It has been quite some time since i have posted, due to school work, although i have been wanting to post. It probably doesn't matter too much anyway since i know this is not viewed very much. However, there were a couple things i have wanted to post about. I shall discuss the first one here.
I have seen it posted by another catholic church musician i very much respect about the topic of parishoners lamenting the horrible music in most of our churches nowadays. I have heard it stated from him and other Catholic musicians, that if the parishoners really gave their honest opinion of the music in most places, most would tell you they find it horrible. And it may have even driven some Catholics away from the church (although i don't agree that that is a legitimate excuse to abandon your faith). I am wary of this presumption though. My first question would be: how many ARE there, really, who would say this?
I would hope there are quite a few myself, but i have never heard anyone say this, and so i am wary that to make such a claim about the thoughts of people in the pews on music is a blanket statement. I would be more inclined to think that most people in the pews are indifferent about the choice of music, maybe because they have even learned to close their ears to mediocre or bad music they have heard often in church.
I would also like to comment on when you try to change music in a parish though, to conform it more to the directives from Sacrosanctum Concilium and other music documents from the Vatican following that. If truly many people either dislike the mediocre music currently in use or just ignore it, why does just one or two complaints from parishoners very often tend to discourage continuation of the change in music? In my experience when i have seen complaints of such changes, it usually is coming from those in the parish who are known to be more partial to the changes of the church in the 1960s and 70s or just to folk music in general and would like us to stay in that time era as regards to music as well. But why should those few voices be allowed to dictate the music that is done, against the directives from holy Mother Church? Also to be taken into account is that such people who do not want music from the church's history to return are never going to change in that opinion and so reveal themselves as being stuck in a certain time era which no longer connects with our society.
Changes to music should still be done slowly and with education to the faithful, but deliberately, so that the parish knows there is a sense of direction, purpose, and goal to the changes.