Reason #15749079 for Summorum Pontificum

Put your Say The Black – Do The Red coffee mug down and swallow your Mystic Monk Coffee beforebefore you turn this on.

How embarrassing.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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77 Responses to Reason #15749079 for Summorum Pontificum

  1. tmitchell says:

    This confuses me more than it upsets me. If I accept that some people think that dancing around and doing silly hand motions is an acceptable form of worship, that still doesn’t explain why they did such a sloppy job of it. The (few) liturgical dancers that I know make sure that they have impeccable choreography, because, hey, they’re dancing for Jesus, and they know that they’d better do a damn good job (insofar as one can do a damn good job when one is dancing for Jesus).

  2. Guillaume says:

    And they are French… I am French… Sighhhhhhhhhhhhh

  3. old_sage says:

    ha-ha-ha! A good April Fool joke. I can only thank God our liturgy is miles away from that or else I’d leave the Church.

  4. Rob in Maine says:

    I like the Priest with the crib notes ;) “What am I supposed to be doing here? There is nothing printed in RED.”

  5. VivaLaMezzo says:

    0:25-0:38 Their second mistake (we can clearly see/hear the first) was allowing a mime to sing…

  6. thomas ryan says:

    Father,
    Please share where and when this is taking place. I would like to live in a place that seems to have a surplus of priests. It doesn’t seem like a huge congregation behind that garage, and yet many stoles in the breeze. Red, by the way…so wondering what this could be.

    Old Sage, Please know that exiting the Body of Christ on earth because of such middle-aged grasping for pentecostal styles is a bit extreme.

  7. jbas says:

    At least the celebrant’s chasuble is over his stole.

  8. TNCath says:

    I’ve seen this clip many times, and every time I see it, I am amazed. What bad dancers they are.

  9. Glen M says:

    tmitchell, I hope you help your friends understand liturgical dancing is not permitted.

    The worse thing about this video is the young age of some of the priests. I was hoping this type of lunacy would fade away soon.

  10. Ben Trovato says:

    In fairness to France, it also hosts the magnificent Chartres Pilgrimage every Pentecost – and guess what, the priests on that don’t dance, and at the open air masses we aren’t ‘debout, debout, peuple de Dieu’ but rather ‘a genoux, a genoux, devant notre Dieu.’

    And the singing is more ‘Chez nous soyez reine, nous sommes a vous.’ (‘Be Queen of our homes: we belong to you…’) – and with much more energy and fervour, too!

    I can scarcely wait to be back there!

  11. Kerry says:

    Cf. Butch Cassidy…”Who are those guys?”

  12. Maria says:

    Why on earth are these Priests making a mockery of our Faith.
    Why on earth are they jigging about in their vestments before the world.

    No wonder non believers are confused and think we are all absolutely nuts.

    It annoys me because this does absolutely nothing to further the Kingdom of God.

    Many Souls are seriously at stake and in trouble.

    We dont need this kind of stupidity to drive them further away.

  13. frere wilfrid says:

    Is that Father Ian McDole from Covington, Kentucky, at 0.57? I thought he was still in Rome.

  14. davidjhickey says:

    In defense of France, in addition to their appreciation of great food, that nation produced my favorite priest who does the red and say the black. He is also a member of Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest.

  15. TNCath says:

    davidjhickey: That’s the paradox of the French: they do things either extremely well or extremely badly. There is no in between.

  16. APX says:

    Wearing sunglasses while doing that only makes you look like a bigger tool. I feel bad for the older priest. It kind of looks like he just got put into that bad situation.

  17. GCC Catholic says:

    @frere wilfrid

    Fr. McDole is still in Rome – I just saw him today. Also, I’m nearly certain that isn’t him at 0:57 or elsewhere in the video.

  18. Mike says:

    I think we should put Robert Irvine, from the FoodNetwork, on this…new concept “Liturgy Impossible”–I can hear him now, “shut it down!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgCAUoMJrto

  19. Andy Milam says:

    The only good thing in Paris, regarding the Church is St. Nicolas du Chardonnet. Bottom line.

