At this morning's consistory, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI exclaimed in his homily some musical direction for the Church in recovering her Catholic universality and unity:
"Situated within the context and the perspective of the Church’s unity and universality is the College of Cardinals: it presents a variety of faces, because it expresses the face of the universal Church. In this Consistory, I want to highlight in particular the fact that the Church is the Church of all peoples, and so she speaks in the various cultures of the different continents. She is the Church of Pentecost: amid the polyphony of the various voices, she raises a single harmonious song to the living God".
All you need to do is listen to the first song and tell me how Catholic it is from the spiritual point of view and that here the Church is not raising a "a single harmonious song to the living God":
This could well be a Catholic Mass for youth, but fortunately this one is Lutheran which would cause even Martin Luther to turn in his grave! Let's keep this crap in Protestant Churches and cleanse the Catholic temple of anything that resembles this tripe!
Vincent Ambrosetti gave our clergy conference this past year. He lamented the use of Worship and Praise music by Catholics especially at Mass because what it does is to prepare young people to leave the Catholic Church and join the non-denominational Protestant communities that use this style of music and style of worship exclusively. I tend to agree with him--this stuff has nothing to do with our Catholic patrimony in terms of worship or music. It is very sad, but used to get young people into our parish and eventually out of them into the non-denominationals.
Scotland evidently has abysmal Catholic music on Sunday, if one wants to call it Catholic. This is an article from a secular newspaper in Scotland:
From Friday's 23 November 2012 Herald Scotland by Cate Devine
Lay Catholic says 'lousy music' puts the young off church
Joan Dillon, a Masters graduate of RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), also claimed music at Mass was "more rooted in pop music than in sacred traditions" and was often "so bad it distracted people from the true purpose of worship".
She said 25 pupils from state schools currently learning Latin through the study of sacred music were the future lifeblood of the Catholic Church in Scotland.
Speaking prior to the launch of Scotland's first Academy of Sacred Music (AOSM) in Glasgow tonight, Ms Dillon, its founder, told The Herald: "There has been some pretty lousy music sung in Catholic churches and that is where things have gone wrong, why congregations are shrinking.
"It need not be so. As a parent myself it seems to me young people are being brought up immersed in the negative messages of modern music via MTV, a lot of which is demeaning.
"They need the transformative power of sacred music to balance that, but instead they are getting banal, happy-clappy stuff at Mass. Sacred music can lift young people up and help them embrace more noble ideas, yet it is not sung in many Catholic churches in Scotland."
Ms Dillon said the poor standard of church music stemmed from Vatican II, the Second Vatican Council convened in 1962 by Pope John XXIII which led to Mass being said in English rather than Latin. Her support for sacred music echoes that of leading Scots composer James MacMillan, who Ms Dillon has invited to be patron of the new academy.
Mr MacMillan was commissioned to write new sacred music for masses in Glasgow and Birmingham during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Britian in 2010 and caused controversy within the Catholic church when he claimed, in a letter to The Herald, the trend for "touchy-feely-smiley-dancey folk" worship had "repulsed" young people and "put them off going to church in their droves".
In his address tonight at St Andrew's Cathedral, Glasgow, Mr MacMillan will repeat Pope Benedict's message that "the world needs beauty in order not to sink into despair" and that music is the most spiritual of the arts.
Asked by The Herald if he hoped the AOSM would improve the standard of sung music at Mass, Mr MacMillan said: "I have no doubt the initiative will have a practical impact. The AOSM is a wonderful development in liturgical music in Glasgow."
The AOSM, which is open to all religions and none, is based at Renfield St Stephen's Centre in Bath Street and runs choral classes for young people from the age of five to 18. It already has 25 students from state schools, including Glasgow's Holyrood Secondary and Uddingston Grammar.
Holyrood pupil Rosie Lavery, 14, said she would like her own church in King's Park to start a choir so she and her friends could influence what was sung. She added: "At the moment the music is sung by the congregation and it's pretty dull."
My Final Comments:
At St. Joseph Church and I suspect for some it is controversial, each Mass every Sunday provides the same music as a point of unity between the Masses and our one congregation. In other words, we don't cater each Mass to targeted groups, but rather teach them a singing repretorie from our hymnal. We are trying to create a parish tradition of music that will remain with the parish and our parishioners for the long-run.
But what is sad about this is that there isn't the same concern to do this on a diocesan or universal level, yet at least. The best thing about the pre-Vatican II era was the Sung Mass, although I'm told that the low Mass was the norm and that sung Masses weren't often very well done. I don't need to believe that rewriting of history.
In pre-Vatican II times, choirs were essential and every parish tried to have one in order to sing the High Mass. As now, the quality of choirs varied from parish to parish in pre-VAtican II times. Some choirs could sing very difficult Gregorian Chant others had to settle for plain chant, but chant they did. Some choirs did the more difficult choir Masses but not every Sunday.
The common thread in all of this was the universality of the style of music for the High Mass. You knew what was Catholic and you knew what wasn't.
For the most part, every parish that had a sung Mass on Sunday and that was most parishes, knew Gregorian chant either in its solemn or simple form for the Introit, Kyrie, Gloria, Gradual, Credo, Offertory Antiphon, Sanctus, Pater Noster, Agnus Dei, and Communion Antiphon. Of course there are a variety of settings for the Latin version of the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei some of which are complex but others quite simple. But all of them were based upon the same principle.
Apart from Latin, although Latin certainly figures into the equation, music united Catholic congregations worldwide into a specifically Catholic style and ethos of singing.
This is no longer the case and worship and praise music has disintegrated Catholic unity even further into oblivion and protestant nonsensicalness as it concerns this type of singing.
What will it take for the Pope and each bishop in every diocese to mandate Gregorian Chant once again as the norm for the Sung Mass whether in Latin or the vernacular. Do we need more deconstruction of the Catholic Mass's spirituality and musical identity as tripe like what is in the video above is foisted on young people who will then take it and leave for the place where it properly belongs, non-denominational Protestant Churches?