How much can the music get away from Gregorian chant and not be considered "dissident?"
That could take a couple hundred threads to answer.
Just take a peek at the Liturgy and Sacraments forum over at CAF to see what I mean. There is a definite fight right now in the area of Catholic Church between those who view Sacred Music as an art form to accompany the reverential beauty demanded in the Liturgy and those who what to have something to hip-hop to so they won't be bored at Mass (to put it mildly).
Indeed, if you read all the documents on Sacred Music and on Liturgy from the last hundred (you could go back further), the mind of the Church is that Gregorian Chant is to hold pride of place and that Polyphony is the silver medalist. The latest document on Sacred Music is Pope John Paul II's Chirograph on Sacred Music
in which he says, quoting Pope Saint Pius X (Tra le Sollecitudini
, n. 3): "The more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savour the Gregorian melodic form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple"
The current argument is where the documents say something to the effect of 'other suitable forms may be used'. To me that means that hymns, such as Holy, Holy, Holy
and Holy God We Praise Thy Name
and the like may be used in their proper place (i.e., entrance and closing hymns). But some want to twist it to mean that absolutely any
music (and just about any lyrics - no matter how raunchy or heretical) can be used at Mass and be licit - thus you have heavy metal monster alleluia ballads and happy clappy hippy music and the top 40 all rolled into the category of music suitable (?) for Mass (check the current offerings from OCP).
The good news is that the side for traditional Gregorian Chant, polyphony, and good hymns is winning. More and more traditional music is being brought back and the errors of the so-called expert liturgists of the 70s and 80s are being exposed and corrected. But, we still have a ways to go to rid completely that nonsense.
P.S. Welcome back, Athanasios! I haven't seen you online in a while.
Thanks. I've been busy. School, a new job, some freelance work, family and health problems, etc.