Religious songs vs traditional church hymns
Question from on 07-09-2007:
Are religious songs that sounds more like pop or romantic songs (eg. songs by Haugen and Haas) really appropriate in the liturgy? If not, then why are such songs being allowed to be included in hymnals that have imprimaturs in it?
Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 07-31-2007:
The governing document on Sacred Music is Musicam Sacram. In addition to Gregorian chant and other clearly sacred music, it allows popular religious music if two conditiosn are met:
1) it is created for worship, and
2) it is endowed with a certain holy sincerity of form.
Thus, popular religious music such as you describe could theoretically qualify if both conditions were met. The Church's norms also require that they be doctrinally correct. The main issues usually raised against contemporary hymns and songs is bland music, banal lyrics and indifferent theology. Such msuic should not be used in the liturgy, especially if they water-down Catholic teaching.