What makes some songs acceptable for use in church, and others not?
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    The short question:

    Why I am perfectly comfortable playing a Fantasia and Fugue by Bach at a recital in a Catholic church, but the idea of playing a piece by Aaron Copland seems inappropriate? What is ok for recitals in churches? Is the Bach ok b/c it is "far enough" removed from secular music, but most of the things by Copland have a secular title, (even if they don't, they "sound" more secular?) Where do you draw the line?

    The longer question and story:

    How do I explain this to someone who is, unfortunately pretty clueless about what is appropriate in churches? I've been asked to play a joint recital at a Catholic church that has, let's just say no sense of the sacred. (Either the parish or the music director.) I get to pick the pieces I'll be playing solo, but I'll be expected to accompany some other instrumentalists on their pieces, and so far they're kind of vague about what exactly that will be, except probably a Copland piece. Am I just being a snot if I were to turn this opportunity down b/c I don't think the Copland (whatever it is, and probably all the pieces everyone else ends up doing) aren't appropriate for church? Should I tell them I'm going to need a full listing of all the pieces before I accept the recital? (Now, that sounds snotty!) If I do decline the recital, should I bother trying to explain why? How?
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 853
    I'm curious why you think Copland is inappropriate? Because it sounds secular? Will be Blessed Sacrament be reserved? Are these just instrumentalists?

    I don't know, this is very complicated. If you are uneasy, I don't think there's anything wrong with asking to see the repertoire before deciding. I also don't think there's all that much (but admittedly some) instrumental music that could wind up on a solo instrument recital that is inappropriate for Church outside of the liturgy with the Blessed Sacrament duly attended to.
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  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    Yeah, that's what I'm wondering... Maybe I'm totally wrong. Maybe Copland is fine, but...where's the line? Why is Wagner's wedding march not ok, even though very few people are aware it's actually from a secular opera?
  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 853
    . removed
  • According to canon law, only sacred music is allowed at concerts in churches (in sacred spaces) and admission must be free (or by donation).

    (edited by author: this is not really true, canon law only prohibits use that is out of harmony with the sacredness of the place, and says nothing at all about admission charges. I should have said "according to the CDW")
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  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    Ok, so define "sacred." Does that *exclude* anything by Bach except pieces that are specifically based on German religious chorale tunes? (But most of those tunes were originally secular to begin with...)
  • The law says it has to be in "harmony with the holiness of the place". I think this includes anything dignified for organ, even if not sacred (liturgical), because of the status of the instrument. I doubt if it includes Bach orchestral music.

    There has to be specific permission from the bishop, too, although that's not quite on topic.
  • AP23AP23
    Posts: 119
    First, there's a different between a mass or liturgical service and a recital. I've been to a Christmas concert before, and they've used completely secular songs before, one of them being about "Christmastime is no time to diet". It talked about different Christmas foods and Christmas being a bad time to diet. It was played on piano with a jumpy chord accompaniment and sung by a 4-person schola group dressed in elf costumes.
  • Chris HebardChris Hebard
    Posts: 124
    From the Congregation of Divine Worship, Nov. 5, 1987, in regard to concerts in churches:

    The principle that the use of the church must not offend the sacredness of the place determines the criteria by which the doors of a church may be opened to a concert of sacred or religious music, as also the concomitant exclusion of every other type of music. The most beautiful symphonic music, for example, is not in itself of religious character. The definition of sacred or religious music depends explicitly on the original intended use of the musical pieces or songs, and likewise on their content. It is not legitimate to provide for the execution in the church of music which is not of religious inspiration and which was composed with a view to performance in a certain precise secular context, irrespective of whether the music would be judged classical or contemporary, of high quality or of a popular nature. On the one hand, such performances would not respect the sacred character of the church, and on the other, would result in the music being performed in an unfitting context.


