Monday, March 15, 2010


I made the unfortunate mistake of going to Mass yesterday. Well, not that going to Mass was a mistake, just that going to my parish on the 2nd Sunday of the Month was a mistake. I forgot that it was Guitar Mass Sunday.
Why our pastor allows this is beyond me. He says the Mass with reverence and class, so the music just doesn't square with it all. That type of music is for those parishes where they promote any of the many pillars of the Hippie Generation (recycling, gay rights, sex education, et al.).

My son asked, when we heard the first "twang" of the guitar, "Dad, can't we just leave and go to St. ???'s". I told him we'd just offer this up this week. But on the next 2nd Sunday, we're going somewhere else.

If anyone has tips on how to convince the pastor to put an end to this, I'd love to hear them.


Jackie said...

I got this from reading Mark Shea's blog : Music for the liturgy

There's a nifty video too!

Christina said...

It depends on how beautiful the music is on other weeks, but I know some parishes that would benefit from having ONLY ONE Sunday as a guitar mass. I could almost see it as a good way to introduce traditional music:

1st Sunday: Gregorian chant
2nd Sunday: Guitar
3rd Sunday: Classic Hymns
4th Sunday: College Rock
5th Sunday: Extraordinary Rite
6th Sunday: Clowns & Puppets

Paul Nichols said...

Somehow, I can just see that, Christina.

Fortunately, our organ music is pretty good all the other weeks. The bad thing is that on Sundays, there's only a 7 AM Mass and a 10:30 Mass, so I could avoid the 10:30 guitar fest by going to 7 AM, but I couldn't get the little ones up that early.

Old Bob said...

There is a parish in Minneapolis that has a 9:00 pm Sunday Mass which I go to when I can't get anywhere else, but I consider it a penance to go there. It's awful: a band, songs we don't know, a cantor that thinks we don't know when to respond, questionable homilies, etc. I suffer with Paul.

Paul Nichols said...

a cantor that thinks we don't know when to respond
Oh yeah, that's my favorite part - when some hippie "sings" something insipid and then says "Everyone!".

Uh, sorry, but no.

Anonymous said...

Draw a little guitar on your calendar's 2nd Sunday right now for each month. Then when you forget and come home from the guitar Mass and see the calendar drawing you will feel doubly bad. :)

A College Catholic said...

I consider myself a traditional Catholic, and I know that I attend a church that sticks closely to the teachings of the Mother Church. They have a "guitar Mass" every Sunday at 6 PM, a liturgy populated primarily by youth.

The Mass is reverent, the music is traditional but ACCOMPANIED by guitar, and I can assure you that neither my pastor nor my parish promotes gay rights or sex education. We are in favor of recycling though. As stewards of God's creation, I would think that recycling would be a good thing.

I am an 18 year old male. I am against gay marriage and sex education. I am, however, in favor of allowing a parish to use different instruments if they are employed in a manner that retains the reverence due to the sacrifice of the Mass.

I also am in favor of recycling.

Mark Davies said...

Well,Thank God St.Afra has such a wonderful Priest (Father Goesche ISPN) leading her,Only Organ music and chanting in Latin/German.I find Guitar is Good music to worship God,but Only AFTER mass.The Mass is such a holy thing that it is called by a Pope "The Highest form of Prayer",I don't know about you but I only pray in reverance LOL.

Keep up the Good Work and don't forget to keep drawing,If you can't say it with words,Draw it.

I am so Graced to have found a Church that is strictly 1962 mass,This is what I call God Bless

BTW I am going to be baptized this easter,God willing,pray for me.

Paul Nichols said...

BTW I am going to be baptized this easter,God willing,pray for me.
You're a lucky guy, Mark. Welcome to the Church!

Anonymous said...

I've been to a Marionite Rite service in my town. It's amazing. I see the Scripture incensed, hear all this ancient chant in aramaic and then guess what? Those awful Dan Schutte/Haugan/Hass hymns show up. It's like painting the Mona Lisa and then drawing a handle-bar moustache on her nose.

Paul Nichols said...


I think those who push that awful music do it in order to get rid of the reverence. I think they can't stand quiet reverence. I don't know why they just don't go find some protestant "church" and get all the hokey music they can handle.

Anonymous said...

Paul, coming from "the far side", I was one of those goofy-guitarists at mass for 33 years. It was God's Will that I finally, and through several years of discernment, quit to sit in the pew at Latin Mass.
The pastors are not the ones in general, who will end this nonsense - try speaking to the musicians; there may be those also discerning, who need a positive word and encouragement to leave the "norm".
St. Nicholas was a good choice for this cartoon! Very good. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

Adrienne I think there should be a 12 step program for church musicians. "hi I'm Tom, and I used to be a folk music singer." 8-)

I sang folk mass off and on for 3 decades. Then I actual read the Vatican II documents and read the Holy Father's book on liturgy. I also read how VII was implemented ("the Spirit of Vatican II"). I felt that I'd been had. bamboozled. That's when I jumped the fence to tradition.

After a good deal of struggle, and much help from the Holy Spirit, I was able to start a chant schola and work with the parish to implement a monthly Sunday mass with English liturgy with chanted Latin ordinary and propers. We've been singing now for two years and attendance at our mass (which is at 7:30am) has grown from 100 to 200 average.

God be praised that you attend a reverent Guitar Mass. The problem is that it is far too easy for it to become anything but reverent. Unfortunately this is largely the case at many youth masses I've seen lately.

Also, if you do some reading, you'll find out that the Guitar mass or youth mass history is anything but true to the intent of Vatican II, It was a Trojan horse to roll in many abuses that plague us to this day and bury our Catholic musical heritage.

I suggest as a good place to start any re-education effort. Loads of good reading there.