Would music like this be allowed in mass?

i’m sorry to bother with a question as stupid as this but my pastor asked our youth group to come up with some songs for the mass ( there’s only eight of us so he’s combining the responses) so are these songs Considered " apropriate" for mass i just would like to know and the one that starts with " hail mary whats up" would have that part eliminated by the way the choir has agreed to anything we throw at them as long as pastor approves?

I love Sister Act music.

And as many of the traditionalists on this board will tell you, I love rock music and I love hearing it in Mass. I think it can be very reverent and lift people to the heights of holiness. (Obviously my opinions about rock music are not popular with traditional Catholics!)

But…RosaryKindaGuy…I wouldn’t do the music from *Sister Act *in a real Mass unless all of your singers and musicians are professionals.

One of the reasons why the music from Sister Act sounds so good is that really good singers and musicians are doing the music. Professional singers, who have a studio of sound techs helping them make everything perfect. Also, I’m betting that they didn’t really do the music in the church, but in a sound studio, and then it was lip-synched in the church.

But I’m afraid that if a volunteer choir of untrained voices, along with a pianist who was probably raised playing “Fur Elise” and "The Revolutionary Etude) tries doing this music in a real church with the usual really bad Catholic sound system (and NO sound tech at all, not even a geek who enjoys sound as a hobby!), it will fall absolutely flat.

Another reason to not do this music in a real Mass is that the story in the movie is not present to support the music. That story (with Whoopie Goldberg’s character in the witness-protection program and the bad guys chasing her and the sisters all helping her escape) is marvelous and it helps us to like the music because we understand that Whoopie is not really a nun and therefore doesn’t know much about “liturgy” and so we can accept her as she is and love her music because we can see her heart and motives.

My suggestion is that if you want to blow the audience away with “youth group” music, fool them. Do something very traditional. Try an acapella number, perhaps a traditional hymn with all four parts (or at least two parts).

Or talk to a high school music teacher and ask him/her for some John Rutter pieces–these are modern sacred pieces that sound like traditional sacred pieces, and any real musician in the audience will sit up and take notice when you sing Rutter. When my daughters were in high school, they and their friends had t-shirts made up with some slogan about Rutter–they all loved him and his music.

If you do go with contemporary Christian music, try something a little safer than secular oldies. I don’t follow CCM, but there are plenty of Christians who do–talk to them. I’m kind of stuck in the 80s, and I like the old songs by Twila Paris, Amy Grant, 2nd Chapter of Acts–all the geezers! But there are some new songs that are good, too, and have Catholic theology.

I work as an accompanist for a lot of high school students and I know that youth groups like “quality” music. So pick something quality and you’ll please yourselves, the congregation, and most importantly, the Lord Jesus.

One and three, No. They are secular songs that that have had a word changed here and there for this specific movie. Most of us who grew up hearing those, would never connect them with Mass.

Two is a beautiful hymn that we sing at church. The only difference is that we sing it at their beginning tempo all the way through. I don’t think the clapping is particularly appropriate for Mass.

Oh, yes, Cat, John Rutter is a great suggestion! “For the Beauty of the Earth” is spectacular.

I like the Hail, Holy Queen Enthroned Above, too. But I wouldn’t do it up with the funky rhythm like they do in the movie.

When I play piano accompaniment for this song, I play it rather lively. Not fast, just lively. I try to make it fast enough so that people can sing an entire phrase WITHOUT taking a breath. I HATE IT when this hymn is played so slow (by someone who is trying to be “reverent”) that I have to take three or four breaths in each phrase. That just kills the song for me.

Say this realllllllly sloooooow: Hail Ho (breathe) Ly queen (breathe) enthroned (breathe) above (breathe)

Yuck, right?

Or even worse: “Salve” (gasp for air) Salve (gasp for air) Salve (breathe) Regi (breathe) Na (GASP!)

Or worst of all: Oh (breathe) Ma (breathe) Ri (Breathe) A (gasp).


The song should be fast enough so that the phrases can be sung in one breath, without dying at the end of each phrase. THAT’S true reverence!

When I play it, I picture a coronation, with a processional of beautiful horses and even more beautiful people and soldiers and the people following along, and I play it with that mood.

thanks for your input because it is true and thats all i asked. our choir has done a hail holy queen similar but with variations i dont know i guess your right i will have a look through the hymnal during youth group then

Hail, Holy Queen can certainly be sung a bit up-tempo rather than the draggy way it’s often sung. Like you, I hate hymns that are sung like dirges. It’s particularly bad at the anticipated Sunday Mass when we sing everything a capella. Have you ever tried, unsuccessfully, to speed up a hymn to a tempo that’s at least as fast as what’s called for in the hymnal? It’s most frustrating.

