Liturgy Wars

Image by scott payne from Pixabay

I want to spend a few days pondering liturgy. The Eucharistic celebration is the “source and summit” of our faith, which to me means it is the spiritual food that strengthens us for discipleship in the real world, and it’s also the purest expression of our faith, uncomplicated by the messiness we experience outside the walls.

In theory.

Because we waste a lot of energy fighting about liturgy. My higher ed degrees are both in music performance, so I’m well steeped in classical music. But it’s contemporary music that lit me on fire and has shaped my Catholic identity as an adult.

So I react pretty strongly when people try to dismiss entire styles or instruments as “less worthy” or even “unworthy.” We all have things that speak to us more authentically and deeply than others. They’re not the same from person to person, because we are fearfully and wonderfully made, in diversity as wide as the creativity of God. We have no business trying to box in the Holy Spirit, Who inSpires across all eras, all cultures, and all artistic styles.

(This topic continues with “Unity vs. Uniformity” and “The Holy Spirit“)

2 Replies to “Liturgy Wars”

  1. I am not a fan of contemporary music in liturgy; fine if others enjoy it. I just wish parishes would set up clear guidelines that Mass X is this type of music and Mass Y is that type of music. I could then go the one at which I’m best fed as could others. Too many times the music is a mishmosh


    1. There’s a strong argument to be made that we shouldn’t be creating splinter groups within parishes. I can see it go either way. Then there are questions of crossing cultures–like, we start with an assumption that Catholic churches are white English speaking, but what about the African, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Mexican, and Central Americans within our midst? If we want to be welcoming shouldn’t we make sure their cultures are represented as well? It’s a delicate balance and, like all things that require balance, will always be a work in progress. We just have to make sure we don’t exclude people.


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