Damian Thompson asks the musical question:
Would you rather listen to (a) a trendy modern hymn or (b) nails being scraped down a blackboard?
In the case of at least 95% of the "trendy modern hymns", if one would even dare call them "hymns" ("jingles that got rejected by sponsors" would be more accurate), I would pick (b) in a heartbeat.
In the Roman Catholic Church, we have the added horror of "folk Masses". They ruined my childhood — well, Sunday mornings, anyway — and now the same music is driving a new generation of young people away from church.
And, until recently, it probably kept a number of really good men from answering that call from God. Either that, or when they did go to answer that call, they were turned away from some diocesan or seminary official with a liberal agenda (I know someone who actually fell victim from the latter; he once sang in one of my former choirs). Of course, the liturgeists think this stuff is great for the kiddies. This stuff is "geared for them". That's the stuff they're expected to sing in front of everyone so that mommy and daddy can look and say, "oh, isn't that cute!" not realizing that the song itself is most likely bad all around (His banner over me is love... is a perfect example) - not only in the music, but in the words (just as much shifting focus the wrong way as badly as having the kiddies up front).
Go to a church like Holy Name (Providence) - to their 11:00 Mass (Extraordinary). You'll be surprised how many younger families go to this Mass because of its reverent atmosphere that provokes prayer, and not because "it's an art form".
These people are sick of bad music - period. They're sick of pounding pianos and twanging guitars sabotaging Holy Mass. But yet, tell that to the majority of liturgeists, musicians, and even priests, even in the most civilized of manners, and they get all pissy, like "who are you to question our judgement?" Suddenly those people wanting to restore Mass to its decently are the ones being called "arrogant". Mr. Thompson recently had the same experience with the St. Gregory Society (SSG). This society had been established in 1928, but after Vatican II it had become the UK's version of what most of NaPalM is to the US. Cry foul on bad music and they're on your arse like a ton of doo-doo. Oh, we're supposed to just grin and bear it like it was meant to be "our cross to take up." I don't think that is what Christ had in mind when he said "take up your cross".
How could I be so nasty about fellow Catholics? Well, I'm sorry to have hurt their feelings — but, frankly, many "worship leaders" don't show much concern for the feelings of parishioners who complain about being forced to sing Paul Inwood's Gathering Mass for the 32nd week running.
Or, in the US, substitute Marty Haugen's Mass of Creation for Gathering Mass. (OH GOD! First "gathering song", then "gathering rite", neither of which there is any such thing of in the Latin Rite, now a "gathering Mass"??? WTF???) Tack on All Are Welcome, Gather Us In, and other such sponsor-rejected jingles, and you get the idea.
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord," says the Psalmist. So here's my suggestion to the clergy. At the beginning of tomorrow's service, announce a complete ban on guitars in church – and listen to a great cheer go up from the pews.
How about a ban on music that was geared for guitars as well. God only knows there are many parishes out there where the organist is also expected to eat those exact same bullets.
Suffering in silence has always been a weak point for me. Truthfully, I'll be damned if I'm going to sit in silence and let such hideous music prevail at Mass. I liken it to stuff like abortion, and banning Christmas for the sake of keeping the minority happy, where so many are against these things but prefer to keep silent about them. Go ahead! Pay me a mint to shut up. Just realize that you're wasting your money.
Jeffrey Tucker (NLM) ends a post defending Mr. Thompson with this sentence:
We have reason to work to put a stop to it and put it its place the glorious music that is our true heritage.
If you REALLY want to put the "Holy" back into "Holy Mass", stick up for what is right. Don't just "shut up" because some arrogant liturgeist/musician/composer/priest tells or pays you to.
Claim your parish (and your faith) back from agenda-driven liberals!