“Mass” by Leonard Bernstein

In Paul Turner's Blog by Paul Turner

Q:  We have recently watched a marvelous recreation of “Mass” by Leonard Bernstein.

History records Jacqueline Kennedy abruptly left during the premier performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. My favorite song from this work comes right at the beginning, “A Simple Song.” I once used this song at the ending of a funeral mass for a close friend; the priest would  not allow the song to be used during the liturgy but relented for it being used after the liturgy had been completed. Your thoughts on this?


A:  The order of Christian Funerals does not give specific guidelines for music, but the Order of Celebrating Matrimony specifies that music “should be appropriate and should express the faith of the church” (30).

In my view, the words of “A Simple Song” sufficiently express the faith of the church, but the context of its origins (a stage play featuring a priest’s desecration of a monstrance, host and chalice) does not make it appropriateQ:  .