Monday, August 31, 2015

THERE IS SO MUCH MUSIC THROWN AT THE CATHOLIC MASS UNWORTHY OF THE HOLY SACRIFICE OF THE MASS AND IT AIN'T JUST PRAISE AND WORSHIP MUSIC THAT IS THE CULPRIT

THIS KIND OF MUSIC, THE PLACE WHERE THE CHOIR IS, THE INANE WORD, REPEATING REFRAIN IS THE SYMBOL OF WHAT IS WRONG TODAY AND FOR THE PAST 45 YEARS WITH THE SUNG CATHOLIC MASS! THIS IS HOW YOU SPELL INANE, BANAL AND SUPERFICIAL NOT TO MENTION HYPE! UNFORTUNATELY, THIS DRAWS PEOPLE TO THE CATHOLIC MASS, ESPECIALLY THE YOUNG, BUT WILL IT KEEP THEM ONCE THEY GROW UP? WORST YET, IF THAT IS POSSIBLE AND YES AT THIS CHURCH AND MANY OTHERS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD IT IS WORSE, PLEASE NOTE THE HOARD OF EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF HOLY COMMUNION RETURNING CHALICES AND PLATES OF THE MOST HOLY EUCHARIST TO THE ALTAR. DOES THE MANNER IN WHICH THESE PEOPLE ARE DRESSED AND PRANCING AROUND THE ALTAR AND HANDLING THE MOST EUCHARIST BUILD REVERENCE OR LEAD TO A LOSS OF BELIEF IN THE AWESOMENESS OF GOD? THIS IS HORIZONTAL BANALITY THAT POPE BENEDICT TRIED HEROICALLY TO CORRECT! THE VERTICAL IS WHAT THE CATHOLIC MASS IS ALL ABOUT, BUT YOU WOULDN'T KNOW THIS BY SONG OR LITURGICAL CHOREOGRAPHY IN THIS PARTICULAR MASS IN THIS PARTICULAR PARISH:


Okay, prior to Vatican II in a parish with multiple Sunday Masses, maybe one Mass would be regularly chanted, what would be called a High Mass. Few parishes had the resources for a Solemn High Mass, with deacon and subdeacon. The Low Mass was the Mass that was mostly celebrated on Sunday at all the other Masses apart from the principle Mass.

It was the rare parish that could pull off concert types of Masses from the greats. They may have tried for special feasts once a year.  Most would chant the Mass in simple chant, some in solemn chant and others in polyphony. But chant was the template for the High Mass in the vast majority of parishes with a chanted Mass.

Then the post Vatican II relaxation on music that even allowed by the GIRM the omitting of important parts of the Mass, such as the Scriptural Introit, Offertory and Communion Antiphons in favor of hymns of some kind, chosen not by the Church but by "music ministers and their priests" became the norm. This unfortunate liberalization of what would replace official parts of the Mass, chosen by the Church through the organic development of tradition, opened the door to all kinds of genres of music and making hymns extrinsic to the Mass rather than intrinsic as the Introit, Offertory and Communion antiphons are.

Then music became entertainment especially when choirs, ensemble and groups with all their musical gear sang front and center competing with the altar, ambo and celebrant.

Rather than focusing on chanting the Mass itself by priests and laity, the focus was on hymns, usually four hymns, processional, offertory, communion and recessional and of all kinds of varieties sometimes even secular, taped usually always horrible!

And today, replacing folk and hard rock, not to mention polka Masses, we have Praise and Worship to corrupt our young Catholics' understanding of the Mass. Here's a good article on that:



Why Praise and Worship Music is Praise, But Not Worship

  • FATHER CHRISTOPHER SMITH

The first time I ever went to a Life Teen Mass I was sixteen years old.

Smithchris.jpg
Father Christopher Smith with students
The parish that had the Life Teen Mass was not mine, but I went anyway. Everyone had been telling me that there were lots of people my age, who were serious about their faith, and that it would be a Spirit-filled time. Some of my friends were going to be there, too, so what could be better?

But as soon as the Mass started, I felt like I had stepped into a no-man's land suspended between Catholicism and some vague form of Protestantism that I as a convert had never seen before. It wasn't that the music was strange to me. I grew up with contemporary Christian music around the house and listened to it on the radio (when I wasn't listening to classical music or Latin dance music). So I knew the songs. The church was full of high schoolers and Baby Boomers and they all seemed to know and love each other.

But as the Mass unfolded, I kept noticing things that I knew very well were not in the rubrics, those pesky little red directions in the Missal that tell us how to celebrate the Mass properly. The Life Teen coordinators had decided that they would modify the Mass to make it fit whatever they deemed necessary to get the kids involved. And so there was dancing, hand-holding, and music that had nothing to do with the actual texts of the Mass.

