Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Hidden Hand Behind Bad Catholic Music

A reader suggested this article by J. A. Tucker at Catholic Culture on Oregon Catholic Press.
The truth is that no one is happy with the state of Catholic liturgical music — least of all musicians — and the OCP is a big part of the problem. So, what can you do? Step 1 is to get rid of the liturgical planning guides and use an old Scripture index to select good hymns that have stood the test of time (if you absolutely must continue to use the OCP's materials). Step 2 is to rein in the liturgical managers and explain to them that the Eucharist, and not music, is the reason people show up to Mass Sunday after Sunday.

You might recall, on the other hand, we've been told at St. Al's that Sunday Mass would be dull and uninspiring without the choir.
Step 3 is to get rid of the OCP hymnals and replace them with Adoremus or Collegeville or something from GIA (no, none of these is perfect, but they are all an oasis by comparison).

To be fair, even the OCP hymnals we use at St. Al's contain an Order of Worhip that follows the GIRM, unlike the parish liturgy.

Update: from his "That Was the Year that Was" (1965)

Lyrics here.


  1. My maxim is borrowed from the '60s...instead of never trust anybody over 30, never trust any song written after 1930.

  2. Well, Terry, in your case, Step Three would be to get rid of the pastor.

    OTOH, maybe it should be Step One.

  3. Now, "Dad", you know this is nothing new at my parish, and it runs a lot deeper than any one person.

    Perhaps liturgical innovations are intended as a break from the recurring St. Al's financial crises.

  4. Another possibility:

    Step 1) Use the actual Propers for the Mass (New Rite) in Latin--which happen to be drawn exclusively from Scripture--just as suggested in the above list.

    That way, you don't need Steps 2, 3, 4--or pastoral-elimination.