cartoon by Christian Adams
Having just experienced the sound of wonderful liturgical music here in our little parish this week when Archbishop Malcolm McMahon came to celebrate a Requiem Mass for the Holy Souls (post and pictures to follow), Damien Thompson's post on the state of sacred music had a particular resonance for me. The post is well worth a read; knocking down some of the myths sometimes applied to sacred music of the past. It doesn't have to be that way, as experience in this little parish teaches me, though you do need the help of a willing and able musician. My experience visiting Chevagnes College recently also shows that young people can enthusiastically embrace good Catholic music.
"I can’t speak for other denominations, but I’m convinced that the distinctive awfulness of the music in many Catholic parishes helps explain why Mass attendance has fallen off a cliff since the 1970s...
...Bad Catholic Music (BCM for short) is uniquely inauthentic. It doesn’t sound like any other sort of music. Whether “inspired” by folk, jazz or chant, BCM has the knack of always sounding more or less the same.
There’s no precedent in the history of church music for such a clumsy cobbling together of musical ideas and styles."