    The rest is available here
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    The most recent encyclical I can recall dealing with such issues of propriety, Andrew, was JPII's Inestimabile donum, and I'm not sure if that has such a hard prescription regarding instrumental compositions. We've concertized Bach Magnificat, reserved the sacrament, no ticket sales, etc. But if YoYo wants to show up and offer Bach Unaccompanied Suite for Cello, I think there's enough latitude in the canons to permit that. Or Glenn Gould back from the dead to play Art of the Fugue (that'd be awesome!) How does one distinguish concertizing Bach (or anybody's) organ repertoire, which was obviously for "consumption" at worship, but then discard all else but the Coffee Cantata and the primers?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,764
    Just because something has been done, one can't assume that the Church's norms approve it.
    There's a specific set of norms about concerts in churches.
    I've heard secular works in churches too: e.g., an organ transcription of one of Satie's "Gymnopedies" during holy communion. It wasn't unpleasant, but it probably wasn't really in conformity with the norms.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    It is not legitimate to provide for the execution in the church of music which is not of religious inspiration and which was composed with a view to performance in a certain precise secular context, irrespective of whether the music would be judged classical or contemporary, of high quality or of a popular nature. On the one hand, such performances would not respect the sacred character of the church, and on the other, would result in the music being performed in an unfitting context.

    Thanks, Chris.
    Okay, mull over Stravinsky's SYMPHONY OF PSALMS, or more to the extreme, Lennie's CHICHESTER PSALMS or Milhaud's KADDISH.
    The former of that trio, I trust, being universally acknowledged as the finest of art- why would that be rejected based upon "intent?"
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    I've heard secular works in churches too: e.g., an organ transcription of one of Satie's "Gymnopedies" during holy communion. It wasn't unpleasant, but it probably wasn't really in conformity with the norms.

    Yet and still your faith remains strong and bold, RC!
  • Chris HebardChris Hebard
    Posts: 124
    I'd welcome the Stravinsky in church. The content and inspiration is religious. I'd argue that though the original intent was for performance, and not as part of a liturgy, the intended venue did not exclude the church.

    On the other hand, the Vatican's instruction forbids the use of the sanctuary for concerts. In most churches, that would make use of an orchestra impossible.
  • I've heard secular works in churches too: e.g., an organ transcription of one of Satie's "Gymnopedies" during holy communion. It wasn't unpleasant, but it probably wasn't really in conformity with the norms.


    Church music has always tended to pick up elements from secular music - parody masses, little dances played alternatim with chant in 18th century France are but two examples.

    We are pushing the envelope when we include entire compositions perhaps but while the work may originally have been secular, adapting and playing it in this situation might elevate it beyond its original condition.

    Is God going to be better served by adapting a secular work to his purpose or by my awkward amateurish attempts at improvisation?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,841
    For me it's not just that it's from a secular opera that is the problem, but that within the opera it's used as a farce in as a woman of ill-repute is pretending to be married...


    There seems to be a lot of ill-informed (if not just malicious) rationales against Wagner & Mendelssohn going around. I'm all in favor of playing what one likes oneself and half feel like applauding successful defenses of such choices, but would caution that depending on secondhand synopses could backfire. Go see Lohengrin sometime (or again, if memory is so dim) and let us know how you liked it!
  • In Toronto and Hamilton dioceses this issue is a (admittedly small) matter of current controversy, occasioning clarifications of the rules by the chancery. Not a purely theoretical issue, to be sure.
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,005
    For me it's not just that it's from a secular opera that is the problem, but that within the opera it's used as a farce in as a woman of ill-repute is pretending to be married...


    I see women of ill-repute and low morals get married several times a year. Grooms, too, in the same state. Such are the times in which we live.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    HOLD IT.
    I'm in trouble.

    I had no idea Canon Law prohibited secular music in the church PERIOD. I just started a concert series at my church (oops, Strike #1) last year as a major fundraiser (oops, Strike #2) and insisted that any performing groups' repertoire lists included at least some sacred music (aaaand.... Strike #3). While something in me quietly objected to secular music in the church building, I reasoned that it was outside liturgy.

    Not to hijack this thread... but what now? Going against Canon Law would seriously undermine the validity of my reasoning for better music DURING liturgies.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,764
    You won't be alone in doing something outside the rules. If you want to be 100% legit, ask the Office for Worship to grant permission.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,230
    Thanks Chris. I was just going to post that.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    The prohibition against secular music at church concerts is one rule that I would feel perfectly comfortable breaking.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    ....and, not all Offices of Worship are staffed competently.
    Thanked by 1Adam Wood
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,113
    Back in something like 2006, I think, the Minnesota Orchestra embarked on a 10-year project that includes, among other things, performances and recordings of all the Bruckner symphonies in the Cathedral of St. Paul. The concerts themselves have been played both at Symphony Hall and in the Cathedral. Moreover, these concerts have invariably included works by other composers (e.g. John Tavener). Sure the Cathedral concerts have not been freebies.

