Hilarious send up of Contemporary "worship"
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    I simply cannot believe how on-target this is. Thanks Adam Wood.
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,606
    I actually was going to post this last night, but decided it was too...inflammatory...but since >•< has posted this video.

    This is a job just posted:

    xxxxxx United Methodist Church in Knoxville, TN is looking for a new Creative Arts Pastor. We are a very contemporary, young, growing, and upbeat church running around 1000 in weekly attendence.

    We have a strong commitment to reaching the lost and we're willing to do whatever it takes in our Sunday morning worship services. We utilize a wide range of modern worship music but we've also opened services in the past year with songs from the Beatles, U2, Kings of Leon, John Legend, Carrie Underwood, Foo Fighters, and a whole lot more. We're not afraid to rock and we're looking for someone who wants to have a great time leading God's people in worship.

    Responsibilities will include leading both of our 2 identical Sunday AM contemporary services, creative planning for these services, pastoring and shepherding the worship team already in place (seriously, these guys rock...), and probably some other things too, depending on your strengths and passions. Applicants should have strong musical (guitar / keys preferred) and vocal ability as well as excellent leadership and organizational skills. Nunchuck skills and crossbow skills would certainly be an added bonus.

    Salary will be in the $38k range and is negotiable. Education and experience will be considered.

    Ideally, we would like to see a video of you in action, either via link to a youtube / vimeo video or you can send us a DVD. If you are interested, please submit a resume' or ask additional questions by emailing: opening@xxxxxxchurch.com
  • Charles in CenCA
    Posts: 2,416
    Required viewing!
    Dare I forward this to professor friends o' mine at nearby denominational colleges who've created "Majors" in this worship "form?"
    Nope, that wouldn't be Christian.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    I love the guy with the cool glasses, graffiti shirt, and the tattoo "to show that he has a history." ha ha ha
  • Did the ad actually ask for nunchuck and crossbow skills, or did you add that to enhance the absurdist flavor?
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,606
    No, that is the ad, as is.

    My wife asked me if I was applying...and she was serious.
  • don roy
    Posts: 306
    brilliant. absolutely brilliant and not that far off of what is actually happening in more and more "worship spaces" on sunday.
    the only thing better was the ad for disposable "sanitary" communion hosts and grapejuice wrapped in cellophane. the only problem was that the ad wasnt a parody...
  • Okay, so now that I've had a good yuk about the video and shared it with some of my staff, here's a serious question: Could a similar video be made about the state of Catholic music? There's lots to satirize in the way Catholic musicians and parishioners participate in worship, after all. Imagine those subtitles saying things like:

    "Choir singing the same processional hymn for the fourth week running because too many people complain if they do something different."
    "Playing with my iPhone during the homily."
    "I don't know what 'Begotten, not made,' means although I say it every week."
    "I said 'Lord hear our prayer,' seven times today, but if you quizzed me on the day's intercessions I'd get a zero."
    "Chanting the Lord's Prayer on autopilot while secretly thinking about the football game this afternoon."
    "Avoiding eye contact and mumbling during the Sign of Peace."

    I'm sure all of you could add other observations worthy of being poked fun of.

    I'm in no place to smirk about the hipster kid in the video; I actually have cool glasses, a tattoo and a few graffiti shirts. :) I think some of the reasons we laugh at this is because we see it as lacking in anything resembling holiness: the music is trite, the "sermons" are more like self-help lessons than the teachings of Christ. The "congregation" is a hodgepodge of teenage and college-age hipsters who can't separate God from popular culture, and these aren't churches that want to try to teach them how. Are there any parallels in that to what some of our churches are doing? How are we working to better that? Do our parishes participate actually and actively in the liturgy and music the way they should? Are we teaching them how? Let's use the video as an opportunity to evaluate our own practices and see what we can do better within our own ministries; that's what I've been doing today. :)
  • JerryGooso
    Posts: 2
    Oh, my.... I was in that world. I was blind... but now I see.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    You know, I'm thinking more and more about this idea of a tattoo so that I too can have a murky past.
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,606
    This is the model...and Catholics are well on their way to it.
  • Charles in CenCA
    Posts: 2,416
    JT, I have lots of tattoos, kind of like Russian Vory y zakone style but with Jesus, my wife, my cat sort of stuff. Only funky one is my Oakland Raider tattoo, which does speak of a very checkered past. I suppose my Scottish St. Andrew's flag one is also dubious.
    I think you should have an image of a trombone on your right forearm, indicating your marching band era. Whatever you decide, don't get a likeness of Alan Greenspan, Timothy Geitner or even Adam Smith on your upper arm. That would be bad.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Intriguing. But can you really invent a past with a new tattoo? Not sure. If I can, I think I would make it a fake past. So it would be a really obscure foreign looking thing, as if it came from a farflung opium cult or something. That way I could say, I've been there but left it all behind for Gregorian chant. That way I would have more credibility.
  • Charles in CenCA
    Posts: 2,416
    Jeffrey, oxymoron alert! Chanters/credibility? Have you checked with Todd first, re. your credit status as a Reform2 kinda guy? (Just yanking cranks, Todd!)
    I'm still stuck on my "Enlightenment" quotient for the day. I need to know how Kathy gets everything so quickly, besides the fact she's from the distaff side perspective.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,176
    If I remember right, the guy in the video had the Tetragrammaton on his arm, so he wasn't revealing a terribly shocking "past".
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    hmmm, but maybe we chanters need to be more shocking.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,176
    I'm expecting a little occasional gang tension between those with St. Gall tats and those with Laon, but the empathic schola director can bridge the gap.
  • ChaedatylChaedatyl
    Posts: 45
    maybe we should give more emphasis to the tritones...
    or wear ratty clothing and have chordal accompaniment on electric guitar...

