Music: Indispensable or an Add-On?

Sacred Music is the indispensable instrument of the Holy Spirit in leading souls in their march toward Heaven…

Fr. John A. Perricone

Authentic sacred music isn’t a luxury or a mere affectation—it is a necessary element in right worship. As Fr. John Perricone sets out in the article linked below (h/t Crisis Magazine), our souls are moved in profound ways by the music we encounter, and this is especially true in the liturgy. He writes:

This music transforms him and pierces man’s soul to the core of his being. Often, it produces a contrition so profound that a man’s life can take a wholly different course.  

This basic understanding is what guides our music program at St. Mark. Music for Mass isn’t about “filling in the gaps” or giving people something to do. It is an expression of our love for God, which in turn lifts and transforms our souls. But for this dynamic to truly work, the music must be fitting. Not necessarily complicated or expensive to produce, but fitting

Happily, we have available to us a long tradition of music that is well-suited to the worship of the Most Holy Trinity. Some of this music ornate and difficult, and some is quite simple and accessible, but all of it has been proved over the course of centuries to both render right praise to God as well as “pierce man’s soul.” 

Read the entire article below:

Music Spotlight: Paul Jernberg

In order for sacred music to reach its full stature, composers and musicians need to exercise true artistry, in which knowledge, inspiration, and skill all play a vital role in creating works of dignity and beauty.

Paul Jernberg

You may not have noticed, but the past 30 years have seen the beginnings of a kind of renaissance in Catholic sacred music. It has been very slow and has largely gone unnoticed at the parish level, but it’s real and it’s bearing fruit.

Continue reading

Why Do We Celebrate Mass the Way We Do?

A significant number of people have asked why we celebrate Mass the way we do, especially the ad orientem posture of the priests and the increasing use of Latin. We realize that Mass at St. Mark may not look like Mass at other parishes. To help both parishioners and visitors understand the reasons why our Masses look and sound the way they do, we created this brief 10-minute video.

We Need Better Music for Mass!

Why are we putting so much emphasis on sacred music at St. Mark? Check out the video linked below for an intro to the importance of fitting and proper music to the celebration of Mass.

Come back here next Wednesday for the second part.

Takeaway quote:

“The Church needs to reclaim a sense of patronage for good art and music made by faithful Catholics who appreciate the subject matter that they are trying to communicate.”