I’ll Sing You a Song

While at Mass today I was thinking about how many people learned to sing at church. Now, I am not talking about singing well, but at least where you can somewhat read the music for the Hymns and follow along, knowing about how long to hold a note or whether you need to sing higher or lower.

Okay, show of hands, how many of you actually sing along? Hmm. Well I do, and I actually remember some of the words without looking at the book. I’ve been reading a lot lately about Vatican II and the changes which came to the Mass. One of these changes I remember was the addition of guitar players and other assorted musicians on the alter playing songs like “Michael, Row the Boat Ashore” and other non-traditional music.

My parish in Sturbridge, MA

Looking back now, and especially with the understanding I now have of the Mass, I realize that this really detracted from the solemnity of the Mass. While Mass is a celebration, it isn’t party. We don’t need things which detract from the reason we are there.

In my parish, we usually have a pianist, which is okay, but I have to admit there have been times when I have been tempted to slip her a twenty to do the responsorial psalm with a honky tonk beat.

2 thoughts on “I’ll Sing You a Song

  1. Francis Philip

    Interesting. I do sing along myself. But just a note: Vatican II did not officially usher in guitar music. Experimentation and, in some (perhaps many?) cases poor judgment ushered in guitar music. Please read Chapter VI of Sacrosanctum Concilium to understand Vatican II’s intent for “sacred music” beginning with paragraph #112. The important point is:

    “116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.”


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