pews2 wrote:People's participation in the Mass sometimes can seem better with this approach than with a well-rehearsed choir.
pews2 wrote:Perhaps it is better for a throng to sing at Mass than for a few to sing instead merely because they can sing better
(Sorry to pick on you, pews2, but it's my turn to be provocative!) Is this not a bit old hat? Why is this (so often-not just here) seen as an either/or question? Surely the answer is C - All Of The Above. Full-throated congregational participation is A Good Thing. So is a competent music group (choir/instruments/washboards). The one does not preclude the other. Lets aim for both.
Seems to me that, properly handled, the optimum is to have as many singers and instrumentalists as you can interest in participating to create a critical mass (pun semi-intended) of music. Yes, I can see that if you're not careful, this creates three possible danger situations
a a Them-And-Us feeling develops with the congregation
b the musicians are more interested in the music than the liturgy
c the congregation enjoy the music so much that they don't participate
But I'm sure if you manage the situation to avoid these problems, the benefits (ie of having a team of people who know what's supposed to be going on and who have the confidence that comes with technique and rehearsal to make it happen) are a surer route to success than to disperse all those interested around the congregation and hope that the music will just happen.....