But then, it was time for the Eucharistic Prayer. The celebrant invited all the kids to come around the altar. As the church was quite full, this was rather cumbersome and also pointless. But everyone stood up and made their way as through a mosh pit (I am showing my age, now!) to get closer to the altar. I stayed behind in the last pew. And of course, the celebrant thought that I was too shy to come up and so he encouraged me, from the altar, to join the kids. I had had enough, and so I yelled from the back pew, "No, sorry, Father, I'm a Catholic, I don't do that kind of thing," and pulled out a rosary and knelt to pray it as I watched the Eucharistic Prayer degenerate into something eerily similar to the ecstatic cults we had studied about in Ancient Greek History.

Not only did I never go back to a Life Teen Mass, I started the next Sunday to go to the Orthodox Church. There I felt like I was worshipping God and not having earnest adults try and fail to make religion relevant to me by assuming I was too young or stupid to understand real worship. It was fifteen years before I had to participate in anything similar again. By this time, I was a priest and I had been asked to preside over a Holy Hour for young people. The youth minister in this particular parish was very sensitive to the fact that Praise and Worship was not my thing, and she warned me ahead of time.

As I knelt there in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I realized something. The same people were doing the music who were doing it fifteen years before. It was the same music, the same songs that I made fun of when I was the age of the kids who were in the pews behind me. How relevant is that?  But this time the kids who were there just seemed bored. I asked them afterwards what they thought of it, and one young man said, "Well, that was ok, I guess. When are we having another Latin Mass, Father?"

Of all of my friends from high school who were Life Teeners, not one of them is a practicing Catholic anymore. Will the kids today who are raised on a diet of Praise and Worship continue to practice the Faith when they are no longer of that age middle-aged people in the Church want to cater to?  I don't know. But my experience has brought me to reflect on why Praise and Worship Music is not appropriate for the liturgy:

Read the whole article here.

22 comments:

Earplugs said...

Seriously Father, do you honestly believe that the horrible stuff we hear at Mass draws people there?

As a younger teenager and young man, I was repulsed and turned off by the crummy music that the happy-clappy, oh-so-positive folk groups shoved down our throats. It was embarrassing to listen to it.

If you really think this stuff EVER drew people to attend Mass, then the clergy is more out of touch than I ever imagined.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Life teen Masses are packed and the parish of the video I post is packed every Sunday with young people. It is Saint Monica Church in Santa Monica, California. I am reporting what is.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The point of my post and the article I post is sadness that this evolved after VII as it isn't renewal but disintegration leading our young when they become adults to become nones like so many of my folk group generation today!

Anonymous said...

Of course people can be drawn to this sort of music. They can also think that McDonald's is fine dining.

gob said...

I just looked up "banal" on my "Online Merriam Webster" and this entire piece, except for my comment, was shown there.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that as a young person we started off with folk masses - nothing as bad as we get these days. At first I thought it was novel but after a year the interst began to wane and I started having difficulty attending Mass - just the sheer thought of it - the banal music was enough to make me think of every excuse not to be there. Even to the point of hoping that I might feel so ill that I would have no choice but to leave. I think the only ones enjoying it are those in the band who have a captive audience and don't see what I can see from where I'm sitting and, yes, Father Christopher Smith is right. Largely, a lot of the bands are the same people - now aging rapidly (along with me) but who never seem to have grown up and turn out week after week with the same nauseating stuff.

I have seen priests try to have a Eucharistic procession followed by an ompapa band - it just looked ridiculous and must be soul destroying for the priest who is trying to bring some sort of reverence into the Mass. We have some Charismatic ladies who I believe dance up to communion waving scarves - admittedly their own private Mass but you have to wonder at the mentality of these people and why, oh why do the parish priests allow this to happen.

I know that one lady complained to the parish priest about the music and all he could proffer was, "Sure, and Jesus is boogying on down with them". Maybe he thought he was being cool but, quite honestly, I think he deserves to spend an endless purgatory with one of those bands serenading him and see how he likes it. It is much worse being in the pews than being up on the altar. At his age he is probably lucky to be deaf enough for it not to bother him.

I have a friend who wears, honestly, industrial earphones he is so fed up - but it makes no difference of course.

I believe that some priests think we're kids who can tolerate such nursery rhyme music.

Jan

Calvin of Hippo said...

So, are we to judge the validity and doctrinal correctness of the Mass by the number in attendance? Anonymous at 9:12 is correct.

McMass, anyone? Fries with that wafer?

Lefebvrian said...

Life Teen "Masses" might be packed with young people. Traditional Latin Masses are likewise packed with young people.

What is the difference? The young people at the Traditional Latin Masses continue going to Mass after they stop being "young people," and since they actually believe the Catholic Faith, they have loads of their own "young people" that they raise in the faith (and who, in turn, also attend the Traditional Latin Mass).

Anonymous said...

This is so so ghastly and infantile like all Life Teen and even any Novus Ordo service, the music if you can call it that, is just beyond emmbarrsing. I mean really how can this even compare to Gregorian chant, Mozart, Bach, Palastrina and then you see the hand waving from the female cantor, and as always the women handing out the cookie and giving the people koolaid from a goblet. This is not a Roman Catholic Mass as we know it, the saints would NOT recognize this bizzare scene. Enough already with this garbage "grow up" and reinstate the Traditional Latin Mass!!!!!

