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Pope banning contemporary worship

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  • Pope banning contemporary worship

    I am curious to hear how my catholic brothers and sisters feel about a recent article from the London Tlegraph. Being a lifelong protestant I don't understand the role the Pope plays in these decisions.

    I love traditional hymns and use them along with contemporary pieces. I see them all as communication tools that God has given us to reach His people.

    This slant makes be think the Roman Catholic church sees no value in contemporary creative works.

    Is the article accurate?


  • #2
    biting my tongue...

    Practical Worship

    Please Pray For My Wife


    • #3
      joining you...

      -El Ben


      • #4
        I would hate it if that were true. No matter what any of us may think of the Catholic Church, I know that there are true believers within it who have a desire to see worship renewal take hold. This could be a major setback for those who are working to help Catholic worshipers rediscover the roots their faith and make it relevant.

        If that movement is quelled I'm afraid we'll begin to see the church going the way that it already has in much of Europe, where it is important mostly to those of the older generation and holds nothing for the younger. As a result many great church buildings and cathedrals are now simply museums and it's only getting worse.


        • #5
          wow ... I mean ... wow.
          Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
          blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

          Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:


          • #6
            The next generation of choir directors have been charged by the Pope with the task of reintroducing beautiful music into church. If they succeed, then at long last the pews may begin to fill up again.
            From the accompanying article: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main...0/wpope220.xml

            This is almost ludicrous to me. Now granted I do understand that there is a general trend among younger generations to pursue more ancient liturgical expressions at times, and this is a good thing. BUT, I find it almost absurd to think that a return to Gregorian Chant is going to "fill up the pews"...especially in Europe.

            From my understanding, it's the european churches (Catholic included) that have seen such a huge mass exodus of it's younger generations leaving many an empty cathedral.

            I love chant and ancient music in general, I think it has it's place. But replacing ALL liturgical music with Gregorian chant and "Baroque" style music seems a bit closed-minded.

            I don't think the problem with "empty pews" in the Catholic church is primarily based on music selection anyways. In fact, I'd venture to guess that it's NOT the primary problem in ANY church. The problem is authenticity and relevance...or better said, the lack of those.

            Most of the "ancient" denominations have remained relevant to older generations, while neglecting the needs of the younger. It's usually the reason we see new works spring up. There's a generation of older folks who are content and pretty inwardly focused while a generation of younger folks are not being reached. Some passionate wild person has the gumption to begin to try and reach the younger generations and is quickly given the right boot of fellowship. So they launch out on their own and a new work is born...

            Fast forward a decade or two...

            The new work becomes established, becomes the old folks and the cycle begins again...
            Last edited by russhutto; 11-26-2007, 01:01 PM.
            Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church .He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community.


            • #7
              Originally posted by blindeyesopen View Post

              This is almost ludicrous to me.
              consider who is saying those things and his beliefs about the Bible, the church, and his "position" and it really makes a lot of sense.

              (my tongue was starting to hurt...)

              Practical Worship

              Please Pray For My Wife


              • #8
                I'd really like to know what he means by this:

                Originally posted by crazy pope guy
                "How far we are from the true spirit of sacred music. How can we stand it that such a wave of inconsistent, arrogant and ridiculous profanities have so easily gained a stamp of approval in our celebrations?" he said.
                Inconsistent, arrogant and ridiculous profanities? Those are strong words no matter what topic you are addressing.


                • #9
                  The whole issue seems a bit extreme to me, but then a lot of things about papal tradition seem a bit extreme. Pope Benedict was supposed to be a breath of fresh air into Catholicism.

                  I'm not sure just exactly what the implications of this decision are, but I would like to see a little more of the logic behind it (if such logic exists).


                  • #10
                    Glad I'm not completely off-base

                    I see my role is a communicator primarily, and a coach as a very close second. My desire is to bring the congregation into an intimate place with God through music and spoken word - getting them to participate and accept the invitation can be challenging. You have to speak to them in their language. Once the connection is made the heart of the individual is penetrated much deeper.

                    We have not yet played a catholic church for worship, but in the open engagements we have had the catholics have received us quite well. We mix things up between contemporary and what is traditional for protestants (Fanny Crosby was a popular writer for her day - and she's traditional, right?).

                    I think I agree that this is a step backward for the RCC. I hope it doesn't go too far, the time is far too short.


                    • #11
                      That baffles me. God truly 'brought me to Him' in part by using contemporary Christian music to soften my hardened heart.

                      By the way, I grew up going to a Catholic church & school, though I'm not at a Catholic church now & haven't been since high school). Of course, now that I am truly saved & understand, I hear the words of both hymns & contemporary music in a totally different way!


