Recorded music before Mass
  • I'm serving at a nearby Catholic church for a few weeks as substitute organist. When I first entered the church a couple of weeks ago I heard music playing. It's what I would describe as Christian easy listening with a country western feel to it and it is played before all of the masses. The music is not too loud.
    Has this practice become common? It's a first for me.
  • Listopad3,

    First, Welcome to the comment side of the forum.

    Now, to your question. There are people who believe that ambiance music helps prepare people for Mass. There are others who feel that silence is evil. Both groups promote recorded music any time the church isn't being used for Mass but people might be in the building.

    Yes, it's becoming more common.
  • Are there confessions going on? I have certainly heard recorded music, even before Mass, to help distort any voice audible during confession.

    Not Country & Western Christian Easy Listening, though, to be honest. It could be an aid to mortification, I suppose.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,097
    I’ve seen this to cover confessions before mass, but it’s typically Gregorian chant, not sacro-pop.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • I don't think the idea is to cover up confessions. More likely to set a sort of ambience. I feel like there is so much background music in public places. It doesn't feel right to me in a church. Given a choice I prefer silence.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,097
    And rightly so.
    Thanked by 2CCooze Carol
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 360
    This is exceedingly common in the more up-to-date evangelical churches now - the sort that look like a movie theatre. Often it’s high-energy instrumental versions of popular contemporary songs, to juice up the crowd and timed to end as the host/pastor prances out for the welcome/opening monologue. It’s really the same format as The Late Show or SNL, but those guys at least have the integrity to hire really great live musicians. Sometimes it is synced with informational slides or announcement videos shown on the screens before the service, and so it really is like watching trailers in a theatre before the feature film starts. My guess would be someone stole it from there.
    Thanked by 1MNadalin
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,100
    My guess would be someone stole it from there.


    Or the elevator at Macy;s
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,373
    My pastor would not allow recorded music. He would often say, when we had a crowd waiting, play something because it discourages them from talking.
    Thanked by 3CCooze JL Carol
  • We used recorded Gregorian chant while the priest heard confessions, but the purpose was to cover the sound of the penitent and the priest, not to set some other tone in the building.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,097
    I think it’s safe to say, modern man abhors silence. (I fall prey to this trap as well.)
  • The parish in the town where I grew up used to play recorded music during Mass, specifically at Communion. (They have an organist and cantor now so thankfully this custom has fallen out of practice.)
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 1,097
    I know that at least in the diocese of Oklahoma City, any form of recorded music during mass is formally prohibited. I welcomed that announcement. (It did pose a challenge to some small rural parishes for weekday funerals though.)
  • Are there confessions going on? I have certainly heard recorded music, even before Mass, to help distort any voice audible during confession.

    That’s what the really loud blower thing in the wind chamber on the pipe organ is for.

  • Sponsa,

    Most people, looking at cost/benefit will say (therefore) that to get more people to go to confession, we should install a big, beautiful pipe organ in every parish Church!
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,611
    Whenever we had Adventen Penance Service (which included private confessions for all) I was always there to play the organ, especially since some confessions were being heard in the open air of the church, even if they were off in a corner.
  • LarsLars
    Posts: 63
    In the cathedral where I used to play they are blasting christian pop cds for the procession, offertory, communion and the recessional, surprised they are not playing the responsorial psalm and gospel acclamation.. It's total sacrilege.
    A very nice 50 stop, 4 manual organ is gathering dust..