Schmaltzy hymn tunes lifted from Broadway musicals

For us protestants and evangelicals who are dismayed at how worship services have often been turned into circuses, Rome can sometimes look appealing. Ah, but they a lot of the same trouble, and the same reactions!

My husband used to describe himself as “a member of a church that no longer exists.” Having been raised a Roman Catholic in the pre-Vatican II era, he was disoriented by wedding or funeral services in the contemporary Church. He heard the Mass as a not particularly inspired translation from the Latin, and was indignant that a gender bias had sometimes been imposed in English where none existed in the original. He was glad to see altar girls alongside altar boys, but in annoyed him that many of the kids could not recite the Nicene Creed from memory. The schmaltzy hymn tunes, some lifted from Broadway musicals, made him laugh. At times he would remark, “My mother would not recognize this place as a Catholic church.”

-Kathleen Norris, Acedia & Me, p.238

Several of my RC friends attend a traditionalist perish where the mass is said in Latin, the women wear head-coverings, and they sing each part of high mass. Pushing a bit further out, there is a rather large SSPX community not far north of here. There is certainly some common ground on which to relate.