Skip to comments.A model for revitalizing Catholic parish life
Posted on 09/23/2004 5:56:29 PM PDT by AskStPhilomena
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Thank you for posting this! St. John Cantius Parish is well known for the positive role model of an active parish that it is.
But I can't resist commenting on Dan Schutte. What you posted here is of great interest and truth.
Yes, his music is archtypal of the crapola which we are tortured with each Sunday in most churches.
Now what is even more perplexing is not the realization that there are too many gay music directors in parishes; it is that Schutte's music is so beloved among them long before his sexuality became grist for the rumor mill.
This proves two important points:
1) good taste is not the exclusive province of gay people. As a matter of fact, and quick peek in the door of a gay bar, or at the tv program "Queer eye for the Straight Guy", or the Christopher Lowell show tells it all. All too frequently they ain't got no class. And the blatent emotional immaturity doesn't help much either!
2) My oft repeated claim of gay code words which lace the texts of the works of Schutte and his ilk. I would have to conclude that this is a great part of their appeal to all the gay clergy and music directors. Like a dog whistle that they can hear and we can't!
"My oft repeated claim of gay code words which lace the texts of the works of Schutte and his ilk."
I guess I've missed it as many times as you've repeated it.
What are these words?
ok...here is a list of some of the more prominant gay code words which lace our "liturgy song":
Gifts = homosexuality itself, also AIDS (I am not kidding, in some gay circles a "gift-giver" is one who has AIDS). You can learn as much by reading even more conventional rags such as the NY Village Voice.
Diversity = another obvious gay reference.
"wounded" or "broken" = gay persons hurt by the homophobia of Catholicism.
"hopes.....dreams...visions" = that alternative lifestyles will be universally accepted unconditionally.
"justice" = can either have obvious leftist/marxist connotations, or simply be the result of "hopes/dreams/visions".
"outcast/stranger" = can either bothe refer to gay persons, or the former to gays, and the latter to non-believers.
"free" or "freedom" = can be a reference to "freedom" from rebuke, preaching, or teaching on moral matters so as to incite feelings of conscience or compunction.
These bear their meaning in and of themselves, and in conjuction with each other. But they are usually woven into a context which is subtle. Although, if you look at pieces like "Sing a New Chruch", the lyrics are blatent to the point of being frightening.
It almost makes you want to burn the missalettes!
They're only code words if YOU make them so. I find nothing objectionable in those words or phrases, if they are sung as they are written. As for the song "Here I Am, Lord", I always thought it was written from the point of view of a young man offering his life to God and His Church as a priest. Who knew otherwise?
Whatever choices Dan Schutte has made in his life now, some of the St. Louis Jesuits music is very prayerful. I've always liked their use of the Psalms as the basis of many of their songs. Yes, much of it is pedestrian, but at least it gets people used to singing, and they can be convinced to sing other BETTER music later on.
You are, of course, right, SuziQ, but those who wish to tear down the Novus Ordo know that the best way to do it is to associate it with faggotry.
In their warped, hate-addled minds, you and I are homosexuals because we attend the Novus Ordo Mass. We can't possibly be good Catholics, and are condemned to hell because of the manner of worship we choose.
There is a vileness that has come to dominate this forum from those who despise the Church, the Pope, and the Mass that you and I attend. Ignore it. Be confident that your instincts are correct; that those who would debase your worship are simply misguided fools.
"They're only code words if YOU make them so."
Not so. They are code words if the writer intended them so, or if men who suffer from SSAD are using them as such.
One bit of knowledge that I could have done without is that men who suffer from SSAD do use code words to identify themselves and each other.
As I recall, I became aware of that back in the 60s after a thoroughly puzzling (and short) conversation with a stranger about Judy Garland. "What the heck was he talking about?" I asked. He was checking to see if we also suffered from his disorder.
We may wish we were still in Kansas, but the Wicked Witch straddles his broomstick in the sky, ruby loafers never touching the ground, and peregrinates in a never-ending search for victims to drag into "the life."
"and they can be convinced to sing other BETTER music later on."
