Parish Music Meeting A'Coming. Add Your Thoughts.
  • Here's a document which my parish published for an upcoming music meeting. For the most part I like the doc, so I cut out the parts I like, in general, and I highlighted the parts that don't sit well with me. I'd like to know your feelings on this doc, please. I love this community and it's liturgical music intuitions. I'm especially concerned about the whole "active participation" which I can only agree to to an extent; but insofar as it rules out Gregorian Chant, I'm not cool with it.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,453
    How does singing a song that has no link to the Mass, and does not contain either the Ordinary or Proper text count as participating?

    Under this understanding would singing 'Happy birthday' count as participating at Mass on Christmas day?
  • There's no mention of the propers, which is concerning. There seems to be an overall focus on "simplicity," which can mean any number of things. Unfortunately, I have often seen it used to indicate "not florid chant or anything high-church," so that is concerning too. The criterion "do the people like this" is a huge red flag and also a ridiculous criterion, IMHO. "The people don't like this" is another one of those tools used to destroy traditional liturgical music. Active participation is all well and good, but this document overall seems both to misunderstand what that means and also emphasize it in a way that is exaggerated. In my previous position, such phrases were used as code for "I don't like traditional liturgy, please stop." Perhaps I'm being overly pessimistic.
  • Everything I say below is very direct. I’m writing at to speed, and I’m trying to just be honest with my initial impressions of what I’m reading. Please do not assume that I am being aggressive or trying to be snarky. Neither one is the case.

    The big impression I get, is that this document was written by people without a thorough knowledge of liturgical music in historical context, or in terms of how to achieve technically or systematically what they want to achieve. These things are going to be an obstacle to doing nice things.

    I have more, and more general, thoughts, but let’s start with these.

    If you wish to use another version of the Lord’s prayer other than Leona Gibney’s, check with Father to make sure it is acceptable for him.


    Why that one? Why not the Missal chant or the Snow?


    Lamb of God: Following the Sign of Peace, Father will begin breaking the bread. The moment he does this is our cue to start the Lamb of God. Preferably, use a version that isn't exceptionally long.


    How free are you with Ordinaries? How can the assembly learn them by heart?

    Songs should be familiar to the people and do not require the congregation to use their hymn books to sing the refrain in order to ensure participation while waiting to receive.


    Do you “teach” new rep for communion by using it at other points when books are acceptable? Or are you stuck with the same ol’ standards forever? Is there a plan for this?

    Does the assembly like this song? Does it help them to delve deeper into prayer and worship? Is this song worn out and should be retired for a little while?


    Truistic and unhelpful. Who could read this and have any idea what kind of songs to pick? This just gives people a written grounds to complain about anything that is chosen. You can complain about something new, because “the assembly doesn’t like it.” You can complain about some thing that you don’t like musically or textually because it “doesn’t help your prayer”, and you can even complain about even old favorites because “they are worn out”. This is literally just an excuse to complain about anything and doesn’t actually help anybody pick anything at all.

    This is a nightmare waiting to happen.

    Does the assembly need to be taught this song before mass? It is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to teach new material before mass. It isn't fair to the assembly to deny them an opportunity to fully participate in the music of the mass. It is only respectful to introduce new music by teaching it before mass starts. This is also very important for the parts of mass. Remember, no music in the last five minutes before mass begins.


    I have an enthusiastic singing congregation. I teach them just by playing a full verse introduction, and by making note of the fact that it is probably new to them above the notation in the service folder that they have in their hands. I have never found a need to do anything more than this. Trying to teach before mass is messy, doesn’t reach everybody, which doesn’t seem quite “fair” to me, and further adds to the hubbub and noise most parishes experience before liturgy anyway.

    Is this song too difficult for the average parishioner? Please avoid music that is too complex for the average parishioner to learn or too fast to them participate with. To facilitate full participation of the assembly, the musicians should ensure that the highest note of any hymn is C or C#. The key should be easy for the average person to sing.


    The *range* and *tessitura* should be easy for the average person to sing. The key has nothing to do with it. It sounds like you’re not using I Am the Bread of Life. If you are, then that probably means people are transposing down to avoid the high note. Which is why it is also advisable that your guidelines indicate that it is possible for a song to be too low as well. We have to facilitate healthy, good singing in our assemblies, not groaning things out in the lower part of our register, in a way that is both unhealthy and aesthetically displeasing.

