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Liturgical Music QUESTION from Heidi April 15, 1999
Hi. My question concerns the norms & regulations concerning what is proper and what is forbidden in the way of music played during Mass. I was/am very much appalled/angry when the organist at our church started/s playing a tune from the heretical play Jesus Christ Superstar (I don't know how to love Him -sung by Mary Magdalene). He plays this song almost every Sunday. Another time he played a Neil Diamond tune! Am I right to be upset? Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. God Bless. ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on April 15, 1999
Dear Heidi, Thanks for your question. Yes, you have every reason to be upset. I don't know how to love him??? UNBELIEVABLE! Speak to your pastor about this. It's entirely possible that the organist doesn't realize why this practice is wrong and the pastor may be turning a blind eye (or deaf ear) since nobody seems to care. The following comes from the Vatican document Musicam Sacram. 1. Sacred music, in those aspects which concern the liturgical renewal, was carefully considered by the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. It explained its role in divine services, issued a number of principles and laws on this subject in the Constitution on the Liturgy, and devoted to it an entire chapter of the same Constitution... ...(a) By sacred music is understood that which, being created for the celebration of divine worship, is endowed with a certain holy sincerity of form... ...(b) The following come under the title of sacred music here: Gregorian chant, sacred polyphony in its various forms both ancient and modern, sacred music for the organ and other approved instruments, and sacred popular music, be it liturgical or simply religious... 43. Certain celebrations of the Sacraments and Sacramentals, which have a special importance in the life of the whole parish community, such as confirmation, sacred ordinations, matrimony, the consecration of a church or altar funerals, etc., should be performed in sung form as far as possible, so that even the solemnity of the rite will contribute to its greater pastoral effectiveness. Nevertheless, the introduction into the celebration of anything which is merely secular, or which is hardly compatible with divine worship, under the guise of solemnity should be carefully avoided: this applies particularly to the celebration of marriages. Rock Opera and Neil Diamond hits have no place in the Mass -- PERIOD! Pray for your pastor and all the clergy. These are good men with a tough job. In Christ, John Miskell
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