Tonight I had a brief conversation with our parish’s music director. He was expressing to me the difficult situation in which he often finds himself: while he personally prefers a chant-oriented liturgy (he even admitted a preference for the Latin Mass! and !), parishioners of our Sunday 11 a.m. Mass (the one I usually attend) have complained that the music is not “upbeat” enough. Why can’t it be more like the frequently youth-led 5 p.m. Saturday vigil Mass? Hence and six pence none the richer, we will soon be getting more clappy-happy (funny that spell check wants to correct “clappy” to “crappy”) syncopated music for the Sunday 11 a.m. Mass.
While, at most, on a good day with clear skies and cheap bourbon, I am only a quasi-traddy, liturgical bullshit like this almost makes me want to locate the nearest SSPX chapel. (It is the feast day of Saint Pius X today, and contrary to what WordPress says, I am posting this on August 21st.) Then again, my Franz Liszt-like hair, my penchant for women who wear pants, and my willingness to dance the tango whenever possible might make me persona non grata in such chapels.
Are Catholics who fall between the two extremes but who find themselves much closer to traditionalism than Novus Ordo-ism doomed to this ambiguous status? It would be so much easier simply to pick one extreme position and run with it, but, as reflected upon in a recent column by the editor of Chronicles Magazine, Thomas Fleming, life is not a Dickens’ novel: black ain’t jet black, white ain’t pure white.