You know, there are a lot of us who bitterly resent this insistance on everybody singing. It's like the Church was highjacked by John Denver or the New Christy Minstrels gone tone-deaf.
And we had far superior music *before,* so how come we're now waiting for some pie-in-the-sky, as-yet unwritten "better music?"
So, don't sing. Really. If you're going to be bitter about, just zip it.
I didn't say I was waiting for better music to be written, only for the congregations to be open to better music when they are finally introduced to it.
I'm partial to the Oxford Hymnal and Renaissance polyphony, myself.
Hey, everybody, look at message 7.
There's one of those SSPX/Traditionalists flaming people again.
He's saying that people who disagree with him have "warped, hate-addled minds" and that they are vile, "misguided fools."
Man, it really irritates me the way those SSPX/Traditionalists are always flaming people. Thank goodness we can count on the Religion Moderator to suspend people for personal attacks.
You know, the Church was not founded at VAT II.
If today's Catholics have not been introduced to fine music, that is because their heritage was stolen from them by Modernist heretics.
When someone objects to that characterization, you think it's a personal attack.
How long is this stuff going to go on?
They're only code words if YOU make them so
Well, I am afraid that these words are in fact used as codes by their authors - and, very sadly, by certain readers with SSAD. The translation of them is not, in fact mine; it comes from a couple of authors, who are music and literary scholars. Unfortunately I do not have the sources or names to quote at the moment, as I am not at my desk.
My comments were not about Schutte specifically, nor about "Here Am I, Lord".
Actually, Schutte's text for "Here Am I , Lord" is based on Isaiah 6. This is a good basis to write a hymn.
But he bungled the words - to the point that the verses are very close to blasphemy. It is in his use of the word "I". To sing it, one is essentially saying that "I" am God. Such phrases are qualified in scripture and elsewhere by qualification: God said....the Lord said. To cite the context as a reference is insufficient: words have meaning.
Lastly, my post had nothing to do with the Novus Ordo as such. It was simply decrying a very sad reality in contemporary Catholic church music.
I happen to like "Here I am Lord" and think it would very powerful if it had the clarion ring of truth,but it doesn't.
It seems that if we sang TO God,the choir would be singing, "You're the God of wind and rain,You have felt your people's pain."Or,if we were singing ABOUT God,it would say,"He's the God of wind and rain,He has felt His people's pain".
But instead,we are singing praises and attributing power to ourselves. "I am the God of wind and rain,I have felt my people's pain". It is so wrong and affects me like squeaky chalk on a board.
Now, Sara, you stop that.
Don't you know that only "misguided fools" with "warped, hate-addled minds" damage the Religion Forum with that kind of "vileness?"
And no, those words do not constitute a personal attack.
It's perfectly acceptable to say such things about people who express proscribed beliefs.
Oh, how long will this be allowed to continue? (Vamp, vamp, swan about with back of limp wrist pressed to forehead.)
I still say reinstitute tuesday night bingo and weekly singles dances on thursdays, but what do I know?
What do you mean "re-institute"?
Aren't these practices still thriving at "Catholic" parishes around the country.
I certainly hope they are!
I was just being a wiseacre (and I am a practicing Catholic, born and raised!)
Boy! Is that ever the truth! We just recently got a new music director (she and her family have been members of our parish for many years) and, since she took over, we almost exclusively sing the "new" songs. I hate it. At least the old music director included old standards - including Latin sung during communion and sometimes other parts of the massas well. I notice many folks, like my husband and I, don't sing the new songs. I even went to the earliest Sunday Mass hoping for no music at all. But, even then, with a different organist, we had the new stuff.
It is all a symptom of far our church has fallen.
We have the lovely "raising arms to Heaven" drama to cue the parishoners to sing. The responses are constantly changing so the group is always flat. It is horrid.
My hopes for an epiphany in this parish were dashed when I attended my first Education committee meeting (thanks everyone for your help), and was told that our new pastor had a series of small stokes just before coming to us. His short term memory is lacking.
Translation, the old pastor let the women of the parish be all touchie feelie and this will continue.