You haven’t lived 'til you’ve sung something set to “Ode to Joy” and looked around for the horse-drawn hearse.:smiley:

Oh, I love that one, if it’s the version I think it is! It’s one of my choir favorites.

i forgot what the hymn was called but yes i have done that it annoyed me because it was slower than a funeral song plus the choir we’re getting is high school kids ( my peers) who would certainly sing better than our cantors who are just a tad too " cheesy" when they try to be peppy

You said that there are only 8 of you – would that be unison singing or would you do harmony?

I would suggest that you check out “John Rutter” on Youtube and listen to some of the settings he has for traditional hymns. They’re not ‘peppy’ but they are beautiful and different from the ‘same old, same old’. Perhaps what you and your peers should aim for is beautiful prayer rather than peppy prayer. :wink: Take it on as a challenge to offer your community something that they can embrace as a gift from their youth. Remember that even youth musicians are ‘at the service of the liturgy’ rather than the liturgy being at their service.

I know others (traditionalists) may blanch at this suggestion, but I’ll voice it anyway because I think it’s correct.

As your group gains favor with the congregation, you may eventually be able to introduce more contemporary pieces into the Mass (as long as they have good Catholic theology).

But first, you have to gain the favor and love of the parishioners by doing something that proves you are seeking “quality” and that you are “reverent.”

If you were to burst upon the Mass with a Michael W.Smith rock song, whoa! Too much all at once! Sensory overload. Ease your way into their favor, and then they will enjoy anything that you sing.

Liberace was good at this kind of thing. He played pieces like Beer Barrel Polka and Tenderly. BUT-he also played serious classical pieces in his concerts (at least when he was younger) to PROVE that he could do the “long-hair” music, too. He had a lot of critics, but at least they couldn’t accuse him of being a “pop pianist.” He could do it all.

You try the same thing. Sure, go ahead and sing that Michael W. Smith song (someday), but make sure you have paved the way with a repertoire of traditional hymns (including Latin), polyphonic pieces, classical, and contemporary classical (e.g., Rutter) works.

One more suggestion–ALWAYS before doing any piece that has not been done before in your parish, ask your priest to look over the words and make sure that it is consistent with Catholic teaching. You’ll be glad you did. There are people waiting to pounce upon “new” music and tear it to shreds and accuse it of teaching “Protestant theology.” It would be good to tell your critics that “the priest approved the words.” Besides, you don’t want to do pieces that have questionable theology and confuse people.

In the Protestant churches that I used to belong to, we had to have all music approved either by the pastor or by a music committee.

I am really excited for your group. You sound like you have great attitudes!

no, not during Mass. as presented in the movie they were performances, entertainment I believe staged as a fundraiser for the ministry of the sisters. Mass is not a performance, and music at Mass serves the liturgy, does not dominate it. Neither of these songs has to do with liturgy. the first is a secular song, and while it is lovely that both Whoopi’s character and the producers were able to comprehend these sisters have a divine love that is as compelling, real, and higher than an earthly love, it is not for Mass. Save the performance and entertainment for a youth rally or other event, and find songs, and there are many, written specifically for liturgical use, for the instruments and voices you have. Your role is not to perform them, but to aide the congregational singing, which you should never dominate, and the choice of songs, music and lyrics, must complement and enhance the liturgical action–proper for processional, communion, etc.

and you should not be doing this at all unless, as our pastor says, you are ready for prime time. and as another poster noted, make sure you have someone on the team who knows how to operate the sound system. I am going to take a gun and shoot the next choir member who forgets to turn off the mikes before Father speaks because that feedback about kills me. so watch for the headlines.

LOL, yeah…they end up like this… :rotfl:



youtube.com/watch?v=ftKFh1FcQpo (I guess this is the Protestant version?? Hail Holy King…they forget to change the “Mother of Mercy” part, haha.)

with reference to the above comments on Hail Holy Queen, which I heartily endorse, may I take this opportunity to suggest to musicians, choir leaders and members to take note of not only the key (could we please all agree, duke it out with the organist if you have to, but please choose only one) AND the tempo as given by the composer and arranger. I have always found it strange that so many traditional hymns are written in 3/4 time, which if I recall is waltz time (think the Shall We Dance number, one two three, from The King and I) and not in funeral dirge time whatever that is.

This is how the O.F. Mass got polluted with modern songs and how liturgical abuses take hold. Slowly introduce something new while keeping the old and keep adding and adding until one day the Music and the Mass setting is something that you do not recognize and it will become the norm.

It is similar on how to cook a frog. If you put a frog into a boiling pot of water the frog would leap out. But, if you put him in when the water is cool and gradually increase the temperature the frog will get used to the water and will die.

