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Church Music

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 Contents - Nov 2005AD2000 November 2005 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: A remarkable Catholic parish
National Press Club: Cardinal George Pell on the dictatorship of relativism - Cardinal George Pell
News: The Church Around the World
Sister Miriam Duggan: the Church's response to AIDS - Anh Nguyen
Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist: areas for remedial action identified - Peter Westmore
Thomas More Centre: Fifty years from Shadowlands: Childhood memories of the world of C. S. Lewis - Msgr Peter J. Elliott
Call to Holiness: Contemplating the Eucharistic Face of Christ - Christine McCarthy
Letters: Myths exploded - Nola Viney
Letters: Church Music - Chris Wilson
Letters: New Zealand visitor to Brisbane - Leo Leitch
Letters: Gnostic gospels and the Da Vinci Code - Fr G.H. Duggan SM
Letters: Example needed - Betty Griffin
Letters: Basic differences to overcome - Dr Arnold Jago
Letters: SSPX response - Timothy Hungerford
Letters: Vatican II and Benedict XVI - Jim Howe
Books: The Incredible Da Vinci Code, by Frank Mobbs - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: Philosophy 101 Meets Socrates, by Peter Kreeft - Bill Muehlenberg (reviewer)
Books: Stem Cells, by Norman M. Ford and Michael Herbert - Kerrie Allen
Books: More good reading from AD Books
Reflection: The concrete character of Christianity - John Young

I feel that at last I need to respond to John Daly's letter, "Liturgy" (September AD2000). I say "at last" because I have read many letters over the years which seek to demean what I do in my service of the Church, but Mr Daly's letter was exceptional in the breadth of its generalisation and in the uncharitableness of its tone.

I am a liturgical guitarist who has used his guitar for liturgical music for 30 years. I am sure for much of that time I was an "average church guitarist" (although this seems such a subjective qualification).

Mr Daly's view that "silence is infinitely to be preferred" to "strummed guitar accompaniment" is breathtaking in its exclusivity. God has given different people different talents, all of which are designed to be used for His glory, therefore, those who have a musical talent should be encouraged to use it within their parish, even if they are guitarists.

Since the guitar has become an integral part of the music culture among many societies and peoples both in popular music and in art music, to exclude it and other instruments on the basis of the quality of its practitioners is unfair and hypocritical (there are many church organists who perform poorly).

The issue is more: the positive and practical encouragement that should be given to parish musicians to receive "genuine liturgical training" (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Art 115) so that their "average-ness" is transformed into prayer.

I refer Mr Daly to the documents that deal with music in the liturgy and see if he, like me, hears the call of inclusion and the challenge to develop the offering of artistic talent.

Mt. Druitt NSW

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 18 No 10 (November 2005), p. 14

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