    Also, the Holy Father John-Paul II attended a performance in 1979 of the Bruckner fifth symphony by the Chicago Symphony under Sir George Solti at Holy Name Cathedral. I'm fairly certain that concert was also not a freebie, and I had the opportunity to listen to it's live broadcast over WFMR.

    Apparently big venues such as Cathedrals can get away with the exceptions.
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  • SkirpRSkirpR
    Posts: 853
    I will chime in with the more "moderate" voices on this. I'm sure this particular issue of secular music concerts in churches could be abused - and perhaps it was in Europe - perhaps that was what prompted the CDW document listed above. But I will say that, at least in my experience, I have not seen egregious abuses of it in the US. In other words, all of the concerts I've attended in churches have had programs where even any non-sacred pieces on the concert were still pieces that did not overtly profane the sacred space.
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 794
    I think it's a stretch to ban all secular/profane music from concerts held in churches when we can't seem to even ban it from the Mass. Doesn't all beauty direct our mind to God, even if only indirectly?

    I'm no cannon lawyer, and I've not heard of that particular rule before reading this, but I would think that there is a difference between concertizing art music that is not explicitly sacred and using the sacred space for something that would cause scandal--but even there, where does one draw the line? I'm scandalized by rock bands performing in church, and yet it happens with ecclesiastical endorsement every Sunday evening.

    If the culture determines what is appropriate then almost anything goes these days with regards to music,dress code and general church etiquette (arriving late, leaving early, talking on cell phones, texting etc.).
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  • David AndrewDavid Andrew
    Posts: 1,191
    Anyone here familiar with "Peter's Way Tours"?

    This travel agency coordinates trips to, among other places, Rome for choirs and ensembles primarily from Catholic parish churches and the like. During the tour, the coordinators arrange for these groups to do quite a bit of sight-seeing, visiting churches and other points of interest, and . . . give concerts at places like Chiesa de la Gesu, the Lateran Church, San Ignatio, etc., as well as sing for Masses at St. Peter's Basilica and elsewhere. However, the majority of the performances scheduled are concert-based and not liturgy-based.

    Now, I belonged to a community-based choir that had been formed for the express purpose of studying, advancing and performing the music of the Western liturgical traditions (primarily Catholic and Anglican music) that went on one such tour in January of 2006. The tour was coordinated by Peter's Way, but the director of the choir was most adamant that the choir would not give concerts, but rather wished to sing for liturgical celebrations exclusively. Peter, the owner, was very uncooperative and in some cases the director had to make contact with the proper authorities at the various venues to secure permission himself. And even at that, many of the locals objected strenuously to our desire to sing liturgical music for liturgical celebrations rather than just give "concerts." We sang for public Mass at St. Mark's Venice, the Gesu, and for the Saturday afternoon Mass at the altar of the Chair of Peter as well as, and this was the coup de grace, vespers in the extraordinary form for the Feast of the Chair of Peter at the Lateran Basilica. We sang chant and polyphony as well as the various responses and settings of the Ordinary required of us by the local churches. We did NOT give concerts. Period.

    My point? Apparently in and around Rome and in Italy generally, the local churches, basilicas and cathedrals have no problem permitting touring choirs from trouping into their sacred spaces and regaling the local populace with 60-plus minutes of the latest and greatest sacro-pop garbage accompanied by every form of profane instrument (drums, bongos, saxophones, flutes, guitars, etc.), but will exert influence and cite local regulations, canon law, etc., to exclude liturgical choirs from performing liturgical music during a liturgical rite of the Church.

    So, as far as I'm concerned, this whole debate is a non-starter. If an ensemble wishes to come to my church and provide some culturally nourishing, decent, appropriate classical music entertainment, they are most welcome. And I wouldn't waste the ink writing for permission from the local authority in the diocesan office who thinks that sacro-pop at Mass (http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1104656.htm) is perfectly fine but would quote canon law to exclude decent music of our Western culture from a concert in the same space where the sacro-pop drivel is troweled out mercilessly week after week.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,712
    A well-connected priest friend told me that the ruling cited by Chris (above) was aimed directly at a number of Roman parish churches which were, for practical purposes, running concerts-for-profit with the Italian equivalent of polka bands (IOW, pure dreck.)

