Tra le Sollecitudini
“Today Our attention is directed to one of the most common of them (abuses), one of the most difficult to eradicate, and the existence of which is sometimes to be deplored in places where everything else is deserving of the highest praise; the beauty and sumptuousness of the temple, the splendor and the accurate performance of the ceremonies, the attendance of the clergy, the gravity and piety of the officiating ministers. Such is the abuse affecting sacred chant and music.”- St. Pius X, Pope
And today, it is with a high degree of certainty that it can be said that the abuse of sacred chant and music is more prevalent than ever and that “the beauty and sumptuousness of the temple, the splendor and the accurate performance of the ceremonies, the attendance of the clergy, the gravity and piety of the officiating ministers” have also gone the way of sacred music.
Performance mentality, “presentation” type music, and profane repertoire have totally inundated the local Catholic church music scene. And this is with the blessings of the bishop, the clergy and liturgical ministers who consider it their duty to “entertain” the congregation and advance the misunderstood concept of “full, conscious and active participation” with a near total abandonment of the concept of liturgy as worship, expiation, petition and thanksgiving directed to God and instead have made it a social event, the success of which is judged by the number of smiling faces and homiletic wisecracks.