    Has the assembly been saturated with having to learn too many songs in a row? Are we allowing them to sing their praises with treasured songs that have meaning for them?


    This is good.

    We are many choirs but one assembly. We must serve the needs of the assembly, being aware of what repertoire they already have. While each choir will maintain their own identity and musical signature, the emphasis must be on how well we are serving the Assembly. We don't judge the success of our efforts by asking, "How well did we sing today?" but rather, "How well did the congregation sing today?"


    Depending on how this actually works, you are probably not actually one assembly. If there are really distinct musical styles and formats on an offer in your parish, it is very likely that people are selecting the thing they like best. Discussing how to reacquire parish unity after musical divisions have sunk in very deeply is a large and difficult strategy to begin to fathom. I don’t envy people that kind of work.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,690
    one of the problems with these tips is that they focus on the picture of each moment as a moment rather than the movie over time. Familiarizing people with music over time should take precedence over immediacy. One way to do that is to be comfortable with introducing new repertoire that the choir + intrepid singers in the pews will carry first and the rest of the congregation will become familiar with. It can help to allocate some choral singers to sing amid the middle of the pews to midwife this transition.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,155
    We are many choirs but one assembly

    Not anywhere I know! The congregations at different Masses have, in my experience, different expectations about musical style and their degree of participation. That surely is why there are many choirs.
    But we need more context to judge, both the structure of the community and the structure of the music ministry. And I would need to read the whole document to make any useful comment on it.
  • Since you solicited our thoughts:

    • The Gibney Our Father needs to go, post haste. Why not at least do the missal chant that's very common? Or better still, a transcription of the actual Roman Tone? (here's one option: https://youtu.be/N95Mtd29Yy4)

    • Regarding the communion hymn, technically the communion antiphon can begin being chanted as the priest consumes. We wait until the completion of the sacrifice to begin chanting (we chant the antiphon from Fr. Weber's book first, prior to any hymn). Frankly, a little silence won't hurt anyone. If you're communion hymns are in the style of the Gibney, then odds are, silence is a blessing for any soul trying to seriously pray for a moment.

    • I'm very leery of "does the assembly like this song" being any sort of criteria for whether or not something is appropriate. Frankly, the congregation doesn't like MOST of what the missal ACTUALLY says. People are, on the whole, uneducated about liturgical matters, and very few people (including ministers) have ever read the GIRM or even touched a missal. Much like my opinion about your heart shouldn't count very much compared to your cardiologist who is a specialist, a random PiP's opinion shouldn't count nearly as much as mine, who specializes in liturgical music making and has actually read what VII, Trent, and the Missal actually have to say.

    There's no doubt that catering to some degree of familiarity / popularity is OK; we all sing "O Come All Ye Faithful" on Christmas morning, but there are TONS of things that are VERY popular and yet are wholly inappropriate for Mass. We need not waste breath detailing them here. And conversely: there are tons of things that are practically unknown in various places, which are called for by the missal. These things need to be (re)introduced, and the chaff can be left by the wayside.

    • Ah... "active participation". We are operating on two false assumptions here: 1.) that singing counts as being "active" (spiritually speaking, which is the primary intent) — it does not; many people sing stuff by wrote and do not engage with it mentally/spiritually at all and 2.) that just because you teach something before Mass, people will sing it. Neither of these things are the case. Yes, demoing music before Mass is good form, but it is not essential as an 11th commandment. Sometimes just using the melody as a prelude is sufficient. Sometimes, the music is very well known in broader christendom, so if the people at your congregation have ever watched a L&C service, or attended any other church, it will be vaguely familiar already. Also, some people don't take kindly to you getting up and teaching them music before Mass starts, if they are trying to pray.

    • What constitutes "too complex"? Our parish sings Latin ordinaries during Advent and Lent, and I not-infrequently ask them to sing psalm refrains written in gregorian/square note notation and even refrains in Latin. Some congregations can sing full parts (this is rare within catholicism, but it does exist).

    Also, why is singing (for example) Regent Square "too hard" but singing many of the St. Louis Jesuit arrangements not? Some of their songs (yes, songs) have a different rhythms on every single verse! to say nothing of some of the weird intervals they want you to sing.

    Highest note is C/ C#? Who wrote this? Have they ever looked at any run-of-the-mill hymnal? D's are very common. Even Eb's. Yes, that's high, but setting a literal limit of C will immediately disqualify a third of any standard hymnal.