  20. skull kid says:

    Some of the priests look like victims. It is stupid, they feel stupid, they know it’s stupid, but someone, somewhere, thinks this is what (young?) people want.

  21. StMichael71 says:

    I will certainly be taking this as a model for our campus ministry efforts. Look at how many people we can awkwardly involved!

  22. Goldfinch says:

    I don’t think there is any embarrassment felt here at all. They are quite proud of their participation. Get ‘er done!

  23. James Joseph says:

    I expect many folks will look and see boyish (girlish?) jumping-about. And, that is something that would make me never want to come anywhere near a set of vestments, let alone be a priest.

    I expect fewer folk will catch a glimpse that the altar (table?) doesn’t have some-type of roof over it. And that, is something makes me want to be a priest; so that, I am allowed to run-about (like man?) preaching and teaching that we are not sky-worshippers.

    +++

  24. KAS says:

    Well, it would be fine if these were pentecostals. Are we are Catholic supposed to convert our beautiful and ancient mass so as to appeal more to the pentecostals now?

    Sheesh!

    You’ll get far more young people with a good EF latin mass CHANTED than with this stuff. The spiritual emptiness of our culture leaves young people spiritually starving and the MASS in either form done reverently with good quality music that is also reverent and deep in its message is real food and will gradually draw young people who want to grow to be orthodox in their faith.

    All this stuff does is provide momentary emotional uplifts that don’t last and will eventually leave the person seeking God to drop participation because it has no spiritual meat to it.

    The kind of “Catholic” you will gather together with this sort of irreverent and liturgically wrong activity won’t generally be the type of person inclined to desire sound orthodox teaching.

    my $.02 worth.

  25. William says:

    ….de la stupidite ambulatoire!

  26. Gregorius says:

    I’ve noticed that Father seems to have been posting quite a few of these old liturgical abuse pics/vids lately. Could this perhaps have anything to do with that upcoming instruction (now that recent rumors say it will not be so restrictive as some first feared)?

  27. APX says:

    Some of the priests look like victims. It is stupid, they feel stupid, they know it’s stupid, but someone, somewhere, thinks this is what (young?) people want.

    I often wondered what Father Z meant by safe concelebration, and now I know. All it takes are a few liturgical misfit priests, a cell phone camera, and the Internet and your image is instantly tarnished.

  28. Stephen D says:

    How Satan must have smiled!

  29. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    Silly me, I thought this was happening AFTER a Mass for a youth pilgrimage outside of Strasbourg France. As in a Dismissal Song “Stand-up! Stand-up for the Lord”

    I mean, outside of a Mass, that would be a good and rousing tune to sing as you walk in procession with a bunch of teenagers and young adults.

    Is it just me, or was it for the Gospel reading? But considering the Masses that I attended in my youth, and the ones I took my religious formation students to over the years… because that was all we had, not terrible. I mean that there are no puppets and clowns there, but a line of priests that some look more uncomfortable with the proceedings than others.

  30. Andreas says:

    Whilst serving in the military, all of us in uniform are admonished both by strict regulations and the most senior authorities to never do anything that would in any way disgrace the uniform, the service and the country. These words are not lip service; rather, infractions are very strictly enforced. One must wonder why the highest authorities of our Holy Church do not likewise provide and enforce such guidance.

  31. Fr Martin Fox says:

    Father!

    You didn’t tell me you were going to post my new exercise-while-at-Mass video. [As Stephen Maturin would riposte, "You didn't ask."] I’m hoping to sell thousands of DVDs to fund our new Cardinal Bernardin Labyrinth (“look for the seam!”). [Okay... looking. Hey... wait! That was a trick, wasn't it?!]

  32. Agnes says:

    Silly. And in the context of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, incredibly sad. God save us from the Fr. Groovies of this world, and God save them.

  33. CarpeNoctem says:

    I think the most interesting point in this combox discussion is the seeming-schizophrenia in the French Church (perhaps Western Europe in general, but the French Church in particular) …it seems there is a division unlike anything we see on this side of the ocean (as bad as it may be) between the folks like these on display in this video and the restoration and celebration of the traditional forms. My most facile analysis tends to presume that its an ongoing hangover from the French Revolution (elite clergy among nobility vs. parochial, proletariat clergy). Ultramontanism vs. popularism or conciliarism, anyone?

