From a reader:
Lately, the music director at our church has been “tickling the ivories” during the Consecration. While at the piano, in the front of church (naturally), he has been playing tunes, based on hymms for sure, on the piano during the entire Consecration (with a well timed pause during the elevation). It’s not irreverent, but it does sound like “lounge music“. [As the non-liturgical instrument, the piano, nearly always does.] I find it annoying, and keep wondering when Tony Bennett comes on stage (I’m kidding, of course). [Put a brandy snifter with a dollar bill on the piano next time and see if he gets the hint.]
Is this permissible? I tried to looking this up in Canon Law on the Vatican site, but did not see any prohibition.
This is NOT permitted.
There must be no music during the consecration. This has been repeated in many documents, but Redemptionis Sacramentum made it clear again:
[53.] While the Priest proclaims the Eucharistic Prayer “there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent”, [cf. GIRM 32] ….
[53.] Dum Sacerdos celebrans Precem eucharisticam «profert aliae orationes vel cantus non habeantur, atque organum vel alia instrumenta musica sileant», ….
And the General Instruction Of The Roman Missal states:
32. The nature of the “presidential” parts requires that they be spoken in a loud and clear voice and that everyone listen to them attentively.[Cf. Sacred Congregation of Rites, Instruction, Musicam sacram, March 5, 1967, no. 14: Acta Apostolicae Sedis 59 (1967), p. 304.] Therefore, while the Priest is pronouncing them, there should be no other prayers or singing, and the organ or other musical instruments should be silent.
32. Natura partium «praesidentialium» exigit ut clara et elata voce proferantur et ab omnibus cum attentione auscultentur. Proinde dum sacerdos eas profert aliae orationes vel cantus non habeantur, atque organum vel alia instrumenta musica sileant.
The music director should be given a copy of these texts. If the problem persists, inform the parish priest. If the problem persists, notify the local bishop.