    nah, too normal

    I think the real problem is that modern society considers chant to be too shocking. Sadly, everything in that video was normal. It's normal to have tatoos, it's normal to hear rock music. Try telling the person you meet in the supermarket that your passion is music from circa 1200 and THEN you'll get a shocked look.

    They are accustomed to worldly music. We (and I hesitate to include myself, because I was thrown into the deep end with chant just this year!) are trying to portray the music of heaven.
  • Charles in CenCA
    Posts: 2,416
    "hmmm, but maybe we chanters need to be more shocking."

    Doncha think that vis a vis the liberal surge at PT and the surprise revelations of extent versions of Haagen/Daaz MR2 settings, that we're already considered "shock troops" already in search of some "Krystalnacht" moment to hijack the rest of enlightened Christendom? I wish I could say that was a joke in poor taste.
    When we read/see/hear Dom Ruff (for whom I still say my C-Note investment was more than worth it) declare that we are not fringe or marginalized, and in fact appreciated and extolled by increasing numbers of regular PIPs, then I'll retract my national socialist insinuative implication.

    In the meanwhile, if you need a poster boy for chant as shocking, I'm your guy.
    Stay Churchy, my friends.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 756
    I like the idea of the tattoo thing. I'm thinking about 'Sarum' on the knuckles of my left hand and 'Burke' on those of my right.
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 993
    Tats are "so yesterday." Go for multiple eyebrow piercing.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,072
    Pay: $38k
    Pay at St. Agnes: $40k

    Not to beat dead horses, but the irony...
  • Michael O'Connor
    Posts: 1,637
    Jeff, I think you need a salicus tattoo to really show where you stand...
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,606
    The way to fight the Chant fight is to use the tools these people use....see Promoting Your Choir to see how it can be done.
  • G
    Posts: 1,397
    You want edginess?

    Well, O Bow-tied One, I have heard you refer to "chant jocks," why not "chant punks"?

    Instead of mallrats, churchrats?

    There could be indie scholas, with names like "Smashing Punctums."

    (Save the Liturgy, Save the World)
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Smashing Punctums !!!!!!!!

    that cries out for a tattoo, or at least a graphic made by Aristotle
  • janetgorbitzjanetgorbitz
    Posts: 966

    Black-eyed Pes
  • I don't have a clue about how to approach Smashing Punctums, but I could trot out the Pes Dispenser and give it a black eye.

    [Pes Dispenser (GIF)]
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,951
    A good description of contemporary worship. It's very predictable and formulaic. I think I will stick with the true "old-time-religion" handed down from the apostles. As for tattoos, my late mother told me many years ago that they were trashy. I think she had it right.
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    I think we should have a poll - which Kyrie would make the wickedest tattoo?
  • MarkThompson
    Posts: 768
    Mass of Creation. Or wait ... was that a "bad-means-good" type of wickedest? ;)
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,696
    Isn't the Kyrie from Mass of Creation only 3-fold (as opposed to 6 fold Novus Ordo or 9 fold Tridentine)?

    Think Haugen was inspired by Byrd's Mass for 3 Voices Kyrie?

    Me neither.
  • This might be an appropriate time to promote one of my more recent works, my Missa Mister Mister. It consists of five Kyries.
  • Maureen
    Posts: 675
    Re: ""I said 'Lord hear our prayer,' seven times today, but if you quizzed me on the day's intercessions I'd get a zero.""

    Intercessions are performative. Once they're said, why should you remember them? If you went to some Eastern rite's Mass, and they went on and on with the intercessions for twenty minutes, would you really expect anyone to remember them all even though they're the same every week? Much less the names of all the parish dead of the whole year, which are also recited every week in some rites? (IIRC.) I'm as nitpicky as anybody can be, but that doesn't make sense as a complaint.

