Saturday, April 21, 2012

Music for Private Devotion, Not Liturgy

There are two errors people make concerning popular religious music: 1) the belief that it represents something revolutionary and new in modern times, 2) the perception that it poses a serious threat to liturgical worship.

Neither is true. Devotional music is as old as the faith itself. It is not a problem in any sense provided that people do not mix it up with liturgical music, which is always tied to the liturgical text. The great problem of our time is that people have mixed this up, and terribly so. Somehow we need to find our way back to the liturgical text so that we can put devotional music in its proper place.

There are new attempts to recover devotional music from the Renaissance past and put it on display. Here is a fabulous example.