    The Bishop of a diocese can allow performances in churches at his discretion. Music which does not demean the nature of a church is usually allowed. JSB is just fine.

  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    And I wouldn't waste the ink writing for permission from the local authority in the diocesan office who thinks that sacro-pop at Mass is perfectly fine but would quote canon law to exclude decent music of our Western culture from a concert in the same space where the sacro-pop drivel is troweled out mercilessly week after week.


    A little (large?) part of me died reading that article.
    However, my Director of the Office of Worship is (I think) a CMAA member himself and attended the last Colloquium so I trust him to give a fair, well-reasoned response.

    My problem, though, is if anyone happens to realize what I'm running is technically not in harmony with Canon Law, how can I then use the documents to argue against Praise & Worship or for Gregorian Chant and plainsong? I imagine many people will ask, when I explain I sought Diocesan approval, why we can't do the same to allow for contemporary music.
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  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,304
    My problem, though, is if anyone happens to realize what I'm running is technically not in harmony with Canon Law, how can I then use the documents to argue against Praise & Worship or for Gregorian Chant and plainsong? I imagine many people will ask, when I explain I sought Diocesan approval, why we can't do the same to allow for contemporary music.


    Maybe recourse to technical legalities isn't the best argument for Sacred Music at Mass.

    (Just sayin'.)
    Thanked by 2Gavin Liam
  • I seem to remember then-Cardinal Ratzinger saying that the great symphonic music of Brahms, Beethoven and Bruckner was one of the greatest proofs to him of the existence of God and purpose in the world (paraphrasing). Still, I tend to avoid purely secular instrumental music in my own cathedral concert series.

    I think this has to be a judgment call, based on the content of the music and its modern cultural context. If the music is abstract (a "prelude" for example, or a "sonata" - a "sounding" of the instrument) I don't see a difficulty. "Awake, lute and harp..." If the very stones cried out in praise of God, would they incorporate a plainchant cantus firmus?
    The music of Bach or many other Baroque or Classical composers will be experienced by the assembly or audience merely as "high" or "classical" music. The pieces no longer have a cultural "sacred" or "secular" association. And I suppose in our current church music situation, I will leap at anyone's desire for, or appreciation of, music that is elegant, beautiful and well-crafted.

    There is also the question of performing forces - smaller groups or even soloists can be very unobtrusive than a symphony orchestra. And I suspect that the ethos of a Bach cello suite is more suited to sacred space and contemplation than some operatic oratorio works.

    The whole tone of the 1987 document is difficult for me to digest - it seems to be directed at outside entities "using" the sacred space for their own secular series and subscriber bases. But what about the church's own choirs performing works in their home parish? Or what about the church inviting great performers to offer the community sacred music in a space conducive to reflection? In other words, I don't see an understanding of (or at least, an emphasis on) a concert series as a ministry of the parish itself. What about when the bishop, beyond merely allowing or tolerating a concert, desires a series, as an outreach of his cathedral? To my mind, when we invite the Tallis Scholars to a cathedral we are offering attendees a glimpse of the glory of the Church's polyphonic tradition. This can make a real difference in the church music scene in our culture, among other things.

    Finally, I wonder about some of the specific limitations or rules in article 10. Am I splitting hairs? It seems that this phrase...

    "In order that the sacred character of a church be conserved in the matter of concerts, the Ordinary can specify that:"

    ...offers suggestions to bishops, rather than hard and fast articles of canon law. "can specify". Is there some other source for saying that ticket sales are forbidden by canon law? Especially knowing that in any performing arts series, ticket sales will never, ever turn a profit (or even meet the basic expenses).

    Just some musings, from a cathedral music director getting a sacred arts series up and running now.

  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,764
    I agree with bkenney27's assessment: we happen to be in the same diocese, so I'm acquainted with the fine priest who directs our Office of Worship. That's why I suggested asking him for the permission.