    I have known a couple of French priests who have been amazing vessels of the traditions… they are nothing short of missionaries in my estimation, re-planting the faith in foreign lands, having been rejected by their own (it seems). I owe them a lot in my own acquisition of the EF.

    The demographic sunset over Western Europe will take care of the folks in this video. I pray that all of these French ‘special forces’ priests deployed all over the world… or, perhaps, their spiritual progeny… will be ready to go home and re-evangelize Europe when it fits God’s will and plan.

  34. catholicmidwest says:

    Disgusting. I’d have walked right out. I’ve done it before. What a joke.

    This kind of thing makes the Catholic faith look ridiculous, like a parody.

    These priests were obviously trying to appease or please someone. So who was pleased? A few middle aged hicks, no doubt with the discernment capabilities of a cage full of hamsters, who are not leaving anyway. Maybe the bishop, and the less said about him the better, because I have very dark opinions of many bishops. And who wasn’t pleased? All the people these folks imagine will be pleased by their “hep” behavior. [Those people don't exist, but that doesn't stop them from trying to find them.] Meanwhile, there are droves of people leaving the church and many who wouldn’t think of joining in their wildest dreams because of this sort of stupidity.

    Say, I hear the Tokyo baptist church is giving back-rubs and comfort to tsunami refugees in places most of us wouldn’t want to go because of the danger. SOOOOO What are we doing? If these morons in this video want to impress or help somebody, there are venues for doing REAL good, lots of them.

  35. Soler says:

    @Andy Milam: I refer you to the church of St. Eugène — Ste. Cécile: absolutely gorgeous interior, sung EF on Sundays, nothing to do with the SSPX, AND there are YouTube videos of a Requiem Mass once held there for Louis XVI on the anniversary of his death — how cool is that?

    I’ve been to Mass there twice: on one occasion there was a man behind me pronouncing the responses as if they were French, so “non sum dignus, ut intres” became “non sum danyus, ut antres”. It was funny to hear.

  36. spock says:

    Gaaaa ! My eyes and ears are bleeding!

    This should have been saved for Passion Sunday.

  37. RichR says:

    After watching this video, I feel so much closer to Christ.

  38. ikseret says:

    On another note, I realize chasubles are not absolutely necessary for concelebrants, but cinctures are.
    Yet, since the cincture is a symbol of chastity, perhaps it is very appropriate that no cincture is being worn in this exhibition of disordered passion.

  39. APX says:

    Another note. It seems rather windy for an outdoor Mass. I live in a windy city and have had a full cup of coffee blow off the roof of my car. Surely then that something as light as the host would be at great risk to blow away?

  40. BaedaBenedictus says:

    Fortunately there are still good things in France which are not SSPX. During a trip in Nov. of 2009, I stopped at the church of St. Sulpice in Paris and was pleasantly surprised to see a long line of mostly younger people outside the confessional. I was also pleased to see a number of listings for a Sunday “Messe gregorienne” (chanted Mass) at churches I visited—including Chartres and Strasbourg cathedrals.

    Vive la fille aînée de l’Eglise!

  41. lucy says:

    Thanks for the warning. My Mystic Monk royal rum pecan would have hit the screen.

  42. SonofMonica says:

    I would much rather be deprived of Mass at all than have to sit through something like that. Regardless of obligation, I would not be there. Sin or not.

  43. Tim Ferguson says:

    Upset that Fr. Z would not let them into the Sabine Chapel, the priests of the Congregation of the Lord Of the Dance (CLOD), gathered for a protest liturgy out back. Moments later, the Sabine flock, well-trained and well-fed by generous donors began depositing muculent mementos of their point of view on the gyrations of the terpsichorean concelebrants.

  44. irishgirl says:

    The video was stopping and starting on the library computer I’m on, so i couldn’t see it through.
    Oh, good Lord….I can’t stand it when people try to make the Mass ‘cool’!

