Thursday, October 8, 2009

The History of the Folk Mass Movement

Ken Canedo's latest book, Keep the Fire Burning: The Folk Mass Revolution, has made quite a hit at various altitudes in the liturgical blogosphere. For the Progressive, it is a tribute to the brave forebears and their wisdom and ingenuity at the dawn of the new liturgical age fostered by the Second Vatican Council. Ray Repp, The Dameans, Carey Landry... these are the Children of the Revolution who bravely fought off the efforts to establish vernacular chant as the new music and instead established a new paradigm founded on the revolutionary sounds of Folk-Pop stars like the Kingston Trio, Bob Dylan and Peter-Paul and Mary. To the Progressive, this book is a testament to their endurance and lasting indication of their permanence.

To the Traditionalist however, the same book is an important illustration of the price of dissent and the folly of what happens when ego-driven individuals set out to remake the liturgy in their own image. Canedo's account and examples put the puzzle together - what you make of the picture when he's done depends on where you stand on the issue.

Ken Canedo participated in a telephone interview for Catholic Radio 2.0 earlier this week and discussed the book and his views on the history of contemporary liturgical music. This is an interview worth listening to. Some of the musical examples will bring back memories for those of us who were there, while simultaneously making you cringe. I am the resurrection! (clap...clap) and the life! (clap...clap...clap...clap)..... hwooook! Almost didn't make it to the little room in time....
Seriously... listen to this interview and wonder at how this happened to the Catholic Church, and take heart in the fact that we are, as we speak, making our way back to where we were supposed to be going so many years ago.

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