New Music for New Times?: Debates over Catholic Congregational Music in Hungary
Differences in musical taste are frequently set aside as matters of personal preference of little relevance to the spiritual task at hand during congregational worship. The presentation of musical style as neutral came about largely as a reaction against those who would dismiss popular styles of music as bad or inappropriate for Christian. This chapter suggests that personal relationships with musical style can perform significant ethical functions within the life of the church. It highlights how an identification or dis-identification with the musical style of a church can change a worshipper's relationship to the church community in a theologically significant manner. Lutheran scholar and musician Lorraine Smith Brugh proposes a framework that she entitles 'responsive contextualization' as a basis for examining and shaping the liturgy of worship. The use of popular music in church is the desire to break down the distinction between the sacred and the secular that an elevated or distinctive church style can serve to reinforce.