  45. Tim: Thanks for your comment. There will be no CLODhoppers anywhere, if I have my way.

    I admire your use of “muculent”. We don’t use that word often enough, IMHO.

  46. So bad, it crashed my wireless connection.

  47. Tantum Ergo says:

    Chic-a Boom, Chic-a Boom, don’t you just Love It?

  48. Tantum Ergo says:

    Seriously, though… they found this be a just dandy way of ridding the rectory of those rats. (Even rats have better taste than to lodge in the same building with such “rofl.” Hey… there go the roaches, too!

  49. Hieronymus says:

    Looks to me like it may be a reunion of the World Youth Day class of 1985.

    JPII: Are these liturgical tambourines and neon stoles yours?
    Hip Priest: No, I …
    JPII: Cardinal Ratzinger said he found it in the sacristy.
    Hip Priest: I don’t know, one of the altar girls must’uv…
    JPII: Must’ve what?
    Hip Priest: I don’t know, Papa, I…
    JPII: Where did you get it?
    Hip Priest: I….
    JPII: Who taught you to do this stuff?
    Hip Priest: YOU, PAPA!! I LEARNED IT FROM WATCHING YOU!!!

    Remember, fathers who practice liturgical abuse, have sons who practice liturgical abuse!

  50. annieoakley says:

    catholicmidwest,

    “Meanwhile, there are droves of people leaving the church.”

    I don’t know where he got the statistics, but a priest visiting our parish said that the largest religious group in the U.S. are disaffected Catholics. This was said at a parish where all of the announcements are read between the homily and the Creed. Just when you want to take a moment to reflect on what the readings and sermon were, you get a “lay minister” who reads the highlights of the parish bulletin to us – “The Bereavement Support group begins a 7 week series on Tuesday evenings from 7:30 to 9 pm; The 5th annual baby shower and luncheon will be held on Thursday in Stanton Hall; “A Vaccination Seminar: what choices do parents have?, will be held at 7 pm in the church basement – free admission and a book signing will follow; Vacation Bible School – classes begin June 27th at 11:45 am, Registration forms coming soon; Loaves and Fishes needs 3 people to fill some vacancies – contact the rectory for further details.”

    This is at a neighboring parish I’ve attending due to a time constraint so I put up with it for a couple of months until I couldn’t take it anymore. I approached the retired pastor (who’s about 70) about it and he told me that people need a break from doing the heavy lifting of worshipping and that announcements give them a few minutes to catch their breath before we all continue on. When I mentioned the rule from the office of Divine Worship which states that announcements are to be given after Holy Communion, he told me I had said enough. I’ve never had an interaction like that from a Catholic priest and I can only wonder how many like him are out there. OTOH, my own parish priest has placed a crucifix on the altar facing the people, along with candles, and we sing the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei at every Mass. These 2 parishes are one town over from each other, but in different dioceses. I don’t know what the answer is except maybe the bishops should send people around to the Masses to see what’s going on in their parishes for good or ill, instead of just assuming that everything’s okay.

  51. JKnott says:

    Mass in honor of “Simon says”.
    Probably thought is was Simon Bar-Jona. On second thought….
    “Simon says is a children’s game for three or more players where one player takes the role of ‘Simon’ and issues instructions, (usually physical actions such as ‘jump in the air’ or ‘stick out your tongue’) to the other players, which should only be followed if prefaced with the phrase ‘Simon says’, for example ‘Simon says jump in the air’.”

  52. frdanbecker says:

    The French practicing the “I surrender” gesture.

  53. Peggy R says:

    Are they singing “Get Ready” in French–I think by Rare Earth…the late 60s song?

  54. NCtrad says:

    Well at least they are in union with Rome so I don’t really see the problem here.

  55. joecct77 says:

    It reminds me of the early 70′s. Do we remember the boss hit, bounce ditty???

    We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
    We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
    And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
    And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
    They will know we are Christians by our love

    We will work with each other, we will work side by side
    We will work with each other, we will work side by side
    And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride
    And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
    They will know we are Christians by our love

    It pains me that I remember this ditty and can’t remember Rex Pacificus.

