Monday, October 26, 2009


Q - We sing in a great Catholic choir that uses beautiful music from the Church's treasury. A choral music summer school is coming up, and our choir director is encouraging many of us to attend to improve our musical skills. It is ecumenical and part of it involves singing the music learnt in choir at Protestant services. Are Catholics permitted to do this? (It would not, of course replace our attendance at Mass).

A - Thanks for the question.  Yes, you are okay in attending.  There should be nothing wrong with you participating if you still attend Mass.  In fact, if you ever look closely, you will find that many of the hymns we sing in Mass were not written by Catholics.  In some hymnals, the majority are not written by Catholics.  There is nothing intrinsically wrong (or right for that matter) about a hymn based on its origin.  What determines whether a hymn should be used in Catholic worship is the content and musical style (R&B, rap, rock, etc. are not appropriate).

Also, to pray and collaborate with other Christians is a good thing.  We want to be cautious about is making sure we are still participating in the Sacraments and not taking communion in non-Catholic churches.  We also need to make sure we are firmly grounded in Catholic prayer and have a good understanding of the truth of the Catholic Church, so if we are challenged, we have answers.  If you do these things, then this sounds like a good opportunity.

I hope this helps.

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