You know when you hear a certain song and you’re instantly transported back to a specific time? And you have the feeling of being back there again?
That’s the incredible power of music … it can evoke such emotions.
When it happens, even for the most mundane memory, it’s special. I love it!
So I thought it would be fun to look into the history of music in the Catholic Church.
As I gathered resources, my list quickly grew longer than usual.
The four hymn sandwich. Yes, that’s a thing.
Then there were the complaints about changes to the music in Mass. The people leaving the church over the music. And those who said there shouldn’t be any hymns in Mass.
Instead of a lighthearted stroll down music lane, I unknowingly stepped on an ant bed.
I had no idea the music in Mass could be so controversial.
But I brushed off the ants … and pulled together the resources for this week’s issue of Genuflect, including an overview of Liturgical Music, its rich history, what makes music sacred, what Gregorian chant is, the intentions of Vatican II with music, what Antiphons are, what to do if you don’t like your church’s music, and how to handle bad singers next to you (which will come in handy if you find yourself near me!).
Hopefully by better understanding the state of Liturgical Music in the Catholic Church today we’ll have a better appreciation for all the forms of prayer during Mass and can take advantage of the power of sacred music.
And God Bless those of you involved in music ministry!
Founding Editor, Genuflect
P. S. For the latest Catholic news, be sure to check out Genuflect Daily. We hand pick the top Catholic news you care about. Subscribe to the site and submit stories you find on the internet … and upvote all your favorite stories.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted explains how we are called to sing the Mass. And to use sacred music. But this differs from religious music. What’s the difference you ask? Bishop Olmsted explains the three criteria that distinguish sacred music.
Liturgical Music as Participation in Christ | The Catholic Sun
History of Sacred Music
Bishop Olmsted is back to provide a historical look at how sacred music has evolved in the Church through the ages. And why some music was deemed as not sacred.
A Short History of Liturgical Music | The Catholic Sun
Gregorian Chant History
You may not realize it, but you sing Gregorian chant in Mass. It’s a sacred form of prayer that is special to the Catholic Church. Here’s an overview of what it is, how it’s evolved and why its popularity may be on the rise again.
A Brief History of Gregorian Chant | America Magazine
Birth of Gregorian Chant
This is the TL;DR version of how Gregorian Chant was born and came to prominence in the celebration of our Mass.
How Gregorian Chant Was Born | Aleteia
Vatican II’s Music Changes
We all know how Vatican II made sweeping changes to the Mass itself. But did you know that it also made major changes to the music in Mass? Here’s a look at three theories on the intentions behind the music changes.
What Were The Musical Intentions of Vatican II? | Catholic Culture
Our Four Hymn Sandwich
This is one of those controversial articles I mentioned in my opening. Rosanne Sullivan begins with the bold statement, “We aren’t supposed to be singing hymns exclusively or predominantly at Mass.” She goes on to explain what the four hymn sandwich is that we tend to include in Mass and what we are actually supposed to be singing instead. Judge for yourself.
Propers of The Mass vs. The Four Hymn Sandwich | Catholic Education Resource Center
Dealing With Music Changes
Jenni Groft shares her personal frustrations with dealing with music changes at her Church. You may relate to some of these same feelings. If so, Ms. Groft has laid out the 5 things she’s doing to move forward and keep her faith strong.
On Antiphons And Music in Mass | Catholc Stand
Appropriate Liturgical Music
Gene Von Son believes most Catholic churches do not include appropriate sacred music during Mass. And he makes no bones about it. He explains why he holds this belief … and also provides 3 suggestions on how to fix it.
Most ‘Praise & Worship’ Music Is Not Suitable For Mass | Catholic Stand
Hope For Liturgical Music
Adelaide Mena makes the case that though many have been concerned with the state of music at Mass for several decades now, things are getting better. And it’s a combination of our efforts to preserve the past while allowing contributions from today.
Why There’s Hope for Catholic Liturgical Music | Catholic News Agency
When You Don’t Like The Music
If you don’t particularly like the music at your Church, Mike Hayes offers advice on what you should do.
If I Don’t Like The Music at Mass, What Should I do? | Busted Halo
Bad Singers in Church
We all experience it from time to time. You’re sitting near some who can’t sing … and doesn’t seem to care or know. Jimmy Akin explains the likely reason for their singing troubles … and provides some practical advice for dealing with it.
Let’s Talk About Bad Singing in Church | National Catholic Register
Click below to download this week’s free inspirational wallpaper for your desktop and your phone. Or download one of the previous wallpapers
Please use these buttons to share this issue of Genuflect with your friends, family, and followers who may be interested. Thank you!