  56. While I was at Rheims they had a regular Gregorian Mass. Sadly celebrated ad populum so sort of schizophrenic. Otherwise very well done. It was much better than the current poor English translations.

  57. APX says:

    @joecct77
    It reminds me of the early 70?s. Do we remember the boss hit, bounce ditty???
    They’re still singing “They’ll Know We’re Christians by Our Love” in church.

    This video kind of reminds me of my First Communion back in the early 90s when they made us get up in front of everyone at Mass and sing “His Banner Over me is Love” along with the hand motions. It worked for us, though, because we we’re cute. This is just…embarrassing.

  58. annieoakley says:

    joecct77,

    “They’ll Know We Are Christians” is one of those wretched songs from the 1960′s that they had Catholic high schoolers at the time sing at Masses. We were young and dumb and thought it was cool because it sounded like the folk songs that were popular at the time.

    Are you familiar with the St. Louis Jesuits? They were a group of young seminarians who in the 1960′s wrote such gems as, “Be Not Afraid”, “Here I am Lord”, “Sing a New Song”, “Though the Mountains May Fall”, “Glory and Praise to Our God”, and “One Bread, One Body”. There should be a special award given to them for being able to churn out so much banal music in such a short period of time.

  59. jflare says:

    Well, I guess I”m going to be the musical heretic here. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the actions in the video are atrocious. But I see no connection between this video and music like “Be Not Afraid”, “Here I Am, Lord”, or “One Bread, One Body”. I’ve always felt those works quite good, especially if offered with descants, 2 or more parts, and what-not. I’ve always felt that these were the same things that made more traditional music great.

    According to an internet dictionary, “banal” is defined as “lacking freshness or originality”. I’m afraid that doesn’t help me at all.

    Seriously folks, I think it’d be wise to provide some genuine reasoning regarding theological or spiritual lacking in the music from the 60′s..and also an explanation of why the older music that we prefer..doesn’t have the exact same problems.

    This apparent view of, well, it isn’t classical, simply doesn’t cut it for me.

  60. kiwitrad says:

    All these pathetic attempts to copy other churches are so counterproductive. Our Bishop has made a determined effort to make our churches as near as possible to Protestant as he can. Kneelers, genuflecting, statues in the church are all banned and the Blessed Sacrament MUST be out of sight or at least at one side. The Stations of the Cross must be small and insignificant.
    As a result we have virtually NO vocations and I read last week the Mass attendance in the Diocese has reduced by 2/3 since 1980. We have had no sex abuse scandals in NZ that we can blame, and in my opinion is it just the wholesale destruction of our Catholic identity by the Bishop. So sad, I pray and pray.

  61. Andy F. says:

    This is over a year old, so maybe these men have had a chance to be converted.

  62. APX says:

    @Andy F.
    This is over a year old, so maybe these men have had a chance to be converted.
    I wouldn’t hold my breath. It appears dancing priests (and congregations) are popular in France.
    http://en.gloria.tv/?media=121084

  63. Pledger says:

    I know it isn’t the point of the video, but why are cinctures so rarely used anymore? The one priest off to the side looks like the altar boys who used to stand over the heater and watch their vestments puff up…then giggle.

  64. annieoakley says:

    jflare,

    “This apparent view of, well, it isn’t classical, simply doesn’t cut it for me.”

    I suspect you’re referring to my post. If so, I’m confused as to your inference that I’m comparing the St. Louis Jesuits’ songs to classical music. I never mentioned classical music.

    The Jesuits’ songs are banal when compared to the original and fresh folk music of the period of the 1960′s. This is a legitimate comparison; even though you may disagree with it.

  65. jflare says:

    Good Morning, annieoakley,
    My reference included your post, but wasn’t limited to it. I”ve heard this comment before.
    Might I ask what folk music you’re referring to from the 60′s? It’d help if I had some basis to make a comparison.

  66. Iowa Mike says:

    Ooooo my! It’s hard to be charitable….what a travesty…..anything that is done during the liturgy that diverts attention from the Sacrifice made present should be banned…period. We go to mass worship God not to be entertained.

