After 65 years, this legislation is surely due for review. Surely no-one uses phonographs these days, and though I do have a gramophone and various open-reel tape recorders at home, I wouldn't use them in the liturgy!
On the other hand, some churches (not mine) do project words of hymns onto a screen or blank walls to save printing hymn sheets - CCLI and OneLicense include options for reporting such use as part of copyright returns. Surely there's no intention to prohibit these, though paragraph 73 would appear to do so?
Southern Comfort wrote: ↑Thu Mar 23, 2023 9:01 am
For those with projection screens, paragraph 73 says this:
The use of any kind of projector, and particularly movie projectors, with or without sound track, is strictly forbidden in church for any reason, even if it be for a pious, religious, or charitable cause.
Only instruments which are personally played by a performer are to be used in the sacred liturgy, not those which are played mechanically or automatically.
A church I visited a while ago had an electronic keyboard that could also play back recorded hymn accompaniments, which sounded indistinguishable from a live organist, particularly as other instrumentalists in the church played along "live" to it. Could it be argued in that case that the keyboard, even in “playback” mode, was being operated by a live performer?
I've also known other churches where a mixture of live and recorded music has worked very well; see viewtopic.php?p=21148#p21148
While I certainly wouldn’t advocate playing recordings of secular music at funeral Masses, a case could be made for including recordings of appropriate sacred music, particularly if sung by relatives of the deceased unable to be present themselves. My aunt, who left detailed instructions for her own funeral service, specifically wanted “O rest in the Lord” from “Elijah” – it wasn’t possible to play it in church but we did have Kathleen Ferrier's recording of it at the crematorium, where the operators seemed to react with some surprise at our wish to hear the whole aria, after they initially faded it out after about half a minute.
I've also known families insist on including secular recordings in church funeral services (not Masses) on the grounds that the deceased had specifically asked for it, as if that trumped all liturgical considerations, though in such cases the ones making the request are not usually regular church-goers. Would the ill-will generated by a refusal of a PP to grant such requests make it even less likely that the family members concerned would attend any other services in future?
Does the legislation apply to committal services in crematoria? Paragraph 71 would seem to imply that it does:
The use of automatic instruments and machines, such as the automatic organ, phonograph, radio, tape or wire recorders, and other similar machines, is absolutely forbidden in liturgical functions and private devotions ... outside the church, ...
It also implies I can't play recorded music at home as part of my own prayer, whether it be Taizé chants or the St Matthew Passion. Really? Who is going to enforce that?
Does the Church have any legislation on opening cans of worms?