                      • #12
                        I don't claim to know a whole lot about anything, so maybe I should chime in here. But I have to say that at one time, even Baroque music was considered to be blasphemous and too intricate as to possibly be pleasing to the Father. I don't want to knock anyone's style of music, but surely my heartfelt worship with contemporary styles is just as acceptable to the Lord as their heartfelt worship with Gregorian chants.

                        A very dear friend of mine is a Jehovahs Witness. She and I have had the debate regarding what constitutes "heartfelt" worship. She says that our music is too worried about appearances and "connecting with the people" to really be heartfelt. She says that God hasn't changed, so the music shouldn't either. I say, "what?!" Another thing I say is that God gave me a Friday night kinda voice for a reason and it's to glorify His name. That kind of voice doesn't do well with chants. I can't imagine bottling up my heart to fit into a chant.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ohsohappy6 View Post
                          A very dear friend of mine is a Jehovahs Witness. She and I have had the debate regarding what constitutes "heartfelt" worship. She says that our music is too worried about appearances and "connecting with the people" to really be heartfelt. She says that God hasn't changed, so the music shouldn't either. I say, "what?!"
                          ummm.... You might as well have been debating with an atheist...

                          And, if she says that God hasn't changed, she's gotta have some SERIOUS issues with her own beliefs...


                          Practical Worship

                          Please Pray For My Wife


                          • #14
                            I know this is an old thread, but I'm new here, so let me breath some life into it.

                            A little background: I was raised Catholic and was a very active, practicing Catholic until I was in my 30s.

                            There is a solemnness about a Catholic Mass that is difficult for a lot of Protestants to understand, even those from liturgical denominations. So the idea of a folk mass or a contemporary music mass is an issue deep to the core of the Catholic experience. Many Catholics feel that the church swung too far to the liberal in the years following Vatican II. This is not just present in the Mass, but in everyday Catholic life. The Mass is said in vernacular, the religious have stopped wearing their habits, even priests dress casually. No one goes to Vespers anymore, and few know any Latin at all. The church is a very different place from even thirty years ago, and on another planet from fifty years ago.

                            Many Catholics feel (and I believe correctly) that this is the reason they continue to lose people. Young Catholics are embracing the traditional. The crazier the world gets, the more comfort they find in traditional values. It's like being in a strange land and coming across a McDonalds. A Big Mac is a Big Mac everywhere. (except in France where it's a Royale with cheese.)

                            Even myself, as a born-again, evangelical, charasmatic Christian can still find joy and comfort in a traditional High Mass or Tridentine Mass. There is something warming and uniquely sacred about it. I think this is what the Pope is trying to capture. He is a hard-line traditionalist, and I think observers will see the Church swing back toward some of the pre-Vatican II traditions.

                            I think he is also making a move toward excellence in church music, which is what we all strive for, no?

                            I recently wrote a blog post that touched on some of these issues, if anyone is interested.



                            • #15
                              We have to understand the fundamental differences in the structure of between the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Church.

                              The RCC is based on tradition and that goes back to the point where the Church IS the power. In a nutshell, it is a class system. God speaks to those He has chosen to run the church and they tell their congregations what He has said. This system stems back to the priest class (Levities) of the Israelites.

                              Protestants believe that the power lies in God's Word and that all mankind can receive it. This belief lends to a much more open concept of worship as well a more freedom to express love for God. There are degrees of separation within the Protestant movement concerning how freely one can take God's Word. The denominational divides are based on these interpretations. Each denomination is based on a distinct philosophy or interpretation of what the founder(s) believed to be the basis of Truth.

                              The real TRUTH is that one's faith is found in the connection that one has with God personally and that it is this personal relationship with God that will pull you through regardless of your religious affiliation.

                              Contemporary music frightens uber traditionalists because it addresses God's love. This is not the traditional way we see God in our Hymnals. If you look at our traditional hymns God and Christ are spoken of with reverence and generally in a very manly, or masculine way. Songs speak of the Blood or soldiering. Trusting and obeying... It is all geared to a society to which the church maintained a strict control over the congregation.

                              We are moving away from that today. People want to hear how God is relevant to there lives. That means that our Scripture lessons AND our music has to sometimes reflect what is going on in there day to day. That is hard to express sometimes with Onward Christian Soldier.

                              I respect the Pope's academic intellect. He is sequestered behind palace walls surrounded by other academic, religious old men. He is not really in touch with the world around him and that makes what he says about today's music pointless. He does not have a finger on the pulse of the world because he does not participate in the world. I imagine that some of his lowest priests in the ghetto districts could instruct him on the benefits of making the message relevant. He probably would never listen. That is the price that one pays when one climbs up top a tall pedestal and then people take away the ladder... You can never climb down to the real people anymore... You just have to wait until God knocks you off.