    If you want people to remember certain prayer intentions for a whole week, make them prayer cards to take home. If you want them to pray at Mass, then pray.

    I will add that, if you have any sort of intense prayer going on at Mass, or religious experience, it's not exactly calculated to concentrate the mind on every single detail of what's happening. (Unless you're the kind of person who goes into superfocus, in which case you'll probably be able to describe the deep divine significance of the lint on the floor as well as the intercessions.)
  • Marueen, you're missing my points, one being that many people just go through the motions with no real sense of awareness of what they're participating in. The sincerety of prayer gets lost. The other point is that we don't exactly have a high horse from which to snark on the superficiality of these megachurch productions if we're insincere or lack focus in our own worship. What are Catholics doing in their own churches that's so much better?
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    "If you went to some Eastern rite's Mass, and they went on and on with the intercessions for twenty minutes, would you really expect anyone to remember them all even though they're the same every week?"

    well, maybe I can't remember them in proper order, but I can tell you exactly what we pray for in our litanies every Sunday. We say each litany at least twice per service it seems... give me the first two words of any intercession and I could probably finish it for you. That's one of the wonderful things about repetition. You learn things. You remember them. Sure they can become rote, but anything can.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    The Missa Mister Mister. Good one, Dan.
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    Could a similar video be made about the state of Catholic music?

    It might as well be about Catholic youth rallies. I mean, what is the difference between the parody and the real-life promotional material of FOCUS, the conservative Catholic college organization?

    FOCUS National Conference 2010 from FOCUSNational on Vimeo.

  • Well, the difference is, in the parody, the singer wanted you to buy his song in the bookstore, and here you can buy the song on iTunes.

    Oh wait, iTunes also sells books ...
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,072
    Jeffrey, FWIW: I think you are mostly correct about the current state of FOCUS in regard to the liturgy, but there is a desire for right worship on the part of many of the younger members. At least this is what I have seen: the problem is that the information is not always there, or perhaps not the right person to bring it to light. The FOCUS members I have met are very orthodox believers (I think conservative is somewhat unhelpful in this context), and are keenly interested in (or at least not suspicious of) the Holy Father's concerns about the liturgy.

    Abp. Burke, for example, is a supporter of FOCUS, and a good friend of mine in FOCUS is very interested in the EF and in the "reform of the reform". He is also very good about communicating that to the students he works with. So, the latent desire is there...we just have to "flush it out"!
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    BruceL, you are of course correct. But the problem is extremely serious and deeply entrenched. The liturgical problem has seriously hurt this organization and its mission. It is not obvious to me what the solution here is because the current penchant for pandering to youth culture, as it is called, comes from all-knowing top down. I would love to lend a hand in helping to fix this problem but there seems to be zero interest on the part of any decision makers. There is much more to say about this problem, but I will stop.
  • Jeffery, are you going to be at the Chant Intensive?
  • Jeffrey TuckerJeffrey Tucker
    Posts: 3,624
    well, maybe a bit at the beginning and end.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    It was so funny (and cool), so I sent the link to my schola memebers and told them 'not to take it too seriously.' But maybe I was worng. One of them says she feels like she has been in that church on the video (meant some Masses in her parish are like that.)

    I remember my pastor's homily in which he talks about many people having 'a desire,' but only a few actually put 'Will' to do it. I know people who deisres good Liturgy, but still want to do it in their way or the way they feel comfortable, especially with music. One of my friend, really nice and an active Catholic plays guitar in a contemporary band, still says," I want to worship God with the music I like."
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    It's hard for me to know what to do about the liturgical problem and youth.

    Fortunately the anecdotal evidence of young people interested in chant--and turned off by CCM--is ascendant. However, the question remains as to whether this is, or will ever be, a majority opinion among teens and twenty-somethings, who are mostly musically pop-oriented.

    Things I have seen:
    1. WYD 2005: Hymns widely ignored, Taize chants sung
    2. The stadium rocking to this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzqdSs0sg00
    3. 20 year old German kids singing Here I Am, Lord, with rather astonishing depth of feeling
    4. I've only seen this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1lzK21oNT4 on youtube
    5. I've seen similar enthusiasm in similar situations, though. It's phenomenal.
    6. Two pieces were sung during the Vigil for Life Mass in DC last January. I was sitting among about 500 teenagers. During the first song, a hymn set to Hyfrydol, all the kids sang. During the second piece, a Latin introit refrain set melodically and accessibly, every single kid sat down and disengaged. (I've seen this same refrain work very well with adults.)

    There really is no way to tell kids what music to like. And we have to accept as a given that many of them have been indoctrinated into a certain Church music mindset.

    Here's what I'd do if I ruled the world. There can and probably should be one Mass at each parish with icky music. Yes, it's for God; it's apostolic and missionary.

