There is no Sacred Music in Hell

A consecrated lay brother once taught us that sacred music keeps the demons from bothering you.  They must fear the beauty and heavenly nature of it.  I bet the same can’t be said of Marty Haugen’s music . . .  Yuck!  Please read the article below by Catholic Blogger Philip Kosloski on the power of sacred music.


Why the Devil Hates Sacred Music

I had never heard Palestrina’s music before, and I bought a record and put it on, and I almost had a mystical experience.  I said, this is the music of angels.  This doesn’t come from earth;  this comes from heaven.  This is a different kind of music, just as a cathedral is a different kind of church.  And I said, what horrible heresy called the Whore of Babylon possibly could produce music that heavenly?  It was a kind of argument that couldn’t be answered. (Dr. Peter Kreeft on his Conversion to the Catholic Faith, emphasis added)


After listening to Palestrina, Peter Kreeft realized the power of sacred music and it propelled him further into the arms of the Catholic Church. This little episode reveals to us that there is something about sacred music that speaks to the soul and stirs within us a deeper longing for Heaven. Sacred music is very powerful and speaks to anyone who has ears to hear.

Suffice to say, there is no sacred music in Hell.

Music has been a vital part of society for thousands of years. For example, “Plato based his whole ‘ideal’ society, in The Republic, on its educational system, and he based the whole educational system on music as its first step” (The Snakebite Letters, 61, emphasis added). Plato esteemed music so much that he said a society would erode “first through a decay in music” (Ibid.).

The reason why music is able influence society so much is on account of its ability to bypass reason. As humans, we “don’t think about it, [we] just feel it” (Ibid, 62). The most powerful music goes even further, through our feelings and into the “deep center of the soul.” (Ibid).

Many throughout the centuries have converted to Christianity through music; more specifically “sacred music,” the music of the Church. There is even a tradition that God created the world through music, which Tolkien eloquently portrayed in his fictional tale The Silmarillion. Similarly, music is thought to be the “language of Heaven” (Ibid).

This is why the devil hates sacred music so much. It reaches the depths of our soul and raises us up to the Heaven. It should be no surprise to us when a parish’s sacred music program is single-handedly dismantled. He will do all he can to prevent us from hearing the Divine Voice of God.

A Light in the Darkness

Not surprisingly, the past few years has seen an increased interest in sacred music. Our souls long for it and when our soul is not being fed, it will search for one of two places: the garbage heap or the heavenly banquet. Thankfully many in our Church as well as in society are searching for the Song of Songs at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

One example of this is the religious community of nuns called the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of ApostlesFor two consecutive years, they have been the number 1 bestselling Billboard Classical Traditional artist. Additionally, the beauty of their sacred music has attracted the talents of 11-time Grammy Award-winning producer Christopher Alder, who has assisted them in producing several albums.

Their music and community has been featured on NPR, USA Today, People Magazine and The Washington Times. This is fascinating as their music features “English and Latin pieces sung a cappella on the feasts of the holy Saints and angels” as well as during other liturgical seasons.

Based on the fads in music today, their music shouldn’t be popular. Yet, it is!

This community is about to release another album Easter at Ephesus, which I am sure will reach the top of every list out there.

Their music is continuing an ancient tradition of sacred music that we all long for and it raises our hearts to heavenly places. Their music is a light in the darkness and the success they are having gives us hope for society. If society crumbles first through music, then most assuredly it will rise from the ashes through music.

Bring the Irish Back to Christ Once More

Thank God for these sisters that wrote the song in this youtube video regarding their decision to NOT march in the St. Patrick’s day parade.  They are standing for the faith and the Saint they love so much.  Thank God for our Catholic faith.

Here are the outstanding lyrics:

The Leaving of Boston
(“The Leaving of Liverpool”)

Fare thee well, Saint Patrick’s Day Parade,
South Boston, fare thee well!
We are standing for our Catholic Faith,
And the Saint that we love so well.

So, fare thee well, the time has come,
We will now defend one so great as he.
It’s not the leaving of Boston that grieves me,
But Saint Patrick when I think of thee.

We have marched there for over twenty years,
“Keep the Faith” did we proudly display,
And though the foes of God may try,
They will never take this Faith away! – Chorus

Remember, Holy Youth, how long ago,
You brought the Faith to Erin’s shore.
Through the strength and the might of the Trinity,
Bring the Irish back to Christ once more! – Chorus

The Music must befit the Mass

Modern music, in our humble opinion, has no place in the sacred mass.  If teenagers want modern music (hopefully is 80s music!) then they can go hang out at the mall and share it on their lame social media site.  Please keep it away from our Lord.  Please read the outstanding article below from New Liturgical Movement on why the post Vatican II music is just horrible.


