About this blogger:
Dr. Lucas Tappan is a conductor and organist whose specialty is working with children. He lives in Kansas with his wife and two sons.
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The soul is distracted from that which is sung by a chant that is employed for the purpose of giving pleasure. But if the singer chant for the sake of devotion, he pays more attention to what he says, both because he lingers more thereon, and because, as Augustine remarks (Confess. x, 33), “each affection of our spirit, according to its variety, has its own appropriate measure in the voice, and singing, by some hidden correspondence wherewith it is stirred.” The same applies to the hearers, for even if some of them understand not what is sung, yet they understand why it is sung, namely, for God's glory: and this is enough to arouse their devotion.
— St. Thomas Aquinas

Don’t Fall For It
published 10 November 2015 by Lucas Tappan

LMT Catholic School Mass WOULD BE A WEALTHY MAN if I had a dollar for every time someone told me that the youth of today can’t connect with, or simply don’t like sacred music. I used to think “Okay, how do I get young people to like it, because I know there is real value in it?” However, I don’t buy the basic premise of the complaint any more.

Go to any of the vast majority of Catholic school Masses in the USA today and watch the junior high/high school students worship. They’re bored with EVERYTHING! Count how many of them don’t attempt anything more than a mumble throughout the entire Mass, including the Lord’s Prayer. The only difference is that they have gotten used to being bored with the Catholic Church’s “greatest hits” from the 70s, 80s and 90s. The crux of this issue is not that we don’t have the right music (although that is part of it) or that worship isn’t “cool” enough. The real problem is that these children were perhaps sacramentalized, but never evangelized and catechized. A wise deacon once told me, “God has no grandchildren. Every generation must be a first generation follower of Christ.”

It is true that Beauty draws many people to Christ, and this is an important part of evangelization we tend to forget today. However, when (not if) the accusation is laid at your feet as the Director of Music of turning people away from the Faith because you are striving to bring sacred music back into the sacred liturgy, take a deep breath and gently, but firmly respond, “No, they left because because they were never evangelized and catechized in the first place.”