Music is not just preference; it is power - the power to shape belief and attitude.
I’ve read the newest GIRM more than once. Admittedly, I’ve read it part by part and with anxiety. My understanding of the document (someone correct me if I’m wrong) is that Latin chant should have pride of place and that the purpose of music is to unite the faithful in sung prayer.
The GIRM also dismisses the idea of music as performance, if I understand correctly.
Those concepts are the exact opposite of what Catholics in my diocese endure during Mass. Part of that may be because I belong to an enormous, coastal diocese that houses the entertainment industry. It’s human nature that some sort of musical competition might spring up.
But while I understand the motives of the Catholic Music Machine were I live, I do not understand why the clergy does not reign in those prideful motives. I also don’t understand the attitudes of the aging congregations I’ve belonged to. They speak of Bringing in The Youth Through Music and then assault the poor youth with songs that sound like something from a bad 70’s garage band.
I don’t know what grates me more: when the choir is full of off-key children or when the choir is full of paid performers dramatically screeching notes which no one in the congregation can follow.
I have compassion for the off-key children pushed into the sanctuary. Not so much for the mercenary singers, the choir directors who hire them, or the pastors who lie down and let it all happen.
Because I work at a public pool, most of my co-workers are college-aged lifeguards. A surprising number of them went to Catholic school. None of them currently practice their faith. Only one seems to feel guilty about it.
It is depressing to be an adult convert and yet know more about the Church than Cradle Catholics who spent 12 years (supposedly) studying the faith. Most of the lapsed Catholics I work with are shocked at the concept that Catholics believe God walked on earth and told us to eat His Body and Blood.
As to current Catholic music, it’s a joke to them.
So, who are the Production Numbers for? The old fogies who want to remember when Jesus Christ, Superstar was the coolest thing ever? All of us old fogies are gonna die soon. Do parish authorities really think that there are things better than Truth and Obedience which will convert the next generation?
That’s my passionate statement. All comments, especially those which put me in my place, are enthusiastically welcomed.