9 responses to “The Power of Beautiful Sacred Music”

  1. Andy
    Great report. I would like to Tweet it but don’t see a button to do so on your blog. I will just tweet the link.
  2. The Hellenic Origins of Church Music | Big Pulpit
    [...] The Power of Beautiful Sacred Music – Ben Yanke, Ordinary to the Extraordinary [...]
  3. Janet O'Connor
    This is actually what the Second Vatican Council called for in the document on the Liturgy if you take the time to read it carefully.(I doubt that even happened for many decades) that it clearly says “Latin is to be retained for certain parts for the faithful to respond to and it also talks about what he just hear ORGAN POLYPHONY and GREGORIAN CHANT. It did not called for “folk” or guitar Masses or worse yet bongo drums or even electric guitars. The so called “liturgists” decided against the wishes of Venerable Pope Paul VI to do all of these innovations. In my parish in the middle 1970′s we had the folk Masses which I liked as a teenager but as a became a adult the “novelty” wore off. Thank God that things are starting to improve under the current Pope has been trying to gently and gradually guide us to. Only in the last few years since 2007 have we have all seen this switch from the Banal to the Beautiful.
  4. NickD
    I don’t know where to find the recording: am I just being inrorant? I’m on my iPod Touch, so that might have something to do with it…
  5. NickD
    Oh, that link wasn’t there before… That’s embarassing
  6. NickD
    Ok, the link keeps showin up and disappearing. Weird
  7. Brian Durham
    Ah, Sacred music! Coming from an Eastern Catholic, I have to say- I don’t care how much the Orthodox like to complain about organs! There’s nothing like church-vibrating organ music with a decent choir. However, in some Latin parishes I just wish they would switch to Byzantine chant already because they can’t do Gregorian.
  8. tomboysuze
    Beautifully written, Ben. I’ll be sure to pass your post onto a few of my friends who sing with the Shrine Choir. They will be pleased to know that their hard work was so inspiring to you. They truly live for their work. Thanks for sharing your experience.
  9. Jerome Peterson
    I’m happy that the National Shrine astounded and satisfied so well the quite natural longing for heavenly spheres. Yes, they pay their people well, they find the best musicians and singers out there, they have the time to rehearse..
    Then, back to Podunkville and a cha-cha Gloria, a waltzing Entrance, and the local piano teacher’s interpretation of Eagles’s Wings. Something missing here all right: Million dollar budgets, a top flight conservatory down the road, a long tradition and expectation to have only the best.
    What generally happens to parishes that toss out the OLP hymnal and their electronic keyboards? They buy other books, not by Palestrina, Byrd, Ockeghem, Schutz, but by “new” composers who post a great part of their output for free download. The choirs struggle to get thru the dissonances, sky-high soprano parts, counterpuntal lines that can’t be heard, and constant splitting of the choir into eight or more voices. After many humiliating rehearsals, the director realizes the resources just aren’t there, and falls back to standard pre-Vatican II fare: four-square hymns, chant “like” propers, easy innocuous Ordinaries, a constant stream of Ave Marias and Ave Verum Corpuses for soloist and/or small choir, extended organ noodling, et voila! a way to carry on has been achieved, and the congregation is no more inspired or enlightened than they were when Schutte and Haas were on the docket every week. My liberal bias: at least before the congregation could sense that they were part of the goings-on; now they have to cede to their “ministers” who are not better trained or knowledgeable but certainly more ambitious and confident, to do it all for them. Ennui reigns again, because aspiring for the transcendant collided face first with ordinary skills and everyday pettiness.

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