I've been perusing the blogs yesterday and today, and I notice fair few people out there are reacting to the music from yesterday's Mass in Washington. Most people are appalled, a few are for it. Some expect something to come out of it, some do not.
I didn't see the Mass, but if what most of the bloggers are saying is half true, I probably would have hated the music. This blog was begun with a purpose of speaking about music, and to engage in a dialogue with others who were also working to try and restore the traditional Catholic music to its 'pride of place'. I am no longer in any choirs for various reasons. The last one I left because I could no longer sing the narcissistic treacle the parish council demanded of us. I still can't. My preference is for the older music, although I am willing to admit some decent stuff is still being written from time to time. (I could go off on a tangent and reiterate my opinion that 90% of the music from any era was garbage, and time will separate the wheat from the chaff, etc, but I won't.)
Music is important for the Mass. It has been called the art that gives the most important contributions to the celebration of the Mass. So if the music was poorly chosen or poorly done at a Mass such as this, it would not be a good thing.
The Mass has been called the most beautiful thing this side of heaven. When done well, it is truly beautiful. When not done well, it is still the Mass, the most beautiful thing this side of heaven. If there were no liturgical abuses- and I have not seen a single claim of any- then the Mass was licit and valid, and therefore beautiful.
I know how grating bad or poor music can be, and what a distraction it can be. I have fought with this tendency many times. I will fight with it again, and probably post something completely opposite at another time. But the tendency to look to the music and rate it at Mass can be a dangerous tendency, for it leads us to be critical where we should be faithful. Even without music, there is great beauty at Mass. As Catholics, we can appreciate that.