Saturday, January 5, 2008


Sorry it's been a couple of weeks since my last post on the last dirty deed of the now-former BCL (it's now the BCDW and with much better direction).

Previous parts:
Pars prima / Pars secunda / Pars tertia
Pars quarta / Pars quinta / Pars sexta

The section we'll cover in this post is Music In Catholic Schools. The document ditties themselves, as in previous posts, will be in italics, with my own snarky remarks in regular type.

54. Catholic educational institutions have a special obligation toward music and the Sacred Liturgy. Catholic schools are called to foster the joy of singing and making music, to cultivate the repertoire of sacred music inherited from the past, to engage the creative efforts of contemporary composers and the diverse repertoires of various cultures, and to celebrate the Sacred Liturgy worthily.

It's far beyond common knowledge how badly this continues to promote such garbage as "I've got that joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart..." and other such hideous ditties you hear when it's time for the First Communion Mass (from both the Catholic schools AND the religious education programs, and how badly the line, to cultivate the repertoire of sacred music inherited from the past, gets interpreted as to cultivate the repertoire of things that the immediate predecessor has passed as sacred music.

55. Catholic grade schools and high schools, which sometimes have students from several parishes and a variety of faith traditions, should at a minimum help all of their students to become singers. Singing should be a regular part of the school day, e.g., in homeroom, in music classes, and at school assemblies. School Liturgies, while appropriate to the age level of the participants, should follow the prescriptions of nos. 110-114 in this document, and the other relevant guidelines on sacred music. Choirs should be promoted, and their ministry should be employed regularly at school Liturgies in accord with nos. 28-33. A variety of musical styles is recommended at school Liturgies, while care should be taken to include selections from the repertoire typically sung by the wider Church at Sunday Liturgies. In this way, students will be introduced to music they will sing throughout their life, and they will be better prepared for their eventual role as adult members of the worshiping assembly.

Unfortunately the "variety of musical styles" does not seem to include anything traditional in most cases. It's that "variety of musical styles" from the various talent shows (a couple of these shows come to mind from my childhood days comes to mind - Community Auditions which used to be aired in the Boston area, and on a more national level, The Ted Mack Amateur Hour -- and perhaps a movie that Jason once mentioned on one message board that pissed off that board's bigshots but had guys like me laughing: A Mighty Wind).

56. Catholic colleges and universities show that they come “from the heart of the Church” especially in their worthy celebration of the Church’s Liturgy, which should be a priority at every Catholic school. Catholic institutions of higher education should cultivate a high level of musical skill and a broad range of repertoire at campus Liturgies, and they should strive to make use of the talents of the entire academic community, especially music students and faculty, while taking care to include selections from the repertoire typically sung by the wider Church at Sunday Liturgies.

Here's where the LifeTeen and other similar ilky styles seem to come to play (and let's not forget the high school levels). That's the kind of crap that gets forced down everyone's throats and thus that's the kind of crap we're stuck with in most parishes REGULARLY!

I can't stress enough my belief that "Today's junior choir is tomorrow's senior choir". We should be passing our rich heritage to our younger singers, not some folk group or rock band pushing "sacro-pop" down the throats of our kids so they can pass it to us like a bad flu. These kids get weaned on Hi God, Gather, and Glory and Praise by pushy instructors and when they get to the adult level, that's all they know. Very few schools, and I mean VERY few, have made the effort to bring high standards of music to their students. I know of two by name - the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School (founded by the late Ted Marier) and the Madeleine Choir School (which is only 12 years old). If there are any others, I would LOVE to see them posted via combox.

Now we start to see why I refer to this document as the now former BCL's "last dirty deed".

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