for a Moratorium on the Music of
No matter where you go to Mass on Sunday in the United States, it's difficult to escape the music of Marty Haugen and David Haas. I for one am sick and tired of hearing their banal ditties everywhere, and in desperation I have founded this Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas, or SMMMHDH for short. The Society is awaiting pontifical approval from the Holy See as a pious sodality. :-)
Thomas G. McFaul, in his essay on The Sad State of Liturgical Music, laments, "What a shame for a young person to grow up thinking that Marty Haugen is the traditional music of the Catholic church!" The Catholic Church has a rich patrimony of sacred music, but it is a closed book to most of today's Catholics.
You are de facto a member of the Society if you gag or grit your teeth whenever you hear any of the following:
The Society is honored to have members from other denominations. There are Anglicans and Lutherans who have joined us in this crusade.
As of March 24, 2007 there is a moratorium on the moratorium. No new applications for membership will be accepted. The founder can no longer keep up with emails and ongoing maintenance of this web page. If for some reason you want your name removed, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This membership roster contains links some excellent Catholic blogs and web sites. I encourage you to click and explore.
Matt C. Abbott
Edward F. Ahlsen-Girard
Elisabeth Akers (Anglican Catholic)
George E. Albrecht
J. Gordon Anderson
Fr. Dan Andrews
Earl E. Appleby, Jr., Times Against Humanity
Gene and Susan Arbogast
Steven Augustine Badal
Joseph Thomas Baker
Mary Jane Ballou
Tim Barnett (New Zealand)
Douglass H. Bartley
Douglass Y. Bartley
Fr. Carl Beekman
Fr. Robert Behnke
Andrew Benton (Australia)
Suzanne M. Bergeron
Keith Brant Berube
Amy L. Beyer
William L Biersach
Nathan and Renata Blosser
Christina M. Bolduc
Fr. John M. Bosco
Greg Bourke (New Zealand)
Bryan D. Boyle
Andrea R. Brady
John P. Brandt
John B. Brown
Robert M. Bruce (Canada)
Fr. Thomas Buffer
Robert P. Burke
Grace R. Burns
Christopher C. Caron
Joseph J. Cheney
Fr. Ephraem Chifley, OP
Kurt A. Chione
Lila C. Cleary, CAGO
Nicholas Collins (New Zealand)
Stephen M. Collins
A Conservative Blog for Peace
Thomas S. Coolberth
Michael Edward P. Copenhagen
Marty Corboy (Australia)
Mary Lou Corboy (Australia)
Sebastian Crawford (England)
Michael Alan Cridland
Eric H. Crump
Sandra E. Czelusniak
Shawn T. Daly
Michael E. Daniel (Australia)
Jude L. d'Aquin
Mary L. Davenport
Paul R. Davidson
Dana R. Dawe
Jonathan Dawe, nSJ
Jerome Deakin (Australia)
Defending Traditional Catholicism
Kevin D. Dello Iacono
Beverly De Soto
Dennis Di Benedetto
Gary Di Franco
David Anthony Domet (Canada)
Shannon Donahoo (Australia)
The Donegal Express
The Dumb Ox
Gloria Engel (Canada)
Jackson K. Eskew
Cristina C. Espina (New Zealand)
Fr. Tom Fallone
Mark N. Farmer
William P. Fenimore
Fr. Tim Finigan (UK)
G. Thomas Fitzpatrick
Glenn Fogarty (Lutheran-Missouri Synod)
Scott F. Foppiano
Kelly A. Ford
Arvin J.K. Gallanosa
Anthony R. Garavalia
Danny Garland Jr.
James P. Garland
Fr. Trey Garland (Anglican)
Paul M. Gartlan
Gen X Revert
David Gianotti (New Zealand)
Randall Giles (India)
Mark and Patte Gradwell
The Green Flash
Steven D. Greydanus
Suzanne E. Greydanus
Mark Gross, T.O.P
William D. Gudger
Mitchell & Judith Hadley
James M. Hanniff
Patricia Hargrove Malcolm C. Harris
Voyze G. Harris
Amanda Haste (Anglican, England)
Fr. Allan Hawkins
Robert B. Heath
Margaret Mary Henry
John I. Hetman
Pastor Kristine Franke Hill (Lutheran)
Cat Hodge/Mrs. Darwin
James and Laura Holden
Fr. James Holland
Fr. Joseph K. Horn, O.Praem. ( St. Michael's Abbey)
Samuel J. Howard
Fr. John Jay Hughes
Kevin C. Hughes
Fr. Rob Johansen
Mark W. Johnson
Casey F. Jones
Geoffrey Jones (Australia)
Kirk G. Kanzelberger
David Karl (New Zealand)
Dan L Kennedy
Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S.
Fr. Alvin Kimel
John R. Kruntorad
Mary Rose Lalli
Leila M. Lawler
Philip F. Lawler
Suzanne Elizabeth Lawler
Fr. Martin E. Lawrence
John Andrew Leszak
Donna Marie Joan Lewis
Fr. Richard Libby
Dwight A. Lindley III
Joseph A. Lindquist
Christopher C. Little (Orthodox)
Robert Loretz (New Zealand)
Bruce Ludwick, Jr.
Fr. Michael T. Madden
William F. Mahoney
Caitrin Malone (Canada)
Albert Peter Marcello III
Br. Peter Martin, O.P. (Australia)
Anthony May (New Zealand)
Joshua D. Mayer
Veronica A. Mayer
Fr. Ethan G. McCarthy
Ian Patrick McDole
Andrew G. Mac Donald
Matthew C.J. Mac Donald
I. Shawn McElhinney
Thomas G. McFaul
Fr. Steven F. McGuigan
Owen McKenna (Australia)
Matthew J. McKinley
Sean McKinley (Canada)
Stephen M. McMullen
Kathryn J. MacQueen
Mary McQueen (Canada)
Andrew M. Meszaros
Kevin E. Miller
Mary Claire Miller
Andrew Mitchell (New Zealand)
Anita Moore, OPL
Jeffery W. Moore
Greg Morgan (Australia)
Michael A. Moroz
Alex Morrison (UK)
John-Albert Moseley, a/BSG, Episcopalian (ECUSA)
Paul J. Murray
Daniel Nekic (Australia)
Susan N. Newcomer
M. Nicholson (Australia)
North Western Winds
Victoria J. Norton
Jim and Mary Ellen Nourse
Peter O'Halloran (New Zealand)
C. Stephen Ohmer
Jared L. Olar
Carla A. O'Neill
Frank K.J. Orman
John J. O'Sullivan
Michael & Becky Ouellette and all 7 kids
Brian Michael Page
The Peeping Thomists
Jason A. Pennington, CAGO
Rosalind Phillips (New Zealand)
Fr. Gregory A. Pilcher, OSB
Michael Price (Wales, UK)
Colin C.G. Pye (Canada)
Kevin P. Quigley
Andrew Rabel (Australia)
Michael G. Radigan
Robert Ramage (Australia)
Robert Antonio Ramos Diaz
Charles S. Randall
The Recovering Choir Director
Joseph P. Reidy
Lisa M. Rein
Steven & Kathleen Reisiger
Sean Reynolds (New Zealand)
Francis Ribeiro (Australia)
Bill Riccio, Jr.
Scott P. Richert
Fr. Erik J. Richtsteig
Anthony F. Roberts
Matt Robinson (Canada)
Richard Morgan Romero
Andrew B. Rosenfeld
Cecil H. Ross
Tracey Rowland (Australia)
Alisha Ruiss (Canada)
Aaron Russell (Australia)
Michael J. Russell
John Sabine (Lutheran, ELCA)
Fr. Reginald Sander, OSB
Adam P. Schwend
Mark E. Shafer
Kathy Shaidle (Canada)
Nikki and Rob Shallenberger
Robin E. Shea
Emily Sheehan (New Zealand)
David L. Short
Fr. Bryce Sibley
Kevin M. Simons
Fr. Robert A. Skeris
Thomas L. Smith
Fr. Brian Stanley
Fr. R. Francis Stevenson
Lawrence A. Stich
Sister St. John of the Cross, OCDS
Daniel Nathan Stoddart (Anglican)
Mark C. N. Sullivan
The Summa Mamas
Joseph A.D. Surace
Ron Surace and Ann Jenson Surace
James E. Swinnen
Kevin J. Symonds
Thomas A. Szyszkiewicz
Philip-Michael F. Tangorra
Rev. Rob Taylor (Lutheran)
Fr. Mannes Tellis, OP
Marshall A. Thomas III, D. Phil. (ELCA)
Fr. Tony Thurston
T.O. from LAMLand (Canada)
Tomas de Torquemada
Loretta M. Trentanelli
Mario J. Trentanelli
John V. Turner
Rev. Dr. William J. Turner
Jennifer Van Dillen
Alicia Van Hecke
Peter Vere, JCL
Ellyn von Huben
Deacon James L. Wade, SFO
Richard J. Wall, Jr.