    If you live in a place where you think they might unreasonably turn down your concert request, then you can just rely on the permission you have from the pastor, and let him decide whether and how to take the question upstream.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,230
    pieces that did not overtly profane the sacred space.

    ...our pieces profane in secret.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,230
    This is an issue I have with musicians who bend the rules to their own liking. The point was clearly made that if we bend and break the rules to our own preferences, we then are playing the same game as those who accept the secular music into the church and the liturgy. All of our concern for upholding the church's preference for sacred music, in my mind, goes right out the window.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,304
    I stand by my above statement about using legality as a defense of Sacred Music. However, @francis makes a very good point.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • I don't think we should bend the rules and allow secular music in sacred spaces - whether in liturgy or concerts. However, it is legitimate to question how we make a judgment call about abstract un-texted music.

    Music with text, whether choral or solo, is an easy call. I make no exceptions there.

    It also seems clear to me that symphonies - a genre that grew out of opera overtures and has generally been meant for the masses (small 'm' - no pun intended) as public entertainment - are generally not appropriate. But then, what of the organ symphonies by our Catholic Parisians?

    So I think the argument is about what music can be rightly called "sacred" or "secular." If an excellent case can be made that a certain piece of un-texted music is inherently un-sacred, then by all means do not allow it in church. For example, organ transcriptions of opera overtures or arias - a big problem in 19th-century France and Italy.
  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    Maybe recourse to technical legalities isn't the best argument for Sacred Music at Mass.

    (Just sayin'.)


    Fair point. That isn't to say the documents are the ONLY source of support on which I rely, but they certainly help. And it's more in the preference expressed in the documents than the true technical legalities.
    Out of curiosity, Adam, while we're on the topic, what would you say IS the best "argument"? (For the record, I try not to use that word to avoid hostility but figured everyone here would understand that.)
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,304
    Out of curiosity, Adam, while we're on the topic, what would you say IS the best "argument"? (For the record, I try not to use that word to avoid hostility but figured everyone here would understand that.)


    (I know what you mean.)

    The best argument is no argument at all, but rather experience.

    Barring that, I think the best "argument" is the same argument I have for the virtue and value of a moral life:

    "You shall be Holy, as I the Lord am Holy."
  • PaixGioiaAmorPaixGioiaAmor
    Posts: 1,473
    Actually, with respect, I submit that the law and legislation are the ONLY argument. Otherwise, it boils down to "taste" and what will "engage the youth," etc. etc. etc. et al
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,230
    Yes... once you use yourself and your thinking as the basis for any and all decisions, then you cross into relativism and all things are then acceptable.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,230
    with regard to organ symphony music, if the music composed was intended for use in church, it is usually considered sacred music, but that is not a singular judgement on appropriateness to the liturgy, where it could be a singular judgement on use in an organ concert.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,304
    Actually, with respect, I submit that the law and legislation are the ONLY argument. Otherwise, it boils down to "taste" and what will "engage the youth," etc. etc. etc. et al


    I don't (fully) agree with this, but I very much respect the position.

  • I don't dispute that legislation is the ultimate argument, but is it really the only argument? And if it is, then how do you present it?

    Thumping down a copy of the relevant codes and legislation on the conference table might be appropriate when you are discussing building a multi-story office block, but in a parish which survives in large measure on the goodwill of volunteers then this approach seems very likely to come across as a direct challenge to that goodwill.

    We are all bound by these documents but there are different ways to both convey their requirements and to interpret them. (Rules are meant to be applied, while laws are to be interpreted).
  • May I suggest another approach, a happy medium between the legal technicalities and the anything goes?

    [Ducking and covering as I go...] We can read the documents of Vatican 2 in a Catholic way or in a clearly non-Catholic way. Archbishop Ranjith, in what I take to be the best form of damning with faint praise, claimed that the Missal of Paul VI can be said reverently. The point is not whether it can or can not be read a certain way, but how has the wisdom of the Church always understood such things. For example:

    Principle: God is always to be worshipped, and may properly be worshipped in the Blessed Sacrament exposed.

    Questions which are no longer necessary: where else, besides behind the high altar, can we put the tabernacle? Why can't Praise and Worship music be used at Mass?

    Principle/Definition: A Church building is a sacred space, set apart for the worship of God and the housing of the tabernacle.

