AVE you ever been accosted with the accusation that you are giving a “Performance” during the Liturgy? I have sometimes been told that I was “performing” in the Liturgy, and this has made me think about the meaning of this term and why people say it… I think it is possible that it indicates that anything above the musical run of the mill is so unusual in our present day liturgies as to appear odd or out of place.
Sometimes, when we just wish to bring something extra to the liturgy, whether it’s to sing a proper, or to add a descant to a hymn, or to offer a choral motet in parts, one can hear this retort. But it seems to me that it is an unjust epithet, because it is not a question of how grand the music is, how florid and glorious, but rather the Issue is one of MOTIVATION. Why do we spend so much time preparing music for the liturgy? Why do we attempt to offer something better, something as good as our talents and time can make it? If the motivation is to bring attention to ourselves, then -perhaps the accusation has some validity, however, if our aim is truly to give our music for the Glory of God, to render praise to the Lord of all beauty, our motivation is certainly in the right place.
Let’s try to slay some more mediocrity in the liturgy this coming year!