Saturday, October 25, 2014

Renewing the Church

Finally, I firmly believe that the restoration, renewal, reinvigoration, restitution of our sacred liturgical worship is the sine qua non which must accompany, if not precede, every other initiative that we undertake in the Church at every possible level, whether in the parish, in the diocese, in the nation, or in the Roman Curia.  For the family home, which is the domestic Church, the daily common prayer of the Rosary – with specific intentions for the good of bishops and priests, renewal of our sacred worship, safety from harm of disease and the attacks of debased movements – can be the mortar which holds fast the foundation of the Church.  We are the Church’s living stones.  We must play our role in the building and the defense of the Church.  When Nehemiah set about to rebuild the walls of the city, the workers wore their swords in case of attack.  Let your Rosaries be your sword and your trowel.

I think there is a huge need for great music in our churches. As well-intentioned as Matt Maher may be, I don't think his music deserves a place in the liturgy of the Mass.  What we really need is music that will help to create an atmostphere of reverence and the sense that something holy is going on. 

I recall as a child being awestruck, and I do mean awestruck, by music in my church. I loved going to the special celebrations of Christmas, Easter, Good Friday to hear the glorious singing from the childrens' and the adult choirs. You could lose yourself in that music. And in a building in which the sound reverberated without the use of any sound system, the effect was something else. As a small child, I could sense the beauty that was in the liturgy even before I had any idea what was going on in the liturgy.

This is what we need now. All the music and liturgical changes since Vatican II have not brought people back to church or helped to renew their faith; the opposite is true - they are leaving in even greater numbers. But I dare to suggest that, give the congregation some glorious music to listen to in church, and they will come back. Perhaps they are only coming for the music, but if the music is selected in order to build faith, we will see changes begin to happen. 

Mass is essentially about the Eucharist. You could leave everything else out, and you would be left with the Consecration of the Body and Blood of Christ, and that would be sufficient. So our liturgies should all be directed to that one end: helping people to recognize what is happening during the Consecration. We will see faith growing by leaps and bounds if we do that.

Let's begin with some really sacred music. 

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