The future of Catholic Music

What do people think is in store for Catholic liturgical music in the future? I belong to a parish where most people are in their 60’s and beyond, and the music is mostly guitar masses and Marty Haugen/St. Louis Jesuits stuff. People there seem to be pretty happy with that kind of music. However, I have noticed that the more young people come into the parish, the more it’s leaning in sort of a praise music/pentecostal style direction. I’ve always thought that as the guitar mass generation got older and passed on the torch to younger people, we might see a return to traditional music like chant. Instead, a lot of young people I meet these days are more into praise and worship music and don’t know anything about the Church’s traditional music. does anyone else see Catholic music heading in this direction? Is it only my parish or is this a wider phenomenon?

Your observations apply to a great many parishes. All we can hope for is that Rome will come down with new, much needed, document on Music. Of course it won’t help unless the bishops and pastors make it a priority.

We recently had the temerity to say to the pastor that the Gloria we sing is inappropriate. We use the one from Carey Landry’s “Young People’s Mass” which doesn’t in any way comply with the GIRM 53. The priest almost bit our heads off: “Are you implying that what we sang in the seminary was inappropriate?” We didn’t have the temerity to answer “Er, yes.”

  1. The Gloria is a very ancient and venerable hymn in which the Church, gathered together in the Holy Spirit, glorifies and entreats God the Father and the Lamb. The text of this hymn may not be replaced by any other text.

I realized at that point that we’ll never be rid of all the old stuff from the 70s because for him it’s a trip down memory lane and, if it was good enough for the seminary then, it’s good enough for the parish now.

The correct response would be " I dunno Father, I didn’t make the GIRM, the US Bishops did, perhaps you should direct your question to them?" :rolleyes:

I rolled my eyes just reading the title…

I’m blessed to go to a parish that uses the regular old chant in the front of the St. Michael hymnal for the Gloria. Whenever I go to a parish that gets “creative” with the music, I feel like I’m at a Mass that is continually interrupted so we can all sing a song together. It doesn’t flow for me. And…they seem to have the “music minister” down front with a microphone “conducting” the congregation while a beautiful choir loft sits empty (but that’s another thread).

We use the one from Carey Landry’s “Young People’s Mass” which doesn’t in any way comply with the GIRM 53.

I have been to the parish where Carey Landry is the music director [edited]. It was quite painful, and included a refusal to use the word “he” in any song in referring to God. Assuming it wasn’t one he had written himself, in which case that would never happen in the first place. I know of some young people who don’t like that sort of thing either, but they seem to feel if you are young and don’t like the retro 70’s stuff or “praise” music that it is rather shameful. So they don’t make a point of bringing it up. They just go somewhere else. I have noticed that our new priests are much more reverent than many of their predecessors.

We sing a Gloria from the Congregational Mass of 1970. It’s OK I guess, but the Gloria from Pope Paul IV mass is better. I’m 50 years old and I have been signing in our choir for over thirty years. I have been fortunate in that I know many of the old hymns my parents and grandparents sang and until a few years ago when our organist had to step down due to health reasons we were still singing those hymns, mostly at communion time and as a second recessional. We kept the traditional music alive. Nothing we sing today even compares to those old hymns or if you find an older hymn in the missalette the words have been changed.

This is the Gloria X for Sundays in Ordinary time:

I hope this link will auto start, and play?

Back in November, I got to meet Archbishop Malcolm Ranjinth, who was the Secretary to the CDWDS at the time. He told me that the CDWDS would be issuing a document on Sacred Music in 2009. We are now close to seven months into the year. However, because there have been changes in the administration, I suspect that this had led to a delay in the release.

We are blessed to have a Supreme Pontiff who is a classically-trained musician and whose brother served as choirmaster at the Regesnberg Cathedral. These give Pope Benedict XVI a unique insight into the importance of genuine Sacred Music.

I suspect that the reason why the young people the OP described are moving towards the Protestant Praise and Worship genre is that this is the only thing to which they are exposed. Whoever is feeding them this stuff, as I see it, does not have an accurate and authentic Sensus Fidei and is buying into what the publishing houses are forcing down people’s throats through clever marketing ploys.

Carey Landry seems to have a problem with the use of the pronoun “He”. Evidently, Jesus never did because He referred to God as His Father. When the USCCB started its work on Sacred Music, it conducted a survey and found that barely 10% of the songs out there today even mentioned God the Father. I would suggest that Landry and songwriters like him read Liturgiam Authenticam and take it to heart. There, he and his colleauges will find that the Church does indeed have standards for what should go into the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I suspect it would be an eye-opener for them.

Where could I find out more information on this survey? Which hymnals were in the survey? I would love to hear more about this.

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