The head of the commitee stated that those who were raised when Vatican II was implimented have no knowledge of what so ever of true Catholic teachings. That made me pause. I have to find a way to tell her that one of her best friends who taught my daughter's 1st grade class, told a child that the wine was not "really" Christ's blood. Help me.
Dan Schutte? Never heard of him. I never heard "Here I am Lord" either. Did he write, "On this day, oh beautiful Mother"? I really love that one.
I know. I cry during mass. It breaks my heart to see the lack of respect for Jesus in the Tabernacle. The loud talking in the 'narthex' before mass; the talking in the pews. Mom's bringing cute little books for their children to read during the Mass and the cheerios for them to munch on. My mom would have NEVER done that. NO mom would have allowed that!
I don't remember being this sickened and dismayed by these things in the past. Was I so blind to what we have lost? I don't know what woke me up, but it is hard for me to attend mass anymore and feel as if it was meaningful. And since when did Catholic Churches start to feel different from one another? At one time, you could go to any Catholic Church anywhere and you were in familiar surroundings immediately. Now, one Catholic church is different from another.
Dropping the Latin was probably the first and biggest mistake. It was the commonality of language that tied us together all over the world. Now, even that has been lost.
I feel betrayed.
We are a divided church in more ways than one.
Good point. It can certainly become a source of confusion.
The heirarchy---up to and including our ailing pope---are responsible.
Pope John Paul will owe God an explanation that will, of course, not wash. His predecessors, Like John Paul, squandered a golden opportunity to please our Maker but originated, perpetuated and allowed the evil to seep in and contaminate what our Savior left behind to comfort and guide us until the Second Coming.
The USSR helped us out by sending communist priests into seminaries begining in 1950. Then after they were firmly entrenched to do satan's work, our bishops knowingly permitted homosexuals to enter our seminaries to sinfully receive holy orders and then march off to get their hands on our children.
Many of us cry at mass, but many enjoy the social hour without a thought as to what is happening before their eyes.
I knew the VAT I church as well, and frankly there was not a lot of singing going on at my Parish, I don't know about other places. Most people don't know the difference between good music and tripe, but if they are singing in Praise to God, it doesn't really matter to them.
I've attended Latin Mass as an adult, and it doesn't hold that much fascination for me. I do like the old Latin hyms, but wouldn't want a steady diet of them. A lot of the modern music is silly to me, but others like it, and it enhances their worship of God. Isn't that what music is supposed to do? They aren't looking for hidden meanings in the words; they just sing and while doing so 'pray twice'!
Gone but not forgotten! Well done, Brian/Proud2BRC/Polycarp!
Most people don't know the difference between good music and tripe
Dont they? You have a pretty low opinion of most people, dont you?
but if they are singing in Praise to God, it doesn't really matter to them.
Its irrelevant whether it matters to them or not. What is central is whether it matters objectively, as a question of Truth.
A lot of the modern music is silly to me, but others like it, and it enhances their worship of God. Isn't that what music is supposed to do?
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, a thousand times no, that is NOT what music is supposed to do.
Music is supposed to EXALT us in a way that only great art can do.
They aren't looking for hidden meanings in the words; they just sing
I cant get over how you seem to think of most people as ignorant and mindless.
They offer the Tridentine Rite as well as Polish and Spanish masses. The homilies are always full of bold, unashamed orthodoxy.
I can't believe anyone wants to buy his music. It is unconscionable to even name his songs in public. "Here I Am, Lord," has started droning through my head just from reading this article. nooooo.
I think that Schutte wrote the best of the mmodern music, but I am sick of the same selections week after week. I wish that music directors would make a practice of mixing old hymns with new so that we have a variety of tempo, rhythm, and range.
As to Dan Schutte, I have often wondered where he is. I have asked around Milwaukee churches and no one seemed to know.
Thanks for the ping.
I belonged to a choir and never thought that the songs we sang would be from some aberrant person.
The original altarpiece, built over a 12-year period from 1477 to 1489 by the master carver of Nuremberg, Wit Stwosz, features a five-part polychromed and gilded limewood sculpture depicting the life of the Virgin Mary.
Veit Stoss. His name was Veit Stoss. Not Wit Stwosz.
