Before we get to the singing Monkees, let's have a little bit of... singing monkeys. A planet where apes evolved from rock musicians?!? Yeah, actually, that seems like a logical step up the evolutionary ladder. (All apologies to Scott at Cordelia's Shoes. I couldn't resist.)
The Catechism notes that "the composition and singing of inspired psalms, often accompanied by musical instruments, were already closely linked to the liturgical celebrations of the Old Covenant. The Church continues and develops this tradition." But is all change a proper development? Is all modernization an evolution, or can it be a step backward?
Fr. Dwight Longnecker, an Anglican convert, writes "It seems to me that the underlying problem with the contemporary hymns is an almost universal lack of understanding in the modern American Catholic Church about what Mass is in the first place. If it is a gathering of friendly Christian people around the table of fellowship in order to get strength and encouragement from one another as we all think about Jesus, why then the contemporary hymns fit the bill very nicely, but then, so would quite a few snippets of music I can think of like--"My favorite things" from The Sound of Music. However, if the Mass is meant to take us to the threshold of heaven; if it is meant to be a glimpse of glory and a participation in the worship of the spheres of heaven itself, why then the sentimental, sweet and comforting songs just won't do. They wont' do not because they are bad or untrue, but because they are not good and true enough. Worship that takes us to the threshold of glory needs to be, well...glorious."
Yeah, I know. It's the same old rant. But after my monthly dose of "I Am The Bread Of Life" I just had to let off some steam.