From Mr Ronald Shillingford SIR – At last the Vatican has said that bad church music no longer will be accepted at Mass (Report, July 29). I must say, however, that it has taken it 35 years to only just find that out.
There is a lot of work to be done. This can only be achieved by the help of the diocesan networks in recruiting trained musicians. Apart from the Society of St Gregory and the National Pastoral Musicians’ Network there is not enough support for musicians working in the Church.
I have worked in church music for over 20 years, and apart from a regular stipend I have had to pay for all my own training and qualifications myself. Congregations need to rediscover the glories of singing those parts of the Mass that are essential.
I’m always amazed when people call upon me to play the organ at their church that they tell me they have not had an organist there for some time.
We need the faithful to discover the beauty of music at Mass and to be so moved by it that it sends shivers down their spine.
Yours faithfully, RONALD SHILLINGFORD Birmingham, W Midlands From Mrs Monica King
SIR – Your leading article of July 29 rightly refers to “limp modern hymns” supposedly written in line with the “spirit of Vatican II”. One in particular comes to mind. It is sung to the melody of a French love song called Plaisir d’amour. It is totally out of place in a church and merely adds to the feelings people have at the end of Mass of having been through some sort of mangle. If this seems a little exaggerated, one only has to look at people’s faces as they leave church after Mass on Sunday. They certainly do not reflect the fact that they have been present at the Church’s chief liturgical event, namely the sacrifice of the Mass.
Yours faithfully, MONICA KING Hayes, Middx