, great teachers. They deserve an award for opening our minds to sacred music of our Church. If we are basing mass on just the music, then there is something wrong.
I’m sure that was very nice and that they had their best musicians there. Most churches will at least have two traditional hymns and two contemporary hymns. There is nothing wrong with that as long as the music is appropriate. It’s nice that the priest was employing chant to expose it to the children.