Music at Church

Soutenus brings up an interesting point in her post about a praise song she heard in church this weekend.

I’ve been playing guitar in church choirs for 28 years now. With the exception of 9 of those years when I was the choir leader, I have not had the power or privilege to choose the music. And many, many times I think that what we sing is just junk…songs with “Jesus is my boyfriend” lyrics, songs with tunes that would be more appropriate in a Broadway musical, songs that have been so done to death that if I have to sing them one more time I might go nuts….and that includes some of the “new” stuff in the hymnals as much as some of the stuff that I’ve been playing these whole 28 years.


The choir that I sing with currently has been singing a particular version of the Lord’s Prayer for about 25 years. Our pastor wants the choir to increase its repertoire, which is narrow. And he has pulled the plug on the sung Lord’s Prayer.

People really like this song. No matter what else we sing at Mass, they will belt out the Lord’s Prayer far above anything else. While we’re singing that, I look around the church and more people are singing it than any other song or acclamation in the Mass.

So, OK. It’s the same one, week after week after week after week after week.

But people don’t mind that. They really love to sing it. We have had people tell us that they asked for their child to be baptized at this Mass because of that one song.

And I had one woman, whom I’ve known for years and who I’ve never known was prone to violence, grab me by the lapel of my jacket and demand to know why we were not singing the Lord’s Prayer anymore.

I basically just told her that Father told us not to sing it anymore.

And I’m failing in obedience right now by complaining about it. But I will abide by his wishes for our choir and hope that this will help me grow, in the process.

It would have helped, though, if there were a little “from-the-pulpit” teaching on why there are some different things going on in church now–musically and otherwise.

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