The music wars

Todays Style section of the Washington Post has an entertaining article on the conflicts among Catholics today with regard to the music that ought to be sung at the liturgy. Unfortunately, it divides the battle-lines between those who learned to like the kind of thing produced by the St. Louis Jesuits in the 1970s and a younger generation that wants to recover more traditional music, including Gregorian Chant. This leaves out the two or three of us who can remember how things were before the 1970s and who, while unable to romanticize and idealize the past, as if every parish had a choir of Solesmes monks, also do not think it was progress to have Palestrina replaced by Ray Repp. (I fear my Purgatory will be longer because as a brand-new priest in 1964 or 1965 I taught grammar-school children the latters "Sons of God, hear his holy word...")

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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