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 lives with his wife and two children.
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When you consider that the greatest hymns ever written—the plainchant hymns—are pushing the age of eight hundred and that the noble chorale hymn tunes of Bach date from the early eighteenth century, then what is the significance of the word “old” applied to “Mother at Thy Feet Is Kneeling”? Most of the old St. Basil hymns date from the Victorian era, particularly the 1870s and 1880s.
— Paul Hume (1956)

Stephen Colbert: “I'm Not A Fan Of Guitar Masses”
published 12 May 2015 by Jeff Ostrowski

N A RECENT ARTICLE, I made the case that upbeat Church music which is “catchy” should be performed properly. Stephen Colbert seems to agree:

I’ve never been a Colbert fan—I don’t find him funny. 1 However, I agree with him on this subject. If Church music relies heavily on rhythm and syncopation, it should be performed that way. We have an obligation to perform music properly.

Years ago, Colbert performed an animated LITURGICAL DANCE to a popular hymn—sung in Catholic churches everywhere—and his video went viral. Several people used this opportunity to exclaim, “See how wrong liturgical dance is?”  But they completely missed the point. Colbert didn’t do anything wrong; he was merely responding to a highly syncopated style of music.

I find it interesting that Stephen Colbert—a comedian—realizes that not all musical styles are appropriate for Mass; yet our hierarchy (with a few notable exceptions) won’t come near this issue. Jimmy Fallon—another comedian—recently declared that Mass has become too informal, lacking solemnity:

There’s Frisbees being thrown, there’s beach balls going around, people waving lighters, and I go, “This is too much for me.” I want the old way. I want to hang out with the—you know—with the nuns, you know, that was my favorite type of Mass…and the Grotto and just like—straight up, just—“MASS-MASS.”   (source)

Now I must stop, because I don’t want to repeat myself. We’ve already discussed how most “progressive” liturgists avoid admitting their true position. Their true position is that all musical styles are acceptable for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.


1   According to reports, Mr. Colbert teaches Sunday School Catechism classes each week, which is kind of cool.