Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hip Hop Mass?

Vatican II document on the Mass: "The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services. But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations," (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 116)

Someone might say - ah...other sacred music is allowed!
Answer: poyphony is harmonized chant

So the Church says you can chant or harmonize chant.

On the organ: " In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church's ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man's mind to God and to higher things.  But other instruments also may be admitted for use in divine worship, with the knowledge and consent of the competent territorial authority, as laid down in Art. 22, 52, 37, and 40. This may be done, however, only on condition that the instruments are suitable, or can be made suitable, for sacred use, accord with the dignity of the temple." (SC, 120)

Guitars?  Harmonicas?:  " In permitting and using musical instruments, the culture and traditions of individual peoples must be taken into account. However, those instruments which are, by common opinion and use, suitable for secular music only, are to be altogether prohibited from every liturgical celebration and from popular devotions." (Musicam Sacram, 63)

Some would say that an instrument can be made to sound holy.  But the Church teaches above that instruments can be OBJECTIVELY UNSUITABLE to Mass.  Some people desiring or preferring an instrument be played at Mass does not in fact mean that it IS suitable for Mass.

Our music tells others what we think is going on at Mass.  Hollywood gets that - they don't play folk music when someone is giving their life for others, nor do they play blues music when the movie reaches its climax.  We need MUCH more of this if we want people to understand what we believe as Catholics when they attend our Masses:


  1. Thanks for sharing this important information and setting the record straight on this issue.

  2. The world is loud enough. I want silence, prayerful silence, unless the choir is singing or the priest is speaking, I want silence.

    Vatican II sucks ! No hip and no hop in Church ,PLEASE ! If you want that sort of thing go to a Protestant church.

  3. This one goes in the top 10 best Homilies you've ever given. I never realized how true it is that chant transcends time. Consistent with a Church that also transcends time and never changes.