Wednesday, June 27, 2007

All forms of music belong at Mass?

Here in the Arlington Herald we find the classic case that all styles of music are suitable at Mass, and none in inherently more appropriate than another. Rather, the value of each piece of music must be judged from within the genre in question. And the goal? To serve the people and allow us to express ourselves better.

The problem is that this is contradicted at every point by the whole of Church teaching on music. Personally, I find it incredible that that a central mandate of the Second Vatican Council, so clearly stated in the conciliar documents, could be so easily passed over: namely, that Gregorian chant and polyphony are uniquely suited to Roman Rite worship. Paul VI reinforced this and mandated chant in strong terms. John Paul II further stated that the closer a piece of music approaches the sensibility of chant, the more appropriate it is. Benedict has said the same and more.

But instead of listening, we just sort of make things up as we go along, acting as if the choice of liturgical music is akin to the choice of which radio station we want to listen to.

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