From a reader:
Could you please be gracious to me and comment on a recent happening at our parish church in ___ UK. A few days ago in the middle of Lent the Parish Priest led a Jazz Band in an evening of Gospel music. At the end they played ‘When the Saints go marching in’ There was cheers and clapping from the audience and a layman stood up to congratulate the priest. I think this was entertainment and an unworthy use of God’s House. What do you think.
I shared this question with a priest friend. His response, for some levity:
I believe that “incitement to commit murder” is a crime in the UK, so be careful what you advise.
But, then again, it may not be a crime to incite the murder of a priest in the UK.
Seriously, I direct the questioner to the Congregation for Divine Worship’s document on “Concerts in Churches” which we have discussed on this blog several times.
It seems to me that jazz music is not a suitable musical idiom for invoking anything “sacred”. Indeed the contrary seems to be the case: jazz is profane. Since we cannot reasonably associate jazz with Catholic Church in anything but a shallow sense, or one which has a distorted understanding of inculturation, in my opinion jazz music must be excluded from churches, even for concerts… at any time of the liturgical year.