Friday, April 5, 2013

"Arouse the voice of the cosmos" or "comfortable and serviceable"?

When it comes to church music, I think you know which one I would pick.

So Pope Francis is talking "simple liturgy": I am all for that. Which means no uber-creepy giant puppets, liturgical dancers who rumba during Eucharistic processions, or greying-ponytail composers with their "contemporary" (ie. circa 1972) campfire songs need apply.

Hey, how about THIS for starters: priests who face God during the Mass, and lead us in worshipping Him, instead of Jay Leno wanna-be's who strut around the sanctuary in their flowing polyester robes, talking too loudly and trying to entertain us with jokes about how fat and egotistical they are (which is really important, cuz otherwise... how would we know?)

Fr. Z's take on James MacMillan's take on Pope Francis's take on a leaner, humbler liturgy. Read it.

Lex orandi, lex credendi.

Before he was Pope, Joseph Ratzinger said: “A Church which only makes use of ‘utility’ music has fallen for what is, in fact, useless … for her mission is a far higher one. As the Old Testament speaks of the Temple, the Church is to be the place of ‘glory’, and as such, too, the place where mankind’s cry of distress is brought to the ear of God. The Church must not settle down with what is merely comfortable and serviceable at the parish level. She must arouse the voice of the cosmos and, by glorifying the Creator, elicit the glory of the cosmos itself, making it also glorious, beautiful, habitable, and beloved.”

"Mankind's cry of distress" sounds like my state of mind on a weekly basis. "Comfortable and serviceable," on the other hand, sounds like appropriate criteria for toilet paper. Nuff said: gather us in!

But I can't leave you with that unappealing thought. Here is a YouTube video of the Sequence. It was sung in our parish this year (albeit in English) by a young lady. And it was (I'm sorry to say it) one of the very very few moments of true sublimity in the entire Triduum/weekend.

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