Archdiocese of Portland video series: What is Catholic sacred music?
  • sergeantedward
    Posts: 178
    Hello colleagues,

    I've always wanted to have short videos on sacred music, targeted to those who have no exposure to sacred music or are anti-sacred music, addressing the most common fundamentals that come up in every discussion, debate, and "worship war" at the parish level. They would be super useful for education, for heading off disagreements before they happen, for getting ideological groups to start on the same page before a discussion, to expose people to the Church's actual teachings on sacred music, to send to a parishioner who voiced displeasure about the music at coffee and donuts but then walked away, to use at a parish before making any changes to the music, to start a discussion group, to send to the parish council, etc.

    Thanks to coronavirus, I finally had the time to do this. (I wish I had made them 5 years ago, but here we are anyways!)

    The video series is 5 parts, each video tightly edited and to the point. The style is informal and chatty. I hope that these videos are of use to many others on this forum. A new video will be published every Thursday in July 2020 at 2:30pm, and then they'll exist for free on YouTube for forever. (Also I do not shy away from answering of the more difficult and charged questions I know that most of us have dealt with.)

    You can find a link on the Archdiocese of Portland Divine Worship page:
    Or view them on this YouTube Playlist:

    About paragraph:
    What does “sacred music” actually mean? Can we discuss music fruitfully, without the “traditional vs. progressive” dichotomy? What can churches do with their music to attract young families? What did Vatican II actually say about music? These questions and more are answered in “What is Catholic Sacred Music?”, a 5-part miniseries. Each video is only 10-15 minutes, answering the most pressing questions on sacred music in 2020. The miniseries was produced to help every Catholic easily understand what “sacred music” means, and to create an accessible entry-point for fruitful discussions.

    1. Introduction
    2. What Vatican II Says
    3. What the Popes Say
    4. Top Ten Reasons to Sing Chant
    5. Frequently Asked Questions
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen mattebery
  • sergeantedward
    Posts: 178
    We're now also doing a livestream this coming Tuesday, with the pastor, myself, and parishioners, answering questions live as they come in.

    After that's finished, the series and a copy of the livestream will exist on this web page:
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Ken of Sarum
    Posts: 386
    The Latin Mass, its sacred music and choirs before Vatican ll, were never "fossilized." In point of fact, it all was very "internalized" and there was/is much "work" or effort of action on many levels.

    I believe that I understand your efforts concerning your videos on this subject. I applaud you. However, sometimes in this dumbed down politically correct age, where so many are afraid of stepping on toes, sometimes it is more "correct" to call it as it should be called in all truth and straight forward bluntness. For example, within the context of worshiping the Lord GOD Almighty, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the All powerful and All knowing Creator of the universe and everything within it, we, even though as the lowliest and humble created being, our duty and responsibility is to offer the absolute finest and best within our abilities and means. PERIOD! The Magi, we are told, did not come worshiping with gifts of meagerness and the commonplace. It is our solemn obligation to do likewise. The highest gift being real, devout and sincere sacrificial love.
  • sergeantedward
    Posts: 178
    Hi @Ken, I don't think we disagree on much at all!

    I'm more than happy to speak truth, and to step on a few toes when required. :) At the same time, speaking the truth with positive messaging has a fair chance of being received, where as negative messaging almost always creates far more blowback than it does converts. (There is a time for negative messaging, however, don't get me wrong.)

    So for example, "You will gain more than you will lose, by moving to traditional sacred music." I.e. a value proposition. That's a winning message, to parishioners without formation. That's a message that I've seen win (actual) thousands of people over. I don't think it's dumbed down to work to understand your audience's perspective, and to speak to their particular experience, while not compromising the truth one bit.
  • Ken of Sarum
    Posts: 386
    Dear sergeantedward - I certainly do not mean to suggest that you specifically are "dumbing down" in your efforts and videos. As stated, I applaud you!

    I do mean to suggest that the world's approach is far more incline to a sugared dumbing manner as if talking down to a child; which I have seen far too often. I look to and prefer the approach that Jesus took; direct, forth right and to the point; let your yea be yea and your nea be nea.

    Most medicine taste nasty but its for our own good. Sugar coating things tend to be focused on children. I personally prefer a more direct adult black and white manner; this is the way it is and that is that, matter closed. Any other way, I believe might open up the subject for an ongoing endless discussion of what ifs and why nots. As a former parent and teacher, there are of course moments and times for edifying discussions and explanations; a true exchange and discourse of ideas. But there are also moments where ongoing sugar coated banter with some is fruitless.

    In no way do I suggest that your approach is negative and or sugar coating the matter. I do not believe my approach is negative either. I mere place before you my personal approach to this subject.
  • sergeantedward
    Posts: 178
    That makes sense!