  67. annieoakley says:

    jflare,

    “April come she will
    when streams are ripe and swelled with rain
    May she will stay
    resting in my arms again
    June she’ll change her tune
    in restless walks she’ll prowl the night
    July she will fly
    and give no warning to her flight
    August die she must
    the autumn winds blow chilly and cold
    September I’ll remember
    a love once new has now grown old”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO9Ild2cvdg&feature=related

  68. jflare says:

    Good Evening,
    I’m afraid I don’t understand what you’re saying with that annie. I’ve long enjoyed Simon and Garfunkel, but I’m not following how they’re “fresh and original” vs the Mass music we’ve mentioned?
    The latter at least strongly hints at something holy, or else names it explicitly. The former seems to be nice poetry set to music, but secular in nature.
    I would’ve thought we’d be excited about the Mass music, precisely because it deals with something sacred.

    Maybe there’s a generational difference here?

  69. JMody says:

    Seems like a good reason for things like halberds, and interdicts, and papal visitations, as well …

    Just another sign that things which are bad need to be called “BAD” loudly and publicly. I’m not sure what in Vatican II said we were going to suppress righteous anger, or charitable correction, or even plain common sense, but someow that’s what people read. Stop and think about this — whoever likes this will say it is part of the “inculturation” or local customs or what-not. But WHERE ON EARTH do adults behave in a manner so banal, so infantile, so asinine? They are this silly NOWHERE in France (or anywhere else, except maybe California and Holland ;) ) except at Mass.

    Lord, treat us mercifully, and not as we deserve …

  70. annieoakley says:

    jflare,

    You’re missing the point. Comparing banal religious music to fresh and original secular music is exactly what I’m doing. The religious songs I mentioned earlier are written using the medium of folk songs. To show that the St. Louis Jesuits, among others, don’t know how to write any first-rate folk songs for Masses, I have drawn on the poetry and music of secular folk song writers for comparison. This second-rate writing of religious folk songs has contributed mightily to the insipid Masses many of us feel we have to endure.

  71. jflare says:

    annie,
    I understood very well that you intended to compare the two sets of music. What I’m not understanding is..why one is “fresh and original”, while the other lacks the same qualities?

    Myself, I prefer a choir in four parts, Chant, something with a pipe organ, or something equally grand sounding. I like something that proclaims to the world (and to God) that we’re here, we’re Catholic, and we’re eager to proclaim Him.
    You can make a case that folkish music doesn’t do that. Or at least, not as well.

    You can say that “On Eagle’s Wings” doesn’t interpret its verses perfectly; you can comment that “One Bread, One Body” doesn’t precisely emphasize Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the Eucharist; you can even raise the complaint that one song echoes the theme to The Brady Bunch, but at a different tempo, maybe a slightly different rhythm.

    But most of the critique that I’ve read or heard regarding music from the 60′s…doesn’t ultimately sound to me like much more than personal preference.

    I’ve never felt that the music I learned as a kid always earned the venom that people direct at it.

  72. How embarrassing? No: how disgusting.

    Back in the ’60s, when I saw the whole folk mass phenomenon first hand as a teen, (and became an atheist, an agnostic, a reformed theist, and eventually, an Eastern Christian as an ultimate result), I knew early that it wouldn’t work, because the folk mass movement, and more particularly, the people in it, didn’t have the knowledge, the musical skill, or the background to make it work.

    Let’s just say that I knew enough of Gregorian Chant and polyphony to know what was the genuine article, and what was not.

    Even Simon & Garfunkel had it better than the morons running the show in the ’60s and thereafter. Rather than listening to “April, come she will”, try this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai3UhslbPOk

    Benedictus, from Wednesday Morning, 3 a.m. A nifty little two part invention, with competent guitar accompaniment, by Orlando DiLassus, sung capably by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.

    Most folk mass music showed itself to be tawdry and stupid by comparison.

  73. jflare says:

    “…because the folk mass movement, and more particularly, the people in it, didn’t have the knowledge, the musical skill, or the background to make it work.

