View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Church Rock concert - August 27

The band I'm in - Rock of Faith - is one of the four bands playing. Lots of support from the parish staff - who tell us that they get plenty of people looking forward to when we play for Masses (far more than those who object to "rock music" in church).
It's free: Come hear us and the other fine bands.


Blogger Ben Anderson said...

"plenty of people looking forward to when we play for Masses (far more than those who object to "rock music" in church)."

so you finally admit that your understanding of proper liturgy is based on democratic principles and that we needn't follow the rubrics that our Church has laid out for us.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

No. I only admit that I asked the parish staff, who are the authorities in the parish.

Further, the music we play has all been approved by the bishops. Authorities again.

And you might remember that I was the one who confronted the staff about a lay preacher, then went to the diocese and the lay preaching in our parish stopped. Based on the rubrics.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

By the way, the original comment was based on one person who told me he did not like the music. I mentioned that to staff, prompting the conversation.

Please do not attempt to define my "understanding of proper liturgy" based on something said in passing. I don't appreciate having words put in my mouth.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Ben Anderson said...

"Further, the music we play has all been approved by the bishops."
Do you have any references for this?

"I don't appreciate having words put in my mouth."
It was meant to be a question. Looks like I forgot the question mark - sorry bout that. I didn't mean to put words in your mouth.

6:19 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Ben, how funny. I just logged on to say that the comment did not sound like you and wondered if you were joking and I took it too seriously!

As for the Bishops approval, the songs are all from Spirit and Song published by OCP Publications - "Published with the approval of the Committee on the Liturgy, National Conference of Catholic Bishops."

Some of the songs we do are included in "Breaking Bread With Readings" a standard Missal used in many parishes (including St. Theodore's).

7:16 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

One correction on my part - of the songs we plan to do August 27, one is an original composition, and not from publshed sources.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Anonymous - if you wish to have your entire comment published, please include a name. You notice, for example, that Ben's comments, even when critical, are publshed because he identifies himself. He also comments respectfully.

As to some of your comments.

"You and I must be talking to different people," - As I pointed out, I was talking to staff. You must not be talking to staff.

"... than what you claim here." All I claim here is that I spoke with staff people and reported their comments.

(Disparaging comment about priest deleted.)

Addressing wider issues.

We all tend to associate with like-minded people. I hang out with musicians, lectors, some staff and parish council members.

Because we tend to hand out with like-minded people we all tend to hear views that echo our own.

The staff are more likely to hear diverse views, as they are the ones people will complain to. Still, it's likely there are grumblers who never voice their opinions to staff.

And there are some people who complain just for the sake of complaining!

As in any comunity, you will find a wide range of opinions. There are some people who simply hate music at Mass - even if it is choir and organ. There are some people who say it's too hot in the church, others who say it's too cold. There are people who love the smell of incense, there are others who say it's unhealthy and bad for people with asthma. And so on.

When it comes to music, I remember one Easter an elderly woman complaining to me when the choir sang traditional hymns accompanied by organ and led by solosts with lovely sopranos! Too noisy, she thought, and she never wanted to return.

The Church allows for diversity of music - it's in the documents. Organ is be given prominence - yes - but other instruments are allowed. The traditional hymns are to be employed - and Gregorian Chant is praised - but contemporary music is also allowed.

Rock of Faith plays for youth Masses, generally just once a month. The regular choir plays most Sundays. Thus the organ and traditional hymns are there - and are played far more often than anything Rock of faith does (and, by the way, Rock of Faith has even done Gregorian Chant in Latin!)

The Masses with Rock of Faith are always announced in advance. Anyone who does not like that particular style of music has other Masses he/she could go to. If they choose to go to the Mass with Rock of Faith it's perhaps because they were not paying attention! Or maybe they just want to have something to complain about!

Tell your friends who don't like Rock of Faith's style there are two other Masses they could attend - and that the other three/four weekends every month they don't have to worry about us showing up.

Well, except me. I play and sing with the regular choir every week.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

By the way - this is a concert, not a Mass. It's being done on the church grounds, not in the church.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

I'd also like to point out that this style of music is popular at Steubenville - along with other styles of Church music. I haven't heard too many complaints about the orthodoxy of the Franciscan U.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Ben Anderson said...

I understand this is a concert (and not mass) and I understand that you are a man of integrity - but nonetheless I disagree that rock music is appropriate for mass. I'm not saying the music in general is inappropriate - just at mass. Your reference to FUS - do they ever play this music at mass?

"Published with the approval of the Committee on the Liturgy, National Conference of Catholic Bishops."

Does this also include approval for the specific instruments used? Another point is whether this committee of the bishops conference actually has the authority to permit this. Anyways, I think this is one of those issues where instead of asking "is it allowed?", we should ask, "is it appropriate and what Rome (not renegade American Bishops) have deemed appropriate?"

9:29 PM  

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