What determines if music is Catholic or Protestant?

Aside from obvious doctrine and Church teaching, who determines what music is in Catholic Hymnals? I’m a new Catholic and find I miss my “protestant music,” even though it supports Catholic teaching. I recognize that some do not. I love the reponsoral Psalms, but many of the other the songs are hard to sing and written in the past 40 years. Most songs only show treble cleft and no bass cleft, sometimes only the melody. I’m used to four part harmony. I guess I’m asking to be educated so I can understand. Thank you

We sang Amazing Grace today

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The faith of the composer is one means.

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That is an interesting question.
I was a Protestant until I was 20. The songs the Protestant had in church and

the music Catholics have in church that I have experienced are generally very different. Catholic songs, for one thing, often reflect Catholic beliefs. An example of this is “I am the bread of life.” Also Protestant songs can be much more emotional than Catholic songs. This is not to criticize Protestant songs over this, just to say how they can be different. An example of this is Amazing Grace (which actually I greatly like). Of course Protestant though wouldn’t sing something like Ave Maria.

It’s a different Music Culture with a few overlaps of hymns and praise songs. Printing in just Treble Clef saves room on the paper :slight_smile: and thus less money is spent on printing. And you know how stingy Catholics are. Haha ha - almost just kidding.
I am guessing that the ancient Gregorian Chant, everything sung in unison, has something to do with the Catholic tendency to often print just a single clef for the melody.
Catholicism is 1500 years older than the Protestants, preserving traditions that Protestants don’t have. It’s more old fashioned, frankly. But it’s the Original Mother Church, unconcerned with current customs. It’s a different music experience, yes.
Last year I bought a couple of non Catholic hymnals in Spanish to tuck away, because I also miss the 4 part harmony.:slight_smile:

Lots of questions. Who decides what goes in the hymnals? Good question.

After Vatican II allowed the use of the local language, I expected a flourishing of music, In 50 years, I don’t think it has happened. If you watch the Mass on EWTN, there are some melodies that are sung OVER AND OVER as if they couldn’t spice it up with a new melody.

Specifically, in over 50 years, I’ve never been asked what MY preferences were for hymns to be used at Mass.

In my diocese, I think there’s a honcho who coordinates the standardization of the liturgies, part of which specifies how much singing there should be at Mass. I thing we have too much singing. in our parishes.

I don’t like the format of the responsorial song. I think the who congregation should sing the whole psalm. I don’t like the “performance” of a cantor who very often cannot be understood.

We have masses that exceed 40 verses and stanzas in a weekend Mass. Personally, with asthma, I can’t keep up with all that singing. I think a recent Easter liturgy had over 70 stanzas and choruses in one mass. It’s almost punitive.Our parish consists of two parishes. I attended both weekend Masses, one in each parish church. The organist who plays every last stanza and refrain literally extends the Mass by 15 minutes, versus that in the other parish church.

Yes, the criticism was that CAtholic worship would become a lot like Protestant service, especially when similar hymns are sung in the Catholic Mass.

Right, there haven’t been very many snappy tunes in the last 50 years. If there are, they are very well hidden. parishes have to pay royalties on the hymns they use, so there is not a real free hand to take the best from everyplace.

Your Conference of Bishops/diocese can determine them. Doctrines matter. It should not be contrary to Catholic doctrines or having emphasis not of Catholic spirituality.

Our parish is quite careful on the hymns to be used during the mass which should be from the approved list of hymns by the Bishop Conference. Thus it becomes a ‘prayer book and hymnal’.

Sometimes the choir would use hymns outside of this list where they printed the lyrics to be distributed to the congregation during the mass. I suppose that these were agreed upon by the choir director or the liturgical committee/bishop, but it was not commonly done.

God bless.

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There may be lyrical differences, nut there is no protestant or catholic music.

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