An Open Letter to Novus Ordo Priests of Good Will from a Young Layman Who Cares

Rorate received this submission from a layman organist and music director.

Dear Fathers,

When Christians all over the world should have been spending their time and energy making room in their hearts for the coming of Christ at His Nativity—entering deep into the liturgical life of the Church, contemplating Christ’s coming in the prophetic words of the prophet Isaiah (“Drop down dew, from above, ye heavens…”) and in the mysterious words of the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Mother—just one week before Christmas, the faithful attached to the traditional rites of the Church were informed (in a rather unceremonious “weekend news dump”) that the things they are attached to as a way to help them pray and grow closer to this Lord Jesus are now essentially worthless and are to be dispensed with, beginning with forbidding the old rites of Confirmation and Holy Orders. This is being done, it is said, for our good and benefit, so that we could grow in unity in one rite.

I am the father of five young children, ten and under. I have worked since 1998, my Sophomore year in high school, as a church organist. I have been a primary music director at a parish since 2011. I have seen beautiful, God-centered liturgies—and I have seen many awful, completely self-centered ones, too.

Since I was a kid, it was made clear to me that the wonder of Holy Communion is that Jesus Christ, in all the might and majesty of the Second Person of the Trinity—in all of that glory—He STILL desires to unite Himself to me, little old me, with my quirks, sins, bad habits. The God of the universe wants that! And isn’t that the awe of the Sacrament? It has always seemed clear to me that if Jesus was just a terrifying punisher, that union would be terribly unattractive. But it’s equally true that if Jesus was just a chummy pal and not divine, why would it really matter whether we receive Him or not? The power is in both—Christ as Lord and Christ as Friend—being true at the same time.

It flowed through my thought process that if Jesus really was the Divine Son of God, that He was really there on the altar, then I ought to do my best, as a musician, to musically depict that reality. You’ve all seen movies. How silly would it be for an epic battle between the forces of good and evil to be accompanied by some sort of clownish circus soundtrack?

Continue reading here.
De Profundis