    Questions which are no longer necessary: Can we put on The Vagina Monologues in our Church, since it's the largest building on campus? Why can't we sing "Imagine", by John Lennon, in Church?

    Alternatively, we can read Pius XII's encyclical which repeats the expression "it would depart from right praxis if...." so many times that it stops just short of an Index, but somehow serves as a catalogue of "Spirit of Vatican 2".
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,764
    Citing the law isn't everything, but if you're talking with someone conscientious, they might be willing to accept that the law is a teacher, and it can help show us what the Church really wants.
  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    Otherwise, it boils down to "taste" and what will "engage the youth," etc. etc. etc. et al

    This is EXACTLY my problem right now.

    EDIT: To elaborate a bit, I was recently invited to observe a "Welcome Back" Mass for participants of the Teen ACTS retreat. As the DRE put it "I told the Pastor I would invite you so you could see how they do it. We will be hosting these Masses in the future." (Our Parish is currently looking into becoming a host parish.)

    So, I went. Naturally, I was late because of my own Sunday obligations, but made it in time for the Agnus Dei. For the first fraction of a second, I thought they were using a terrible electric organ and was delighted! I quickly realized once distortion set in that it was simply a keyboard set to a rather terrible 80s EP patch. Okay, exactly what I expected.

    The music was ...rough, at best. Apart from other liturgical ..."exceptions" I observed, after the Prayer After Communion, but before the final blessing, the kids on the retreat got up and performed "Mighty to Save." Congregation applauded. Once they were finished, one of the kids started a call and response shouting match with all the kids as if we were at a sports stadium which got faster and faster until it was reduced to shouts and applause. By this point I must have appeared roughly like this to anyone who had seen me: O_O

    Then, to make matters worse, the recessional was I'm Trading My Sorrows (Yes, Lord), the chorus of which consists of: "Yes, Lord Yes, Lord Yes, Yes, Lord." The cherry was that each "Yes" was accompanied by a "Thumbs Up" and each "Lord" was accompanied by an L-shape.

    The Parish seems excited about this whole ACTS retreat thing for "engaging the youth." I am told that the Teens that go are going to come back ready to form choirs and participate but "*condescending glare* they're going to want to sing some of the music they learned on the retreat."

    My response is obviously "Well, teach them some music worthy of use within liturgy at the retreat and everyone is happy." But I doubt that would be well-received.

    So, as you can see, I have got to have every bit of support I can from the church and its concrete documents to suppress this. Unfortunately, I haven't the time to expose them to enough sacred music to change their minds by "experience," and the feelings surrounding it are pretty strong so I have to tread lightly while standing my ground. I'm not ENTIRELY opposed to the participants singing an appropriate Mediation hymn (P&W or otherwise) if they WANT to (many of the kids weren't singing and simply looked like they couldn't wait to get back to the pew), but the extent to which the liturgy was distorted at the Mass I attended was astonishing and entirely inappropriate.

    I filmed the "performance" and call-and-response chant at the end for the Pastor and Director of Liturgy to view. Not in any passive-aggressive way, but simply for their information. I highly doubt my Pastor would approve.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,764
    Somehow I suspect that the person saying such things is not as close to being a youth as you are.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • bkenney27bkenney27
    Posts: 444
    Somehow I suspect that the person saying such things is not as close to being a youth as you are.

    If this is directed at me, you are 100% correct. I took the job at 22 and am now 24. I am, by far, the youngest staff member and yet, everyone else seems to think the know more about what the youth want. Ironically, I feel they use my age as permission to show me the error of my ways and how out of touch with the youth I am....
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,304
    each "Yes" was accompanied by a "Thumbs Up" and each "Lord" was accompanied by an L-shape.


    Not even correct Sign Language.
    Sigh...
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,764
    What are the correct ASL signs for those two expressions?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,304
    "Yes" = closed fist, bottom forward about head level, two quick "nods" (as if the hand was a head nodding "yes")
    "Lord" = The L shape doing:
    a) a swoop forward and up at about head level (as done in the song choreography)
    OR (more commonly in Catholic circles)
    b) drawn across torso from left shoulder to right hip in "deacon's stole" outline (or, more accurately, a mid-18th cent. French-style royal sash)