Thanks for the good editorial in the August issue along with the URL of the Instrumentum. I have taken a copy of it to read off-line.
I know we must continue to believe in the working of the Holy Spirit, but when I read your summary of the problem areas, I wonder whether any of the people who need to take note of them will ever admit that they have the need.
In the area of poor quality church music, for instance, how do you convince your average church guitarist looking for a gig that people don't go to Mass just to provide him with a captive audience? How do you convince him that, while the guitar might be fine for a religious folk festival, the Mass is not a folk festival, and if there is nothing more reverent than a strummed guitar available to accompany singing, then silence is infinitely to be preferred?
How do you convince musical liturgists that just because a new book of dreary little ditties of a vaguely churchy nature has hit the shelves we are under no obligation to use it? How to convince them that we might be prepared to sing hymns to Christ, but that, instead, they require us to pretend to be Christ and sing to ourselves; and that the reason many people don't join in the sing-a- long is that the lyrics they want us to sing to ourselves are so trite as to be positively embarrassing?
Then, as regards the sacrificial nature of the Mass, and awareness of the Real Presence, we have had it stressed for so long that the Mass is a communal meal - "our Eucharistic celebration" - that many now seem to regard it as roughly on a par with the parish barbeque, only less fun. So why not chatter loudly right up to the time the priest leaves the sanctuary? After all, the church is only our faith community's gathering place, isn't it?
Is any further instruction in these areas more likely to be read and heeded than the many documents from Rome on the liturgy and the Eucharist repeatedly ignored over the last few decades?
I wish the bishops well, and will pray for the success of their efforts, but I strongly suspect that those who need advice from them either will not bother to read their recommendations, or will not recognise themselves as the target thereof.