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What do you think about your church's music selections? (NWR)

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Re: What do you think about your church's music selections? (NWR)

  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_think-churchs-music-selections-nwr?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:94093195-fdfb-48fd-9566-3b2731b9f5c7Post:b145085a-af70-4e84-8f0e-ccad5b03a699">Re: What do you think about your church's music selections? (NWR)</a>:
    [QUOTE]  It just seems to me, if a Catholic hymnal publisher and a Catholic music director (likely with input from a priest) finds it to be theologically appropriate, it probably is. 
    Posted by Meg1036[/QUOTE]

    I completely agree with you, except for the above and not just with regards to music. I do think that priests, bishops, etc can make mistakes and can approve practices/content that are not appropriate or in line with the faith.  They're human and prone to error just like us.  :-)
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I don't think saying something is theologically incorrect is offensive. Its factual.

    An example:
    There is a song that OCP had in its collection called "Bread of life". The first line is quoting Christ in Scripture "I myself am the bread of life". No problem. The 2nd line says "You and I are the bread of life". This is a problem. The term "bread of life" is reserved to Christ and the Eucharist. While the church makes up the "Body of Christ", we cannot exchange phrases here.

    There is no "approval" process of every song by the bishops that is sung in church. WLP has all their songs given an impramatur, but its up to each publisher in what they want to put in their books. But even then, not everything in the books is meant to be used for mass. Spirit and Song from OCP is a youth music book, but in addition to mass, it is meant to be used for retreats and things.

    There are church documents that speak about music in church. Some are official vatican documents which must be followed, and some are written by USCCB...(such as Sing to the Lord), which are merely studies. STTL did not get enough US bishops to vote for it to even go to Rome to be a binding document.

    When deciding what music should be played at mass, its up to the music director and priests to make the call on whether the music follows the instructions from the GIRM and the vatican documents. THis is the difficult part  because it depends on how you interpret these documents to make these decisions.

    As I play at Lifeteen, I scrutinize the contemporary christian lyrics to make sure they fit with Catholic theology. I'll change a word here or there to make it fit with our beliefs.
  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_think-churchs-music-selections-nwr?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:94093195-fdfb-48fd-9566-3b2731b9f5c7Post:d60e4bc2-61e0-45da-a66b-f8271863696a">Re: What do you think about your church's music selections? (NWR)</a>:
    [QUOTE]As I said before, I'm sorry if any of my comments were taken to mean something I didn't intend them to. I understand people preferring one type of music over another, but I don't understand the strong negative feelings expressed toward certain types of music. I think we're just gonna have to shake hands and call it a day on this one.  
    Posted by doctabroccoli[/QUOTE]

    I understand what you're saying, and hopefully I can explain a bit further. I think my feeling (and possibly the feeling of some of the others here) is that some of these songs seem to be inaccurate and using them is a disservice to our faith. It makes perfect sense to have strong negative feelings about something you think is detrimental to your faith.

    I used to sing with my sister at Mass (back when I was attending the New Mass). There were many many songs that I loved to sing - the melodies were beautiful, we did beautiful arrangements, the congregation participated, the lyrics were fine - all was good. In the past few years I've really dug more into my faith, challenging, questioning and learning. When I look back at some of those same songs that were my favorites and study their words or the message they seem to give, they aren't really in line with the faith (and some may disgree). They send the wrong message. So, it is truly upsetting to know that so many Catholic congregations sing them every Sunday in Mass. Obviously I've been there and used to love these songs, and can understand why they appeal to others. But, it makes sense to be passionate and have a big reaction to something that you feel is damaging to the faith.

