I have been known to say that when it comes to music in Mass, much of the new-age Catholic songs I am not fan for Mass. I still hold the view that if I wanted to Rock to Christ, I will do it at a concert, Mass for many of us is that time and place where the world in all its noise and dimness is put on the back burner. Mass is that time that you can intimately speak to God, for I know I can admit it is difficult to find a more intimate and silent moment in my everyday life.
I can say if my boring (as some would call my life since I am a stay-at-home wife) life I cannot find that silence than how about those who have careers or children? So, when I hear some of these new songs (I consider new songs after Vatican II) I find it trying to fill those moments with ‘Feel good with Jesus’. Many of us can say that we do not always ‘feel good with Jesus’ instead it is ‘feeling’ somber acknowledgment that our faith is difficult or we are in sin when we kneel before Him.
I can say that for me many of the more ‘traditional’ hymns fit a description that I feel characterizes me: they are somber hymns with that joyful hope that comes with our faith. As one Friar once said to me, ‘We are always mourning joyfully in our faith’. It does not mean I want all of you to wear Camel-hair sacks and look like dead is knocking at your door. No, but what I mentioning is when I hear more of the traditional hymns I am able to focus and speak to God. And I have met many who feel the same way. Now, I am not knocking the new-age songs, but I just feels they do better in an informal get together. (If that makes sense.)
This whole post was to mention the new albums I had downloaded, and they are all traditional hymns or Dominican chanting. Which have I mentioned I love chanting, well I do! Here is the list:
Gregorian Chant: Dominican Liturgy (Dominican Friars in France)
Angels and Saints at Ephesus (Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles)
Mater Echaristiae (Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist)
I highly recommend all three, but I would particularly drawn you towards the Dominican Albums because for those Dominican Laymen and Laywomen it is a guide for improving our chanting.