Music from soundtracks is never meant to be performed or used for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Even a piece like the Salve Regina, as adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber, for the film Evita, as lovely as it sounds, is not suitable for the Mass, especially since it starts substituting Eva for the Blessed Mother.

Something that the OP should consider is reading the Chirograph on Sacred Music written by Pope John Paul II:

  1. In continuity with the teachings of St Pius X and the Second Vatican Council, it is necessary first of all to emphasize that music destined for sacred rites must have holiness as its reference point: indeed, “sacred music increases in holiness to the degree that it is intimately linked with liturgical action”[11]. For this very reason, “not all without distinction that is outside the temple (profanum) is fit to cross its threshold”, my venerable Predecessor Paul VI wisely said, commenting on a Decree of the Council of Trent[12]. And he explained that “if music - instrumental and vocal - does not possess at the same time the sense of prayer, dignity and beauty, it precludes the entry into the sphere of the sacred and the religious”[13]. Today, moreover, the meaning of the category “sacred music” has been broadened to include repertoires that cannot be part of the celebration without violating the spirit and norms of the Liturgy itself.

St Pius X’s reform aimed specifically at purifying Church music from the contamination of profane theatrical music that in many countries had polluted the repertoire and musical praxis of the Liturgy. In our day too, careful thought, as I emphasized in the Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia, should be given to the fact that not all the expressions of figurative art or of music are able “to express adequately the mystery grasped in the fullness of the Church’s faith”[14]. Consequently, not all forms of music can be considered suitable for liturgical celebrations.

Thus, it is not just the texts that need scrutiinizing; the style of music also needs to be examine.

The Mass is not an “anything goes” event where we can use what we please as far as music is concerned. I would also suggest that the OP and his team read Pope Benedict’s “Spirit of the Liturgy” where he notes that:

there are two developments in music itself that have their origins primarily in the West but that for a long time have affected the whole of mankind in the world culture that is being formed. Modern so-called “classical” music has maneuvered itself, with some exceptions, into an elitist ghetto, which only specialists may enter – and even they do so with what may sometimes be mixed feelings. The music of the masses has broken loose from this and treads a very different path.

On the one hand, there is pop music, which is certainly no longer supported by the people in the ancient sense (populus). It is aimed at the phenomenon of the masses, is industrially produced, and ultimately has to be described as a cult of the banal. “Rock”, on the other hand, is the expression of elemental passions, and at rock festivals it assumes a cultic character, a form of worship, in fact, in opposition to Christian worship. People are, so to speak, released from themselves by the emotional shock of rhythm, noise, and special lighting effects. However, in the ecstasy of having all their defenses torn down, the participants sink, as it were, beneath the elemental force of the universe. The music of the Holy Spirit’s sober inebriation seems to have little chance when self has become a prison, the mind is a shackle, and breaking out from both appears as a true promise of redemption that can be tasted at least for a few moments.

There will be those who will dismiss what Pope Benedict said as merely his personal opinion, as it was written back when he was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. However, now as Pope, he has been quick to clean up his own house at the Vatican and has brought the sacred back into sacred music.

Unfortunately, the publishing houses that promote this kind of music have either not read the official documents of the Church or, having read them, seem to ignore them in favor of commercially popular, but theologically and liturgically deficient compositions.

Oh, my my! These are funny!

I have to admit, since I work with so many children’s choirs and teenaged singers, I have a soft spot in my heart for them, and really couldn’t find it in my heart to roll on floor laughing. If these had been adult choirs, I would be incoherent and hysterical for hours! But I thought there were a lot of good things about these young people and children.

I think we all need to remember the wise words of someone who said, “It’s not real.” Sister Act is a movie. Mass is real life. And what works in a movie isn’t usually going to work in real life. Now if your choir director is on the run from a gang of criminals, certainly go for it, although when you think about it, wouldn’t the choir director want to be as boring and anonymous as possible instead of attracting a huge crowd to the church?

I personally think that when a choir or soloist (or even an instrumentalist) performs (forgive the use of this word–I refuse to try to substitute a “Catholic-correct word” I know good and darn well that the Mass is NOT a performance!) a song, that they should study the words and medidate upon them before doing the piece. If possible a knowledgeable person (priest or other clergy) should explain the theology to the singers/players so that they will know what they are trying to communicate to the audience.

This is especially important with young people, and I think it helps them to get more out of their music ministry.

They are funny, but not “rotfl” funny. I just like using the rolling head icon, heheh. :rotfl:

Well yes, and no. If your church is very traditional then no. But I believe you should praise the Lord in any way (any type of music) I’m been to a pentacostal church before and their music was VERY lively:)

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