    …Most folk mass music showed itself to be tawdry and stupid by comparison.”

    Well, that’s fairly objective, for a change.

    Oddly, I think you just hit something that, well, maybe I haven’t routinely accounted for very well: I grew up with “One Bread, One Body” et al at Mass in my parish..when we had 16 – 20 adults singing, a full-time music director, and a darn good accompanist. I didn’t know that though. I thought these were the normal deal for a parish.

    I distinctly recall losing almost all interest in choir for Mass when attending All-School-Mass in Jr High. I’d see about 8 or 9 teens in the choir, they weren’t well-rehearsed, and the accompaniment usually came from a piano or guitar. …Using chords in either case. Honestly, I wondered what had happened. It sounded…ghastly.

    If that’s the ilk of music that others saw/heard most of the time..well, I guess the angst against folkish music makes sense.

    As I recall, the quality of Mass music in general took a serious nose-dive when we changed parishes around my senior year.
    I’ve actually never understood how that works.
    I can turn on the radio in the car and hear music in which someone obviously knows how to play more than about 4 chords. Why WOULD anyone willingly sing something when the accompaniment involves nothing of interest?

    If that’s what you’re referring to by “banal”, well, OK, I see what you mean. I learned it..when it wasn’t.
    Then again, I used to go to sleep with Dad playing Handel’s Messiah on the record player in the living room…immediately beside my bedroom. ‘Course I didn’t know what I’d been hearing ’til I bought a CD copy when I was 24….

    Guess I’ve had a relatively charmed life musically.
    Boy, do I miss Barb Mueller and Myrna Sullivan (from my parish way back when)….
    Thank God for Mark Pichowicz (current choir director).

  74. annieoakley says:

    Bernard Brandt,

    Agreed that we should never have used the folk music genre as a basis for church music. Having said that, the stuff we sing at church is mediocre even compared to the commercial folk music that was put out at the same time in the 1960′s. Your link to “Benedictus” is a great example of a religious piece written by secular artists. I chose “April come she will” not for its content but for its style – it’s a lovely poem set to music; specifically using allegory to compare a changeable lover to the changeable Seasons. “One Bread, One Body” and the others I mentioned club you on the head with their message and the melodies seem to have been written for 6 year olds to sing. Here’s a link to a song we kids used to sing at summer camp called “Do Lord, O Do Lord, O Do Remember Me”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88G-OeuvaAA&feature=fvwrel

    The songs we sing at Mass are at this level of worship – fine for summer camp, trite for everything else.

  75. Tony Layne says:

    Father, I am … rendered—oh, I can’t hold it back anymore! GAAAAAAAAAAAH! I surrender! Where’s the nearest TLM!?

  76. Dear jflare and annieoakley:

    Thank you for your kind words, and your expression of your personal experience with the regrettable ’60s.

    For my part, I will probably express an opinion that will appear heretical to at least some here, but I do not think that either the Novus Ordo (or whatever it is called these days) or the teachings of the Second Vatican Counsel are evil in themselves. I personally have found that the Holy Spirit has spoken and still speaks through both of them. I just hate the evils that have been blamed on (or done in the name of) the Council, and the tawdry and ignoble ways that the New Mass has so often been served.

    As an example of the good sense of the Council, I would suggest a reading or re-reading of Musicam Sacram. That good document recommended that Gregorian Chant be given pride of place in all liturgical gatherings; that the whole treasury of polyphony be preserved, and that (once those foundations were in place), the liturgical music of the people (read “folk”) be encouraged. I suspect that had those provisions actually been followed, that we would not have had the problems of really bad liturgical music.

    There are some who think that Vatican II was either a dogmatic or a teaching council. I think instead that it was actually a prophetic counsel: it was a call for both engagement with the world, and a return to the treasures of the Holy Spirit: Scripture, Tradition, and Church Authority.

    I believe that the so-called ‘failures’ of the Second Vatican Council were failures of the laity or the clergy to listen to that prophetic call, or to act upon what they might have heard, had they actually listened. The Council is as much (or as little) to blame for our failures as the Prophets were to blame for the failure of the People of Israel to listen to them.