In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q: A musician commented that the Church has a long history of liturgical music and commented that we have been stuck for the past 50 years with “tunes” that were commissioned in the 1970’s. What I see today is more and more badly done chant.

I think that the problem with the really great classical liturgical music is that it is what I would call “performance” music rather than participatory music. The Second Vatican Council called us to full, conscious, active participation in the liturgy. To me, that means we should be singing. There are some very skilled liturgical musicians who have written really good pieces that invite the participation of the assembly. Perhaps that is not the music with which your questioner has problems.


A: Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I agree – Not all music is sung well, yet there is some fine congregational music out there.