    When others spout about how NFP doesn't work - we are passionate about correcting them, because we are defending our faith.  If someone were to show up to Mass in a string bikini, wouldn't some (if not all) of the congregation be upset that someone was that disrespectful to the faith? I'd honestly feel ill...
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977 member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    i purposely avoided this thread because by the time i first opened it, i could tell that it was going to end up in an "old/traditional" vs. "new" catholic discussion/argument and sure enough it appears to have gone down that road.

    while i attend the Latin Mass, our church is extremely traditional.  When i attend the New Mass, the hymns used are still very traditional and sometimes one or two latin ones are used.  they are also presented in a traditional format (i.e., organist in the choir loft with the choir or a soloist) as opposed to up front in a more "concert like" display.  the priest plays a BIG influence in the music and how its played (i.e. organ vs. guitars).  most have musical directors, but they report to the priest.  the priest has the final say.  so i think that the more traditional the priest, the more traditional the music is going to be.  those of us who are traditional seek out traditional parishes (for more reasons than just the music).  those who are more liberal  seek out those kinds of parishes.

    i attend New Mass at other churches (my mom's, or when on vacation) and many times it can appear confusing to me as to whether i'm at a Catholic church or a protestant church.  im not sure entirely if its the hymns or how the hymns are presented or a combination of both.

    to answer OOT's original question, i like the music at my church because its traditional and its what i grew up with.  its familiar.  i know the words. it makes me feel connected to the mass, not connected to the congregation.  however, i know that for some, the musical connection and the connection to the parish community/family is what helps them feel closer to the mass adn their faith. 

    i have a friend who is baptist and music for her is a HUGE part of her faith.  for me, i can have and enjoy mass without any music at all. 
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Calypso, I know you didn't mean this (at least I hope you didn't) but just because someone likes contemporary music does not make them liberal.
  • doctabroccolidoctabroccoli member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Calypso and Riss -
    If you guys can think of specific songs, I would love to know which songs you're referring to.  I know a lot of liturgical music (my history deals mostly with GIA's Gather Book and OCP's Breaking Bread/Music Issue).  Agape gave one example, but I don't think I've ever sang or played that song before.

    At my current parish, the songs we sing are always related to the week's readings.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    Waiting to meet the baby broccoli on 5/5/2013!
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    The songs I think of are from contemporary Christian praise and worship. Mostly written by protestants. Most of the songs fit right in with Catholic theology, but a few do not...and usually it can be fixed by tweaking one word


  • lalaith50lalaith50 member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    I'm terribly sorry, that I'm not going to let this thread just die! :-(
    but now that I have access to a hymnal, I'm going to nit-pick a couple more hymns... ;-)

    Here's a few out of Ritual Song, which is what my parish uses, (which is supposedly the 2nd most "traditional" hymnal that GIA offers, hm...I can only imagine what sort of hymns their less-traditional hymnal contains...)

    Ashes: "We rise again from ashes, to create ourselves anew." 
    What? sorry, no, we don't create ourselves. God created us. period. And in a sense, the idea could possibly be stretched to being "born again" at baptism, but that's certainly also nothing that WE are doing to "create ourselves."

    City of God: "Let us build the city of God." 
    Actually, I wouldn't have ever thought much about this one myself, but I happen to know that our bishop forbid it at least at any Mass he attends. Something along the lines of, "Um, we're not building the City of God. That's called heaven, and it's already built!"

    We Shall Rise Again: "we shall rise again...coming to the house of the Lord we will find an open door there..." 
    assumes a "once saved, always saved" Protestant belief. Sorry, as Christ himself said, "not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' wil enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven." I think it's safe to assume that not everyone who happens to sing this song will get to heaven, and it's not doing them any favors to allow them to assume that they will.

    Actually, MANY songs have this same issue of assuming that we're going to heaven, many of which were taken from Protestant song repertoires, "Soon and Very Soon we are goin to see the King," even "Amazing Grace, ... when we've been there 10,000 years..." 

    I Danced in the Morning "when the world was begun, and I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun, and I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth...Dance then wherever you may be; I am the Lord of the Dance said he...I'll lead you all in the Dance, said he." 
    I just don't get this one. Could anyone tell me where exactly in the Bible God says he dances, or will lead us in the dance? (sounds to me like an excuse for middle aged ladies to subject everyone else to watching them dance around during liturgy...)

