Don’t Fall For It

I would be a wealthy man if I had a dollar for every time someone told me that the youth of today can’t connect with, or simply don’t like sacred music. I used to think “Okay, how do I get young people to like it, because I know there is real value in it?” However, I don’t buy the basic premise of the complaint any more.

Go to any of the vast majority of Catholic school Masses in the USA today and watch the junior high/high school students worship. They’re board with EVERYTHING! Count how many of them don’t attempt anything more than a mumble throughout the entire Mass, including the Lord’s Prayer. The only difference is that they have gotten used to being board with the Catholic Church’s “greatest hits” from the 70s, 80s and 90s. The crux of this issue is not that we don’t have the right music (although that is part of it) or that worship isn’t “cool” enough. The real problem is that these children were perhaps sacramentalized, but never evangelized and catechized. A wise deacon once told me, “God has no grandchildren. Every generation must be a first generation follower of Christ.”

It is true that Beauty draws many people to Christ, and this is an important part of evangelization we tend to forget today. However, when (not if) the accusation is laid at your feet as the Director of Music of turning people away from the Faith because you are striving to bring sacred music back into the sacred liturgy, take a deep breath and gently, but firmly respond, “No, they left because because they were never evangelized and catechized in the first place.”

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