Anonymous said...

That's just it like Father Smith said, once you grow up and are longer a teen, most stop being Catholics it is a proven fact beyond a doubt. Life Teen services I don't call them a MASS because they not, just like Father Smith stated they are more like pagan Rome or Greece in their substance. In the TLM the Mass is always the same if you are an infant to as adult, the TLM does not change and that is why people who attend it will always attend it no matter what age. And yes the young people are the ones who totally fall in love with it because it is so close to being in heaven it utterly takes you away from the earth for a little while. Drums, guitars, hand holding, kiss of peace, felt banners, communion in the hand while standing, rock, mariachi, folk music, altar girls, female and male lectors, girls in leotards dancing around the altar, I mean really, this is what you want?????

Andy said...

"Wherever applause breaks out in the liturgy because of some human achievement, it is a sure sign that the essence of liturgy has totally disappeared and been replaced by a kind of religious entertainment." -Pope Benedict XVI found at this website: http://www.ceciliaschola.org/notes/benedictonmusic.html

I just can't get over the placement of the choir. And the distorted electric guitar in such a beautiful setting is so jarring!

If folks want an emotionalized service, have it be afterwards in the fellowship hall, or some other time. Not during the Holy Mass. How can one be contemplating the Mystery of the Living God in our midst in the form of Bread and Wine while this R&B number is pounding away?

Just my 2 cents.

Andy

Anonymous said...

I attend Mass sometimes at a Church where the choir faces the congregation like Methodists and don't even wear robes, just street clothes, and there is a stupid little Baldwin piano and some kid with a fifty dollar guitar who sings through his nose as loud as he can. The Deacon wears street clothes and wears a five pound wooden cross on a leather strip around his neck. The Priest always looks like he just crawled out of a bottle of Four Roses (he's Irish), and tells stories about his youth during the homily. The hymnal is some God-awful mod thing like Breaking Bread or something. And, this is a Church in a high dollar part of town with a parking lot full of Mercedes, BMW's and Lexus with a substantial budget and very nice building and grounds. I hate going there...I dread it and only go because I am obligated. This is not how one should feel about attending Mass, but many Catholics out there feel just as I do.

Paul said...

Another indication of the lack of belief in the Real Presence, in my opinion. Jesus is right there and there's this cacophony when approaching the Body. One should be silent, focused and contemplative -- all that racket is in direct opposition of what should be.

Interesting seeing this posting the day after our own "Multi-cultural Mass" and two days after "Pride Day".

Lord Have Mercy.

John Nolan said...

I listened to thirty seconds of this drivel. Had I been there it would have taken me another half-minute to exit the church and find a pub that served real ale.

The other day I received an e-mail asking me to sing at a weekend retreat for young Catholic adults. I am adult and Catholic but sadly no longer young. The retreat is being given by the Dominicans so Mass and Vespers will be in their time-honoured Use. I have sung Dominican chant before, so it will not pose a problem.

The twenty-somethings who will attend have actually bucked the trend of their own parents, formed in the post-V2 Church and largely lapsed. They don't have a problem with Latin. Nor do the priests who are (to my eyes) astonishingly young.

Of course I am a snobbish non-philistine who wants to impose his own tastes on everyone else. So why are my services being actively solicited? Over to you, Fr K.

Jdj said...

Yes, why indeed, John Nolan! Over to you Fr. K...

gob said...

Isn't it a mortal sin that sends you to hell if you skip Mass because you don't like the music?

Anonymous said...

I think writing such music should send you to Hell.

rcg said...

What if I miss the point of the Mass *because* of the music?

By the way, gob, your remark at 1004 31 Aug 2015 was hilarious.

Paul said...

Gob,

Only God can judge the soul. As a human we can judge actions. One shouldn't play fast and loose with Christ's Church (even if others do).

If one has issues with music, offer it up and go to Holy Mass. Perhaps they know not what they do.

Jdj said...

Yep, Gob, it is indeed. God-willing one gets to confession and another Mass before death claims, as I'm sure John knows...

John Nolan said...

Gobshite

It's probably a mortal sin to impose this crap on intelligent and cultured people. As for 'skipping' Mass, I don't. Fortunately I have a choice.

John Nolan said...

My first 'folk Mass' was in 1968 when I was 17. The priest (who later laicized himself because he could not accept Humanae Vitae) wore a stole over his alb but no chasuble. We all gathered round a table. I served it along with a beautiful girl whom I fancied the pants off (alas, to no avail). Git-boxes were in evidence and there was no Latin since this had disappeared the previous year (see Tres Abhinc Annos).

There was a disco afterwards. Great fun, although I had grown out of pop music by this stage. Of course everyone on this blog knows me to be a non-philistine snob who wishes to impose his taste on others.