    Another more general problem has to do with pretty much every commonly accepted "communion song." They either focus completely on the terminology of "bread and wine," (to the neglect of "bread" = Body of Christ,) or when they mention "body of Christ," it is almost exclusively in reference to WE are the "body of Christ." (nothing to do with the physical Host/cup that we are currently receiving.) This is a problem because barely 1/3 Catholics even BELIEVE in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Do the songs that most Catholics sing in church simply *reflect* this belief, or do they cause it? While it is true that we are receiving "Bread" and "Wine" at communion, when there is such a disbelief in general among Catholics, then to neglect the emphasis of "this 'bread' = Christ himself," (and to focus on "we are the body of Christ," is to perpetuate this disbelief among Catholics and neglect to catechize.

    I could seriously keep going, but I also seriously need to go work! :-o
    I can provide more later if anyone's interested or still doubtful about the sad state of Catholic music!
    ;-)
    Anniversary
  • edited December 2011
    Lalaith- I actually really appreciate you coming back with specifics, as opposed to leaving the discussion in generalities.

    I think I took your (and some other) previous comments as broad generalities, and I think its much more productive to point out exactly what the problems are, and in what songs.  To me, there is a big difference between broadly referencing things that are theologically inappropriate (which when said without examples seems to be a bit of a broad statement, and honestly a bit offensive), and providing examples to back yourself up.

    I am not nearly enough of a theologian nor do I actually know enough about the music to comment on your examples, but I do appreciate you providing them.
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    lalaith, I agree with what you're saying...however, I think a couple things are open---

    I really really dislike the dance song, but it is a poetic metaphor, its not literal. That to me is pretty obvious. Music is art, and uses poetry. Not all music has to be simply statements from the catechism.

    -Communion--- I'm very careful with picking communion songs, however, remember, in the memorial acclamation (including the new translation), we say "when we eat this bread and drink this cup".

    Kingdom: again, poetic metaphor. I really really don't like that song either, but all through the gospels Jesus uses parables..."The Kingdom of heaven is like.....(mustard seed, a man who sowed good seed, merchant, etc).

    As i said before, I'm very careful about watching lyrics I play for mass, however, I don't think these necessarily harm or mislead people in faith. Its the ones that talk about how grace works or the intrinsic goodness of a person that one needs to be careful.
  • doctabroccolidoctabroccoli member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_think-churchs-music-selections-nwr?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:94093195-fdfb-48fd-9566-3b2731b9f5c7Post:d7f621c1-ade7-402d-bbc7-043f969921d8">Re: What do you think about your church's music selections? (NWR)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Lalaith- I actually really appreciate you coming back with specifics, as opposed to leaving the discussion in generalities. I think I took your (and some other) previous comments as broad generalities, and I think its much more productive to point out exactly what the problems are, and in what songs.  To me, there is a big difference between broadly referencing things that are theologically inappropriate (which when said without examples seems to be a bit of a broad statement, and honestly a bit offensive), and providing examples to back yourself up. I am not nearly enough of a theologian nor do I actually know enough about the music to comment on your examples, but I do appreciate you providing them.
    Posted by Meg1036[/QUOTE]

    This.  That was my problem.  I have no problem with people picking certain songs they don't like and saying why they don't like them, but I feel that broad generalizations are unfair and incorrect.

    Agape - when you say "contemporary Christian", are you referring to songs like "He is Exaulted", "Shine, Jesus Shine", "Awesome God", etc?  I've never sang any of those at an adult Sunday mass, only in school and teen masses.

    Lalaith - Thanks for the examples.  I understand where you're coming from, and I understand your examples.  And I may be assuming this incorrectly (please correct me if I am), but it seems you are taking the meaning of the lyrics too literally.  They were written to be more abstract than you're thinking.

    For example - the "City of God" is not referring to heaven.  It is referring to evangelization on Earth.  In "Lord of the Dance", the dance is another word for Jesus' life.  The "Body of Christ" can also mean the Church.

