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An ‘ordinary Catholic’ who loves Church music Print
Letters to the editor
Thursday, Nov. 01, 2012 -- 12:00 AM

To the editor:

I must take vigorous issue with the guest columns by the “intellectuals” who are so overloaded with their degrees and superior intellect that they feel they must ridicule us ordinary Catholics in rather harsh words. The weight of all this arrogance has seemed to have squeezed out the humility that was exemplified by our Savior.

For those of us out in the real world, which, by the way, is the vast majority of God’s people, we are the branches of the Church. Jesus said, “I am the Vine and you are the branches.” He did not say, “I only want to hear you praise Me with 100-voice choirs singing Handel’s Messiah.”

The Psalms and Gregorian chant are truly glorious works of Church music, but let’s be real, shall we? The people you call ordinary do not have either the time or the talent to practice these to perfection.

The hymns many of us have sung for years are a great comfort and really help us to unite with  Christ in the sanctity of the Mass. When I see the older lady next to me singing our simple hymns with her eyes closed and a sweet smile, do I care if she is slightly off pitch? Do you think God cares?

Do we need to pick music wisely? Certainly. Do we have some music that should not be in the liturgy? Yes, we do.

But we are all part of God’s family, and, yes, He wants US as part of his own. The Mass is about us. Christ did not institute the sacraments for the rabbits and squirrels. The liturgy is to bring us to and bind us to God, and He gave us the gift of song to help us do that.  It seems to me that we’re getting our brain ahead of our soul. What does it profit us to gain superiority in the liturgy and leave some souls outside the door?

I have been involved in music liturgy since grade school, when I sang in the children’s choir. That is about 70 years of experience. I have been music director, choir director, and cantor for many years, and I have seen it all right through Vatican II, which was a wonderful refresher for the Church. The Mass still has only one purpose, and that is to bring us closer to God and His love.

Christ did not come to earth to visit cathedrals, meet intellectuals, and hear grand renditions of superior music. He came for the shepherd, the carpenter, the farmer, and the homemaker. He came for us, and especially for the poor and the weak. Wouldn’t we be wise to follow Him?

Paul Krogman, Bloomington