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He read my mind!

Reading this post by Jeffrey Tucker at NLM made me wonder for just a second if maybe he wasn’t probing around in the small amount of gray matter still under active use in between my ears. Now, to be honest, the music at my parish is nowhere near as bad as that which many are forced to endure Sunday after Sunday – in fact it is generally well-sung and the selections are occasionally even quite good.

What I find missing, and which Jeffrey alluded to in his Second Great Catholic Radio 2.0 Liturgy Debate, is any linkage at all between the liturgy we are experiencing and the music. We’ve gone from music that was created for Mass to music that occasionally sounds good at Mass – from a unified whole pointing to the unity of both Creator and Church to an amalgam which speaks more of the community as a collection of dispersed talents. I want to be very clear on this so no one thinks I’m just complaining – the songs are almost always performed very well and I have yet to hear a single song that outright does not belong in Mass. At the same time there is a great opportunity to use that music for everything great music can do – spiritual uplift, catechesis, etc. To put it another way, it’s okay as it is, but it could do so much more.

Perhaps the one difference I have with Jeffrey (besides not knowing a fraction of what he does when it comes to both liturgy and music) is that I haven’t the slightest hint of musical skill. As the saying goes, I couldn’t hold a note with a bucket. He, and all true musicians, can speak to the situation of liturgical music “from the inside” as it were, whereas I can only look at it and say “it seems odd” or “it seems right”. Perhaps I am too picky. Perhaps I am one of those who will never be satisfied. Or perhaps I’ve, through a combination of luck and persistence, sniffed out one truth from a pile of assorted options. Which that is, I’ll be honest and say I don’t really know.

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