The Beauty of Sacred Music

As one who grew up not knowing the beauty of sacred music in the Catholic Liturgy, this new CD by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles, gives me great hope that sacred music is on the rise again in the Catholic Church.

We have been held captive far to long by poorly written Catholic “hymns” from the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s. Many of these songs give us an incomplete understanding of theology. Yes, theology is professed in many of the classical Catholic hymns before this time period and throughout the history of sacred music in the Church.

Furthermore, the influx of Protestant music into Holy Mass has also been a troubling occurrence since the early 1990’s. Many of these contemporary Protestant songs are great for praise and worship services, but have no place in the Catholic Liturgy. I find that so many of these songs differ in their theological understanding to the theology found in the Catholic Church (that’s an entirely different blog post).  The Catholic tradition is full of beautiful hymns – we need to sing them in Mass!

I recently came upon the beautiful voices of these religious sisters and I must say it’s as if angels are singing. You have to hear this and order their CD immediately! De Montfort Music is releasing this CD for purchase on their website or at Amazon.com. You can also purchase the CD via ITunes.

I would encourage you to support these religious sisters by purchasing their CD – Advent at Ephesus, support their convent and way of life, and follow De Montfort Music on Facebook and Twitter. I would also encourage you to forward this information to your Pastor and Director of Music and Liturgy. As Catholics, we must rise up, with these brilliant religious sisters (and others), and bring back the beauty of sacred music that for the past 30 years has been kept hidden in the dark recesses of parish office file cabinets and basements.

4 thoughts on “The Beauty of Sacred Music

  1. Great post and to my surprise, totally agree.

    Well, I didn’t just come to this today, reading your post. In my new position I have been thinking a great deal about how the Mass impacts people, why they don’t connect to it, why they don’t know what is going on up front and I’ve been looking for resources specifically about music at Mass.

    I get turned off by the “Latin will save the Mass” crowd because VatII gave us the vernacular for a reason. Neither am I one who thinks we should look back and have Mass “like they did back then, when they had reverence”. Did they? With all the smells and bells, did they? Then why the need for Vatican II?

    I digress. What I DO believe (but not sure where to go to get back up on this) is that Beauty saves. Even pagans can be drawn to the be drawn to the beautiful. It’s how God created us, to be ordered towards Him and He is Beauty. My hope in the New Evangelization is that we find new ardors to bring that beauty to the Mass-particularly in Music. We have a music minister who has been here for 25 years and calls 70’s music the “oldies but goodies”. Yeah… no. I have yet to hear a HYMN, a real hymn at any of the Masses. But maybe current Hymns (ie Music worthy of the Mass) are waiting to be written, too. 🙂

    Thanks for the post. Totally agree. PS I’ll have to listen to the good Sisters later. I’m listening to Bach right now. That is a composer who knew good music!

  2. Hey Tom – thanks for sharing! I see that you wrote this a year ago, yet, still very relevant. Sacred Music is a topic that I am particularly passionate about. Sacred Music is not one house in a neighborhood, but rather the all-encompassing force that holds the neighborhood together. Unfortunately, whenever music is debated at the parish level, I only hear the, “Song and Spirit” folks debate it from the perspective of pure emotionalism. They fail to recognize that sacred music better expresses the words and actions of the liturgy.

    Also from the perspective of a youth minister, I find myself fighting alone when it comes to this debate. The youth ministry world thinks that we need music that teens can “relate” too. However, on several occasions, I’ve taken my teens to Our Lady of Solitude Monastery or St. Simon and Jude Cathedral, and they find themselves drawn to music as it helps them participate in the liturgy.

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