Sunday, 12 March 2017

You have to meet people at least half-way - not turn them off with your exquisite taste

Just found this piece from a pastor who understands why tasteful music cannot be used everywhere.   'Tis a few years after it was published, but still totally relevant.

Two great quotes:
So, whether it’s Kendrick or Byrd, Estelle White or Mozart; the important thing is that it is received. It is not my job to educate people in taste; I am supposed to educate them in sound doctrine, and I will be able to do so more efficiently in a context where they feel comfortable.
and

My people are wonderful people, and as far as I am concerned, the important thing is that they are here at Mass. Our church is full each Sunday, thanks be to God, and if the cost of that is dreadful music, then bring on the tambourines!

I'm going to make some use of these.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Good mappings from scripture to readings

Sometimes indices which list hymns related to pieces of scripture take a very broad view of the link.  These ones are narrower - it's easier to see the link:

Gospel of John - http://catholic-resources.org/John/Liturgy-Music.html

Haugen songs from Mark, Luke and John:   http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Music-Haugen.htm

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Ad orientem and versus populum - which side of the altar does the priest stand on

A handy reference to both sides of the story, with not too many comments from haters of either stripe.

http://americamagazine.org/content/all-things/facing-east-during-liturgy-fact-and-fiction

Let's hope the whole thing has blown over before Advent rolls around.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

God as King? I don't think so ...

To someone from a democracy, in which the Queen is s figurehead living in a far-away country, the idea of God as King has always been a bit foreign.

This post from Rory Cooney, sharing the back story of one of his recent hymns has some interesting quotes:
" the image of God we've inherited from monarchy and haven't shaken off,an image of God derived from power"

Since moving to Ireland, I've been struck by the extent to which monarchy is the model of church for so many people: bishops are princes, and the Pope is the king.    Even though this is a republic, for many it's like the monarchy is still a deeply ingrained part of how the world works, which has to apply to both church and state.

Me, I'm not having a bar of it.

Church choirs exist to lead and sustain everyone's singing - not to do it all themselves

A quote from the General Instruction to the Roman Missal (GIRM):
Among the faithful, the schola cantorum or choir exercises its own liturgical function, ensuring that the parts proper to it, in keeping with the different types of chants, are properly carried out and fostering the active participation of the faithful through the singing. It is fitting that there be a cantor or a choir director to lead and sustain the people's singing.

When in doubt, give people the benefit of the doubt

A good phrase to remember from the Catechism of the Catholic Church - which maybe some people have difficulty remembering:
2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favourable way:
Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

The same locus of faith

It's not often I find gems worth keeping on the Chant Café.

But there's one today here:
On the other hand, when those who take the responsibilities of liturgical office arrive at some belief that the vagaries of propriety and canon mitigates and dismisses all other concerns that are part and parcel of ritual and worship by HUMAN BEINGS, then they risk not recognizing Christ at their own doors. They put on blinders to the reality that those whom they serve are not likely all at the same locus of faith.

Just to repeat the key phrase:
"those whom they serve are not likely all at the same locus of faith"

A mature adult faith may well be nurtured by does of dignified, beautiful Latin hymns delivered in a measured pace with decorum.

But to the average child or teenager (not the musical prodigy, just the average one) such treasures will be the aural equivalent of eating sawdust.

Keep the polished gems for sure. But be aware that they weren't the church's music in Jesus time, and they're not necessarily Jesus voice for the youth (and indeed many adults) of today, either.