Link Please Join … by Jeffrey Miller April 13, 2004 written by Jeffrey Miller April 13, 2004 the Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas.[Via Fr. Sibley] After all Lent is over and these forced penances should stop. 17 comments 0 FacebookTwitterGoogle +Pinterest Jeffrey Miller previous post Did you ever notice that … Andy Rooney is an idiot next post If only…. You may also like I was following my conscience November 6, 2005 Companion of Jesus July 3, 2007 Blog News August 27, 2004 Church sign October 19, 2005 The Most Obnoxious Group in America: ACLU September 20, 2004 The Intricacies of Love and Hate January 4, 2005 Welcomes and goodbyes May 19, 2003 Moloch Now March 2, 2009 Paleo-Catholics and the orthodoxy Inquisition May 20, 2004 Peter Kreeft is just plain awesome April 3, 2007 17 comments Sheryl D April 13, 2004 - 5:21 pm Sign me up! Let’s also ban Carey Landry! Reply John B. April 13, 2004 - 6:02 pm What the heck…I’ll throw my two cents into the fray, at the risk of being bashed within an inch of my keyboard! Let me preface my comments by saying that I am not a musical expert at all…I have never played an instrument, and you definitely don’t want to hear me sing! But I like to think I have at least a little sense as to what music is pleasing and effective for worship. I love the traditional Catholic music as much as anyone else. But some of the new music is not nearly as bad as it is painted to be. We have an excellent choir at our masses in my parish, and they sing a good mix of traditional music (yes, over 100 year old songs) and newer music (from the last 20-30 years). Both kinds of music can be sung effectively by a choir. We have gotten everything from Gregorian Chant to ‘Agnus Dei’ to to ‘Shepherd Me O Lord’, all of which have their place. Variety is the spice of life; as long as the music and its message is in line with Catholic teaching (and I haven’t seen any of the new music that isn’t), why not try some new music, while also retaining the old? The newer music might just attract a few people and keep them coming back. I was once a member of a Parish (not for long, however) that played music with tambourines, bongos, etc. I did not like that music, and they played no traditional music at all there. That is going overboard, to be sure. I didn’t feel the tradition of the Catholic mass there at all. It is all about balance, and perhaps a little variety in the music. No reason to throw out the traditional music at mass, like Agnus Dei or any of the traditional hymns, but also, there is room for a newer song at Communion on occasion. Tradtion is very important (it is much of the basis for our Catholic faith), but a little change here and there, within Catholic teaching and guidelines, never hurts either. God Bless, John Reply Jeff Miller April 13, 2004 - 6:11 pm John, I don’t believe that all liturgical music has to be written before a certain date. But just look at the theologically imprecise lyrics of Haugen and Daas. I am no music expert, yet I know bad music when I hear it. Just remember that the Mass is the re-presentation of Calvary and the participation in the death and resurrection of our Lord. It is like a soundtrack where somebody is getting killed and they play cartoon sound effects to it. It does not match. Sacred music should be set apart and not be the same thing you could hear in any elevator or reworded for a Barney song. Reply John B. April 13, 2004 - 6:34 pm Baing somewhat new to the discussion (I have seen it posted quite a bit on other blogs) maybe I am missing or just not hearing some of the music under discussion here at my parish or elsewhere…maybe some examples would help. I am no fan of tambourine music, etc., that is too ‘way out there’ for me, but I can think of a lot of music from the last 25 years that is great. Some of my favorites are ‘I am the Bread of Life’ ‘Eagle’s Wing’s’, etc. Maybe some of this newer music is not what is being disputed. I will catch this discussion later, off to a Parish finance committee meeting for the evening! Reply Jeff Miller April 13, 2004 - 6:42 pm John, You must have not of been around St. Blogs long since those two songs are often mentioned. The first person POV “I am the bread of Life” sticks in the craw of many. To many songs our about us talking from the view point of God. Or how we will be faithful or how we will respond and serve. On Eagles Wings might be okay for a Bette Middler concert, but this type of emotive music is not music suitable for worship. It is also difficult to sing the range of most of the songs so they hardly anybody tries to sing along anymore. Reply Fr. Brian Stanley April 13, 2004 - 7:09 pm The Curt Jester wrote: “But just look at the theologically imprecise lyrics of Haugen and Daas.” What? You mean now they’re not only writing crummy, corny music, but making bad ice cream too? Well, I guess their music does leave me cold, and with a headache if you take too much of it too quickly. Reply Todd April 13, 2004 - 10:40 pm Peace, all. Why be discriminatory at all? Let’s just say up with good music and down with bad, no matter who wrote it. Reply Confessions of a Recovering Choir Director April 13, 2004 - 11:09 pm Now is this really necessary? Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas While we’re at it, I suppose we could seek a moratorium on the use of the St. Gregory Hymnal, too. Bad music is bad music, regardless of… Reply John B. April 13, 2004 - 11:37 pm You must have not of been around St. Blogs long since those two songs are often mentioned. The first person POV “I am the bread of Life” sticks in the craw of many. To many songs our about us talking from the view point of God. Or how we will be faithful or how we will respond and serve. I haven’t been around blogging period that long…only since January, and St. Blogs only for a month or so. I do understand that those songs are ‘problematic’ to some people, that is why I mentioned them specifically. However, we sing them at our Parish, full choir and all. And our parish is pretty conservative…we still sing the Lamb of God in Latin (Agnus Dei) every weekend, ring the eucharist bells, and sing most of the conservative songs that have held the Catholic Church well and good for the last 500 years or more. Heck, we have Gregorian Chant several times a year by our choir; music doesn’t get much older in the Church than that! What is wrong with songs about how we will be faithful or how we will respond and serve as Catholics?…Serving others is what we are supposed to be doing in life as a means of worshipping God and Christ, along with attending Church on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation. Most of the older songs are about worshipping god, and that is what we should be singing about in church, as that is what we are there for. But when part of worshipping god and following Christ’s words and commands is to serve others, maybe a song or two here and there about that fact isn’t all that bad. I will admit, some of the newer music is of too high or broad of range of notes for some people (myself included) to sing. By the way, this is all in a spirit of discussion and enlightenment; I don’t want to come off as argumentative. This is really the first time I have heard these complaints from anyone or group on a large scale basis. To be honest, and I am pretty well connected in two parishes around my area, I have only heard these types of complaints from the over 65 generation…this is the first I have heard of the complaints from people in my generation. And the parishes I am involved in now are pretty conservative in nature. ( I know, I grew up in a very liberal (almost congregational in nature)Catholic Church that had the dreaded tambourines and bongos for many masses, and this was in the 70’s and 80’s already!) God Bless, John Reply John B. April 13, 2004 - 11:46 pm Also…I forgot to answer the first person point of view discussion…most of these songs are adaptations of Bible verses, and the verses are in first person from Christ. We read the verses at mass in first person, what is wrong with singing those same verses in first person? I have never ‘felt like I am Christ or God’ while singing these songs. Believe me, I have a long way to go to get to that point! Most of the newer songs are usually great songs, in my opinion, for communion songs at mass, or times of reflection at non-mass liturgies (penance services, etc.). I wouldn’t want these newer songs used as entrance hymns or recessional hymns during mass, for example, the newer songs I used as examples are not those type of songs.. Nor would I be happy if the Church replaced songs during the eucharistic prayers (eg the ‘Amen’) at mass with any different songs, new or old. Reply Todd April 14, 2004 - 9:44 am Peace, all. I’m with John on this one. I’d like to point out the danger of compiling a hymnal (or repertoire) by culling. Everybody has dislikes, and you’ll be left with a thin to empty book when everyone’s finished with it. A far superior approach is to search for hymns and songs regardless of composer, age, or style, and build from there. I find it hard to muster sympathy for those who dislike these two gentlemen’s music. Catholics consistently rate contemporary compositions of these two and others as their favorites. I might not agree with that as a matter of taste, but I work with it. I predict a big thud for this organization. Better would be to begin a composer’s forum and see if others can do a better job. Reply Jeff Miller April 14, 2004 - 11:23 am John and Todd, I know that much of musical taste is subjective and it is hard to define the norms that everyone could understand. The first thing though is that the lyrics should not be heretical or should at least be more precise. Why should we be singing songs about the Eucharist by people like Haugen who are not even Catholic and do not hold to the Catholic view of the Eucharist? I wouldn’t mind as much some of the newer contemporary songs if they hadn’t almost totally banned anything written before 1980. Multiple Churches I go to select songs from gather hymnal that are younger than my children and only about once a year do we get anything