Sacred Music in a Parish Church

At the risk of telling this story too many times, I once was talking to a maintenance man outside the church one Colloquium,  and he was astounded by the music. Why couldn’t his parish have beautiful music, he wondered? He was amazed and at the same time disappointed,  because his weekly experience of Mass had nothing aesthetically or reverently in common with the CMAA model of liturgy.

Here, on the other hand, is a parish that “gets it.” The amount of vision, ingenuity, and plain hard work that go into a liturgical experience like this are enormous. But does God deserve any less? Do the people of God–blue collar, white collar, children, the elderly–do their souls and imaginations thrive on the pablum so often offered at Sunday Mass?

In a time of shifting realities, perhaps one aspect of tomorrow’s “new normal” could be taking seriously the power of sacred music and a true ars celebrandi to prepare the people of God for whatever comes next, by elevating them, in every parish church.