“There was some Catholic toe tapping to the strains of banjo and fiddle” as the first bluegrass Mass was celebrated recently “exactly where it belonged: the ‘birthplace of country music,’ Bristol, Virginia,” according to a story written by Jean Denton in The Catholic Virginian, newspaper of the Diocese of Richmond, Va.
We learn how Father Edward Richard, a bluegrass musician and a professor and vice rector of Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, brought bluegrass musicians together at St. Anne’s Catholic Church to help him lead worship through the music he composed for the “Saint Anne Rhythm and Roots Heritage Mass.”
The Mass was the brainchild of St. Anne’s pastor, Father Timothy Keeney. [reference]
Personally I am waiting for the Alternative Metal Mass. Well not really, but if I am going to have to suffer through a non-sacred music genre it might as well be one I like. Hey how about a Death Metal Mass with the patented Cookie Monster voice? Or is that Life after Death Metal. Of course people will just say it is a matter of subjective taste. So what sacred means something dedicated to God and set apart. We will use just any genre. After all the Mass is only the eternal presentation of Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary so we will use any soundtrack we like for this.
Try this experiment, watch the Passion of the Christ from the scourging on with Bluegrass music playing and see how that fits.