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Why Catholics Can't Sing: The Culture of Catholicism and the Triumph of Bad Taste
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Why Catholics Can't Sing: The Culture of Catholicism and the Triumph of Bad Taste

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  12 reviews
This book is about the culture of American Christianity and what it does to our understanding of God, self, and community as reflected in the way Christians worship.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 1st 1992 by The Crossroad Publishing Company (first published 1990)
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really liked it 4.00  · 
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 ·  98 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Not what I expected. Better than I expected because it is a history of American Liturgical Music that is told in a simple and humorous way. How many books get praised by both First Things and Andrew Greeley. This one. I suspect that most Catholics do not know how the Irish struggle with Protestant England has led to bad American hymnody. In the Americas. Vatican II was actually an effort in part to cure this stoicism. Only Day with his expanse of experience could write about how the ...more
1. This book is almost 30 years old, consequently all the "new" song the author hates so much are the ones I grew up singing at church. I've never had a problem singing them. 2. He might be right about dumbing down the music. Every time we have a first communion preparation mass, we toss out our regular songs for Jesus Loves Me and This Little Light of Mine. 3. He wavers in his opinions to issues about women's role in the mass and the priest shortage, and seems to blame those issues on our attit ...more
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended for seminarians, priests, parish staff and volunteers.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: outrages
Laugh out loud funny, readable by anyone, and essential for American Catholics.
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
A great book, although one that tends to beat around the same few points for almost 200 pages. The thesis is that factors such as "Mr. & Ms. Caruso" singing on a microphone and drowning out the congregation and organ discourage parishioners from singing. In addition, the "contemporary" or "folk" music which has become popular since Vatican II has contributed to the downfall of participation and of good church music. He raises these and other valid points in a sometimes amusing manner, for ex ...more
Feb 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Written about 20 years ago, but still relevant today. An excellent book on the deplorable state of music in today's Catholic churches. I was absent from Catholicism for almost 30 years and returned to find the same awful post-Vatican II honey-sweet, Godspell, Woodstock, campfire music that they were singing when I left. It's this way in virtually every Catholic church I have visited since coming back to the Church. Either this kind of music, or the band performing in front of the Church rather t ...more
Daniel Carr
Jan 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Very enlightening. He has a very different perspective that I never considered regarding how people think about the Liturgy. I never considered that a loud cantor at a microphone is discouraging. He moves into other topics, such as the priest being more than a presider at the Mass. A very staunch conservative viewpoint, but one worth listening to nonetheless. While I don't entirely agree with him, some of his points have merit. I'd recommend it to anyone involved in Liturgical music just to let ...more
May 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Lauren by: Larry Covington
I couldn't finish it. Not that it wasn't interesting but at the time I really have been wanting to read stories with plots.

Father Larry used it in one of our discussions on music in the liturgy and the musical history of the Church.
Kevin Estabrook
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, double A++ good.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in catholic hymnody, music ministry, liturgical renewal, or to anyone that has anything to do with planning/preparing liturgy.
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hymn singing is done in lots of denominations, and most do it well. But this seems not to be the case in some Roman Catholic churches. This book answers the titular question, and it turns out, there's an historical reason that continues to inhibit RC worship in this area. Recommended!
Kristen Kellick
Haven't read this in several years, but I remember finding it very intriguing after a college professor mentioned it.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: resources
Excellent book! Day's stories are entertaining and he hits the nail on the head in our approach to Christian music.
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