Better Music Makes Better Liturgy & Catechesis

Beth Griffin at Catholic News Service has this story about the state of liturgical music, the difficulty in funding good music programs, etc. (h/t Rocco.) I am not one of those who thinks we should look to the entertainment world for liturgical templates, but when someone tells me they love or hate the liturgy at their parish, their opinion is usually determined by the quality of the preaching and the quality of the music. The two can and should go together as well. One of the great contributions of the churches of the Reformation was the introduction of hymnody as a catechetical tool. A well sung hymn, in four-part harmony, can make one feel as well as learn the truths contained in the words of the hymn. Especially for our young people, music is a great catechetical tool. There are some tears that always bring tears to my eyes, and they are almost always the hymns that touch on the deep truths of our faith, God's all-surpassing love and mercy ("Love Divine, All Loves Excelling"), praise for the Trinity ("Praise to the Holiest in the Height"), the Sacraments ("At That First Eucharist" - especially the fourth stanza which is not even included in many hymnals, sadly), and the liturgical year ("O Come Divine Messiah" we shall sing the next four weeks).

The Church has spent money on worse things than improving the quality of music at Sunday Mass.  

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here