Friday, April 18, 2008

Liturgy of Multiculturalism and Horrid Music

I've been listening to the Papal Mass from Nationals Park on my XM Radio. I'm really grateful for the Holy Father's message of hope, holiness, and healing from his homily. I think his visit to Washington achieved everything he hoped for, and more.

That being said, I'm glad I wasn't at the aforementioned Mass, for two reasons:

1. The focus got taken off the Eucharist and placed squarely upon multiculturalism. Is the Catholic Church multicultural? Of course. But is the purpose of the Mass to showcase multiculturalism Because We Can? I think not. I found the decision to have the First Reading in Spanish disquieting, and the numerous languages of the petitions even more so. When His Holiness visits, say, Brazil, I doubt anything is read in English.

Why not have all such celebrations before the Mass, just as happened at Camden Yards with Pope John Paul the Great in 1995? The focus is upon Jesus and the Eucharist, not How Great Are We Who Celebrate It.

2. The music ranged from the overblown to the ridiculous. The Psalm response had very few square chords, which might be nice in a Steely Dan song or a Dave Brubeck piece, but has no real place in liturgical music. One offertory song sounded like "Cecelia" by Simon and Garfunkel, while another resembled the theme to the reality show Survivor.

It's important to note that I am NOT criticizing the efforts of the singers or other musicians; they were only doing what they were supposed to. I'm criticizing the choice of material, as well as the settings of various pieces. After the Mass, EWTN took calls from those who felt as I do and those who loved the music, such as one tearful music minister. Sadly, so many music ministers have been taken for a ride by the GIA-OCP Haugen-Haas cabal that they genuinely think there's nothing else for liturgical music.

It was nice to hear Placido Domingo sing Panis Angelicus, although the applause wasn't appropriate, not for a Mass.

And how must Pope Benedict have felt on the altar, biting his tongue while noticing the planners of this liturgy paid no attention to his writings on liturgical music? Obviously, they also didn't read De Musica Sacra.

(For a dissenting view, check out what the lovely and gracious Ladycub wrote. For a concurring view, check out Fr. Z,
and note closely how much regard the USCCB (one of the biggest problems with the Catholic Church in the U.S., IMO) gives feedback on the Papal Mass. Scandalous.)


Anonymous said...

I can't imagine sitting through Mass or listening to Mass with my focus soley on what isn't right. Nothing and no one will please all the masses. Someone will always find something wrong with the way in which something was presented.

My view is that unless you have something nice to say, keep your comments to yourself.

People in this day and age are so wounded and in need of Jesus. Whether they find Jesus in the midst of De Musica Sacra or in Haugen/Haas is irrelevant to those who are so in need of the Eucharist. They need to be loved and not poisoned by self-righteous attitudes. Please look for the "gray" in the midst of your black and white world.

Cygnus said...

Well, Mr/Ms. Anon, why is it that if people need Jesus' Body and Blood, we give them pabulum instead? And did or did not the Holy Father stress to us Catholics the need to know the teachings of the Church, which you probably haven't heard much about in your pulpit lately?

Sorry, but this hideous musical legacy of Vatican II must be eradicated once and for all. People may encounter Jesus in the Liturgy in spite, not because, of music like this.

Thanks for your opinion, but no, I'm not going to "keep my comments to myself." And I think you have a LOT of people to try to squelch on this issue just yet.