Music for the Eucharistic Sacrifice (Part 1)
Peter Kwasniewski

The most common argument I’ve heard over the years for why we should allow Christian “pop” music in Church is the consequentialist or utilitarian argument: “Look how well it works. It gets people to Mass and keeps the youth involved.” Interestingly, I’ve never heard a Catholic try to defend the folksy or pop-style music on purely artistic or liturgical grounds, and only rarely have I seen Protestants try to do that. The baseline for the entire discussion seems to be a rough-and-ready pragmatism.

The problem with this argument is twofold. First, even on a practical level, it’s not really true, or very unevenly so. The total number of Catholics attending Mass is in steady decline and has been for decades, especially in the category of young people. The music we have cobbled together after the Council just doesn’t seem to be so appealing, broadly speaking, as to turn the tide. It seems to put off as many people as the number it may appeal to, if not far more.

Second and more importantly, a popular style of music, complete with guitars and pianos and that distinctive rock-ballad or easy listening feel, is not at all compatible with the Church’s understanding of the Mass as a true and proper sacrifice offered to God. Let’s admit (for the sake of argument) that we could pack a building full of people by using that kind of music. Would this music be able to convey to the worshipers what the Mass actually is, how they should be disposed to it, and how they should think of what they are doing? Or would it subtly or openly inculcate a different doctrine that would eventually result in heterodoxy?

There’s a lot that can be said and has been said about these matters, but it seems to me that one helpful approach is to ponder certain passages of Pope Pius XII’s great encyclical on the sacred liturgy, Mediator Dei, which was a major source for the authors of the Second Vatican Council’s Sacrosanctum Concilium, and to use its insights to illuminate the issues at hand, which are not issues peculiar to our time but ones that arise in every age where secular music has invaded the sanctuary. I will offer the quotations and, after each, make some comments.

47. The entire liturgy, therefore, has the Catholic faith for its content, inasmuch as it bears public witness to the faith of the Church.

Note well: the entire liturgy has the Catholic faith for its content. This entirety, then, includes the music of the liturgy, in both its words and its strictly musical attributes. Pope Pius XII is saying that the texts, melodies, rhythms, all of these should bear public witness to the Church’s faith. It comes as no surprise that Pius X, Pius XI, Pius XII, Vatican II, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI pointed to Gregorian chant and polyphony as pinnacles of this public witness, and underlined the need for new compositions to imitate the spirit of these exemplars.

68. The august sacrifice of the altar, then, is no mere empty commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ, but a true and proper act of sacrifice, whereby the High Priest by an unbloody immolation offers Himself a most acceptable victim to the Eternal Father, as He did upon the cross. “It is one and the same victim; the same person now offers it by the ministry of His priests, who then offered Himself on the cross, the manner of offering alone being different” (Council of Trent).

The Mass is not a social gathering with a humanitarian aim, it is not even a symbolic drama in which we play-act the death of Jesus. It is a true and proper sacrifice, the unbloody re-presentation of the sacrifice of Calvary. Our Lord Jesus Christ’s once-for-all immolation on the Cross is made present and active for us sinners, who would otherwise be lost forever. He comes to be present in this awe-filled, world-changing, life-shaking, heaven-rending sacrifice. For our part, do we appreciate what is happening on the altar? Do our actions, attitudes, responses, artistic expressions, accurately convey our interior awareness of this great mystery, before which we should fall in total self-abnegation, profound humility, trembling adoration? Or does the music (for example) lead us to feel, think, and act as if this mystery and miracle wasn’t happening?

152. While the sacred liturgy calls to mind the mysteries of Jesus Christ, it strives to make all believers take their part in them so that the divine Head of the mystical Body may live in all the members with the fullness of His holiness. Let the souls of Christians be like altars on each one of which a different phase of the sacrifice, offered by the High Priest, comes to life again, as it were: pains and tears which wipe away and expiate sin; supplication to God which pierces heaven; dedication and even immolation of oneself made promptly, generously and earnestly; and, finally, that intimate union by which we commit ourselves and all we have to God, in whom we find our rest. “The perfection of religion is to imitate whom you adore” (St. Augustine).

Does our music convey that we are falling down in worship before the all-holy Lord, the God of heaven and earth—the serving of whom leads to eternal life, the offending of whom leads to eternal death? And is this God truly an aweful mystery for us, in our midst, or has He been domesticated into a kind of friendly atmosphere within which our self-referential ceremonies take place? Are the souls of the people like altars of immolation? Is the unspeakably pure and demanding holiness of God the dominant note of what we are doing and singing?