[quote=Cherub]I understand what you are saying, and that many people in today’s environment do not know any better, but the church should not be used for these other events. Stadiums, stages, and auditoriums are more suitable for such things. Reverence is always to be observed in the presence of the altar of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
This was in the Q & A forum of EWTN “Use of the church building”
Canon 1210 states, “Only those things which serve the exercise or promotion of worship, piety, or religion are permitted in a sacred place; anything not consonant with the holiness of the place is forbidden. In an individual case, however, the ordinary can permit other uses which are not contrary to the holiness of the place.”
An accompanying commentary to the canon explains that a retreat, concert of sacred music or a sacred drama would fall within the scope of permitted activities. The bishop’s specific permission would be needed if the church were to be used for a concert of classical music which is secular in inspiration, graduation exercises, a talk on a secular topic in the interest of public good, etc. No permission may be given for anything that offends against the holiness of the place - a rock concert, a political rally, merchandising, etc.
The Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW) issued a circular letter re. concerts in churches on 5 November 1987. While focusing on concert issues, the letter does discuss the rationale for the church’s restrictive use and it provides some practical directives for the non-liturgical use of the church. The letter can be found in the January 1988 edition (vol. XXIV) of the NCCB’s Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter, and in Origins, vol 17, n. 27 (12/17/1987), pp. 486-70. If you wish a copy from the St. Joseph Foundation please provide a surafce mailing address along with your request for the “Concerts in Churches” circular letter. The noted canonist, Mr. Duane Galles, provides an excellent discussion of the CDW letter in his article “Concerts in Church,” Homiletic and Pastoral Review, November 1988