Saturday, April 19, 2008

Enthused by the Banal

I just heard a well-intentioned caller on EWTN describe the experience of her Montessori class watching the Papal Mass in DC. The children were crowded 'round a computer, she tells us, and rather bored...until they heard a Marty Haugen song that was familiar to them. She marveled with the class, and reinforced to the children how "Catholic" it was to hear this familiar song.

I wanted to cry. Imagine growing up thinking that this is Catholic music, and having that idea reinforced by a teacher.

Fact (paraphrased from one of Libby's college application essays--she directs the children's choir; she knows what she is talking about): It is just as easy to teach a child to sing "Agnus Dei" as it is to teach him "Gather Us In." Maybe...easier. Why compromise? Can our Catholic children only understand the latter? As for the former, it only takes a second for a child to realize that this is the familiar "Lamb of God." Why not give our children real Catholic music?

Interested? Just a little?

Via (<- Latin word alert!!) Facebook, I found this group of dedicated Catholics:

Society for a Moratorium on the Music of
Marty Haugen and David Haas


Elizabeth Foss said...

I must have said a dozen times during that Mass, "MacBeth is cringing..."

MacBeth Derham said...

The Pope also has opinions on music.

:) I can just imagine what was going on in His Holiness' mind.

Actually, I think there was an interesting Tantum Ergo on some traditional flute instrument, but I was in the car, listening on the radio, so it was hard to hear. It sounded primitive, yet sacred--a fascinating combination.

Mark and Lisa said...

We were listening in the van in an area where we frequently lose the Catholic station and, when the first really cringe-worthy music started, we thought for a brief, hopeful moment that we must've lost the Mass' feed and picked up some other station. Although that was not the case, we listened till we had to leave the car, which was before the end of Mass, so we don't know if things got better or worse. We did hear Father Neuhaus' somewhat dry (and snarky, I suppose) comment about the planners' apparent unfamiliarity with the Holy Father's opinions on music in liturgy, which caused us to chuckle because we'd just said the same (snarky) thing.