Spiritually Flattening, Irritatingly Ambivalent, and Drool-inducing

I’m pretty sure that if the music that Pope Benedict was subjected to in Germany were a moral agent, Christ would spew it from his mouth at the last judgment.

(This is the opening of the Berlin Papal Mass from Rocco Palmo on Vimeo.)

Seriously. At least most of the bad music we’ve had in the past 40 years had a definite direction, took a stand (if heretical), was offensively committed to drums and other banal instruments, etc., but at least it took a side! This stuff doesn’t uplift, tear down, evoke silly voices or jokes, focus attention, or demand anything of the listener but numbness. It’s the audio equivalent of a tranquilizer dart.

The only redeeming part of the video is the money shot at the end when Benedict looks off to the side after sitting down, as though he’s looking to see who it is he needs to excommunicate for spiritually and emotionally anesthetizing the congregation.

I’ll bet there are times he wishes he could do that force lightning thing…

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27 thoughts on “Spiritually Flattening, Irritatingly Ambivalent, and Drool-inducing

  1. Mark Polo says:

    Note that this atrocious lounge music came right after singing a traditional hymn almost without accompaniment. And all 70,000 people were singing it with gusto. It was very haunting and beautiful, probably leading to the couple of people who forgot themselves and clapped at the end. There was also a wonderful chanting of the Our Father in the traditional Gregorian melody a capella and a wonderful “Ite Missa Est”. “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” was also quite well-received.

  2. Carrie says:

    “The pope is currently busy presiding over the mass. Please continue to hold. Your salvation is important to us.”

    1. Glenn Thomson says:

      Shouldn’t the word Pope have a capital P. And Mass have a capital M. Maybe Salvation should too?! But hey the English language doesn’t really exist anywhos:?

  3. [...] Papal Mass: Spiritually Flattening, Irritatingly Ambivalent, & Drool-inducing – T. Crowe, CV [...]

  4. Glenn Thomson says:

    I know that there is a time and place for music. I listen to and play as a musician different genres of music. As a Catholic struggling with some Catholic teachings, (I will always refer to my hard copy of the Catechism and even visit the Vatican website) but most importantly of all refer to the Word of God through obviously the Bible and ask God for guidance to do His Will. Even within the Catholic faith different styles of music are used @ certain times. eg Taize, and Charismatic so different from each other. (I even have purchased a copy of the Divine Mercy to music which was recorded by a Catholic Community in Perth WA, were I am from).

    Get with the times. Obviously the musicians were chosen to perform a particular style for this occasion or hey the muso’s my be nervous performing in front of the Pope and made mistakes or the audio engineer (If they had one) could have made the mistake (as a muso they always are the first to blame, I know been there done that) etc etc etc. Only God may know! As far a excommunicating the very people who are trying to use a gift from God for God, be very very very careful, because musicians (like film makers) have the ability to move mountains using frequencies (light and sound). In one respect frequencies are more powerful that all the nuclear weapons on this planet. Listen up Gods people Keep up. The Catholic Church needs to make some decisions very quickly not 200 years. Time is speeding up!!! God bless those who read this and I pray all goes well.

    1. Jeff says:

      The Divine Mercy is not the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. No one here is saying that Musak is at all times and in all places inappropriate. What most of us are saying is that the Mass in the Roman Rite has a certain character, and that the liturgical music that accompanies the Mass should support and reinforce that character, rather than work against it.

      1. Glenn Thomson says:

        Oh Dear. Here we go again! Of course the Mass is a Roman Rite just like Excorcism!
        I’ve even (as a musician) done workshops on the subject. Music and the structure of the Mass. Why is music used as certain points of the Mass? (work that one out yourself or ask me). Go listen to Motzart’s Requiem again. Someone or something chose those musicians! so they can be accountable. Go have Mass in the Basilica(s) of Rome. I’m sure the music is always perfect!? I was fortunate to visit Western Europe when I was a lot younger. As for the Divine Mercy and other forms of prayer. Are they just vain babbling as mentioned in 2 Timothy 2:15-18. Depends on what Bible you have. And it can mean different things to different people. Ask God at the time(s) of your struggles to interpret the meaning. God has the perfect timing! To me personally it is relevant today as the day(s) it was written.

  5. Scott W. says:

    Look up “money shot” and consider abolishing it from your vocabulary.

    1. Tom Crowe says:

      Scott W. — Get your mind out of the gutter and recognize that common parlance does not dwell upon that meaning. There is a moment or two in every film that makes the film worth spending money on, or simply “worth it.” Sheesh. Wags.

  6. Giovanni A. Cattaneo says:

    Excommunicate? He def should but unfortunately I suspect he won’t.

    In the days before the heresy of collegiality consumed the Church short of excommunication there would be times when Bishops disobeyed the Holy Father and those Bishops were usually sent to a monastery for a number of years to reflect upon their disobedience.

    However today the tiara-less Vicar of Christ is just another Bishop to most of the hierarchy they have not piety towards the chair of Peter and if anything he is just, stop me if have heard this before, “first among equals.”

    No, the Church is sick heresy and heterodoxy walks its halls with triumphalist impunity and alas the bark of Peter may be turning but is turning very slowly.

    Pray for the Holy Pontiff.
    Pray for the Church.

    1. Glenn Thomson says:

      excommunicate the very people who are trying to use a gift from God for God, be very very very careful, because musicians (like film makers) have the ability to move mountains using frequencies (light and sound). In one respect frequencies are more powerful that all the nuclear weapons on this planet. Listen up Gods people Keep up. The Catholic Church needs to make some decisions very quickly not 200 years. Time is speeding up!!! God bless those who read this and I pray all goes well.

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