    ETA:  I see Agape kind of beat me to this.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    Waiting to meet the baby broccoli on 5/5/2013!
  • agapecarrieagapecarrie member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 100 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Docta,

    The songs you listed I would consider kind of juvenile for p/w. While at one time might have been in the list for p/w, there were not a lot of choices then. There are so many great songwriters today that are writing amazing deep lyrics in the p/w genre...Hillsong, Tomlin, passion, and crowder, and matt maher who is catholic. The music is more mature and prayerful.

    Here is a bridge from Hillsong's Hosanna:

    Heal my heart and make it clean, open up my eyes to the things unseen, show me how to love like you have loved me.
    break my heart for what breaks yours, everything I am for your kingdom's cause, show me how to love like you have loved me.


  • doctabroccolidoctabroccoli member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_think-churchs-music-selections-nwr?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:94093195-fdfb-48fd-9566-3b2731b9f5c7Post:2d8e2b22-467c-4c8a-98c1-2eae0725ba1c">Re: What do you think about your church's music selections? (NWR)</a>:
    [QUOTE]Docta, The songs you listed I would consider kind of juvenile for p/w. While at one time might have been in the list for p/w, there were not a lot of choices then. There are so many great songwriters today that are writing amazing deep lyrics in the p/w genre...Hillsong, Tomlin, passion, and crowder, and matt maher who is catholic. The music is more mature and prayerful. Here is a bridge from Hillsong's Hosanna: Heal my heart and make it clean, open up my eyes to the things unseen, show me how to love like you have loved me. break my heart for what breaks yours, everything I am for your kingdom's cause, show me how to love like you have loved me.
    Posted by agapecarrie[/QUOTE]

    Oh, I have no doubt that aspect of my liturgical music knowledge is out-of-date :). I haven't even been to a youth/teen mass in at least 10 years. My high school and Newman Center in college used the Gather Book, as does my current Parish, which is a small inner-city Parish, so we don't have a dedicated youth/teen mass.
    BabyFruit Ticker
    Waiting to meet the baby broccoli on 5/5/2013!
  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited December 2011
    haha - just laughing because I didn't give specific song examples because I DIDN'T want to offend anyone that loved those songs! What a tangled web...   :-)
  • doctabroccolidoctabroccoli member
    1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_think-churchs-music-selections-nwr?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:94093195-fdfb-48fd-9566-3b2731b9f5c7Post:f93606ce-d4dd-456e-b12d-1584dcad9234">Re: What do you think about your church's music selections? (NWR)</a>:
    [QUOTE]haha - just laughing because I didn't give specific song examples because I DIDN'T want to offend anyone that loved those songs! What a tangled web... :-)
    Posted by Riss91[/QUOTE]


    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_think-churchs-music-selections-nwr?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:94093195-fdfb-48fd-9566-3b2731b9f5c7Post:f83b8c12-c091-4b62-9932-dbdda543bcd3">Re: What do you think about your church's music selections? (NWR)</a>:
    [QUOTE]I heart my church's music.  Buuuuut I probably wouldn't be in the choir if I didn't, so maybe I'm a bit biased. Riss, do you have specific songs you're thinking of?  I don't really agree that modern-day hymns aren't about God.
    Posted by doctabroccoli[/QUOTE]

    Looks up to request from page 1 of this thread <img src="http://cdn.cl9.vanillaforums.com/downloaded/ver1.0/content/scripts/tinymce/plugins/emotions/images/smiley-laughing.gif" border="0" alt="Laughing" title="Laughing" />
    BabyFruit Ticker
    Waiting to meet the baby broccoli on 5/5/2013!
  • ootmother2ootmother2 member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_think-churchs-music-selections-nwr?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural Wedding BoardsForum:615Discussion:94093195-fdfb-48fd-9566-3b2731b9f5c7Post:a192daed-c81a-4a57-a897-e97593de7e34">Re: What do you think about your church's music selections? (NWR)</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: What do you think about your church's music selections? (NWR) : In Response to Re: What do you think about your church's music selections? (NWR) : Looks up to request from page 1 of this thread
    Posted by doctabroccoli[/QUOTE]

    I'm very happy that my posted ended with acceptance of the views of other posters.

    Again, I have my favorites but I don't think that they change my faith one bit.

    Thanks to you all
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