On the other hand, out of all 350 teens, none of them wrote anything negative about the Mass or it’s music on their eval forms. NONE of them, out of 350 teens. The contrast between the adults’ preferences and those of teens could not be sharper.
Now before you get the wrong image of who they were, this was not a Juventutem meeting. It was not a hall full of traditional, homeschooled teens. These were 350 average teens from all around the diocese. Very typical of teens in your confirmation programs all around the US. For lack of better words, very average.
When they filled out their evaluation forms for the weekend, they asked for more Latin, more chant, and said they can’t wait for next year so they van experience the same thing. Some even said that it was the most beautiful Mass they had been to in a long time. But the best thing? One favorite parts for many of the teens was the sacred silence. Not the (extra-liturgical) praise and worship sessions that were held during the weekend, not even the swimming, water slides, or the speakers, but the silence at the Mass and at the evening of almost three hours of adoration during which almost everyone received the sacrament of confession.
From every measure I can see, it’s not that the youth weren’t ready to receive the music proper to their rite, it’s the adults weren’t ready to hear it themselves, and were projecting their view of the world on the teens.
Next time you hear someone say that youth don’t want sacred music or beauty, or if you say it yourself, think twice. So again I ask: do teens actually want sacred music? You betcha.