You're opinion? It's wrong.
So a friend of mine was complaining about the new "Gloria." I'm not its biggest fan yet, either. I feel like there are WAY too many ups and downs for no other purpose than to amuse the cantor. Granted, that could very well be my horrible singing talking, but still...
I don't believe (as my friend) that the new Gloria has ruined the liturgy in any way. I tried to mention that, but was immediately presented with several other "horrible" hymns that apparently destroy the Sacrifice of the Mass. One of the songs presented to me was "Gift of Finest Wheat."
Hey now! Gift of Finest Wheat? C'mon!
I asked what problem she could POSSIBLY have with a song selected by Archbishop Chaput for his Installation in Philly. She had no response. She simply told me my taste in music was too "modern."
So I asked her to give me another example of a hymn that could possibly overshadow the Mass. She offered "Anthem" by Tom Conry. I honestly didn't remember that song, but once I did a quick Google search for it, I came upon a recording that jostled my memory. Not exactly the best song ever [in fact, I'd even go so far as to agree it's one of the worst based on the author's over-dedication to (and subsequent misunderstanding of) juxtaposition], but I still wouldn't say it'd ruin Mass.
Finally, almost exasperated by my lack of music refinement, she said, "'Gather Us In.' You can't possibly think 'Gather Us In' is a good song."
Okay, seriously? That's *almost* as bad as attempting to drop kick "Gift of Finest Wheat" out of the hymnal. I grew up singing "Gather Us In" during our school Masses. I never once thought the lyrics were inappropriate, though I admit to thinking, as a child, "Why would I want to be gathered in with the rich and the haughty? Isn't that a bad thing?"
Ha ha... gotta love the mindset of a child.
Anyway, I pulled up the lyrics to the song (to double check myself that there wasn't anything doctrinally wrong with them). I reiterated my stance that, yes, I still liked the song and didn't think that it's "poppy beat" did anything to detract from the Sacrifice of the Mass. I then reaffirmed my position that she was being snotty for no purpose. The Mass is the Mass regardless of what is sung or which priest is presiding. Why? Because Jesus is the Sacrifice, and no one can detract from that which He has done (and continues to do) through the Mass.
Anyway, I brought this up with a Catholic group I frequent and found myself on the receiving end of some very angry suggestions (one person retorted that I should consider myself excommunicated on the basis of accepting such "trash" as music). I couldn't help but laugh. I couldn't understand the venom behind such an innocuous thing! So I went to my buddy, Frank, for his opinion.
You see, Frank is the Music Man for his (and several other) parishes / schools. He runs choir, writes music, puts together the programs for weekly Mass, etc. So off I went to track him down to ask him for his thoughts on this whole ridiculousness. He held the same opinion I did. Some folks were snobby for the sake of being snobby, as if their self-proclaimed "Mass-worthy" songs are holier, more respectful and more pleasing to God than others.
Crazy! I've seen some folks lament "rock-n-roll" style music during Mass, and I get that. Some folks don't want bubble-gum pop being played when they're attempting to solemnly remember the Sacrifice which gained Salvation for us. However, it's been my experience that those complaining about the many facets of the Mass (The Tabernacle curtain isn't the right color! Did you see the altar boy wearing sneakers? I cannot BELIEVE Maude had the audacity to wear THAT to a Church!) are the same folks who think nothing of chatting with their friends - loudly - before / after Mass begins. These are the same folks who crowd around in the middle aisle after Mass, completely oblivious to the Divine Presence, as they cackle loudly and shout to others in an attempt to hammer out brunch dates.
I still stand by my original belief that you'd have to REALLY be trying to make the Mass illicit in order to somehow nullify the Sacrifice, ya know? I don't like every single Church song out there (there are plenty I don't like), but I'd never go so far as to say they would ruin a Mass for me. That's absolutely ludicrous in my mind.
I mean, I'm the type of person who listens to secular music and turns it into a prayer to God. Seriously. If these folks knew how I spun rock and alternative (and yes, even pop!) songs, they would probably call the nearest Jesuit for an exorcism of my demon-gripped soul. LoL.
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