About this blogger:
Veronica Brandt holds a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. As editor, she has produced fine publications (as well as valuable reprints) dealing with Gregorian chant, hymnody, Latin, and other subjects. These publications are distinguished on account of their tastefulness. She lives in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her husband Peter and six children.
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"Never before have men had so many time-saving devices. Yet, never before have they had so little free time. When the world unnecessarily accelerates, the Church must slow down."
— Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

If we took music seriously
published 5 July 2014 by Veronica Brandt

Soccer in Hungary OMESCHOOL SPORTS DAYS can be frustrating to watch. I’m guessing the same can be said of school sports days, but school kids are guaranteed some minimum level of training in the lead up to the event. The level of preparation amongst homeschoolers seems to vary more wildly.

I see in my kids this fatal presumption that sports that look easy should be easy when they go out and try them themselves. They don’t see the hours of practice, several times a week for years beforehand. Then when they do fail, they assume that the problem is that they just don’t have “the gift”.

There are any number of people ready to help out. Every Saturday (and Sunday) morning our local playing fields display various athletic endeavours. The local paper proudly showcases the best of our local swimmers, runners, riders, archers, shooters, boxers, martial artists as well as tennis, football, basketball, netball and cricket players. Schools announce their participation in the various athletic systems.

There are lots of people putting in an awful lot of effort into what is essentially a game.

Which brings me to music.

Let’s look at Vatican II’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 1963

115. Great importance is to be attached to the teaching and practice of music in seminaries, in the novitiates and houses of study of religious of both sexes, and also in other Catholic institutions and schools. To impart this instruction, teachers are to be carefully trained and put in charge of the teaching of sacred music.

It is desirable also to found higher institutes of sacred music whenever this can be done.

Composers and singers, especially boys, must also be given a genuine liturgical training.

116. The Church acknowledges Gregorian chant as specially suited to the Roman liturgy: therefore, other things being equal, it should be given pride of place in liturgical services.

But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded from liturgical celebrations, so long as they accord with the spirit of the liturgical action, as laid down in Art. 30.

I don’t think there is any equivalent passage recommending the importance of sports.

Is it naive to expect Catholic schools to put equivalent resources into choirs giving pride of place to Gregorian chant and second place to polyphony?

So we have volunteers putting in weeknights and weekends – which is the same for many sports too.

And every one that striveth for the mastery, refraineth himself from all things: and they indeed that they may receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible one. (1 Cor 9:25)

Hopefully we can bring more people past despair at not having “the gift” and onwards towards mastery of the treasure of sacred music which “is to be preserved and fostered with great care.” (Sacrosanctum Concilium §114)