Michael Walsh (Canada)
Tim and Mary Ward (Joseph, Rosemary, Timothy, Ann, Nell)
Steve Weatherbe (Canada)
N. Dawn Webber
Jovan-Marya Weismiller, T.O.Carm.
Austin T. Welsh, MD
William H. Wendt
Jonathan Wessler (Missouri Synod Lutheran)
Hilary White (Canada)
Ed & Leilani Whittinghill
Rev. Jack R. Whritenour (ELCA)
Annette F. Wilcox
Charles R. Williams
Fr. Michael Winn
Steven Woyen (ELCA)
Sean M. Wright
Alan Yoshioka (Canada)
Bradford S. J. Young
Fr. Clinton Zadroga
Bro. Jim Zettel, SDB
Richard G. Ziegman
The music I often hear at mass,
including that by Haugen and Haas, is at the least incongruous with the nature
of the Holy Sacrifice. Beyond that, it is simply badly written. Christianity has
been given the incredible gift of compositions by some of the greatest musical
minds of human history. Composers such as Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms,
Palestrina, Josquin Depres, and others have provided music of breathtaking beauty
and profound spiritual edification. Many of the traditional hymns by lesser known
composers which are still well-loved are also wonderful in their attitude and
the way they point us to a humble approach to worship. Why do we seek to ignore
these contributions in favor of trite popular songs?
You will be happy to know that I have told my choir NEVER to sing anything composed by them.
Fortunately, we don't sing their stuff here, but I've suffered through enough of it when I'm away to have sympathy for the cause.
Bring back .. something, anything, but bury the musical and theological nonsense that is H&H.
There must be something in the water – both of these guys are from Eagan, Minnesota!
The 1980's called Haas and Haugen. They want their situation comedy theme songs back.
I am strangely grateful to these guys for helping convince me become a Byzantine Catholic, and I am sure they are helping send more folks our way with every song they write.
As a mother of three small children and one on the way, I cringe every Sunday at this music itself and at the thought that my children are learning by absorption that this is normal liturgical music. My husband and I are actively searching for a parish/Mass where our children will be able to grow in their faith free from the banal and sappy music found in most U.S. parishes today. Although we believe in the importance of attending one's geographical parish, we feel that since our children's faith formation is at stake (this is not overstated -- music moves and forms the soul), the latter concern trumps the former. Let's pray that more and more people will see how ridiculous and empty and liturgically inappropriate this music is.
All three songs are on my never list. Thank God that He has led me to a parish where these songs are never played.
Still trying to get "We Remember" out of my skull since I last heard it in Mass.
I would like to see that @#!#!# outright banned.
It would be interesting to find out what music Catholics WOULD like to hear during liturgy...we gripe a lot about what we don't like, but I don't hear much about what we DO like .... I also don't think that old vs new is the appropriate angle here. There are some older hymns that are just too drippy .... I don't know what the answer is, but I'm grateful for my parish where we strike a pretty good balance, I think.
Remember this name: Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. The greatest composer for the Catholic church, ever. Fullstop. End of story .... Palestrina had a gift and he was a gift to the Sacred Music of the liturgy. In his humility he strove to give all glory to God, none to himself. His compositions are polyphonic yet elegantly simple. He held the theology of the words as equally important as the notes that elevated them and he wrote emotively to support the moment and meaning of the sentence. Given the time of an immersion in his body of work you will agree I am sure. His "Jesu Rex Admirabilis" is one of the most beautiful pieces of worship music that God has blessed me with the honour of singing unto him.
[See the full text of these inspiring comments here.]
Fortunately we go to a Ukrainian Catholic Church where we're safe from this drivel, but my daughters' school is drowning in it! Can we also ban "Let Us Build The City of God"? And what about the menace of Carey Landry?
Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho
Haugen-Haas have got to go
I am brought to tears by their music. Tears of boredom.
It's music like this that made me leave Mass crying just months after becoming a Catholic. I now attend the Tridentine Latin Mass in my diocese.
I'm an Aussie, born and bred, and their "music" has spread here too - like cancer.
Thanks for taking this step to allow those who love Catholic music to unite against this latest and worst of threats.
I'm a convert from Anglicanism who learned to play the organ and am now the volunteer organist at my parish, all done so that I could avoid ever having to hear the "songs" of these men and those like them ever again!
Don't forget the Songs of the Saint Louis Jesuits and Glory and Praise! I am so tired of Banjos, Bare Feet, Tambourines, and Kumbaya! This hootenanny we call worship is becoming a joke. The Eastern Rite is looking better and better.
I have been forcefed that abominable music for as long as I have been Catholic. It's like the Care Bears' Mass.
It pains me every time yet another Catholic church switches to "Mass Of Creation" for its service music. It's like the Borg, if you ask me. The Haugen brigade won't be satisfied until all the churches are "assimilated".
Haugen/Haas::real liturgical music = Easter Bunny::Risen Lord
Put Haugen's music in the dustbin of history.
Let's keep sappy, sentimental showtunes out of our sanctuaries and out of our lives!
A friend of mine was on an elevator with one of those guys (I think it was Haugen), who was performing at a conference. Said friend remembered the scene in "Animal House" when John Belushi put an end to Stephen Bishop's sensitive strumming.... Has anyone else noticed that you can sing "On Top of Spaghetti, All Covered with Cheese" to the verses of City of God?
The stuff is bad enough when you just have to listen to it. It's worse when you're part of the choir.
I take my cue from Paul Henry Lang's words to the participants of the 1966 Fifth International Church Music Congress: "I should think the proper approach to all this is to offer the laity music that gives the greatest artistic experience and value while meeting the least popular resistance."
Would that I had the freedom to pull the plug on all the sacro-pop in my parish. However I count myself blessed that in my present position am allowed enough freedom of judgment to at least ban certain songs, including the three you have highlighted. This was not the case in my former cathedral job, where keeping my position depending on my rubber-stamping whatever the choir and cantors wanted to sing, which is 50% H & H and 50% praise choruses from the Jerry Falwell fundamentalist tradition.
I certainly share the sentiments of those who wish for an outright ban on musical dreck in church. Pope St. Pius X ardently desired the same thing in 1903, and look where we are now. If only it were simple enough to be effected by an authoritative ban. Unfortunately there are so very many roadblocks to such a happy result. We have powerful independent publishers aggressively promoting this stuff with the blessing, apparently, of our US bishops. We have a pop repertoire that's become ingrained to the point where many faithful Catholics regard the St. Louis Jesuits as composers of "traditional Catholic music" (doesn't "Be Not Afraid" pretty much enjoy the same status that "To Jesus' Heart All Burning" did 50 years ago?). We have a Catholic population that has not undergone a true formation in authentic liturgy, along with an official liturgical juggernaut that is determined to keep it that way. We have an anti-Christian secular culture that has a far stronger influence than the Faith does. We have seminaries that keep future priests in the dark about the Church's musical heritage.
Catholic music in the US has always been problematic. Before the Second Vatican Council, music such as "Bring Flowers to the Fairest" or "To Jesus' Heart All Burning" was common. Syrupy sweet "classics" in American Catholic hymnody such as the above examples evolved into the works of Joncas, Haugen, and Haas. Rather than a step up from the sentimental nature of American Catholic hymnody, the works of the above mentioned crowd are most decidedly a step down.
This music has been inflicted on us far too often - I am glad the choir I am in does not sing this music.
Can we add Dan Schutte and Bernadette Farrell to the list too? And does anyone else think that "Gather Us In" was ripped off from the "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"?
Even my teenage kids (4 of them) can't stand it -- they call it "cheesy church music." Give us some Gregorian chant and polyphony, some Pergolesi, Mozart, Palestrina, and Victoria, please, they say.
Also, by the way, I would also like to call for serious religious educators to boycott the annual Religious Education Conference hosted by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, where music by these clowns and their confreres is featured prominently.
Their dreck fills me with monotonous languor and the ennui of despair.
There is one area in which it's a little unfair to lump Haas and Haugen together. Despite the evidence from his compositions, David Haas is at least a Catholic who has also done some thoughtful work. For Liturgy Training Publications he collected a sourcebook on liturgical music that has an array of texts and ideas, at least some of which are useful. Many of his texts are drawn directly or indirectly from scripture.
For Haugen there is no excuse. His texts are woefully ignorant of Catholic thinking .... His music is even worse, for a whole array of problems that can be measured either by technical analysis or by the Duke Ellington rule: "There are two types of music, good and bad, and you can tell them apart by listening."
The single largest force in the church today suppressing artistry in word and music is the popularity of Marty Haugen's oeuvre.
It is perfectly legitimate to "lump David Haas in with Marty Haugen". Both musicians favour genres that sound like show musicals, whether they be love songs à la "Music of the Night", or dramatic children's musicals that are better suited to texts about Oliver Twist or the Seven Dwarfs. Compare David Haas' own rendition of his "We hold the death of the Lord deep in our hearts" with Kermit the Frog's "Rainbow Connection" for more than a passing resemblance. Haas' music haas to be among the most irritating ever thought to be able to be sung to God.
Marty Haugen is also making money from the New Age movement, where perhaps his music is more at home. He is listed as a New Age musician at: http://www.albums-albums.com/albums-artists-new-age-h-dir.asp. Not that he lives a double life - his attempts at Catholic music have always sounded New Age.
Although I love music and love singing, I regularly "forget" to pick up a hymnal outside of the chapel where I attend daily Mass, just so that I don't have to sing such disrespectful "hymns."
Haas and Haugen's music is a diabolic threat to Sacred Liturgy.
It's not enough to be a member, all you church musicians out there! You have to NOT do this music at Mass, no matter what the liturgist tells you! You know who you are! I see your name on the list!
I am a former RC organist/choir director who has been fired from my two local RC churches because of my insistence on good music. I now sing at the local Episcopal Church and am a substitute organist for Episcopalians and Presbyterians since the Catholics have disowned me!
Whenever I hear "City of God," my eye starts twitching.
If you would like, you may join my cause to establish a Catholic homeland in Louisiana (fertile soil, warm, has deepwater port) and the Constitution there will forbid their stuff, period.
I don't know who "wrote" it, but did you ever notice that the tune to "Here I am Lord" is eerily like that of the Brady Bunch theme song?
[Yes, see Thomas Day, Why Catholics Can't Sing: The Culture of Catholicism and the Triumph of Bad Taste (New York: Crossroad, 1990), p. 166.]
I used to refer to Marty Haugen, David Haas, and Carey Landry as "the Unholy Trinity", though the true Council of Evil also includes the following ring wraiths: Michael Joncas, Dan Schutte, John Foley, Eileen Foley, Gary Daigle, Darryl Ducote, Christopher Walker, Bernadette Farrell and her husband Owen Alstott.
Who can sincerely concentrate and revere God in church while this bunk is being played?
Their music is schmaltzy at best, heretical at worst.
We're so Haugenized our musical director brings Haugen in person to our cathedral to teach us. Gag me with a spoon but I'm getting to the point where it spoils my tranquility at Mass. We deserve Haugen I guess. Whenever I bring up my complaints people just stare at me like I'm from from the planet Zohan.
The MUZAK in Catholic Churches today should be outlawed as sonic crimes against humanity.
I find it quite sad that many pastors, and even congregants, cringe over "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God", while going ga-ga over music by Marty Haugen, who is as Lutheran as Luther himself, in addition to having far less class than Luther in terms of music composition.
While it is bad enough for the laity, imagine what the clergy has to do listening to this 'stuff' multiple times on a weekend.
The songs of these two gents (plus Dan Schutte's) should carry a warning label that they may cause diabetic shock and coma in perfectly healthy individuals.
Perhaps the Jesuits can form their own church, use this music and have liturgies crosslegged on their living room coffee tables. What in God's name has happened? Please don't forget Dan Schutte, James Marchionda, Kevin Keil, James Chepparonis...the list goes on. This music is not only lousy from a musical viewpoint but it lacks standard form which is why it takes a congregation 5 years to learn a new piece. If we must sing in English I'd rather borrow from the Protestants: Vaughn Williams, John Ireland, Robert Baker, Lloyd Pfautsch. Anything is better than the Catholic lounge music we are inundated with each year. It is criminal that GIA and Oregon Catholic Press get church musicians to buy new resources each year. The Episcopalians have had 2 Hymnals in a hundred years and their musical tradition is much stronger than ours. Add to that -- all their current music is our music which we no longer use. The real scandal of the Jesuits is -- they sell us all this garbage while the best music I've heard in a Catholic church in years is at St. Ignatius in NYC, a Jesuit parish.
Who turned on the FM radio during Mass?
It has been proven time and again that Catholics (if they show up on time in the first place) Don't Sing. Why should we, the musicians, have to continue to sing music that is
- Musically unsatisfying
- Spiritually unsatisfying
- Appeals to the lowest form of entertainment seekers
I also have a list: Shuttee, Foley, Keil, Farrell, the Weston Priory as a whole, and the rest of those fakers at the St. Louis Jesuit Center for New Age music.
My pendulum has swung so far around that my choir is now singing music from the Spanish Renaissance (ahh...the good old days).
That music is nauseating. Fortunately, the parish my wife and I attend (about a thirty-minute drive from my house because the closer parishes have liturgical "issues") uses Gregorian chant and traditional hymns. My wife and I cringe when circumstances require that we attend Mass at one of the nearby musically-challenged parishes.
I'm for anything that will forever banish the music of Haas, Haugen, Schutte, et al. to the dust bin of liturgical history. Let's get back to worshipping God and forget about all this navel worship music!
It is sad to see Catholic worship getting more and more Protestant in nature. Much of Church music today is theologically vapid. Even worse than Marty Haugen and David Haas is the music used in Life Teen "Masses," where it is not uncommon to hear "worship" music by Protestant musicians with strongly Protestant content. I am fully behind your efforts to bring Catholicism back to Catholic worship.
Please add our names to the roster of your noble organization. God prosper the SMMMHDH, and hasten the day when it can be disbanded, its charter fulfilled. :-)
For years we suffered through insipid "Glory and Praise" ditties, often plunked out on guitar by aging hippies singing offkey in church buildings originally constructed as gymnasiums. Then, thanks be to God, we moved to the Archdiocese of Newark and found a beautiful old church in which only traditional hymns are sung, accompanied by pipe organ.
A single recent vacation-week Sunday away from our home parish, in some kneeler-less, statue-less "church" with the tabernacle locked safely away in some hidden back room and Dan Schutte pop tunes printed on colored handouts, was enough to send us screaming back home.
ba_by talk n.
- the speech of children learning to talk, marked esp. by syntactic simplification and phonetic modifications like omission and substitution of sounds.
- a style of speech used by adults in imitation of this, esp. in addressing young children.
- the lyrics of the advertising jingle for Haugen-Haas ice cream.
Maybe the Vatican will institute the Holy Office for the Inquisition of Really, Really, Really Bad Liturgical Music.
I did get a bit concerned when I read so many negative comments that were more along the lines of an attack rather than discussion. After I read all the comments I felt like I was in on a person slamming session rather than a constructive conversation. As one member wrote, many comments were complaints without solutions. With that said, I will continue to pray for the common concern and that we continue to move beyond frustration to pray, pray, pray (I am sure most of the society's members do) and charitably speak up when the Holy Spirit prompts us. I would enjoy hearing how members such as yourself have handled their frustrations beyond complaining about it on the website or to others.
It is high time we took a stand against this "music" that sounds like a bad attempt to make the liturgy into a piano bar.
Since my conversion to Catholicism four years ago, one of the heaviest crosses to bear has been the horrible, profane music Catholics are expected to sing at Mass. I absolutely love fine sacred music, but for some reason Catholics don't compose any anymore -- or those who do are being shut out of the shoddy paperback "hymnals" they cram into the backs of pews. This rotten, talentless, uninspiring, and/or heretical schlock is why I just cannot bring myself to sing in our parish choir -- and I used to love singing in choir in my pre-Catholic days.
Some other composers I would add to the list:
- John Foley, for Come to the Water, Only in God
- Dan Schutte, for Blest Be the Lord, Sing a New Song, Though the Mountains May Fall, Here I Am, Lord
- Carey Landry (pick one!)
- Martin Willett, for Behold the Lamb
- Michael Joncas, for We Come to Your Feast
- Mike Balhoff & Darryl Ducote, for Remember Your Love (the verses sound like one of the Willy Wonka songs)
- Bob Dufford, for Like a Shepherd
Will the four-square hymn will ever come back in Catholic worship? I'd like to think so, but nobody seems to be writing metered, rhyming texts any more.
I'm a Catholic Church music director and I've been fighting against this garbage for over twenty-five years. If I hear Mass of CREMATION one more time.............!!!
I am a recovering "HaugenandHaas-aholic." I truly hate (yes, that is the correct word) We are Called and the Mass of Creation.
Our new choir director rarely uses the organ. She plays the piano and directs with her head. (Perhaps someday it will fall off.) I am constantly force-fed music by Marty Haugen, David Haas, Michael Joncas, Dan Schutte, Bob Dufford, Scott Soper, Timothy Smith, and John Michael Talbot.
The first Lent our new director was in charge, she chose a "theme." As a cantor, I sang "Create in Me a Clean Heart" (Psalm 51) by Bob Hurd, the entire Lent. I became sick of it, and so did the congregation!
I have offered to sing "My Soul Thirsts" (Psalm 63) by Dan Schutte at the local jail; however, the warden called this "cruel and unusual" punishment.
It is time we unite and give Marty Haugen, David Haas, John Michael Talbot and the rest of those "so-called" composers the BOOT!
I was positively thrilled to see that someone had the audacity to speak out against the "peaceful hug hour church picnic" music that is H&H. We must indeed rescue our sacred music and notions of worship from those who insist that Masses and services are meant to be soul banquets and consolation meetings.
I am fortunate to be an organist working in an Episcopal parish. I did however serve time in the local RC parish, which a few colleagues and I oft times refer to as St. Peter Paul & Mary's. I have been enviably blessed in that during the nine years I have served my current post I have encountered a David Haas piece only once and I can't remember if we've ever done anything by Haugen. At PPM, it was Mass of Creatine for three straight years!
Best to get back to the old ways and time-honoured traditions before it's too late. Don't underestimate the power of the right rite. The parish you save may be your own.
I *hate* this music. I'm 19, and really can't stand it. Also, I'm not the only one of my generation who feels this way. Haugen and Haas seem to cater to aging hippies and cafeteria "Catholics," but few people I know who are my age like this crap. The ones that do like this stuff are quickly growing up to be heterodox. I stopped going to my home parish, a place with the seemingly orthodox name of Corpus Christi. I now attend either the Byzantine Rite or indult Tridentine Mass.
My daughter (age 13) and I would love to join the society. We are not Catholic, but Mr. Haugen has desecrated the Lutheran liturgy as well (and the national church did a pretty good job of that themselves in 1978). I think all his music should be banned in any house of worship. If anyone would like to have an outdoor service and use it, fine. You could walk away and not have to listen.
There does need to be, as George Weigel has proposed, the Index Canticorum Prohibitorum. Not only should the entire oeuvre of Haugen and Haas be on there, but the St. Louis Jesuits as well. It never ceases to amaze me how music which fails the minimal standards of pop music is so often sung in our liturgies.
There has rarely been such drivel written even in the secular world!
When I become pope the first thing I will do is to excommunicate everyone who has written liturgical music since Vatican II. My thinking? It'd be a much less time-intensive process to let the good ones back in than to deal with each bad one on a case by case basis. I'd also reintroduce the index of banned books but it'd be renamed the Index of Banned Hymnals and Missalettes. I sincerely think this approach would do more to revive a sense of the sacred than anything in the GIRM or other recent liturgical documents.
Am I a de facto member if I hear "One Bread, One Body" and think "One Bed, Two Bodies?" (I wish I could claim that quip as my own, but I read it on a blog. If I could remember which blog, I would give credit to the author.) I recently endured nine long months of RCIA, complete with hand-outs featuring cartoons, dumbed-down to seventh grade level. Having made the effort to swim the Tiber, I want to hear (not necessarily sing) real Catholic music at Mass!
Unfortunately, I live in a rural area with one Catholic Church whose music director worships at the Shrine of Haugen and Haas. Am thinking of buying earplugs to wear to mass. Or maybe small MP3 player with unobtrusive earphone, play Gregorian Chant or polyphony during bad songs!
The horrible pop ballads that are the music of today's Catholic church make me cringe. I never fully realized how terrible it was until my beloved great uncle's funeral Mass was marred by the sappy strains of "Be Not Afraid", "Shepherd Me, O God", "Celtic Alleluia", and "On Eagle's Wings", with introits taken directly from the infamous Mass of Creation. Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" would have been more appropriate and also would have sounded better.
Growing up going to Mass in a multi-purpose hall, I had no idea that there was anything beyond white-washed walls and feel-good lyrics of Haugen, Haas, and the St. Louis Jesuits. Thank God, that in my college years I have come to the true beauty of the Liturgy. Now it is my mission to reclaim the sense of the sacred, before it is lost. It's not that I'm against anything new, I just don't understand why people want to replace our beatuiful tradion with crap.
My superiors love this drivel. Every week I end up bearing it beneath my grin and trying to make music out of it when I conduct. It's a shame. Who has the greatest repertoire of vocal music in the world? And who resorts to this crap!
I truly believe that this Pew-Pop-Psychology that so many Catholics are forced to endure is (at least partially) to blame for the modern Catholic's dire lack of understanding of what Mass even *is*. I think that we sing what we believe, and we believe what we sing (or, in the case of Catholics, don't bother to sing to, but just get subconsciously indoctrinated into believing by being forced to sit there and fidget while having to listen).
I'm an AngloCatholic whose family is seriously considering Rome, but as we visited the masses we noticed how utterly bankrupt the hymnody and music are!
I am a Catholic musician who refuses to play for parishes here. I just can't force myself to be part of the musical heterodoxy we suffer under, from H&H to LifeTeen stuff....Thank God I can find reprieve at the local Ukrainian Catholic parish. They're brimming with refugees from the Latin Rite.
I dream of the day when absolutely none of the St. Louis Jesuits will ever be heard in any parish in the land. When choirs of butt-shaking forty-nine year olds with electric instruments and an excessive devotion to bongos, chimes and those scritchy things will no longer prance in front of the congregation at the cathedral at the Easter Vigil. A day when the music of Michael Joncas and Twila Paris and that guy who wrote the hideous "I Myself Am the Bread of Life" will be forever absent at Mass. Or preferably from the entire world.
Please accept my application for membership in this esteemed society, which provides a much-needed scratch for the itching ears of those forced to listen to the works of Haugen & Haas.
Haugen-Haas....could be a whole new brand of ice cream? Fluffy texture, bland flavour, leaves you feeling emptier than before!
Please add Rory Cooney to the list, for the blasphemous "I myself am the bread of life", which our parish was forced to endure again this morning.
I am a convert. I cringe when I hear this music (every Sunday). When my children attend Mass with me (they grew up in the Episcopal Church), they ask, Whatever happened to the great old hymns?
On church music in general: "You'll do better with God if you don't offend His ears." ('enry 'iggins)
On Marty Haugen: I've read or been told that he is of Norwegian descent. Was the sack of Lindisfarne not enough?
On the other gentleman: "He shall be buried with the burial of an Haas, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem." (after Jer. 22:19)
The Lutherans are now making the same mistake that the Roman Catholics made 25 years ago. One is today hard-pressed to find good Lutheran liturgy anywhere. Haugen, Haas, Joncas, and their ilk all rule the day. "Eagles Wings" and "Gather Us In" have made it into our hymnal supplements and are fast supplanting "Eine Feste Burg Ist Unser Gott" and "Erhalt Uns Herr." The great legacy of Lutheran congregational hymnody will be lost in one generation, if it isn't lost already.
We must sing "Gather Us In" every other Sunday, ick. It seems like we sing "City of God" every Sunday. And the service music - do you have to ask? - of course, it's the "Mass of Creation". (I said to my husband, "Why didn't Mozart think of adding extra words to the ordo of the Mass? Or Palestrina? It would have improved their work so!!") And the blasphemous "Here I Am, Lord" and "I Am the Bread of Life", songs I hated when I was a child, are now forced into my ears in quadraphonic stereo sound.
When I learned about the Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas, I thought ..."Gather ME In".
I'm a Catholic convert from Evangelical Protestantism, and the great Catholic music of old ... was one of the factors in my conversion. To now be abused by the doctrinal silliness and musical banality of these two decomposers is one of the crosses I must endure on any given Sunday morning.
I can always tell another secret member of the society at Mass. When I hear that sappy, silly "music" I wince and make a face, I can't help it. Its a reflex action to avoid losing my breakfast. Sometimes I notice someone smiling at me after I do this, and if they see they've got my attention they roll their eyes knowingly. The Society must be a huge underground movement!
I am in RCIA, and am not looking forward to my baptism, confirmation and first Eucharist being marred by unholy music (and probably other abuses) two weeks from now.
A while back, we (actually "they" as I couldn't stomach it) sang "Gather Us In" for the opening hymn at mass. After we catechumens were dismissed, the lady who led the "breaking open the word" (an older convert) used it as our closing prayer!
It is very obvious that in 200 years, people will say "Marty Who" and "David What". It is unfortunate that the publishing powers that be in the American Catholic Church Music world have decided to make these two their prized sons. I hope (dream) that someday, quality church music, both contemporary (as in written-right-now contemporary, not written-during-a-new-age-jam-session contemporary) and historical will be sung throughout the church, and H & H are put where they belong best -- on new age adult contemporary radio.
At times, my home parish feels like a protestant revival, especially when everyone holds hands for the annoyingly written music for the Pater Noster (how I long for the chant version).
I feel that a moratorium on these faith expressions is the right thing for our faith community at this time. My faith journey has brought me to a place of thinking about how these expressions may not be the right thing for our tradition at this point on our journey as a community.
With Benedict XVI as the new pope, there may be hope that our efforts here in the moratorium will not be in vain. I can only pray that he'll restore the good ole "blacklist" and add all that Haugen, Haas, Landry, Jesuits, etc. crap to it.
I'm sick of picking my way through the "Blue" and "Red" hymnals to try to achieve a balance between the demand for vapid hymns (by congregants and celebrants alike), texts that are remotely compatible with good theology, singability of the tunes, and just old fashioned good taste. While I have occasionally been forced to yield to demands for what I have dubbed the "Unholy Trinity" of Haas, Haugen, and Hurd, I'm proud to say that my hymn list has a special Verboten section which includes the likes of "Eagles' Wings", "City of God", "Be Not Afraid" ... and to which I will be adding "We Are Called", "Without Seeing You", and my particular favorite, "All That We Have" (I can hardly write the name of that hymn without my gorge starting to rise). I've also placed "Mass of Light" on that list, which really represents the nadir of compositional craft for the church. At least we do have the "Red" hymnal, so I’m able to balance out with a good rousing traditional hymn -- even a halfway decently composed contemporary hymn is better than the syrupy schlock that oozes out of the "Blue".
Oh, you have brought back very bad memories of Masses in the high school auditorium. I can still remember one of the habitless nuns marching to our seats, with Glory and Praise in hand and pointing emphatically to the offending song being strummed out by the folk band - "Why aren't you singing? SING!!!"
This trite, banal music makes me cringe everytime I hear it, and makes it practically impossible to maintain any semblance of a prayerful attitude at Mass. Please add to the Index that evil, insidious, moronic and obnoxious (not to say incoherent) ditty "Anthem."
It's not just "Gather Us In" or "City of God". What about "Let Us Break Bread Together"? I can't stand any of them--and those are not the only ones. Even some of the ones adapted from Scripture are awful. When the text isn't heretical, the music is un-singable. Sometimes it's both at the same time! I know it's bad when I get to church, the music begins and my husband turns to me and asks: "Is this one of the ones you refuse to sing?" Does anyone realize that people don't sing this stuff?
I think you have hit the nail right on the head with this society. But more than a moratorium, it should be to ban them permanently. Bring back chant and polyphony!
When our parish decided to get a new hymnal, a committee was formed to select one. After hours of research, they narrowed it down to three, all of which were rejected by our "Music Minister," who refused to be involved with the committee and got the okay from the pastor to go out and order the newest edition of (drumroll, please) . . . GLORY & PRAISE!
I am ... entering RCIA in the Fall, and dreading the music. Right now, I attend only the masses without music: the Daily Mass, and 8 AM Sunday Mass. I definitely prefer silence to the smarmy goo of Haugen-Haas.
I was away from the Holy Mother Church for nearly 30 years. I came back on Ash Wednesday 2000. Very quickly I noticed that many of the hymns were difficult to sing and had the most banal lyrics. One Sunday the priest corrected me when I used the term vestibule. "No, Jim," he said, "It's the gathering space." I suppose after Mass it becomes the scattering space. Nowadays I dream and plot to override the PA system and play Gregorian Chant during Mass. I might seal the keyboard cover to the grand piano with Super Glue. Then we would not be subjected to the incessant tinkling of New Age dreck during the Mass. For those who like to play darts, shoot pistols, or practice archery a recent issue of America magazine has a group portrait of the St. Louis Jesuits on the cover. It is well suited for target practice. Pax Vobiscum.
The members of your society might be interested to know that if they live in or near New York City, they ought to attend Church of Our Saviour at 38th and Park Ave. .... Along with a brand new pipe organ and wonderful choir we only sing Gregorian Chant, Polyphony and traditional Roman Catholic Hymns. Marty Haugen and the like are NEVER sung under pain of excomunication. Never at funerals, weddings or any other mass. This is completely supported by the pastor .... So many of the brides who are from outside the parish comment on the music. They have never heard chant in their parish. They ask for it at their wedding. There is some hope.
A good friend of mine was raised Southern Baptist. He’s this [ ] close to converting—the only thing holding him back is the awful music. Having grown up on the rich, red meat of those great old Gospel hymns, he simply can’t stomach the insipid music he hears in the Catholic Church. One day while we were at mass together he turned to me and asked, “Are they gonna start passin’ round the joint now or what?” As long as he's forced to continue to hear that kind of music, he'll be lost to the Church.
A while ago a friend and I were listening to one of her old tapes, "Hits of the 60s." One of the songs on this tape was "The Age of Aquarius" which I had not listened to in ages. When I heard it again I was amazed by how much it sounded like an H&H song out of the Gather hymnal. It wasn't just the vapid, new agey words of the song that made it sound like a contemporary Catholic hymn - the very tune and rhythm of Age of Aquarius sounded like something straight out of the parish I grew up in. Not a good sign! Fortunately my current parish is far more traditional and tasteful when it comes to music.
I thought my low point as a musician was singing an utterly cheesy, poppy confection to accompany liturgical dancers (truly awful ones, if it's possible to quantify something so fundamentally wrong) on Holy Thursday. The true nadir came when I sang the "Mass of a Joyful Heart" setting during a Mass in which a truly reverent priest sang the consecration in plainsong. I have never felt so cheap and tawdry in my life.
I won't sing in church again until I find a parish that uses properly reverent music. I'm not holding my breath.
If there ever was such a thing as "heaven on earth", then Marty Haugen and David Haas would have to be "purgatory on earth."
I feel offended and disgraced by being obligated to play these crappy primitive campfire songs.
Simply because the music is contemporary, doesn't mean that it has to be tepid and simply awful.
I was an Anglican for 32 years and have been a Catholic now for 45 years. The ONLY thing I still miss is the fine Anglican hymnody. The sappy Hallmark songs which pass for sacred music in too many Catholic churches in the English-speaking world drive me up the wall.
I think the appropriate prayer for the work of Messrs Haugen and Haas would be that nice prayer for blessing incense - "Mayest thou be blessed by Him in Whose honour thou shalt be burnt. Amen."
Week after week of the sheeplike hordes waving one hand in the air and singing the liturgical equivalent of "Louie, Louie". It's like trying to live on a diet of Cheetos and Sunny-D.
Previous choir directors at my church have inundated the choir library with Marty Haugen and David Haas. If I pull out a choir music folder and notice "Celebration Series" on the cover, I won't even play it to see if it's usable!
I am a Lutheran through and through, so I hope it's okay to join this society that appears to be primarily Catholic, but aren't we all on the same page when we say God is worth more than the mundane, formulaic music that's being touted these days?
The music at a supermarket is better than this shallow trash!
I have used Haas and Haugen's music to line the bottom of my bird's cage. My bird Sebastian Bach made appropriate liturgical comments on their music.
I, too, have found myself asking how these songs came to be standard in the canon of Catholic Church music. They're just so BAD. We may as well be listening to "Spirit In The Sky" or "Come On People Now (Smile On Your Brother)" or any other hippie, pseudo-spiritual song from the 1960s and 1970s.
I wondered, suspiciously, where 'Here I Am, Lord' came from and why we were singing it in an Episcopal church. And sometimes I perceive a droning, repetitious clamor, performed with guitars, two-part harmony, and drums, coming from the Church in the City (next door) while I'm outside, weeding my garden plot. At those moments, I sincerely pray that time will fly and that the various choir seasons will start again soon so that I will have something with which to replace the inescapable din, echoing in my head long after I've departed the compromised peace of the garden.
In future, whenever I approach the area, I plan to arm myself with a CD player loaded with Allegre's Miserere, a loop of Palestrina's Sicut Cervus, or Faure's Requiem, or something else that's both long and beautiful and free from the wretched, simplistic melodies and the idiotic and shallow and irritating and banal texts, some of which are so completely lacking in liturgical sensibility. The effect on me is painfully similar to the electronic drone that accompanies my son's video and e-games, and I sincerely believe that this, too, should be listened to only with headphones to avoid inflicting agony on the innocent.
I mean, where are Thomas Tallis, J. S. Bach, G. .P. de la Palestrina, Catherine Winkworth, Johann Cruger, and the exceptional musical and editorial skills of Ralph Vaughan Williams when we really need them? Right here, ready to fulfill our spiritual needs for centuries to come. Where will H&H be in one hundred years? If humanity is to survive, l believe that the people of the future will have the sense to recall them only as a topic for PhD theses: a fashionable curiosity for a short period, and to relegate them to the dust where they belong. Otherwise, we humans, as a species, are doomed.
What an oasis the SMMMHDH is!! For so long I thought I was the only one who felt absolutely ridiculous (and slightly embarassed) while singing this schmaltz! As a professional musician, many people have asked me why I don't sing in our parish's music ensemble. (I hesitate to call it a choir.) I've always made up some excuse like not having time blah blah blah, when the truth all along has been that I just can't stand the abominable music!
Being a fan of early church music since childhood, I was originally drawn to the Catholic Church by sacred Gregorian chants and the heavenly polyphony of Palestrina and his contemporaries. However, instead of the beautiful traditional music that had first inspired my conversion, my baptism and first communion were accompanied (rather marred) by refrains of insipid campfire fluff complete with guitar and bongo band. How my family managed to sit silently and endure three hours of that watery dreck mystifies me to this day.
Something has to be done to ban this music from mass. To put it simply, it's awful. Not to mention that its tone and more than often, text, interferes with prayer and the sanctity of the liturgy. Save it for the church retreat, when folksy guitar music around the campfire is appropriate. For the purpose of mass, the Church needs to bring back the Gregorian chants, sacred polyphony, and old hymns. The Catholic Church has a beautiful musical heritage that we should be proud of and embrace! It boggles my mind how church leaders can just toss it aside in favor of New Age barf. What other traditions are these group hugging hippies going to do away with next? Replacing Holy Communion with s'mores and kool-aid?
What saddens me the most is that this travesty has been going on for over an entire generation. There are many Catholics in my age group (mid-20s) who don't even know who Palestrina is and only hear chant as relaxation music at their local day spa. And while some of us may be enlightened through older generations' reminiscent stories, or study polyphony in a music appreciation class, most will experience nothing outside the regurgitated drivel that OCP force feeds them. Therefore, they continue to subject themselves, week after week, to this bland musical tripe, totally unaware that they're being denied some truly inspirational music.
I am relieved to know that there are others out there who, like me, wish to do away with this miserable excuse for liturgical music. I want to make changes in my own parish, but unfortunately, I have no idea where to begin. Wistfully daydreaming about our "music director" getting sacked isn't going to solve any problems. (And it may not even be her fault in the first place, when parish music directors all over the USA are complaining that the OCP's rubbish isn't their choice, but rather the poor decision of an uninformed priest or a musically uneducated "committee.") Any advice on how to rid my parish of this intolerable swill is much appreciated, not only by me and members of my parish, but anyone else who discovers this website and thinks to themselves, "Amen!"
Too long has our Church had to suffer through feel-good, all inclusive cacophony some call music.
Two thousand years of talent brought us chant, Machaut, Palestrina, and Mozart, and we have to listen to "Gather Us In" every Sunday. If this keeps up, I'm learning Slavonic....It pains me to see "Pange Lingua" and "Adoro Te Devote" rejected for the banal ditties of Haugen and Haas.
The last straw for me was having Gather Us In as the entrance hymn for Holy Thursday.
I've had to put up with the nonsense of Haugen/Haas, hand-holding, liturgical dancing, bongos my whole life....I didn't even realize just how bad it was until I befriended a group of orthodox Catholic students and attended my first Tridentine mass. Thank goodness I'm involved in choirs here where we sing real sacred music--our last few concerts included Tallis, Durufle, Middle English hymns, and Josquin Desprez.
The faithful are suffering a white martyrdom at the hands of the liturginazis and rock-star wannabes that have infiltrated the music business in the Church. It's time to reclaim our patrimony and get rid of their pernicious influence.
I can no longer abide by the bizarre Andrew-Lloyd Webber caterwauling in the Mass of Creation. Our Music Director was once enamored of Mozart's Requiem and Pie Jesu. Now he seems to have entered a world of hand-clapping hipster charismatic revival....
Rather than simply organizing the ranks of the SMMMHDH juggernaut, you might mobilize the resources in a tenuous assault. I note that Haugen and Haas are offering their jingles on Amazon.com. I've already given one of them a one-star review. I encourage y'all to do the same. We may not be able to get them out of the choir- loft, but perhaps we can prevent the unwitting from subsidizing their sonic assault.
[I've just been struck by a horrific thought! Perhaps it would be better to give them glowing reviews and actually (gasp) purchase their CD's - if they sell enough on Amazon, maybe... just maybe... they'll abandon the liturgy for the green fields of secular pop stardom?]
It is painful to think why there are people who insist upon forgetting this centuries old tradition of the Church by eliminating the true musical prayer of the Church for what would fail miserably in a composition class at any major conservatory. It's time to take back our tradition and praise God with only the highest form of praise: well-composed music!
I have frankly heard enough of these awful songs that are turning the Novus Ordo into a campfire singalong even as it is being Protestantized to the fullest possible extent. My opposition to the music may sound like a knee-jerk reaction to my feelings concerning Vatican II, but that being said, I would do anything... ANYTHING to be able to convince the hierarchy of the Church that what is bankrupt musically and lyrically is also by nature bankrupt spiritually, because the great works of man's efforts to praise the Triune Godhead in song have been necessarily supernaturally driven by the graces given to those composers.
The first time I heard "Gather Us In" I thought it WAS a parody!
"Hi, my name is Tom, and I used to sing at Folk Mass . . . . . "
I cannot thank you enough for providing this website!
For such a long time, I've been looking for a safe, welcome place to share the frustrations I've been feeling for so long, frustrations that now I know I share with others in solidarity. One of the most heartbreaking things about the Church in this country is that there is not enough space and opportunity to open up about these frustrations; we are force-fed ideology, put through liturgical "workshops" and made to sing (ad nauseam) certain music without say-so. When one has the slightest problem, question, or need for clarification, we are basically told to "shut up and row." ....
The sexual abuse crisis is not the only crisis in our Church; it's one hell of a crisis of faith and emotional and spiritual health to be forced to stand up and salute liturgical dancing, "inclusive" language (which is a non-entity, because if I have the slightest objection to it, these people sure as hell don't "include" me!) and the same damn feel-good folksy music Sunday after Sunday after Sunday after Sunday.....
One of the problems with Haugen/Haas, and whoever the hell wrote that insipid "Bless the Feast" (if I hear that song one more time I'm going to completely freak out!!!) and so many others, is that they are played into the ground, as if there is no other music to be heard, as if hundreds of years of beautiful music has been lost in the Titanic.
I've heard this crap at baptisms, on Maundy Thursday, on Easter, at my Grandma's funeral (one day I am forced to relive every time some "music minister" strikes it up), in church and in the seminary (and believe me, my classmates and I wrote our OWN lyrics, and sang them while everyone else sang the party line...that might be disrespectful, but so is playing this crap every bloody time we gather for Mass.)
And that's another thing. It isn't about worship anymore. Or about how great God is. Or about mystery. Or about the majesty of God. Or about the magnitude of the Blessed Sacrament. Oh, no; these are not the "in" things. We are not "with it" when we hold strong to these things....
And, speaking of sacrifice, why in the hell has the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass turned into a coffee klatch? And why has Vatican II been viewed as a carte blanche blitzkrieg of everything that happened in the Church prior to 1962? And why is the Tridentine Mass barely tolerated in so many local churches, when the latest liturgical b*s* is taken as the holy Gospel? Why has the "music ministry" taken over the liturgy?
At my funeral, if anyone dares to play "On Eagle's Wings", "Shepherd Me, O God", or any of the other leftist "Funeral Top 40," I'm getting out of the casket and smashing the instruments. Hey, I'll be dead, so they can't sue me for damages! I've been acolyte for probably 20 funerals, and I still get a nervous tick every time I hear "Eagle's Wings."
I'm searching for a place to call home, in terms of a parish family. I have to drive over 30 minutes to get to the local Tridentine Mass, which I'm sure our archbishop barely tolerates, unless it puts more money in his coffers or gives him more pr. Having to sit through these hootenanny Masses, by the time Holy Communion comes, I am so angry, so full of grief, that I am not properly disposed to receive Holy Communion....
And I am so damn bloody sick of this "We are Church" and "Let's get rid of the Reserved Sacrament, because the Mass is OUR family meal." B*S*! As a good, loving Lutheran friend reminded me, "It's NOT 'our' supper - it's THE LORD'S supper!"
At our parish, we now have an empty choir loft and the pipe organ has developed a thick coating of dust. But we do now have a brand new set of drums that is proudly and permanently placed in the sanctuary where the choir also performs.
The hallmark of the long reign of Pope John Paul II was a 'call to return to orthodoxy' ... why did this call never filter down to the parish music?
Good luck and God's speed in your quest to eliminate this septic effluent from our Holy Catholic Church.
I for one am flabbergasted as well on how the music of these two gentlemen has infiltrated the church. Not that I have anything against them and I see nothing wrong with maybe using a few of their selections here and there, but their music has literally become standard fare in the Roman Church and I think it is a travesty that they have taken over the market and are making many people believe that this is the "new" standard repertoire of the church.
Many (if not most) of these songs might (might) be OK at children's Masses or other such gatherings of Catholic children, or children of other Christian denominations. BUT, just like it's OK for your toddler to listen to Barney and Wiggles and Sesame Street music and begin to sing a few of the cutesy songs when they're three or four years old, when they grow up, they need to learn and appreciate REAL music.
Since converting to Catholicism, I have been fortunate enough to belong to a parish that sings Gregorian chant and traditional hymns every Sunday, and I have listened with bemusement to the complaints of Catholics who are not so lucky. I had no idea what they were talking about until circumstances dictated that I attend a different church for a couple of months. Mass invariably opened with "All Are Welcome Here," a song the words of which literally made me choke. Worse were the choices for communion; I was used to singing "Ave Verum Corpus" and "Adoro Te Devote," but was now expected to sing songs about myself becoming bread. Thank God I'm back at my own parish.
To those who accuse me of musical snobbery and unrealistic expectations, I would say I tend to agree with C.S. Lewis, who thought that most (traditional English) hymns were "fifth-rate poetry set to sixth-rate music." However, those hymns have never made me want to burst into tears or write letters to the bishop. They have never made me worry about the children who were taught to sing them. Aesthetic quality isn't really the point, although God deserves the best -- at the very least we should not be forced to sing heresy. And contrary to contemporary opinion, Latin chant is not only breathtakingly beautiful, it's pretty easy to learn. Certainly it's easier to sing than some of those Marty Haugen showtunes!
Gather Them In (for Thanksgiving)
Here in this place, our family's meeting -
Grandparents, cousins, uncles and aunts -
Getting in place for dinnertime seating,
And to my mother they're chanting these chants:
"Gather them in, the turkey and stuffing,
Gather them in, the gravy and ham!
And don't forget that Thanksgiving dinner
Just ain't complete without cranberry jam!"
Out in the den my uncles were spitting
Curse words in front of the big screen TV
While watching football (totally fitting):
Visitors thirty, home team only three.
"Gather them in," my mother requested:
"Gather them in, lest dinner gets cold."
And though at first, my uncles protested,
Watching the walloping quickly grew old.
Gone from this place, my sister's new diet.
Brother's already demanding more food.
To our surprise, the in-laws are quiet -
No petty fighting to break up the mood.
"Gather the beans, the corn and potatoes."
"Gather the pot roast, gather the bread."
"Haven't you got too many tomatoes?
Just one more bite will render you dead."
After our dinner, everyone's groaning,
Grousing, complaining, that they ate too much.
And this one thought has my cousins moaning:
Turkey breast sandwiches for next week's lunch.
"Gather them in, the Pepto-dash-Bismol,
Gather them in, the Pepcid AC.
Please do it quick, cuz' we're feeling dismal,
Next year we'll limit our helpings to three!"
Gather Us In
Here in this place, a bad song is starting,
Now will the altar turn into a stage.
All that is holy is slowly departing,
Making a way for the coming New Age.
Gather us in, though we are like captives.
But to miss Mass on Sunday, that would be wrong.
But Lord hear our plea, regarding M. Haugen:
Give him the courage to put down that bong.
Dear Father Smith make a beeline procession,
Run if you have to, make it real terse.
If you can start this Mass very quickly,
Maybe we'll only have to sing but one verse.
O Dear Lord Jesus, You are the Savior
We've promised to follow, whatever the cost.
But we didn't know this song had been written:
Would you terribly mind if we came off our cross?
Gather Us In (to the IHOP)
Gather us in, the eggs and the pancakes.
Gather us in, the bacon and ham.
Make us to be a well balanced breakfast
Nourished with orange juice that came from a can.
Gather Us In (to the cookout)
Gather us in, the beef and the chicken.
Gather us in, the pork and the lamb.
Make us to be a barbecued banquet,
Washed down with beer from a keg or a can.
Gather Us In
We are the folks who sit and glare at you
if you should sit in our favorite pew.
We are the folks who turn and stare at you
when you come late as you usually do.
We are the teens whose parents have made us
come to this Mass though we don't want to go.
We are the old, pre-Councilar Catholics,
dreaming of Mass as it was long ago.
Gather us in, the rich and the famous,
gather us in, the poor and obscure,
gather us in, the slightly eccentric
and all the late-comers out there by the door.
Gather us in, the handsome and homely,
gather us in from near and from far,
and don't forget the man in the Buick
who dropped off his wife and is parking the car.
Gather us in, the hairy and balding,
gather us in, the skinny and fat,
gather us in, the chic and the frumpy
and anyone wearing a big flowered hat.
Gather us in, the Packers and Bears fans,
gather us in, who do not like sports,
gather us in from every direction,
but keep out the flip-flops and tank tops and shorts.
Gather Us In
Here in this place, our comfortable parish,
All of the statues carried away,
See in each face a vacuous visage,
Brought here by guilt or by R.C.I.A.
Gather us in, by Bimmer or Hummer,
Gather us in, so we can feel good,
Come to us now in this barren Zen temple,
With only a shrub and an altar of wood.
We are the young, our morals a mystery,
We are the old, who couldn't care less,
We have been warned throughout all of history,
But we enjoy this liturgical mess.
Gather us in, our radical pastor,
Gather us in, our unveiled nun,
Call to us now, with guitars and bongos,
Hang up your cellphones and join in the fun!
Here we will take some wine and some water,
Whether it changes, we really don't care.
But when the Sign of Peace comes, our pastor,
Jumps from the altar and hugs like a bear.
Gather us in, the privileged and snobby,
Gather us in, the liberal elite,
Help us to form our personal Credo,
Give us a choice between white bread and wheat.
Gather Us In
Here in this church the choir is droning;
"Gather Us In" is our entrance song.
Chanted this slow, it sounds more like groaning;
I notice no one is singing along.
"Gather Us In" is sung every Sunday;
"Gather Us In" is sung every Mass.
Give us a break and sing something different,
"Gather Us In" gets old really fast.
Gather Us In
Gather us in, the disheartened faithful,
force fed a watered-down liturgy.
Gone are the hymns that point us toward heaven
- courtesy of the OCP.
If I had pow'rs of telecombustion,
the songbook I hold would burst into flame.
Judging by those around me - not singing,
everyone else here feels just the same.
I envy the deaf who can't hear this music;
I envy the mute who don't have to sing.
I might "sing a new church into being"
if I knew just what the hell that means.
If I must hear this music much longer
I fear that I will surely puke.
Two-thousand years of church music history,
flushed down the john by Haas, Haugen, and Schutte.
Gather This Din
Here in this place
New sounds are pounding
Now is all beauty vanished away
Hear in this place how our ears are peeling
With sounds so horrible no one can say
Gather us in
The deaf and the cowed
Gather us in, the musically flayed
Call to us now, and we shall be angry
We are the wasted and can't hear anyway
We are the young, so ready to riot
We are the old who long for some peace
Please stop the noise so we can die quiet
Or give us now some good ear plugs please
Gather this din
And then call it music
Gather it in, the hip hop and rap
Call to us now, and we shall ignore you
We shall grow deaf at the sound of this crap.
A Ditty to God (after Dan Schutte's The City of God)
Awake from your slumber, arise from your sleep;
The homily's over, it wasn't too deep.
He spoke of a 'journey', well, what else does he say?
We're all part of a 'story' as we go on our way.
So let's sing a ditty to God,
It's a way we can all be together.
And we'll be the City of God
If we tell his story once more.
We're all part of a journey, to 'I-don't-know-where',
But that isn't important, so long as we're here.
Be part of the story of me and of you,
And don't worry asking if the story is true.
No, just sing a ditty to God,
It's a way we can all be together.
It would be a pity for God
If we told his story no more.
So come if you're ready, the meek and the smug,
For God is a Teddy, he'll give you a hug.
And take consolation, till next time we meet,
As you go on your journey, God's in the back seat.
So just sing a ditty to God,
It's a way we can all be together.
It would be a pity for God
If we told his story no more.
Nagging for God (after Dan Schutte's The City of God)
Awake from your slumber,
it's twenty to nine.
Mass starts at 9:30:
we haven't much time.
Well, I woke you up first at 8,
and then again at 8:30;
why should we be made to come late
'cause you can't get out of bed?
Get out of the shower,
by now you are clean.
We don't have an hour,
it's now 9:15.
If you really hurry along
there's a chance that we could still make it
by the end of the Entrance Song,
or before they start on the Creed.
We're out in the car now,
we're waiting for you,
but you are still searching
for your left shoe.
If we lived next door to the church
we'd still be late every Sunday.
Why should we be left in the lurch
'cause you can't get out of bed?
Bread for the Squirrels (after Bernadette Farrell's Bread for the World)
Bread for the squirrels,
The squirrels are hungry.
Whining for dinner,
They want some nuts.
May we who feed
These furry rodents
Hold out our hands
And give them lunch.
The squirrels live in parks and fields and trees,
What they can't finish, they store inside their bulging cheeks,
So let us feed them bread and fries and hot dog buns,
Or just a tiny piece to make them fight for fun.
Now squirrels come in grey, and brown, and black,
And sometimes rabid ones will jump upon your back,
But we appease them when we give them chunks of bread,
Lest they attack and skeletonize you from foot to head.
Here I Am, Birds (after Dan Schutte's Here I Am, Lord)
I the bird of speech and song, I have slept the whole night long,
With my piercing voice so strong, your sleep I'll end.
Bring me seed and pellet now. If you don't I'll have a cow.
Bring it now, I don't care how. Whom shall you send?
Here I am, birds, is it I, birds.
I have heard your chirping and your tweet.
When you scream, birds, I will hear you,
And I'll bring you yummy things to eat.
Here I Am, Lord
Here I am, Lord,
I've got your pizza,
And it's only fourteen-ninety-five.
Extra cheese, Lord,
And a little bag of peppers on the side.
Here I Am, Lord, Where Are You, Lord?
See the Blessed Sacrament
where the tabernacle went
in that little alcove there off to the side.
When folks come into the nave,
they don't know how to behave:
should they genuflect or not?
They can't decide.
Here I am, Lord. Where are You, Lord?
Are You in that niche way over there?
Once You were, Lord, front and center.
Now I cannot see You anywhere.
Though the Mountains May Fall (after Carey Landry)
Though the mountains may fall, and the hills turn to dust,
We will never get rid of this song.
Like a big ball of wax, it will stick in our ears,
Drowning out other tunes that belong.
Long beloved by Pastorals,
In the 60s they are trapped.
Though a mother forsakes her child,
Who will dare disown this crap?
Could you please play some silence?
Give the microphones away?
Won't you stop moving to and fro,
What if someone wants to pray?
Let's all clap with the Father,
For he's just like you and me.
Once he lived for the Roman rite,
Now he lives for Community.
Mass of Creation (after Marty Haugen)
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
Marty, Marty, give it a rest.
Who said your Mass was the best?
It's all I hear, from the farm to the city,
Your eucharistic ditty.
Liturgists love you, organists cannot compete.
The lay sway to your beat,
The lay sway to your beeeeeeeeeeeat.
Though you tried, Chant has risen, and we'll chant again.
Though you tried, Chant has risen, and we'll chant again.
JESUS LAMB OF GOD
What's that awful sound? It's Marty Haugen's Mass again. Have mercy on us.
What's that dreadful sound? It's Marty Haugen's Mass again. Have mercy on us.
Can't we stop that sound? And not hear Marty's Mass again? Grant us some peace.
Mess of Cremation (sung to the "Sanctus")
Boring, Boring, boring noise
Ungodly music, banal praise
Heaven and earth are filled with this drivel
Hosannas in the lowest
Blessed is he who closes his ears in defense
Hosannas in the lowest!
Anthem of the Hymn Writers (after Tom Conry's Anthem)
We write hymns, we're composers,
We are fans of one another.
We make hymn books for tomorrow
While we rake in cash today.
We're the best, we're the greatest,
So our hymns are all you need.
And our songs are all you hear in church,
The only ones indeed.
We Remember (after Marty Haugen)
We remember how we used to sing great hymns,
And we're still hoping we'll sing them all again.
'Cause all we hear at Mass is drivel
Written by Marty Haugen's pals.
We remember the hymns we used to sing.
There's a thousand great old hymns
We used to sing at Sunday Liturgy;
Now they've been abandoned
Still we're hoping for a change;
We wish someone would take a stand.
Maybe Marty Haugen
Will someday soon be banned.
On Chicken Wings (or, the Ballad of a Cafeteria Catholic) (after Michael Joncas, On Eagle's Wings)
You who smell this lovely smorgasbord,
Who will dine with the fork and the knife,
On each trip remember,
A new plate if you must.
And we will feed you all, on chicken wings,
Greasy fries with stringy cheese,
Salad that isn’t all that green,
And ice cream, out of a machine,
At the end.
The glare of the lady, who works behind the line,
Need not worry, or cause you fear,
She’s there to ensure our profits,
By dispensing each their own.
You need not fear that terror of the night,
Indigestion, intestinal pain,
Though thousands writhe in anguish,
Pepto will steer you clear!
If you return to eat with us again,
All you can, only six ninety-nine,
The same three meats, and the same four veg,
Will be there to satisfy your tongue.
And we will feed you all, on chicken wings,
Greasy fries with stringy cheese,
Salad that isn’t all that green,
And ice cream, out of a machine, at the end.
And ice…cream…out of a machine…at the end.
The Cantor Sings (after Michael Joncas, On Eagle's Wings)
I'm the one with the booming microphone
All control of the music is mine.
You know you should start singing
When I give the "touchdown" sign...
And I will raise my arms to make you sing
Wave my hands to lead you on
All in a key that's much too high
And hold out notes just as looooooong
As you'll stand
My choices of music will not enrapture you
And chanting will not reach your ear.
When I am at the "ambo"
I gesture and you yield...
There's no use in putting up a fight
For I hold this position with pay
With show tunes I'll serenade you
Bring on the bongo drums...
For to the choir I've given a command
To sing nothing that's older than they.
On Haugen's work I will train them up
Lest they ever get a sense of tone...
You Are Mine (after David Haas)
The choir sings this song to break the silence
It infiltrates my prayer and hurts my head.
Merrily they sing, in notes of saccharine,
The words Jesus never said.
Do not be afraid of good music,
Even when they call you names.
Follow Gregory, he'll lead you back to Rome;
Our praise belongs to God alone.
The last time that the choir sang this drivel,
I fell asleep and had a glorious dream.
In the vision shown to me, a bankrupt OCP,
And plainsong reigned supreme.
The organ will again lead us in worship,
With Adoremus Hymnals in our hands,
We'll snap the guitar strings, and rupture tambourines;
And rain sticks shall be banned.
Ashtrays (after Tom Conry, Ashes)
We gather round the ashtray and smoke our fine cigars,
And sip from strong libations we created at the bar.
If all the world is ashes, then we probably got nuked,
But since that hasn't happened, come join our little group.
We'll offer you our brandy, and afterwards a mint.
I'd love to smoke one with you, but I gave them up for Lent.
So the ashtray I'll be cleaning, and restock the humidor,
For that glorious Easter morning, when I'll smoke cigars once more.
They come from Nicaragua, Honduras, and Ecuador,
But we can't get them from Cuba 'til Castro's in the morgue.
From luxurious, dark maduros to a candela's lighter hue,
And my awful-looking ashtray are waiting there for you.
Thanks be to Columbus, who brought us the cigar,
And thanks be for the Cubans I had smuggled in my car,
And thanks be for the websites where we can all afford to buy
An off'ring for my ashtray, and an offering for you.
Haugen's "Worship Space" (after Marty Haugen, All Are Welcome)
Let us write a song about ourselves
That makes us feel OK
Let it rattle in our heads as well
The remainder of the day
Built of tuneless, trite confection
On the ashes of good taste
Here it's spreading like a vile infection
No more organs, no more chanting
Here in Haugen's "worship space"
Let us do away with altar rails
Where once the faithful knelt
No statues and no chapel veils
Just banners made of felt
Let's put human interaction
At the center of our praise
And exalt ourselves without distraction
No more silence, no more reverence
Here in Haugen's "worship space"
Let us build a plain hall of concrete
Find priests who makes us laugh
We will sing a song of wine and wheat
And then disperse like chaff
Let us leave for our descendants
A liturgical disgrace
And ignore our dwindling attendance
No real answers, bring some dancers
Here in Haugen's "worship space"
All Are Welcome (after Marty Haugen, All Are Welcome)
Let us build a fire with folk guitars
and the music they once played.
Let us revel in this sacrifice
as it blackens and decays.
Throw in Gather Comprehensive
and of course Glory and Praise.
Let them smolder into ash and cinder:
Read a eulogy, purge the liturgy,
All are welcome in this flame.
One way you can help spread the word about the Society for a Moratorium on the Music of Marty Haugen and David Haas is to copy the following image to your own web site and then place it on one of your web pages, with a link to the Society's home page:
The following snippet of HTML shows how to do this:
<!-- begin SMMMHDH banner/link --> <a href="http://www.mgilleland.com/music/moratorium.htm"> <img alt="[SMMMHDH]" width="80" height="15" border="0" src="smmmhdh.png" /> </a> <!-- end SMMMHDH banner/link -->
Here are some links which may be of interest to members of the Society: