Monday, May 10, 2004

Martyrdom by Bad Music

One wonders who does like this music?

From Sacred Miscellany:

"Can bad hymns kill? Or can they incite near homicidal rage? This morning it was a near thing for me. Because I have a job as a church choir director/organist at an Episcopal church, I go to the 7 a.m. Mass. Once upon a time, there was no music at the early Masses. However, nowadays any parish with a full-time music director requires music even then. And it can be torture.

I entered the church to the sound of the organ being played in a style usually confined to baseball games and horse shows. It was Marty Haugen's 'Canticle of the Sun.' And no, I don't want to 'play in the forest,' thank you. Then we had Christopher Walker's 'Laudate Dominum.' During Communion, we honored 'Jesus our brother' with Bernadette Farrell's 'Bread of Life.'

This morning was the closest I've ever come to just shouting, 'Oh, be quiet!' Yes, I know that aesthetics don't have anything to do with the validity of the Mass, that Jesus doesn't mind bad music, etc., etc. And no, there isn't a tasteful Eastern Rite parish or a traditional Mass that's less than an hour and a half away.

I go. I grind my teeth. I thank God for the gift of Himself. And I heave a huge sigh of relief, like Pollyanna, that's it's seven days till the next Sunday. Any suggestions on how to avert enraged outbursts or apoplexy will be gratefully received."