About this blogger:
A theorist, organist, and conductor, Jeff Ostrowski holds his B.M. in Music Theory from the University of Kansas (2004), and did graduate work in Musicology. He serves as choirmaster for the new FSSP parish in Los Angeles, where he resides with his wife and children.
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“In the 17th century came the crushing blow which destroyed the beauty of all Breviary hymns. Pope Urban VIII (d. 1644) was a Humanist. In a fatal moment he saw that the hymns do not all conform to the rules of classical prosody.”
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (d. 1923)

More unites us than divides us!
published 22 April 2014 by Jeff Ostrowski

559 UNITE IRST, I’ll give the problem, then I’ll suggest a solution. A few years ago, I attended Mass at one of the rich parishes here in town. This was while Benedict was still pope. My family dressed up, and I wore a suit. The music was really troubling to me. They had guitars and drums, and while the music was performed well, it was totally inappropriate for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I couldn’t help tapping my feet.

I felt absolutely ridiculous for dressing up in coat and tie: the music made me feel like I was at a beach party. They used a projector to show the lyrics, on a big screen at the front of church, but this seemed like a waste of time, since almost nobody sang. Besides, one song was “It’s all about Jesus” repeated over and over again, so there was no need to project it on the screen.

In my heart, I believe there is a “silent majority” out there who agree that such music is not called for by our church documents. The problem is, we’re afraid to speak up and challenge anyone. More importantly, we don’t unite with one another, because musicians tend to be very “picky” people who don’t get along with one another, especially if somebody says something bad about Chopin or Beethoven or whoever our favorite composer is.

So, what can we do? I’m not sure, but I feel we should begin the process of uniting. More unites us than divides us.