The problem with these happy-clappy songs -- one problem, anyway -- is precisely the fact that they give pleasure. Sacred music should not be ugly, of course. But it should not be an aesthetic experience for its own sake. In some protestant traditions, church music exists to be manipulate enthusiasms, to sweep the hearers along, especially with rhythm and syncopation that seek an outlet in a physical response. This is very different from what it should be doing, which is supporting prayer. The happy-clappy songs are so busy and invasive that they destroy the inner serenity and composure most of us need for genuine prayer or contemplation to exist. Furthermore, they inhibit community worship, in that they separate the able singers from those less nimble. Sacred music should be a reflection of perfect communion, in which all of us are doing the same thing.
Music that derives from secular pop models denies the sense of the sacred, implying that whatever is good enough for us in our daily lives is good enough for God. It reinforces a subtext that the Church is really about progress and change and rejection of the old and pandering to the young. It prepares the ground for liturgical novelties of every sort. It lacks the vertical dimension and thus fails to lift the mind and heart. It is a reflection of our own trash culture, reinforcing the idea that even worship is all about us. In the end, it's our own self-image that we're worshipping, our own expectations that we serve, our own appetities that we gratify. In the end, this new music boils down to self-worship.
Thanks, I agree with you for many songs. But their basic blue Glory and Praise hymnal, I didn't think those were based on popular songs. I just can't seem to picture them as anything but Church music sounding.
I agree some Churches try to get progressive music, a friend used to go to one of those Churches, and it was one of the last two Catholic Churches she went to. I think that sounds horrid. Church should be about music to sing with the Angels, sing of God's praise, and focus on God. As far as I've known, the Glory and Praise hymns did this. Maybe it is my naivity, it sure could be, as I've been raised on those hymns.
As for a singing contest, well to be perfectly honest, I guess at times I strived to be the best, but I grew up and realized that as long as you're singing with your heart, it doesn't matter, God is pleased no matter what your voice sounds like.
"But it should not be an aesthetic experience for its own sake."
Then we have nothing to fear from OCP.