The other evening my husband and I had dinner with a few friends, all of them involved in music in one way or another. Three of us were Catholic; two were not. The talk turned to the bad and banal and often irreverent music in some Catholic churches. (My husband sings traditional hymns and classical music at Mass at our parish.) One of the non-Catholics commented that she had played the piano once at a Catholic wedding and been surprised to find that she was asked to play syncopated music. Her husband, the other non-Catholic at the table, made an interesting comment.
The Catholic Church, he pointed out, is known for its tradition and formality, including the music. That is what outsiders expect, he said. If you convert to Catholicism, that is what you expect. He clearly saw the value of the lovely, reverent music from our Church’s heritage which all too few churches use these days.
Interesting isn’t it, that after years of awful music in many churches, the old-fashioned sacred music is still what outsiders perceive as being the Church’s music? And what they respect?