Sunday, 8 November 2015

Bad Catholic Music

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."


Chloe said...

Amen to that!

David O'Neill said...

The music on Friday was magnificent & it was great to renew the acquaintance of Archbishop Malcolm. It was a longish journey (300 miles round trip) but worth it. we got home just before 1am. I found the Mass a strange mixture of OF & EF but it was celebrated in a most sacred fashion.

Fr Simon Henry said...

The reform of the the reform, David!It is still quietly going on.