Tuesday, May 19, 2015


It seems some Catholics never learn. Liturgical music has been dismal since Vatican II.

We first had folk music, then when that became out of date, it was called contemporary music to allow for change of music but not name; but what then is contemporary?

Now we have the most insidious and vapid kind, called "praise and worship."

In all of these and the general fragmentation of styles of music for Catholic liturgies, our children do not learn a classic repertoire that is handed on from one generation to the next. Rather their learn fads that won't be with them for the rest of their lives.  The theology of what they sing is questionable and as already stated vapid, vapid, vapid. It is childish!

So with this in mind, read what a Methodist is saying to Protestants:
Don’t expect a “worship style” to do your dirty work. Contemporary worship hasn’t worked. The longer we extend the life of this failed experiment, the more we see the results.
In my experience, contemporary worship brings in three groups. Baby boomers who are still stuck in their rebellion against the establishment, parents who mistakenly think that contemporary worship is the only way for their kids to connect to the church, and a small percentage of young adults who’ve never left and who never knew anything other than contemporary worship. 
In modeling worship after commercial entertainment, you’ve compromised your identity, and we’re still not coming back.
And even if we did, would there be any church left? Would there be anything beyond the frills, the lights, the performance, the affected vocals? Would we still see a cross? Would we still find our place among the saints who have come before? Would we find reminders of our life-long need of grace?
Or would we have been hooked by something altogether different? Would we merely find your answer key for the great mystery of faith?
Don’t give us entertainment, give us liturgy. We don’t want to be entertained in church, and frankly, the church’s attempt at entertainment is pathetic. Enough with the theatrics. Enough with the lights, the visuals, the booming audio, the fog machine, the giveaway gimmicks, the whole production. Follow that simple yet profound formula that’s worked for the entire history of the church. Entrance, proclamation, thanksgiving, sending out. Gathering, preaching, breaking bread, going forth in service. Give us a script to follow, give us songs to sing, give us the tradition of the church, give us Holy Scripture to read. Give us sacraments, not life groups, to grow and strengthen us.
 Week after week, season after season, year after year, let us participate in the drama of the gospel. It’s not supposed to be fun. It’s not supposed to produce intense emotional response. It’s a microcosmic, disciplined, anticipatory remembrance of who we were, who we are, and who we are to be. We need this. We need these heartfelt rituals in our lives to keep us returning to the fount of grace, to mark our way back home.
Be yourself, and you just might shake us out of our technology-induced, entertainment-craving slumber. Keep giving us Jesusy versions of mainstream entertainment, and there’s no hope. You can’t compete. You’ll lose every time.
Read it all by pressing here.


jolly jansenist said...

All true, but church music is the least of the problems that Methodists have.

John Nolan said...

About 20 years ago I watched (or started to watch) a televised Christmas Midnight Mass. After the first reading we were treated to a rendition of the Johnny Mathis song 'When a child is born'. Obviously no-one had bothered to check out the lyrics of this schmaltzy little number and assumed that as it was a 'Christmas record' it referred to the Christ-child. Of course it does not.

John said...

At the DEO VOLENTE EX ANIMO blog, Archbishop Gullickson (Vatican Nuncio to Kiev, Ukraine) in his last 2 postings discusses the denial and refusal of Catholic teachings for nearly 100 years now. Unfortunately, the deniers are in charge still and will continue the destruction for the foreseeable future.

V 2 opened the windows to the world and the music came in with all manner of hostile cultural forces inimical to Gospel teachings. As is all too evident nothing is being done to reverse this process, yet.

I have not heard rap music at Mass yet but can it be far behind "the haugen" drivel.

Who am I to judge?! said...

What I find most depressing about much contemporary worship music (whether Protestant or Catholic) is that it seems detached from the Church's year, rather than embedded in it like plainchant.The same hymns or songs seem to do duty for Easter, Advent or Pentecost, displacing music that genuinely contributes to the day's liturgy.

Anonymous said...

Why can't the Introit be chanted in a nice simple way at Mass. And why can't we sing nice versions of the parts of the Mass like Angus Dei, Sanctus etc. nothing fancy. But dignified and something everyday people can do. Why not use a little bit of incense now and then. How about nice, CLEAN, vestments. I'm not asking for hand embroidered silk from a Belgian Abbey (not that any exist, but I digress), but something not polyester and not see through and not in need of a good cleaning. Maybe if the priests took the time to appear in public properly groomed ( and acted like priests instead of a Vegas lounge singer who will never make it to the grand ballroom bye the way) the people might follow the example. I don't think it's to much to ask of the priest to comb his hair, get a haircut when needed, put on pants instead of shorts, shoes instead of flip flops, and not smell. I don't think that is to much to ask. Why can't the Mass as revised by Paul VI be celebrated with dignity and piety. I don't understand it. If someone can't sing, then they should not be leading the congregation in singing. If someone can't read English with some ease and intelligence then maybe they should study English before proclaiming the readings. Why can't priests follow the rubrics of the Mass which are printed in red, in English, in a great big red book that is right in front of their eyes? Is it really to much to ask that the nonsense and sloppiness stop. Please just stop being sloppy in the parishes. It's not rocket science.

Robert Kumpel said...

Said it before: When the Church tries to appeal to its members by co-opting elements of popular music and culture, it's about as lame as watching the cast of the Lawrence Welk show trying to be hip.

Anonymous said...

If we'e gonna get rid of the lights the fog machines, the worship and praise music etc....etc.....how about including the silly 13th century, or whatever, costumes?

rcg said...

There is Methodist church on the way to work. They advertise a Traditional and a Contemporary Service each Sunday. I have seen similar signs in front of other Methodist churches. I wonder if their bishop is encouraging this in some way? Would be nice if our bishops would do the same.