Joseph Cullen’s excellent paper delivered at the John Henry Newman Institute of Liturgical Music  in Birmingham is to be published (in edited form) in the Catholic Herald this Friday. Worth reading, that is unless you are someone who thinks :

(look away now if you are of a nervous disposition)

a.)  That ‘Eagles’ Wing is your favourite hymn.   I think this might be the Karaoke version but l didnt stick around long enough to find out.

b.)  That everything sung at the Mass should be themed to the Gospel. (Joseph does talk about stripping away the cladding but he fails to mention the importance of  putting back the period features and making sure the Dado rail matches the F&B wallpaper…  It’s an easy mistake to make.)

c.)  That this piece of music is an appropriate piece of pastoral music ” because it is active participation in prayer”

d.)  That the “Grad-you-ah-lay Row-mah-noom”  is out of touch with the real liturgy

e.) “Gregorian Chant only has pride of place in celebrations that as a whole are in Latin.”

f.) That modern stuff is good “Bernadette Farrell, Marty Haugen et al”  because it is scriptural. How many times have you sat through a Gospel or a Psalm (last Sunday’s a good example “and so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad etc….”) and not been able to concentrate on the text because ‘that tune’ is now going round your head?

g.) We have a “duty to ensure that the assembly sings that which is rightly theirs/ours.” I suspect he is not just talking about the Ordinary here. Cut to five years time, crowds standing outside parish church clutching placards reading ‘give us our entrance hymn back.’

If you think Joseph Cullen doesn’t know his wood-chip wallpaper from his swirly carpet and agreed with any of the above points which incidentally failed to appear in Mr Cullen’s paper, pop over HERE to join in with the fascinating discussion. I would warn you though that they seem to all know it each other, so you might be a stranger amongst friends. Now reading that reminds me,  l need to pop down to that large department store on the Kings Road to get some interior design tips.

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