Monday, January 29, 2007

Some good things mentioned in the comments below. Let me now ask a couple of highly specific music questions:

I like chant, and I agree with the idea that chant is supposed to be given primacy of place. But chant is not something most kids intuitively respond to, especially given that they've been exposed to very little of it, if any at all, in their lives. Does anyone have any specific experience with re-introducing chant into a parish, especially in youth Masses?

This past Sunday's readings included St. Paul's line about "putting away childish things," which struck me an almost physical blow. We are teaching children to put away childish things, but we are also trying to balance that against the fact that Christ said the kids do a better job approaching him than we do. Set aside hymns with obviously problematical theology, and even setting aside non-problematical but still objectionable hymns which place the Congregation's focus on itself ("Gather us in," which I also heard this weekend, and songs of that ilk.) Idon't like those hymns and I won't tolerate them in the areas that I have control over. But what about aesthetics? Take a cheesy little number like "Sing a new song" or "You are near." The texts of those are derived from psalms, and the music appeals to the young ear. Are there other textually sound hymns that you have epxerienced, that appeal to children without grating on adults? We're in the "Barney" era of children's music, remember, and saying it *should* be otherwise may be true, but is unhelpful at this stage.

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