Monday, July 22, 2002

Steve Schultz at Catholic Light thinks that "pedestrian" music at Mass is a problem, and bishops ought to do something about it.

I disagree. At Mass, we celebrate the miracle of the ordinary or pedestrian becoming sacred. The ordinary bread and wine become the Body and Blood of Jesus. It is not we who make the offering perfect, but God. We do not insist that wine be of the finest vintage, and that the bread from the best bakery. We use the blandest, most "pedestrian" bread imaginable, and we rightly complain when some parishes find it neccesary to sweeten it up.

So to say that certain songs aren't fit for Mass because they are "pedestrian" is to forget what it is we're doing. If a song is promoting a backwards theology, then perhaps it shouldn't be used. But I found it telling that that the best example they could come up with for this was in the rarely sung fourth verse of Haugen's "Gather Us In."

Schultz goes on to write, "It is not about "fellowshipping" or singing about how great we are. It is the perpetual sacrifice of Christ re-presented to the Father. It is the prayer of God the Son to God the Father."

Yes and no. The Mass isn't just fellowship, and any efforts to make it such are wrong. But Christ comes to us in sharing a meal, which is a cultural sign of fellowship, so it's appropriate that it be part of what we do at Mass. When one reads the Acts of the Apostles, you can see how important fellowship was to the early Church, and how that intermingled into their prayer life, and the "breaking of the bread."

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