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The Chasms Between the rich man, Lazarus and our Music

posted Sep 30, 2010, 7:44 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Sep 30, 2010, 7:48 AM ]

Today’s Gospel (Luke 16:19-31) describes the “great chasm” between the netherworld’s rich man and Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham.  How great is the chasm between the music you hear at church and what you listen to the rest of the week?  And how can we work together to bridge that gap, even slightly?


Most of us listen to secular pop music all week long.  I do.  But what if you want to meditate, pray or just relax?  Does the music you hear in church inspire you?  Both sacred and secular music have adapted through history to our changing interests and tastes.  Many of the “contemporary” hymns we sing use pop idioms from various styles, making them sound newer than traditional hymns.  (Speaking of, did you know the tune for A Mighty Fortress was originally a beer-drinking song common in German pubs?)  But which styles would you like to hear more?


The Gospel unites us together by its message of inclusion, not exclusion.  Shouldn’t this apply to musical styles?  Do you use two different vocabularies to describe your everyday life from your faith?  Then why segregate our music so much?  Music is the language of the heart.  And it’s not its sound that makes it sacred; it’s the intention and motivation behind its communication.  Do you ever play classical music?  Maybe early in the morning?  Enigma, E Nomine and Gregorian all have music based on Gregorian chants.  Have you heard Oremus, the popular Catholic rock band?  Or Danielle Rose, who blends Celtic, Country, Jazz and Blues? 


I don’t just want to introduce new hymns for the sake of variety.  I want to learn your musical tastes, so that I can find music you can relate to, and that inspires you the most; not just on Sundays, but during other moments of the week as well.