CDCN Positive Proposal #2: Children

Bringing children into a liturgical discussion is a good idea. Let’s read from the concerned musicians:

2. It is necessary that the education to good taste in music and liturgy start with children. Often educators without musical training believe that children cannot appreciate the beauty of true art. This is far from the truth.

“Far from the truth” is true on both counts. I don’t think educators always understand the liturgy. But rare is the experienced teacher who discounts art in the broad sense. I suspect that children lack pretensions in art, and that they are easily able to recognize quality regardless of genre. There is nothing inherently superior about plainchant and polyphony over other artistic forms–romanticism, jazz, spirituals, etc.. Each has their unique appeal. That’s something to celebrate, not suspect.

Using a pedagogy that will help them approach the beauty of the liturgy, children will be formed in a way that will fortify their strength, because they will be offered nourishing spiritual bread and not the apparently tasty but unhealthy food of industrial origin (as when “Masses for children” feature pop-inspired music).

This is an unfortunate and vapid expression. I get the “industrial” reference, but as inside lingo, it says nothing about the true state of church music publishing. One might argue against certain genres, songs, or the personal background of composers and publishing organs. But most liturgical music for sale has been composed by church musicians working in parishes. Much is time-tested before it goes to print. One can say more accurately that most music published is the fruit of hunter-gatherers, not really an unfortunate industrial revolution.

We notice through personal experience that when children are exposed to these repertoires they come to appreciate them and develop a deeper connection with the Church.

Children appreciate good music well done. The connection to the Church is nice. But the foremost consideration is a connection to Jesus Christ.

The full document may be found here.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Cantate Domino Canticum Novum, Liturgical Music. Bookmark the permalink.

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