Tag Archive for music

‘Aesthetic Witnesses’: Using
Beauty to Build the Kingdom

“Art must make perceptible, and as far as possible attractive, the world of the spirit, of the invisible, of God.” – Pope Saint John Paul II The quote above is taken from Pope John Paul II’s “Letter to Artists,” published on Easter Sunday in 1999. I’ve been reflecting on that letter in terms of the saint’s call, beginning in the late 1970s, for a new evangelization, and also in the context of young Karol Wojtyla’s cultural resistance efforts with the Rhapsodic Theater during the period of Nazi control of Poland. The more I reflect, the more convinced I become that

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More Musical Mayhem

Given the fun we’ve had to date discussing the good, the bad, and the ugly of liturgical music , I thought I’d share this two “top 10” lists from First Things: Are These the Ten Worst Hymns of All Time? Are These the Ten Best Hymns of All Time? What do you think? I like the hymns on the “Best” list, although like some of the commentators, I truly wish “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” had made the cut — and I have to admit a soft spot for songs like “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art.” On the

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I Don’t WANT to Hug Jesus.

This weekend, my wife and I had a discussion that may reflect a challenge facing the Church in the West.  It began with a conversation about what I consider one of the most dreadful scourges of Catholicism today – contemporary Christian worship music (I know some disagree). At some point in our exchange, I mentioned that I did not want to hug Jesus.  My wife’s head shot back and her eyes widened.  Her look, some strange admixture of shock, hurt, and fear, had me concerned and perplexed for a moment. I wondered if I had maybe misspoke and by mistake said something deeply hurtful

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Sounds of Silence

“We respond, by singing and praying to the God who addresses us, but the greater mystery, surpassing all words, summons us to silence. It must, of course, be a silence with content, not just the absence of speech and action. We should expect the liturgy to give us a positive stillness that will restore us.” Cardinal Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy This past Sunday at Mass, while trying to focus on my after-Communion thanksgiving and having to endure a third Communion song, it struck me – what is wrong with silence?  Yes – the Mass is a communal Divine worship liturgy

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Your Voice Is a Gift From God…Give It Back!

In honor of our fearless leader and his insights into liturgical music, I share a bit of humor from First Things: “Catholics Don’t Sing Like Lutherans.”  Follow the links in the article, too, if you have time. Educational and entertaining! Perhaps the writer is right about the differences between German Lutherans and Irish Catholics — but what of German Catholics? And perhaps the spirit of Irish singing isn’t out of place among Catholics, even if it doesn’t belong in Church. Says Chesterton: “Once men sang together round a table in chorus; now one man sings alone, for the absurd reason

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