This is really ridiculous. I customarily am in the choir loft of a Sunday morning, and have little opportunity to observe my fellow Mass-goers. However, this Sunday I was sitting in a pew like a real Catholic, and was appalled to see how few, how very few, mouths were moving during the procession, at offertory, and at the close of Mass. Why? WHY WHY WHY? It has always been my greatest gripe about choirs that they make a grand show of singing, or that they turn what should be a beautiful mode of worship into a production for everyone to applaud (horror!) at the end of Mass.
Now, I've dicovered a bigger gripe. Wny aren't the people sitting out there singing? I'm been labouring under the delusion for a year and a half that the choir sits in the loft and leads the singing, and that everyone in the pews follows the singing. If anything, we're there for backup. Not so, I've found, and I'm so very upset. I should look into this. It seems to me that there should be no one on earth more enthusiastic about singing in church, given the numerous biblical recommendations for such activity, especially in the psalms. Why aren't we singing?
I will wager every A I got this semester (okay, and every B-minus) that there are as many Catholics out there not singing at Mass, as there are Protestants who are singing in their own churches on Sunday. The argument has been posited to me in the past, of course, that the Protestants have stripped so much from their worship, especially as regards the liturgy, that they have nothing left to do but sing, so why wouldn't they? I think there's a fallacy in that argument someplace. Just because we've still got the glory and the majesty and the wonder and the awe and the amazingness of the Catholic Church and all her teachings and liturgical traditions doesn't mean we should clam up. It doesn't mean we ought to use the offertory hymn as a brief period of organized noise, which conveniently masks a conversation with out neighbor about the lucidity of the homliy just delivered. No! I won't have it.
I'm typing too fast--there are probably mistakes all in this. More later...must run away and write more papers.