Damn, the article can't even get a simple detail like his name correct. Its like calling our President, Georg Busch. Its hard to trust anything else said after that sort of error.
"Yes, much of it is pedestrian, but at least it gets people used to singing, and they can be convinced to sing other BETTER music later on."
I sing only Catholic music in church. If it has an OCP copyright, I don't trust it.
It is now "later on" and I am convinced.
"It almost makes you want to burn the missalettes!"
What do you mean "almost"!
The 11:00 Mass is the one with the pipe organ and full choir. I'm not in that choir simply because I didn't want to make the time commitment yet. I sing in the Festival Choir, which sings special Masses like the Masses for the Pastor's 40th and Associate's 25th Anniversaries of Ordination. We also sing the Christmas Midnight Mass with a brief Festival of Lessons and Carols beforehand, and Easter Mass. The organist started the Festival choir because the 11:00 Mass Choir was mostly older folks who didn't want to come out and sing Midnight Mass when our Pastor re-instated it in the mid 90's. We get a great group of folks who are there to sing because we LOVE it, and we are always told how much the music enhances peoples' enjoyment of the Mass. That's what GOOD music is supposed to do.
"I think the participation of the Faithful is important, and is forced by the Novus Ordo."
Uh, huh. Yep. On the nose. ****Forced.****
That's not something that should be forced. If a person wants to sit or kneel immoble throughout the Mass without interacting with the other parishoners, he should be free to do so.
"I disagree about the music being the central place for the Mass, it is an enhancement to Mass."
Spot on. Except, of course, that sometimes it is a detriment.
"If people are worshiping more devoutly by singing a song that is theologically correct even though it may be banal, then that is a good thing."
It's not as good as some of the other alternatives, and frankly, I'm hard put to visualize banality leading to increased devotion or deeper spirituality.
"Music had all but disappeared from regular parish masses before Vatican II."
I very much miss a twenty- to thirty-minute weekday Mass. You don't need hymns at every Mass.
"Unless it was a "high" Mass for a special occasion, such as Easter or Christmas, the standard was that NO music was offered and no hymns were sung. Add the prohibition against any hymns written by Martin Luther, and the Catholic Church was absent anything singable."
Which is exactly as it should be. The Catholic Church should not be imitating protestant services, and especially should not be singing music written by heretics.
Much better to have great music on special occasions than a steady diet of crap forced down your throat.
Brian/Proud2BRC/Polycarp, thanks for your efforts!
While I really enjoy the beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass largely due to its unshakeable reverence, a properly done Novus Ordo Mass is also beautiful. Problem is, the NO is almost never properly done.
"I agree with you otherwise, to me it is banal and a distraction, to a 17yo, it is moving, and helps him worship more deeply. I take it as penance."
Maybe I was just lucky to start playing an instrument in grade school. By the time I was in high school I knew well that the classics were a much higher form of art than pop or rock and roll. My high school and college friends were often quite put out at me for putting classical music on when they wanted garbage.
The point being that, as with so many things, the ability to appreciate great music is a matter of education and exposure. But that's perception. As a matter of objective reality, classical music is superior to pop or R&R just like a fine vintage wine is objectively superior to Boone's Farm Crawdad Hill.
"The Catholic Church should not be imitating protestant services, and especially should not be singing music written by heretics."
That would eliminate 90+% of the music in our parish.
"Problem is, the NO is almost never properly done."
That's not surprising, is it? It was conceived as a means of lessening reverence and attacking faith.
"That would eliminate 90+% of the music in our parish."
My rule, written during NO masses in an ink made from powdered molar and bloody sweat, is this:
Look at the first digit of the year in which the music was written. If it's a "2," burn it immediately.
If it's not a "2," look at the second digit. If it's a "9," burn it immediately.
If it's an "8" or lower number, then look at the author, the history, the theology, and the musical worth of the piece and make a decision.
I also think that every parish should be equipped with an automatic guitar detector that locks on to any guitar within 100 meters and targets it with at least a dozen RPGs.
It's not just an "association." The guy who wrote these songs left the priesthood to live with a homosexual partner. Those are simple facts. No one needs to create elaborate theories when the facts are in plain sight.
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