Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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Contemporary/Rock Music at Mass

December 31st, 2010, Promulgated by Ben Anderson

NCRegister interviewed Jeffrey Tucker in an article titled Singing the Mass (hat tip Fr Z).  The whole thing is worth reading, but I found this Q/A especially interesting.

What do you say to people who think that ”contemporary” or rock music is necessary to attract young people to Mass?

So far as I can tell, the only people who really argue this way are old people (I argued this point a little while back). It’s true that plenty of young people are not interested in true liturgical music, but those same people are not interested in Catholicism either. How do we draw people to the faith? By lying about it and substituting false teaching? I don’t think so. The faith draws people when it is not ashamed of itself and when it has the ring of truth.

It is the same with liturgical music. Church music uses free rhythm that always points upwards in the same way that incense is always rising. This assists our prayer. Secular styles of music, in contrast, use rhythms that elicit temporal thoughts and emotions. Rock music points to nothing outside of itself, so it does not belong anywhere near the liturgy.

We are living in times of transition, and young people seem to know this even more than older people. I don’t think there is any doubt where that transition is headed: People are discovering the sacred music tradition. If you look around at the Catholic music world, you quickly find that this is where the interest and energy is. This is the future.

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