Monday, October 2, 2006

Mass Music: Cheesy Foil Groups

So says Scotlands leading composer, James MacMillan.
"embarrassing, maudlin and sentimental dirges"
I agree wholeheartedly. The Mass represents Jesus' sacrifice, not a rock concert. I try my charitable best to explain this to many of my guitar strumming friends, but they either don't understand what the Mass is all about, or they defend their music telling me it isn't outlawed. It's like saying I can stick my wet hand near a hot electrical wire because it isn't against the law. MacMillan, who wrote the fanfare to the opening of the Scottish Parliament, goes on:
"screaming microphones" and "incompetently strummed guitars and cringe-making, smiley, cheesy foil groups"... ..."Cultural Vandalism"
To describe what passes for Church music these days during Mass. Here is what MacMillan advocates:
"An authentic updating of sacred music cannot take place except in the wake of the great tradition of the past, of Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony."
Amen. For more on this great article click here.


ken said...

I would agree that cheesy and poorly-executed guitar music is gratingly bad. And a full-on rock concert indeed has no place in the Mass.

But at the church I attend, one of the Masses that is offered is led in music by a very talented young guitarist with an amazing voice and an absolutely incredible skill with her chosen instrument. The music is not overbearing, nor could it be described as "cheesy" at is, indeed, a fair shake more reverent than our new pianist (who plays at the other Masses over the weekend) is capable of.

To be sure, I prefer the unobtrusive and reverent way Karen plays guitar to the blaring organ.

I wonder, thus, where the issue ultimately lies: in the guitar, or the selected music itself.

Tito said...


The guitar.

Thanks for asking that question. Remember there is only right or wrong, the truth is absolute. We're all Catholic and we all know this, so trying to find nuances and gray areas aren't going to cut it.

God bless,


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