Pray Tell Live Roundtable Discussion: “Where Is Catholic Worship Music Going?”

Opening Night Pray Tell Roundtable Discussion with Anthony Ruff, OSB and Audrey Seah, Joe Balistreri, Fr. Peter Funk OSB, and Pedro Rubalcava.
“The State of the Question: Where Is Catholic Worship Music Going?”
10:00–10:30 pm ET

Archive of the Roundtable Discussion:

Looking ahead to another national NPM convention, and looking ahead to the future of Catholic liturgical music: where is it all going? What are the emerging trends, the new controversies, the signs of hopeful new directions? Who are the main players, and what are the main forces at work in the Church and in the culture?


  1. Great show! Watched it from my hotel room here at NPM, now I can go down and see the exhibits. 🙂

  2. Are you going to archive video of the convention liturgical services (daily Mass/Vespers, etc.) as well?

    1. @John Kohanski – comment #2:
      No – this doesn’t all belong to Pray Tell, it belongs to NPM. They have never broadcast anything from the conventions; this year they generously allowed Pray Tell to broadcast a few select things.

  3. I was struck by how much it seems that people are looking for what they personally like in liturgy, and especially liturgical music, and how little they seem to ask themselves what the rite is asking for at this particular point, or, just as important, what the text is saying.

    That is why we have numerous examples of music that reflects a terrifyingly large number of different idioms that are out there, but which don’t necessarily tie in with what is going on in the rite. We had at NPM an example during one of the Morning Prayers of a psalm setting that is a great tune but has nothing to do with the text it is setting. I compliment the melody and its structure, but I just wish the composer had meditated on the text before setting it, instead of grafting the text onto the music. Using this setting gave the impression that the music was just being slotted into the rite.

    I don’t know that we can predict where music is going by looking to the vast range of idioms and styles. No one 40 years ago could have predicted the contemplative dimension that the music of Taizé would bring to the music of the Church. We need to be open to things that have not yet happened, or that have happened but are not yet known about widely enough, and not just indulge ourselves in our current favorite idiom.

  4. Awesome discussion… some wonderfully diplomatic musicians there. I want to hear that guy’s organ chops.

    Thanks for posting this!

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