Sacred Music vs. Satanic Music
Fr. Miguel Marie Soeherman, MFVA
11/22/2006 - Memorial of St. Cecilia
7am TV Mass
Today is the Memorial of St. Cecilia, virgin & martyr. We are very familiar with her name during Mass because her name is included in the Roman Canon (First Eucharistic Prayer). . . .
St. Cecilia is the Patroness of Sacred Music. Many historians believe that she was given that title because of what she requested during her wedding celebration — specifically on how she requested her petition. While the musical instruments were playing, she asked God to keep her virginity intact. She was singing to Him to keep her heart and her body pure so that her vow of virginity may not be violated — not even by her husband. And this grace was given to her to persevere until the end. That’s why now she is known as the Patroness of Sacred Music.
Sacred Music plays a very important role in our liturgy. It is even more important than any art. The Second Vatican Document (On the Sacred Liturgy / Sacrosanctum Concilium, 112) chapter 6 focuses on sacred music. The first paragraph states which the Catechism also quotes: “The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this preeminence is that, as sacred song united to the words, it forms a necessary and integral part of the solemn liturgy.”
In the history of the Church, various Saints were led to deep conversion just by listening to sacred music while they’re in a church. Some were drawn to repentance. And some were moved to tears. An example is St. Augustine which the Catechism quotes (#1157 footnote 24): “How I wept, deeply moved by Your hymns, songs, and the voices that echoed through Your Church! What emotion I experienced in them! Those sounds flowed into my ears, distilling the truth in my heart. A feeling of devotion surged within me, and tears streamed down my face — tears that did me good.”
At the same time, just because a certain song is being sung at Mass does not automatically fall under the category of “sacred music” or even good song. In fact, some “popular” songs that are sung in many parishes have nothing to do with liturgical worship. They have nothing to do with what happens at the altar. They have nothing to do with worshiping our Triune God. Thus, they definitely would not be “sacred music.” Some even have heretical words which are contrary to what we believe as Catholics.
For example: a lyric that teaches that bread is present as well as Christ in the Eucharist! This is totally wrong! It’s an error! Often, people are singing their hearts out even if it’s doctrinally wrong! Yes, perhaps people don’t pay attention to the words. They just like the tune! Imagine listening to a song in radio. You just like the melody and the tune, but you don’t care about the lyrics. What if the lyrics are Satanic? What if the lyrics contain blasphemous words against Jesus and His Church? Are we going to keep on singing it because we like the tune and the melody? Are we going to continue to listen to it? I’d sure hope NOT! You know the phrase: “Know what you are doing!” Well, know what you are singing!!!
Music is sacred as far as it is composed for the divine worship celebration. Sacred music is intended for liturgical worship. It must be connected to the liturgy. Its purpose is to arouse pious and religious sentiments. It should lift our minds and hearts to Heaven. It should lead us to communion with the Saints and with Our Lady. It should lead us to deeper union with God.
In one of Fr. Gabriele Amorth’s book (he’s the chief exorcist in Rome), he quotes an article which talked about how Satan uses music to destroy souls especially the young. The article mentioned about WICCA (an organization of witches and others to the occult) which own 3 record companies. And their goal is contributing to the corruption and inner disintegration of the psychology of young people. Every one of their records describes with precision the inner condition necessary for a disciple of Satan. They have a single purpose: to lead youth into satanism. And Satan is real! Don’t let us, priests, tell you otherwise! If we tell you that he’s only a myth, don’t listen to us! The article also said that some records are consecrated to Satan based on 4 principles: beat, volume intensity, subliminal signal, and ritual consecration.
BEAT: ...mimics the sexual act. Abruptly, the listeners are caught up in a frenzy designed to produce a sort of hysteria. It is the result of the sexual instinct, which is aroused through the use of beat.
VOLUME INTENSITY: The volume is deliberately set to at least seven decibels above the tolerance level of our nervous system. Prolonged exposure to such a noise level induces a type of depression, rebelliousness, and aggression...
SUBLIMINAL SIGNAL: Subliminal signs are transmitted at such a high pitch that we are unable to hear them. The signal is meant to disorient; at an intensity of 3,000 kilocycles per second, it acts on our unconscious, but our ears cannot capture it precisely because it is supersonic. Unbeknownst to us, the brain produces a natural drug as a result of the stimuli it receives, and it disorients us. Suddenly, we feel strange. This strange feeling induces us to seek real drugs and causes drug addicts to increase their intake.
RITUAL CONSECRATION OF EVERY RECORD DURING A BLACK MASS: This is the fourth element. Before each record is release on the market, it is consecrated to Satan through a ritual that is a true black mass. If you ever take the time to analyze the words of these songs [words that may be hidden and only perceptible by listening to the record backwards], you will realize that the general subject is always the same: rebellion against parents, against society, against all that exists; the unleashing of all sexual instincts; and the urge to create an anarchist state with the ultimate triumph of Satan’s universal kingdom...
(Source: An Exorcist: More Stories, Amorth, 72ff)
If the Enemy knows to use music to destroy our young people, then we ought to realize that sacred music does the opposite. Pope St. Pius X teaches that sacred music has two intended purposes: 1) for the glory of God, and 2) for the sanctification and edification of the faithful. Genuine sacred music transforms the participants in holiness. Genuine sacred music not only builds the individual but also builds the community. It adds ceremonial splendor. Actually our Holy Father mentioned in Regensburg just a couple months ago that it does not add ceremonial splendor. He said: “Solemn sacred music, with choir, organ, orchestra and the singing of the people, is not therefore a kind of addition that frames the liturgy and makes it more pleasing, but they are an important means of active participation in worship.”
I know we have Catholic composers and Catholic singers out there. You have a special vocation. You are to help the young people especially to glorify God and to be holy. Again the Second Vatican Council states: “Composers, filled with the Christian spirit, should feel that their vocation is to cultivate sacred music and increase its store of treasures.”
A question in the Compendium of the Catechism #239 asked: “What are the criteria for the proper use of singing and music in liturgical celebrations?”
The answer is: “Since song and music are closely connected with liturgical action they must respect the following criteria. They should conform to Catholic doctrine in their texts, drawn preferably from Sacred Scripture and liturgical sources. They should be a beautiful expression of prayer. The music should be of a high quality...”
As St. Paul said that we’re in an important battle. We’re in a “spiritual warfare.” Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against principalities and power. And music is one of the main battle arenas especially for the young. May St. Cecilia intercede for all of us that we may persevere in fighting the good fight until the end! May she intercede for us that Sacred Music be cultivated and grow in its store of treasures that through them we may be holy and glorify God now and unto eternity! AMEN!