Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Steps Toward Sacred Music

In another great post on how to help move your parish toward truly sacred music for the Mass, Wendi has another singular suggestion. This follows from her previous post where she suggested that, if you want better music, you might:

1)      Determine to do something more than complain
2)     Educate yourself by reading the documents about liturgical music

And now, Suggestion Number Three from Wendi:
Okay, maybe not at first.
But it could get better!

3)    Join the choir.

That’s what she says, all right. Join the choir. I would never have thought of that! Wendi explains:

Here is the reasoning behind the suggestion.

If you are singing, you will have a lot more credibility when you start asking for better music.  You won't be just a crank in the pew…If your music is truly awful, you will spend some time singing bad music. That however, is a golden opportunity to help the souls in Purgatory. I'm not being sarcastic, I offer up the assault on my sensibilities for the suffering souls, every time I sing happy clappy sappy music at Mass. 

And if you’re really serious about having good music at Mass…find some! Do some googling, find something good to sing. If you’re at a loss, Wendi suggests checking out these sites: Corpus Christi Watershed and Choral Public Domain Library And don’t forget to check out the resources listed on this blog; the Chant CafĂ© is an excellent place to check regularly.
Then follow Wendi’s Suggestion Number Four:

4)     Take a good piece of music in Latin (I suggest polyphony first) to the director and ask to sing it for a Holy day or Feast.  If he/she says it's too hard to sing in Latin have a similar piece in English as a back up.

Maybe all you get is one beautiful piece for Easter or Christmas.

That's ok.  You'll have just introduced good music to your parish.  I guarantee you that people will hear it and want more where that came from.

They'll compliment the choir director.  I'm fairly certain they aren't complimenting the folk music.

She’s got some good points here. It takes time and tact to move people from “what we’ve always done” to something that’s better and more appropriate. While I tend to want to smack people upside the head with a Graduale Romanum, Wendi advocates a “kinder, gentler” approach. And of course, she’s right: people respond much more favorably to compliments than criticisms! So when the choir director gets compliments on the beautiful piece of music, she or he will want to choose more of that kind of music.

Wendi also takes away your excuse that “I don’t have time!

Most choirs practice once a week for an hour or two and then sing at one Mass on Sunday morning.

You're already going to Mass.  So now all you have to do, is go to choir practice once a week instead of spending that time on Facebook.  (Facebook will not miss you.)

If you care about the music, make the time.

Please go and read the entire post! Wendi has such an amusing – and convincing – way of say all of this.

1 comment:

  1. That's me, the advocate for a kinder, gentler uprising. :)