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.
Connect on Facebook:
Connect on Twitter:
“During Lent…the use of musical instruments is allowed only so as to support the singing. Nevertheless, Laetare Sunday (the Fourth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities and Feasts are exceptions to this rule.”
— Roman Missal, 3rd Edition (2011)

Best Mystery Movie Of All Time!
published 5 January 2017 by Jeff Ostrowski
|{Scroll down, and you’ll see my article does relate to the topic of sacred music.}

F YOU HAVEN’T seen “The White Knight Stratagem,” please promise me you’ll carve out an hour from your schedule, wait until it’s raining outside, and watch it attentively in front of your fireplace. For the rest of your life, you’ll thank me; this is an incredible mystery movie. The plot and actors are phenomenal, and there’s very little objectionable. 1 Those of us who have been involved with filmography will rejoice in the careful angles, which assist in telling the tale. The movie (fictional) is about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who (in real life) wrote Sherlock Holmes. Some may not realize Doyle (in real life) used his “investigative method” to prove the innocence of men imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit.

HOW DOES THIS MOVIE relate to sacred music? Let me explain. I’ve noticed something about “progressive” liturgists: they are embarrassed about their musical choices. On the contrary, promoters of authentic sacred music are always bubbling over with joy. They can’t stop singing the praises (pardon the pun!) of church compositions by true masters. I believe “progressive” liturgists realize deep down—in spite of what they say publicly—they’re promoting extremely poor quality music. They realize serious Catholics looking for authentic liturgical music will never come to them. 2

Years ago, my family eliminated cable TV, because 99% of television is garbage. But every so often, we stumble upon true excellence—and “The White Knight Stratagem” is an example.

The producers of “White Stratagem” may have been tempted to throw up their hands, in the face of such unspeakable garbage shown on television; I’m glad they didn’t.

We also might be tempted to give up, when we see how many parishes have replaced authentic sacred music with horrific “lowest common denominator” music. We must not.


1   Somebody does get shot, but they don’t show anything too disturbing. The Lord’s Name is misused a few times, but Catholics can tolerate this as we do when watching A Man For All Seasons, which is also a truly remarkable film.

2   Those of us who went to conservatories will never forget the derision poured on the Catholic church by secular professors, who exclaimed: “You Catholics had the absolute greatest music, and look what you traded it for!” Indeed, many musicians desiring to employ Roman Catholic music now work for Protestant churches in order to do so—which is very sad.