    • "We don't judge the success of our efforts by asking, "How well did we sing today?" but rather, "How well did the congregation sing today?"

    wrong. wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Pius X specifically taught that there is a proper function for cantors & Scholæ and that their function is distinct from the congregation, and that it is proper for them to sing propers and more difficult music that is beyond the reach of the congregation. That means that it is perfectly fine for there to be music at Mass that the people don't sing, and that the music would be too difficult for them even if they wanted to.

    Also, you never learn to do something better unless you attempt it with only limited success first. Are you somehow "failing" as a musician by introducing a new hymn that isn't sung with all the verve and vigor of "Immaculate Mary" on a Marian feast day? Poppycock, I say. It might be TWO YEARS before a congregation sings a new hymn well, after having heard it 8 times. The first 7 times weren't failures. They were pedagogic.

    I'll grant the underlying premise that healthy singing by the congregation is a barometer for how well they know a thing, and if they know the thing better, they will likely sing it louder. But that's as far as I'm willing to go. Not very many people will sing "Tantum Ergo" (in latin) during the Holy Thursday procession to repose the Eucharist; however, it doesn't follow, therefore, that it shouldn't be done!
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,759
    Be careful, very careful. That document is more loaded than a howitzer.
  • Steve QSteve Q
    Posts: 116
    ...would singing 'Happy birthday' count as participating at Mass on Christmas day?

    This evokes a very sad memory - a parish I used to attend had a men's choir that actually sang this version of "Happy Birthday, Jesus!"
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puaeGW19f-w
    Thanked by 1RedPop4
  • I've just been able to open the document and read it properly.

    Some people are sloppy and clumsy with language. There may be no ill intent here, despite my learned colleagues' well-considered caution.


    Consider, however:

    Great Amen: Should just have a one note/chord or a very short introduction.


    How many times do accompanists take more time to introduce the Amen than it takes the choir to sing it? It's entirely possible (but not certain) that this comment exists to restrain future accompanists, based on the errors of the past.

    If you wish to use another version of the Lord’s prayer other than Leona Gibney’s, check with Father to make sure it is acceptable for him.


    That particular setting of the Lord's Prayer may be offensive (I'm not familiar with it) but the premise that surprising the priest is a poorly considered choice is sound enough. Flip it upside down for a moment. What if a newly-installed Choirmaster decided that instead of Hassler's Missa Super Dixit Maria, he would surprise the priest with Marty Haugen's Mass of Creation.

    Lamb of God: Following the Sign of Peace, Father will begin breaking the bread. The moment he does this is our cue to start the Lamb of God. Preferably, use a version that isn't exceptionally long.


    A long-standing principle (dating to no later than Pius IX) asserts that certain parts of the polyphonic ordinary should be relatively short. A good principle of well-timed liturgy is that the music doesn't overly prolong the Mass. If there's a long motet, let the priest know, so he can enjoy, rather than resent it.

    How many settings nowadays have long interludes?


    Start the song the moment the priest consumes, we don't have to wait until the Eucharistic Ministers come to meet the people.


    This might very well discourage Unnecessary Ministers of Holy Communion, since no one is waiting for them. Surely, that's a good thing.

    2. Songs should be familiar to the people and do not require the congregation to use their hymn books to sing the refrain in order to ensure participation while waiting to receive.


    Here's a problem, or two. Congregational participation isn't (or shouldn't be) measured on a stop watch and with a video camera. Additionally, it assumes that the congregational hymn will have a refrain.
    CRITERIA FOR CHOOSING MUSIC


    The OP will know if these are in order of importance or just haphazardly put on paper. Some people write only one draft.



  • I rather agree with the “great amen” comment (that intros should indeed be short so it begins right away). One note is a bit restrictive, but as Steve Q mentions, intros that are as long (or longer) than the sung amen itself are gratuitous and unnecessary.

    And as for “participation while they are waiting to receive” this bothers me a bit. People should be PRAYING during communion. This is why I chant the communion antiphon for as long as possible before beginning the communion hymn, which almost becomes a “post communion” hymn. This allows people to receive and pray leisurely without feeling like they are going to miss out on anything. It also relieves the apparent “obligation” to be singing when they should be praying. We are well aware that there is a crisis regarding belief in the true presence, so it seems prudent to allow space to a actually pray, rather than distracting people from connecting with our Lord because they are singing poorly crafted hymns which cast doubt on the true presence.