    Every other Mass at each parish should have a Latin chanted ordinary and propers, with maybe an offertory hymn and a motet at Communion. Okay, okay, you can have a polyphonic ordinary at the missa pro populo. But no orchestra, ever. Oh, all right, one Mass can have more hymns.

    One Wednesday a month there should be loud icky music at Adoration. But this should be an icky opportunity set among a solid menu of devotions and the Liturgy of the Hours, all chanted.

    (Some parishes won't need the ick. But I think right now most do, and this is a way to phase out.)
  • mjballoumjballou
    Posts: 993
    I shall now mount my usual hobby horse on devotional vs. liturgical music. There's room for all kinds of music in terms of the devotional music to which we listen at meetings, at home, in the car, on the bus with an iPod, which we sing at rallies and the wonderful big warm fuzzies beloved of teenagers who've just run into Jesus. And there's actually some CCM that I enjoy (but then everyone knows about me).

    At Mass, keep it simple and chanted. If you can roll out the full propers at one of the Masses, cool. However, don't expect a massive conversion to that model. Not every church is a major parish, cathedral, or basilica - and I can grind my teeth at poorly executed, over-ambitious chant, just as well as I can for sacro-pop.

    I like Kathy's recommendations - so I'll go to her church!
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Those who have youths in the schola or fortunate enough to have youths schola (older teens), how do you keep them engaged in singing chants? Also, are those young people who want to learn Gregorian chants different from the rest of the youths who still want pop style music in Mass? And what motivates them to come to sing chant ? (The children in my children's schola come mostly because the parents bring them, and they seem to get to like it as they become more confident. Hopefully they will continue as they get older. But how about the youths who didn't have early exposure to Gregorianc chants, how do you attract them?)
  • noel jones, aagonoel jones, aago
    Posts: 6,606
    Creativity is so quickly squelched.


    [youth do not want pop style music in Mass. Adults want pop style music in Mass] A study of what Mass youth go to would probably list music as the least of the reasons. However, a past parish forced all confirmation class students to attend a guitar mass that the choir members hated and reviled. Not a happy situation as the students decided that they did not want guitars but instead Gregorian Chant at confirmation. Since it takes place at the 6 PM sunday evening time slot it had to be guitars. Students were passing petitions...

    Pastor slapped it all down.

    The third year I was able to get the choir to sing with the guitar group for this. Which turned out to be a nail in the coffin that that job ended up being.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,500
    Noel, it sounds like you've had this conversation under much more serious conditions. That sounds like slow martyrdom.

    Here's what I think: if you raise kids on Gregorian chant that will be their desired Church music. If you raise them on the Glory and Praise or Gather hymnal, that will be their desired Church music. If the next parish plays electric guitars, a lot of kids will go there.

    You can re-educate over time, but you risk disengaging in the meantime.

    Ideals are not the only datum. Humans bring their own needs. I agree that the human needs aren't always what common wisdom thinks they are, but kids like a good beat.
  • miacoyne, the youth cantors which I have worked with, who are interested in Gregorian chant, are deeply faithful Catholics. They know that they are there for more than just singing and that the music isn't meant as a form of "feel good" entertainment. (see video above)

    They also have strong interests in other kinds of music, though, like musicals, classical, jazz, etc. I just feel that their faith and devotion in addition to their strong musical interests are what make them interested in things which are more suitable for Mass. So, in a way, yes they are different than other youths that I have met, and I will miss them dearly when they graduate.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    There's a mix. Due to the kind of people I tend to associate with, I know that there are far, far more youth who love Latin, the EF, and chant than the CCM people would want you to think. On the other hand, here at Franciscan it is abundantly clear that a majority of twenty-something Catholics today really do prefer CCM music that they hear on the radio, etc. They don't necessarily like folk Mass -- all that stuffy 60s music they grew up on; if they like it, it's mostly nostalgia. It's the contemporary, more rock-like stuff they like. Although most people are pretty sure that a full metal-band-type instrumentation is not appropriate at Mass, not too many people have a problem with drums, and very few have any problems at all with guitars and basses.

    I've heard many people say, "chant is beautiful and all, but I prefer modern music"; or, what makes me wince: "the Latin Mass is good for you pre Vatican II types" ...like, is there another schism I haven't heard of yet? >:(

    But most people will concede that Gregorian chant is definitely beautiful, and definitely Catholic, even if it is not their personal preference. Those folks could probably be easily converted to good liturgy if someone would make clear to them that the church clearly prefers one kind over another. They're very loyal to the church and to the pope, but they just don't realize the extent to which the liturgy has been corrupted over the years.

    People need to learn to dissociate their personal preferences with what is good at Mass. Personally I do not like the organ, but I would much rather hear that at a Catholic Mass than any other instrument. (Of course hearing that in Orthodox churches is a different story.) How you can get people to do that, I have no idea.