I like to return to the subject of bad music in the Church periodically. I think it is a symptom of the post Vatican II “identity crisis” of the human portion of the Church. We no longer know who we are, what we should do or where we are going, and our music reflects this lost, aimless attitude by endlessly playing the most banal music in the history of the Church, as if to make certain that we receive no hint of inspiration to lead us out of our spiritual morass.
What is the Catholic hymn you hate the most? (I know, I know there are so many choices!) For me it is hands down Sing a New Song by ex-Jesuit Dan Schutte, a founding member of the Saint Louis Jesuits, the group responsible for writing more truly wretched music than any other organization in the history of Man. A miserable piece of doggerel that has been played to death at Masses since it fell from Schutte’s pen in 1972. Ah the seventies! One more crime for that kidney stone of a decade!
Why is Catholic music at Mass so bad when we have such a magnificent musical heritage?
The short answer is that the Church in this country and much of the West has undergone a musical “Babylonian Captivity” by some Catholics who came of age in the Sixties and the Seventies and are intent on their banal gibberish being almost the only music heard at Mass. This is all part of a let’s pretend movement by the same Catholics that the Church came into being at the end of Vatican II and everything else is to be discarded and rammed down the memory hole. Vatican II uber alles and everything else about the Church can go to Hell.
I used to think that time would take care of this problem, if not good taste. With the advent of Pope Francis, I am not so sure, at least short term. (Our consolation is that in Purgatory and of course in Heaven there are doubtless magnificent hymns to sign. In Hell, I am sure, more than a few of the hymns currently endlessly recycled will doubtless resound to add to the horrors of the damned, perhaps with slightly modified lyrics!)
Well here is your chance. Name the hymn you hate the most, the one that sets your teeth grinding when you see it on the hymn list for Mass.