more traditional. The main point though is what is suppose to be the difference between worship music and secular music? Should the only difference be the lyrics? By your definition what music would be inappropriate. Would Rap be fine or Hard Rock? My own tastes in music runs to hard and progressive rock, but I would never want this in the Mass. It is more than just tradition, but what is appropriate for the source and summit of our faith. We don’t use dixie cups for the communion wine and we shouldn’t select music that is the musical equivalent of a dixie cup. Reply Todd April 14, 2004 - 10:04 pm Peace, Jeff. I look with suspicion on those who label others’ work as heresy. Heresy is a formal and serious charge. You don’t just toss it out there like a tiddlywink. Precise lyrics? Really? That sets aside any attempt at real poetry: metaphor, alliteration, and other common devices used in Good Lyrics. I guess we could just set Catechism paragraphs to recto tono chants, eh? Being versatile in music, as you suggest, is a virtue. And I know many church musicians who aren’t comfortable with various styles, various times. It’s a struggle all over to get people out of their comfort zones. You need leadership people can trust. Reply Anonymous April 14, 2004 - 10:20 pm Todd, Look at the words of Ashes a song played in many parishes and tell me that creating ourselves anew is not opposed to the faith. Besides lay people there have also been priest and theologians who have said that the lyrics are heretical. Poetic license is one thing but it shouldn’t be poetically opposite of the truth. One thing I wonder is why people who are theologically orthodox see problems with the modern hymns and those who identify themselves as progressives, favoring women priest and homosexual acts, see no problem with them. This of course is a generalization, but it is a generalization that is fairly accurate from personal experience and from what I have read. We rise again from ashes, from the good we’ve failed to do. We rise again from ashes, to create ourselves anew, If all our world is ashes, then must our lives be true An offering of ashes, an offering to you. We offer you our failures, we offer you attempts The gifts not fully given, the dreams not fully dreamt. Give our stumblings direction, give our visions wider view, An offering of ashes, an offering to you. Reply Todd April 15, 2004 - 6:26 am Peace, email, First off, a generalization, by definition, is not accurate. If it were, it would be a fact. All human beings have souls: a fact. My friend, you admit your knowledge of progressives is based on experience, not verifiable science. I would say your generalization is false conjecture. Second, Ashes has been discussed to death elsewhere, most recently on my blog and on Fr Jeff Keyes’ blog. I refer you to the archives of each. While it wouldn’t be my choice of lyrics, the song expresses the reality that people sin by choice, and that people can cooperate with God’s grace to make a conscious choice not to sin. If Conry wants to make use of a 70’s rock styling to get this idea across, that’s his choice. Not my choice, maybe not the best choice, but not heresy. Do you have a better choice to replace it? Reply jim b May 12, 2004 - 8:03 pm Why is this always an either/or proposition? As Catholics our Church (the Church) is big enough for all types of music. In my parish (here ins St. Louis) we have an ‘adult’ choir that does many ‘traditional’ hymns and songs, the teens who use electric instruments and my group in which I play acoustic guitar and also uses piano, bass and light percussuion. There is a variety depending on how the spirit leads. I came back to the Church in 1981 (thanks be to God) after 4� years in a lively protestant church. I had left due to the bad catechesis in the ’70s. One of the things that started me back was the Catholic ‘folk’ (for want of a better term) music of the last 70s/early 80s. I can appreciate the ‘traditional’ things but I am lead to the more ‘modern’ types – of which Haugen and Haas are some of my fav’s. Reply Monica April 27, 2005 - 5:39 pm Without question we have to be orthodox and follow the liturgy, the rules of the Roman Catholic church and not any other church. I love Latin songs very much (and wish people would re-learn them properly) H O W E V E R …… Keep in mind, God wants us to worship in in Truth… with our whole minds, bodies, spirit. If modern hymns (not ones that go against the faith of course!) inspire people to sing as prayer and with all the love in their hearts for God, then let them sing. If they are for Christ, they’re not against Him. I can’t stand liberalism at all, but I also don’t tip so far right that I lose equilibrium. Don’t forget David when he danced naked before the Tabernacle (I am NOT advocating that!!) – the point is the guy who made fun of him was struck dead. David was worshipping with his whole being, even his body! So, as long as you pray in truth, do it! Bottom line: Pray with your heart. Reply Leave a Comment Cancel Reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.