Tuesday, March 18, 2008

And The Hits Keep Coming!

As most of you already know, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI will be visiting America next month and celebrating mass at the new National’s stadium in Washington DC. This is the Pope’s first visit to America since he was elected Supreme Pontiff, and the entire world will be watching.

And what will the entire world get to see? The sad state of liturgical music in America.

Why? Because Thomas Strehle, director of music at Our Lady of Mercy in Potomac Maryland has been chosen to organize the music for the Papal mass. "The most important thing to me is that everyone present is fully engaged," he said. "The music is aimed at allowing the assembly to take up its role and not just be spectators, but full participants in the celebration, no matter where they are sitting."

And what music has he chosen? Well, Tommy dug deep into the rich treasure of liturgical music, bypassing the Palestrina, Bach, and other composers in the Church and pulled from the top of the dung heap, you guessed it, Marty Haugen and his “Mass of Creation”.

I kid you not.

Marty Haugen, a Lutheran whose music is probably performed more widely in American Catholic parishes than that of any other composer, has produced ugly, ridiculous hymns that emphasize the sun, the moon, trees, and dancing--all set to primitive melodies that evoke a whimsical stroll through a field of organic sunflowers. Haugen’s banal ditties have been assaulting the senses of Catholics everywhere for 25 years. If his name is unfamiliar, his pathetic attempts at sacred music are not. Flip through your hymnal this Sunday. You’ll find him.

Catholics everywhere should be embarrassed.

Jeffery Tucker over at The New Liturgical Movement had this to say: ” It can't be a good thing. It will send a horrible message to the entire country, demoralize young priests, undermine the work of good musicians, and reverse progress at many levels. It sends the message that not even the Pope can override the anachronistic stance of the Liturgical Industrial Complex in this country.”

I fear he may be correct.


Paul Nichols said...

Hey neighbor ( I'm in the Diocese of Harrisburg ).

Thanks for posting this piece on this flaky liberal. It's really a shame that a pontifical Mass will have that crappy music. What a disappointment. Makes me kinda glad that I didn't put in to win those tickets to the Mass.

I wish we could throw all that music in the trash heap.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

I'm with you, man! I do have doubts now that they will actually use that music. I don't see how, in spite of the Holy Father's stance on tradition, that his M.C. Mon. Guido Marini would allow that to be used.

I can't wait to see what happens.