16 October 2008

Happy-Clappy Songs Ruined Britain

Jonathan Wynne-Jones writes:
Graham Kendrick - the author of such painful hymns as Shine, Jesus, Shine has been included amongst a list of 50 people responsible for ruining Britain.
"Happy-cr*ppy hymns are a pestilence," says Quentin Letts, a parliamentary sketchwriter.

"They demean adult worship, dragging it to a level even lower than that of Mrs C F Alexander's All Things Bright and Beautiful.

"They are self-obsessed, babyish, cliched, simplistic."

He stops there, but no doubt could have gone on.
There must be many who would agree that the attempts to make worship more modern and contemporary have left it banal and vacuous.

You only have to look at the rise in attendance at cathedrals to see the truth of this.

People go there knowing they can be guaranteed a high-level of music, traditional hymns along with choirs, and a fondness for liturgy.

In most parish churches they can not.
The article addresses Anglican worship, but the same applies to the Catholic Church. The worst, in my opinion, are the Life Teen Masses, meant for adolescents, but often led by balding, middle-aged, out-of-touch guitar players strumming 1980s tunes. Teens are usually more embarrassed than excited to attend...

(nod to Rod Dreher)