Ed Fee, one of the regular cantors for CatholicTV Daily Mass
Last fall, Dan Schutte, a nationally-renowned Catholic liturgical music composer, was interviewed by Jim Lockwood of The Pilot, America's oldest Catholic newspaper. Well-known songs which he composed such as “Glory and Praise to Our God,” “You Are Near,” and “Here I Am, Lord,” were as much a part of my experience of growing up Catholic as was Gregorian Chant, polyphony and traditional hymns such as "Praise to the Lord" with which we begin the CatholicTV Mass each day.
Schutte spoke of music in our Catholic liturgy and how some people conceive of it as a sort of decoration, as something that makes Mass more enjoyable. But in actuality, music is something we use to express our love and dedication to God and to enhance worship together. Many of us have a favorite song or hymn which acts as a vehicle to bring us to that place where maybe we can pray in a way that otherwise we would not be able to do with just words.
And so, at CatholicTV, our celebration of the television Mass has been enhanced and appropriately celebrated because of the contribution of some very competent and faithful musicians. These women and men help us to pray well at the Mass offered on the CatholicTV Network each day. As we look into the not-too-distant future, our musicians have the challenge to help us, the CatholicTV family, to become accustomed to something new. As you might have read or heard, the English-speaking world will soon have a new and more literal version of the Mass texts. These newly translated prayers and responses will take some getting used to after the present English translation of some 40 years. No doubt, our wonderful musicians will help us to learn and pray together as they have for so many years.
However, before and after that, as we raise our minds and hearts to God in the celebration of the Mass on CatholicTV, our liturgical musicians will continue to help us to pray well, even twice. Although we participate remotely in our homes and offices and on our hand-held devices, their musical gifts will lift us beyond the day-to-day work and concerns that preoccupy us to a God Who had proven His eternal love in Jesus the Christ.