N FEBRUARY, I asked if anyone else was uncomfortable with Dan Schutte’s “Mass of Christ the Savior” (2010)—which appears to be written in a secular style. 1 Here’s a brief recording showing Schutte’s melody (taken from YouTube) against the My Little Pony theme:
My original article was shared on Facebook 4,000 times, generated a surprising amount of hate mail, and was discussed on several radio shows.
A number of commenters said Schutte’s melody didn’t resemble the Pony theme. This assertion seems to have irritated one of my former students, who recently sent me a recording mixing both melodies:
Some might object to mixing the Sacred Mass texts with a secular Pony Song.
I agree … AND THAT IS PRECISELY MY POINT.
Having suffered greatly as a child due to trite & banal Church music, this is a subject I take very, very seriously.
I DO NOT SUPPORT THE USE of secular musical styles during Mass. We’ve discussed this many times on this blog (e.g. here). I’ve also subtly included this in the fourth item of “Five Questions No Liturgist Can Answer” (URL). Leaving aside the question of musical style for a moment, many wonder how this Mass received USCCB approval, since it mangles the official text. My short answer would be: “I haven’t the faintest idea.”
If you’re seeking alternatives to the Schutte Mass, you might want to look at some of these settings, which were composed in a more Sacred style.
NOTES FROM THIS ARTICLE:
1 The priest who discovered this Schutte/Pony similarity is currently Liturgy Director for a major Archdiocese in the United States. It was sent to me via email “chain letter.” Until I got his email, I had never heard Schutte’s Mass setting.