    I have been told multiple times by parishioners and visitors alike that they love that they feel like they can actually pray at our mass. And this comes from people who otherwise wouldn’t care much for chant. Mercifully, our bishop also just instructed our diocese that there should be periods of silence at our masses during communion. It is for this very reason.

    I’ll take this moment to point out that the document also says “Father will begin breaking the bread”. This is materially and spiritually incorrect. After the consecration it is not “bread” anymore. It is “Flesh” (capital F). This imprecise language needs to be rectified immediately, even if nothing else in the document changes.

    Also, it’s funny to me that the document recommends a refrain hymn for communion but then also says that people shouldn’t need to use the hymnal to participate. This seems implied, no? What’s the point of a refrain if it is not to have something regularly repeated (which, one presumes, can be done by wrote after the first or second repeat).
  • Serviam,

    You're absolutely right that 'bread' is the wrong term, and that Flesh or Host would be both more accurate and more appropriate. Would "Eucharistic Bread" or "Eucharistic Jesus" or "Eucharistic Lord" have set off fewer (or more) alarm bells?
  • Does the assembly need to be taught this song before mass? It is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to teach new material before mass. It isn't fair to the assembly to deny them an opportunity to fully participate in the music of the mass. It is only respectful to introduce new music by teaching it before mass starts. This is also very important for the parts of mass. Remember, no music in the last five minutes before mass begins.


    While my experiences with teaching before Mass have made me vow to never do it again. If needed a well designed improvisation as a prelude on the melody or new Mass parts works wonderfully. My question is with the last statement: Why not music five minutes before Mass begins? Silence for the people to pray? Half our congregation does not even arrive until the last five minutes before Mass begins! And given silence; you know those church friends will spark up their conversation they continued from the parking lot again.
  • CGZ- your suggestions are all improvements.

    Rob— I prelude anywhere from 5-10 mins before the bells start chiming. I very regularly eschew any repertoire to merely play through less-familiar/new hymns with a couple registration changes, so that anyone who shows up a few minutes early has a chance to hear it before Mass begins. It also keeps voices down, as you say.
    Thanked by 2DavidOLGC CHGiffen
  • Remember, no music in the last five minutes before mass begins.


    I want to applaud what I hope is the intention here. Choirmasters sometimes rehearse their choir members right up until just before the bell has rung. Allowing the choir to make a transition from rehearsal to Mass is important.
  • Reval
    Posts: 170
    I wonder if you could bring up the Vatican II documents that say that chant and polyphony should have "pride of place". This document seems to not allow for any chant or polyphony.
    Also, I wonder if the acoustics of the building are suitable for singing. If people are trying to sing into the proverbial carpeted low-ceiling space then they might not want to sing much.
  • Chaswjd
    Posts: 195
    The document was obviously written by someone who is ignorant of or does not care what the church has already said about the music to be used at mass. To start, the Church has already selected the criteria for the music to be used at mass. That criteria nowhere includes "Does the congregation like it?" Rather than popular music, Chant is to be given pride of place.

    The one thing that the document got right was that the communion antiphon should being immediately after the celebrant receives communion.

    My strong suggestion is that instead of the proffered document, whoever is setting policy should read through Sacrosanctum Concilium, the GIRM and Musicam Sacram.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,155
    @JonDeuling = Just in April 2022, the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship published in their newsletter (third page) :-

    A list of the current ritual books approved for liturgical use in the United States of America is provided for the benefit of our readers. ,,,,
    ,,.
    Principal books of music for the Eucharist.
    • Graduale Simplex (simpler Gregorian chants of Mass parts and propers) 1975
    • Ordo cantus Missae (Gregorian chants of Mass parts and propers,
    cross-referenced to the pre-Conciliar Graduale Romanum) 1988
    • Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ 1989 (1971) 1998
    • Graduale Romanum (Gregorian chants of Mass parts and propers) 1974
    • Liber Cantualis (assorted Gregorian chants) 1983
    • Ordo Missae in Cantu (Gregorian chants for the Order of Mass) 2012
    (Note that the final three items were published by Solesmes Abbey. Other publications contain various excerpts of these books in different forms.)
    ...

