Something that has kept coming into my mind is the…

Something that has kept coming into my mind is the subject of liturgical music….there is a great deal of really bad stuff out there, which I will discuss in more detail later (maybe even in this post, but I never know when I’m going to have to quit and go do something else more important, like feed children or earn money).
There isn’t any such thing as bad liturgical music in the Eastern Rite (hereinafter abbreviated as ER). It’s all chant, and there aren’t any musical instruments – just the congregation and priest lifting their voices to God in an ‘unending hymn of praise’. I don’t know that much about it yet, being a new ER Catholic, but it gives me personally a much bigger sense of being united with (a) other worshipping ERs all over the world, and (b) the choirs of angels who surround the Throne of the Lamb, crying “Holy, Holy, Holy” unceasingly. Really – it’s a pretty awesome thing to realize that no matter where the ER Church is located, and in what language the chant is being done, the words are the same and so is the tune. I guess if one’s parish has an untalented cantor then it could be distracting, but I’ve seen on the internet that there are cantor institutes to which one can apply, in order to learn the eight tones etc. And I’d have to assume that once one showed up and demonstrated that one couldn’t carry any sort of a tune in a bushel basket, the instructor would hopefully try, in all charity, to steer one towards some other ministry than that of cantor.
Now, in the LR, it’s a totally different story. And to think that there is NOTHING in the documents of Vatican II that says “all liturgical music is to be from now on focused only on the community and on the community’s concept of God….liturgical music cannot use the masculine pronoun to refer to any of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, lest we offend those of the feminine gender….there are to be no more hymns written that acknowledge our unworthiness and sinfulness and at the same time our inexpressible gratitude to Him Who gifts us with the graces to overcome our faults, if we will but confess them and resolve to amend our lives….etc. etc. Case in point: “Gather Us In” (I won’t reprint the lyrics here, you can Google the title if you must know). And: “Now in This Banquet,” “City of God.” Whatever happened to “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name”? Now, I have to admit that some of these would be ok to be used at a praise festival, or a youth rally (but there are some of them that are either doctrinally ambiguous or just plain wrong), but at Mass? Oh well, what can one say? I read somewhere that only about 36% of people who profess to be Catholic actually believe that Jesus is truly present after the words of Consecration. With figures like that, is it any wonder that there is bad music, kids eating their breakfast in the pew and then receiving the Eucharist, adults reading the newspaper in the pew during the homily (no, I am NOT kidding – I actually saw this happen right in front of me at a LR parish this past summer), no vocations (except to the ‘traditionalist’ seminaries).
Note to self: post on True Presence!

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One response to “Something that has kept coming into my mind is the…

  1. Any wonder there is no lack of belief in the True Presence in the ER, where the Eucharist is described as the “divine, holy, most pure, immortal, heavenly & life-creating, awesome mystery of Christ” (DL of St. John Chrysostom)