Thursday, April 14, 2011

Someone help me

I recently volunteered to become one of the Sunday cantors at my new parish here in Wyoming.  The reason?  None of the other cantors did music that I would consider to be appropriate for the liturgy, as described in various encyclicals, council documents, and other Church documents.  I wanted to have my chance once every 5 weeks or so to introduce the congregation to some better hymns.  Anthony also signed up to join the cantor schedule, and he was assigned Palm Sunday for his first Sunday.  So, we dutifully went through the lack-lustre OCP hymnal, picking out some of the few songs that were both appropriate for church and Palm Sunday themed.  We then e-mailed our choices to the organist.  Well, guess what?  The next day we got a reply saying that at THIS parish we pick out our music from the OCP's suggestion list for that Sunday, and that in HER opinion we ought to choose "The King of Glory Comes, The Nation Rejoices."

Now, when I read this e-mail, I almost literally saw red.  I was so angry I didn't even know what to think.  First of all, the reply was just snippy-sounding.  I felt like I was being talked down to.  Second, I don't think I should have to take orders from our organist since she is Protestant.  Why should a Protestant have any kind of say over what is done in the Catholic liturgy?  Those decisions need to be left up to Catholics, who really understand what is going on and can choose appropriate music.  Third, our organist isn't even very good at playing organ.  If we're being limited in our song selection because of her inability, it's time for a new organist.  And fourth, I don't think we should be limited to the suggestion sheet put out by the OCP.  This publishing company obviously doesn't know or doesn't care about what the Church has to say on appropriate liturgical music, since the VAST majority of the stuff they put out is trite, sentimental, mushy, pop-music-sounding, and sometimes even heretical.  Almost none of it actually reflects the sacredness and seriousness of the Mass, or is beautiful in any way.  Their suggestion sheets usually reflect this trend, containing almost exclusively the afore-mentioned types of songs.  Since I'm all about worshipping God properly, the way the Church wants us to worship Him, I don't think the parish should be tied down to this awful publishing company's hymnals and suggestions sheets, just because our Protestant organist wants it that way!!

I intend to discuss this issue with our pastor, as I'm not sure if he's aware of the current situation or if that's what he wants.  I truly hope that he will permit the cantors to pick their music for themselves without regard to this organist, and that he will encourage the better type of music to be sung.  If these things aren't the case...if I would be forced to submit to the OCP and the Protestant organist...well then, bye-bye cantoring.


Blogger Yeoman said...

You might want to post a query on this on Catholic Answers in the apologist section. That way, you'd get a pretty good informed answer as to what you're looking at.

11:07 AM  

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