Thursday, December 21, 2006

How Should Music in Catholic Worship Be Revised?

There are many aspects of Music in Catholic Worship that need revision. The purposes of music should be stated clearly; I would say that there are two overriding purposes: to make the liturgy more beautiful and to emphasize its sacred character.

To accomplish these purposes, the statements about the aesthetic judgment need re-emphasis. A principal problem today is that the quality of the music--not just the texts--is mediocre; it fulfills what then Cardinal Ratzinger called utility music, concluding that utility music is useless. Only music that is truly beautiful should have a place in the liturgy.

Thus begins William Mahrt's statement at the October 9, 2006, consultation on music held by the USCCB's Committee on the Liturgy. I encourage you to examine the entire text, including his concluding point-by-point suggestions for revision.

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