    Is that official list mentioned anywhere in the document you ask us to evaluate?
  • Jon,

    You could appeal to the Second Vatican Council's actual documents. You could put forward the thought that the choice of music shouldn't depend on who happens to attend Mass on a given Sunday. You could point out that how we measure what people wants will depend partly on who's counting. Squeaky wheels, and all that....
  • If we treat people’s tastes like maxims, and put catering to them to the top of the priority list, we are essentially treating people like cattle who can’t develop and learn and transcend their pallets into something higher and more noble.

    “Pastor” literally means “shepherd.” If music is to be “pastoral,” it implies that you’re actually trying to MOVE them from one place to another, not simply letting them sit in what they’re comfortable with (which is what not a shepherd but a HIRELING would do.) It is in light of this genuine sense of being pastorale where you assess how important familiarity and expedience are — they aren’t targets in and of themselves.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,139
    John, very well said!
  • TCJ
    Posts: 861
    John, your post needs to be framed and hung on the wall of many a rectory.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,139
    John, I find your comment so thought provoking in the best way. I recently quipped to someone, “I like to treat my congregation like they aren’t idiots… they are capable of singing this music.” Yours is a much more elegant way of expressing what, in essence, was the driving force behind my quip.

    The liturgy (as I understand it) is something much larger than ourselves, transcending space & time; it even pierces the veil between heaven and earth. This is why, it would seem to me, we should make ourselves subservient to it, rather than the other way around. That includes striving for better things with each new liturgy.

    Our parish has had no particular desire (nor animosity, thank God) to learn much of the music that the pastor and I have collaborated to introduce. But four years later, a large contingent of our faithful can sing the seasonal marian antiphons nearly from memory, have learned Missa XVII really well, can sing the Our Father to the traditional Roman tone, and can even since Credo III in English. They also know all the chanted responses to the collects and canon (our pastor has whipped them into shape here in particular). I even have the school children singing the Marian antiphons at school masses, as well as anglicizations of certain offertories and communios from the Graduale Simplex. (I should note that it was the middle, aged teachers, who are skeptical of this, not the children, who take to it like ducks to water.)

    One of the best things that has happened to me at this parish was after a parent nabbed me in the vestibule after mass about two years ago. She related to me that her family (of five children) had gone to another city to visit some family after Christmas. It was, shall we say, not the most august sacrifice and the music apparently left much to be desired. As they got back out to the car, the kids, unprompted, asked their mom and dad what the heck that was all about… this woman and her husband, not wanting to influence the words of their children, decided to ask them very gingerly, some open ended questions. Their response was what she desired to share with me, knowing that I would take great pleasure in it. They said that they didn’t like it… The music was very different from what I do at our parish, and they found themselves distracted and having difficulty praying… And mass felt very different (in a bad way) from what they were used to. While I was certainly sad (for the other parish) to hear this assessment, I simultaneously marveled at the fact, that these children, through natural osmosis, had come to expect a certain reverence in the liturgy. Their sensus fidelium was a true guide and friend, and they knew something was amiss without anyone having to tell them—because their lived experience at our parish taught them otherwise.

    Just a few days ago I had a similar experience with two kids who are home visiting from college. They had sung in my schola, and had become accustomed to singing Gregorian chant and renaissance polyphony. They are now involved in trying to participate in, as well as coordinate, a Gregorian schola at their new collegiate church, and they were borderline frantic in their desire to stay as far away as possible (emphasis theirs, not mine) from those masses and musical groups that use guitars and saxophones and the like… they were invited to participate in those other groups, and didn’t want to touch them with a 10 foot pole.

    All of this to say: that people are very much capable of assenting to richer fare, and can even acquire a taste for it, if given the opportunity. Treating a congregation like they are dumb and merely singing the same old tripe over and over and over again does no one any favors—least of all God.
  • redsox1
    Posts: 209
    John F Church- Your post couldn’t have resonated any more with me. Through 12 years of sensitive and strategic planning, I took my large suburban parish from music that was “liturgical beige” to a program of propers, solid choral music, celebration of the LOTH, Tenebrae, and Lessons and Carols. We sang the Faure Requiem twice with orchestra, the Vivaldi Magnificat with orchestra , and movements of the Durufle Requiem on All Souls Day at Mass when it fell on a Sunday. I took a group to Rome. The parish sang very well. It was a little shaky right after COVID, but things were getting back to normal. Holy Week last year was amazing.

