Papal music suggestions are out!

Vatican promulgates music letter. Hear about it?

There is an old joke floating around, "What is the difference between a terrorist group and the Music Committee?" Answer. "You can negotiate with the terrorists..."

In many parishes the music at Mass is so banal, that it drags down the liturgy to the point where the faithful only concentrate on the music and when the noise will end. It is as if somebody said, "We have to have music, so let us open up the hymnal." One of my major peeves is the singing of
"Amazing Grace" or "A Mighty Fortress..." (Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott) written by the heretic Luther. . I ask myself are there no good Catholic composers that we need to sing hymns by protestant composers?

The Vatican has just released a letter on the Liturgy and Music. I am sure it will be roundly ignored as usual.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In giving priority to Gregorian chant and to classical liturgical music, the Catholic Church is not trying to limit anyone’s creativity but is showcasing a tradition of beautiful prayer, Pope Benedict XVI wrote.

Music at Mass should reflect the fact that the liturgy “is primarily the action of God through the Church, which has its history, its rich tradition and its creativity,” the Pope said in a letter marking the 100th anniversary of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music.

In the letter, released by the Vatican May 31, the Pope wrote that sometimes people have presented Gregorian chant and traditional church music as expressions “to be overcome or disregarded because they limited the freedom and creativity of the individual or community.”

But, he said, when people recognize that the liturgy does not belong to an individual or parish as much as it belongs to the Church, then they begin to understand how, while some expressions of local culture are appropriate, priority should be given to expressions of the Church’s universal culture.

He said music used at Mass must convey a “sense of prayer, dignity and beauty,” should help the faithful enter into prayer — including through use of music that reflects their culture — and should keep alive the tradition of Gregorian chant and polyphony.
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Also go here for an appropriate cartoon. Sadly, How true...

Incidentally Our Lady of the Angels parish in Woodbridge Va. has some of the most inspiring liturgical music I have ever heard. When ever I travel to Northern Virginia I stay as close as I can to this parish. I recommend it to anyone traveling through the DC area.


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