One Catholic, who did not want to trash his parish, says he finds more sustenance these days sneaking off to the old Latin Mass. This isn’t because he’s a traditionalist, but because of its quiet and almost mystical aesthetic: lots of bells, lots of incense, no “awful” hymns badly sung but gorgeous Latin chants instead.
Something not of the everyday variety. Exactly the opposite. It’s a pastoral consideration that escaped post-Vatican 2 liturgy change agents.
Bad music – and bad singers leading the singing – was a frequent young Catholic complaint. One complainer, understanding how superficial that sounds, told me that bad music for him turns what’s supposed to be a sacred time into a [cringe-producing] endurance test.
It’s downright embarrassing [for him] when the cringeworthiness takes place at a Catholic funeral and he’s surrounded by non-Catholic friends.
My position is, in addition to the almost guaranteed mediocrity as above — substituting such marvels as “Amazing Grace” and “An Irish Lullaby” (what Barry Fitzgerald sang to his mother in “Going My Way”) for church music that survived the ages — you have performers, clerical and otherwise, who are too often not up to the challenge.
Big problem here. The stone-for-bread business is Scriptural, I must add: “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” from Matthew 7.9.