    At my first review with our new pastor back in June, he sat across from me and uttered the words, “we’re just a parish, we need to meet people where we are.” That was the end. I left and found a new home in another state where my gifts are appreciated and I’m able to speak with the Church’s voice. God led me to this new chapter in my ministry, and I’m so grateful, but it still hurts. I’ve checked in to my former parish through Livestream-everything I put in place has been dismantled in three months.
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 383
    I’ve checked in to my former parish through Livestream-everything I put in place has been dismantled in three months.


    How sad a story this is, and how tragic that it is so often repeated. So many here (I speak of my own experience as well) have had this experience.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,139
    And no doubt there are PiPs grieving the loss of you and your ministry. I have similarly had a ministry collapse behind me, and I heard from a few parishioners at that church for 3-4 years afterward, still lamenting the fact that I was gone. Similarly, I always have a few souls come find me at a new post to express how relieved and enthused they are that the liturgy is finally taking a turn toward reverence.

    What I find so sad about those complements is that the bar is always so low, that doing the most mundane things: a reharm on one verse of one hymn... merely chanting the communion antiphon in english one time from Fr. Weber... playing a real postlude from the organ repertoire... using a trumpet to introduce the gloria on a feast day... merely choosing a psalm setting that isn't overly happy/clappy... very simple things are enough for people to notice. (Ironically, they notice these little things at the beginning and seem to stop noticing the more important things as time wears on.) The bar is just so low at many places. But as the old adage goes, when you hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up. Sadly, the inverse is true too, as many of us have experienced...

    I do find myself mildly bitter whenever I hear about a program that suddenly fizzles out and someone carelessly quips, "It's the musician's fault; so-and-so should have built up a program that is 'self-sustaining'!" The reality is always so much more complicated than that. Our programs take real (and ample) effort to make happen. And many times choirs are willing to follow where they are led... but that implies they need leading. Take away the shepherd, and the flock disperses. It's no surprise that things fall apart when the trained musician is sacked or forced to leave, and there is a vacuum created and no one is properly trained, and then the pastor lends no support in the meantime. Surprise! We are back to lowest common denominator.
  • redsox1
    Posts: 209
    Leadership means being principled. There are way too many clergy, and musicians, interested only in their own comfort and popularity.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,155
    The appropriate response to “we’re just a parish" is "No, we're a parish that (successfully) follows the official documents of the Church on music" rather than buying the commercial products of the music publishers.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 2,139
    And why does being "just a parish" mean you somehow have to "settle"? I can understand not wanting to financially support full orchestral masses all the time — that's one thing — but to not support decent music writ large? I think some priests forget that our first duty to God is Latria in the Mass. That means we need to give it care, attention, and resources too.
  • redsox1
    Posts: 209
    I think it’s because he has never experienced good music, except at the cathedral. Some of these guys are very insecure.
  • As @ServiamScores said,

    The liturgy (as I understand it) is something much larger than ourselves, transcending space & time; it even pierces the veil between heaven and earth. This is why, it would seem to me, we should make ourselves subservient to it, rather than the other way around. That includes striving for better things with each new liturgy.


    And

    I think some priests forget that our first duty to God is Latria in the Mass. That means we need to give it care, attention, and resources too.


    This is exactly it. And what many don’t seem to understand. The solemn worship of the Church is meant to form us rather than we form it. It should teach us how to relate to and think about God, and this is done by signifying and magnifying His holiness through presenting the best of what human hands can offer.

    As anyone in the ancient world would have understood, worship is, at its core, sacrifice. The Scriptures show us how to do this — the magi bringing gold frankincense and myrrh, the penitent woman anointing Christ’s feet with costly perfume, the widow giving all she had (even if it is only two coins.) What we need to bring to the liturgy as musicians is essentially musical gold and perfume. People misunderstand, even if innocently, that the music is intended for them as a secondary significance— the primary significance is that it’s intended for God, and that it has a higher duty of approximating his transcendent holiness than approximating their musical sweet tooth.

    That is why we choose Bach and Palestrina over Haugen and Schutte.

  • That is why we choose Bach and Palestrina over Haugen and Schutte.


    That, and common sense.
  • davido
    Posts: 695
    John, have you written articles on this topic? You are very articulate on it
    Thanked by 1RedPop4
  • RedPop4
    Posts: 48
    Just going by what I see in this thread, it sounds like the middle 1980s all over again.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores