Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why I don't think P&W music is appropriate for adoration

I've been going to a Young Adult Ministry group as my job and other obligations permit for the last year. There's Eucharistic Adoration every time which is great, but the whole time is occupied with praise and worship songs. Here is my ranting, rambling list of reasons why I wish we could remain silent or at least pick more appropriate songs: 

  1. Its throwing pearls before swine. The Eucharist is without a doubt the greatest gift God has ever given humanity. Singing song after song, week after week that never mention the Eucharist in which Jesus is beyond me. He is of course with us not just spiritually in a "where two or three are gathered in my name" way but He is also there physically in His body, blood, soul and divinity and that mystery begs, even screams for contemplation and prayerful silence. It seems to me that singing these songs ignores, and by the omission denigrates, the reality of Jesus' presence before us in all his glory, majesty and awe. The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life, why is there anyone who doesn't want to sing about it? Continuing with songs that have nothing to do with the Eucharist shows a distinct lack of appreciation for this most wonderful gift.
  2. We have centuries worth of better music to sing. Catholics have been inspired to write beautiful songs about the Eucharist since the beginning of the Church, many of these songs were even written in English or translated into English songs from the original Latin. P&W songs are the song equivalent of an ice cream cone; They are sugary and sweet and they give an immediate but short-lived good feeling. Songs written about the Eucharist can give one a new perspective or teach something new about the Eucharist. There is the possibility of something from the song enriched your spiritual life for the rest of your time on Earth. This brings me to the next point.
  3. Music during Eucharistic Adoration should invite contemplation of the Eucharist. This obviously isn't happening if the sole content of the song is something akin to 5 stanzas of different ways to say that God is great. Most certainly, He is great and we should praise His Holy Name. One of the ways He is great is His condescension to our Humanity to sacrifice Himself on the cross so that we may have the Eucharist. As I said above, P&W gives a short-lived good feeling and the mystery of the Eucharist screams for contemplation. Mental prayer is a higher good than vocal prayer. Its easy with songs like "Let all mortal flesh keep silence" or "Hail, Holy Body" for a line in their to evoke contemplation of how great the Eucharist truly is. But when there is little or no fodder for contemplation in the P&W genre of music.
  4. If you are busy adoring the Holy Eucharist you don't need to be entertained. There is definitely a sensibility among many Catholics that churchtainment needs to be inserted into every facet of our spiritual lives. However, when you are adoring and contemplating the Most Blessed Sacrament entertainment is irrelevant and unnecessary. Time flies when you kneel in wonder before our Lord.

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

Adopt A Catholic Blog


Anonymous said...

Beautiful - thank you for saying what so many are afraid to. So true.

Adoration is the entire reason to go to Adoration. Not the "fellowship", not the "entertainment", not the cheesy 60's Quasi-Catholic-Quasi-Heretical songs.

kkollwitz said...

I've never heard of music at Adoration, period, until just now. Can't imagine it; and can't imagine P&W even more. Or less.