Glad tambourines?

Glad tambourines?

Whatever we think of the place of the guitar in Mass, and despite the Old Testament’s mention of them, can we all agree that tambourines are not a valid sacred musical instrument proper to the celebration of the Mass?

My skin crawls every time I hear one because I just know the hymn to follow is going to be some sappy 70s throwback.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
56 comments
  • A parish near me has jettisoned the tambourine in favor of … the woodblock!  You simply haven’t worshiped until you’ve prayed and swayed to the a cha-cha rhythms of the Holy Name folk/pop group’s version of the Lamb of God.

    Talk about making your skin crawl!

  • LOL Ok you got me there Dom.  Unless the Partridge Family is playing Mass (and I’m pretty sure they’re Methodist) , then I wouldn’t have a problem.  (Only because I had a huge crush on Laurie growing up)

  • LOL Ok you got me there Dom.  Unless the Partridge Family is playing Mass (and I’m pretty sure they’re Methodist) , then I wouldn’t have a problem.  (Only because I had a huge crush on Laurie growing up)

  • You should see the parish where I have my pastoral field education assignment.  They have tambourines…and a drum set…and an electric guitar…and a gospel choir…and liturgical dan…OK, that’s enough.  I think tambourines (and guitars!) are definitely inappropriate…

  • You should see the parish where I have my pastoral field education assignment.  They have tambourines…and a drum set…and an electric guitar…and a gospel choir…and liturgical dan…OK, that’s enough.  I think tambourines (and guitars!) are definitely inappropriate…

  • I have yet to meet a tambourine that was ‘glad’…or a glad guitar either! I guess I don’t move in the right circles.

  • I have yet to meet a tambourine that was ‘glad’…or a glad guitar either! I guess I don’t move in the right circles.

  • Probably not, KeepStAsOpen.  It happens and it stinks.

    Reminds me of the 2-lyricked Catholic tune:

    Sing along now:

    First Verse:
    Here I am, Lord
    Is it I, Lord
    I have heard you calling in the night…..etc.

    Second Verse:
    Here’s the story of a lovely lady
    Who was bringing up three very lovely girls.
    All of them had hair of gold, like their mother,
    The youngest one in curls…….etc.

  • Probably not, KeepStAsOpen.  It happens and it stinks.

    Reminds me of the 2-lyricked Catholic tune:

    Sing along now:

    First Verse:
    Here I am, Lord
    Is it I, Lord
    I have heard you calling in the night…..etc.

    Second Verse:
    Here’s the story of a lovely lady
    Who was bringing up three very lovely girls.
    All of them had hair of gold, like their mother,
    The youngest one in curls…….etc.

  • Keep,

    No, we’re not joking. I think most of those commenting so far agree with me that they would prefer sacred music that actually sounded like sacred music and not warmed over folk music from the 60s and 70s.

  • Keep,

    No, we’re not joking. I think most of those commenting so far agree with me that they would prefer sacred music that actually sounded like sacred music and not warmed over folk music from the 60s and 70s.

  • There is nothing, nothing, nothing like some of the horrid music being played with the most atrociously bad lyrics ever written that occurs in many of our churches.  I would rather listen to chalk screeching on a blackboard.
    What makes it even worse is that some of our music directors have wonderfully innate talent and can assemble and train great choirs.
    But then when they sing these banal songs (I won’t even call them hymns) it’s like mixing cheap muscatel with a fine vintage.  The whole thing is utterly ruined.
    I always thought that we sang to praise God not mimic, “I want to buy the world a coke.”

  • There is nothing, nothing, nothing like some of the horrid music being played with the most atrociously bad lyrics ever written that occurs in many of our churches.  I would rather listen to chalk screeching on a blackboard.
    What makes it even worse is that some of our music directors have wonderfully innate talent and can assemble and train great choirs.
    But then when they sing these banal songs (I won’t even call them hymns) it’s like mixing cheap muscatel with a fine vintage.  The whole thing is utterly ruined.
    I always thought that we sang to praise God not mimic, “I want to buy the world a coke.”

  • I remember how they used to use the organ back in the year 56 A.D.  However, since knowledge of the organ was lost to the West with the fall of the Roman Empire from the 5th century A.D. until the 8th century A.D. (http://panther.bsc.edu/~jhcook/OrgHist/begin.htm) they had to use something to keep the congregation together.  Since I was around back then also, I can testify, that the Tambourine, once reserved only for harram girls, was the instrument of choice.  If you don’t believe me please see the attached link (http://www.tambourinesinworship.info).

    Frankly, I cannot even imaging “Sing unto the Lord, a new song” done without a tambourine.

    You guys are way too uptight…

    Dom, I bet you had lots of Masses with guitars and tambies back in your days at STUBIE, right????

    Was that 50 years ago?  Are you in your 70’s and just extremely well preserved?

    ICXC NIKA!!!!

    Joe

  • I remember how they used to use the organ back in the year 56 A.D.  However, since knowledge of the organ was lost to the West with the fall of the Roman Empire from the 5th century A.D. until the 8th century A.D. (http://panther.bsc.edu/~jhcook/OrgHist/begin.htm) they had to use something to keep the congregation together.  Since I was around back then also, I can testify, that the Tambourine, once reserved only for harram girls, was the instrument of choice.  If you don’t believe me please see the attached link (http://www.tambourinesinworship.info).

    Frankly, I cannot even imaging “Sing unto the Lord, a new song” done without a tambourine.

    You guys are way too uptight…

    Dom, I bet you had lots of Masses with guitars and tambies back in your days at STUBIE, right????

    Was that 50 years ago?  Are you in your 70’s and just extremely well preserved?

    ICXC NIKA!!!!

    Joe

  • I wish I were joking.

    I never thought I’d find myself literally (and visibly, apparently) cringing during the Agnus Dei until I’d had my senses and sensibilties assailed by the cha-cha-and-woodblock version of the Lamb of God featured at Holy Name of Jesus parish on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn.  Hear it on any given Sunday morning. 

    Something tells me that it wouldn’t have been out of place at ol’ St. A’s in Weymouth under its last pastor, too.

  • I wish I were joking.

    I never thought I’d find myself literally (and visibly, apparently) cringing during the Agnus Dei until I’d had my senses and sensibilties assailed by the cha-cha-and-woodblock version of the Lamb of God featured at Holy Name of Jesus parish on Prospect Park West in Brooklyn.  Hear it on any given Sunday morning. 

    Something tells me that it wouldn’t have been out of place at ol’ St. A’s in Weymouth under its last pastor, too.

  • Not at all PMC. Keep making assumptions though. Everyone is willing to make assumptions, but nobody can back anything up.

  • Not at all PMC. Keep making assumptions though. Everyone is willing to make assumptions, but nobody can back anything up.

  • “can we all agree that tambourines are not a valid sacred musical instrument proper to the celebration of the Mass?”
    Yes.  I found out that generally, in the Eastern Churches, (either Catholic Byzantine or Eastern ORthodox), musical instrumentation of any kind ( except for bells)  is not permitted. They rely on the human voice alone for the sacred music. There is one exception to the use of musical instrumentation, and that is the use of bells.  I don;t know the reasoning behind this.

  • “can we all agree that tambourines are not a valid sacred musical instrument proper to the celebration of the Mass?”
    Yes.  I found out that generally, in the Eastern Churches, (either Catholic Byzantine or Eastern ORthodox), musical instrumentation of any kind ( except for bells)  is not permitted. They rely on the human voice alone for the sacred music. There is one exception to the use of musical instrumentation, and that is the use of bells.  I don;t know the reasoning behind this.

  • From which, Alfredo, you can deduce why voice-only singing is called a capella.

    A little tintinabulation doesn’t hurt either…

  • From which, Alfredo, you can deduce why voice-only singing is called a capella.

    A little tintinabulation doesn’t hurt either…

  • Not making any assumptions, KSAO.  I’ve got plenty of first hand experience with the padre. 

  • Not making any assumptions, KSAO.  I’ve got plenty of first hand experience with the padre. 

  • Drop your silver in my tambourine
    Help a poor man fill his pretty dream
    Give me pennies I’ll take anything
    Now listen while I play
    My green tambourine

    Watch the jingle jangle start to chime
    Reflections of the music that is mine
    When you drop a coin you’ll hear it sing
    Now listen while I play
    My green tambourine

    ———instrumental break———

    Drop a dime before I walk away
    Any song you want I’ll gladly play
    Money feeds my music machine
    Now listen while I play
    My green tambourine

  • Drop your silver in my tambourine
    Help a poor man fill his pretty dream
    Give me pennies I’ll take anything
    Now listen while I play
    My green tambourine

    Watch the jingle jangle start to chime
    Reflections of the music that is mine
    When you drop a coin you’ll hear it sing
    Now listen while I play
    My green tambourine

    ———instrumental break———

    Drop a dime before I walk away
    Any song you want I’ll gladly play
    Money feeds my music machine
    Now listen while I play
    My green tambourine

  • While I’m not a fan of using whatever we like just at Mass, I am with you Joe on this one.  We didn’t have tamborines at FUS, but we did have guitars-and keyboards, and electric guitars and drums, and clairanets and violins and trumpets….
    Growing up in the Charismatic Renewal I discovered that nearly EVERYONE I met who was Catholic and Charismatic was dedicated to all things orthodox-and used guitars for Masses, it is just the way of Charismatic prayer.  I say keep them, use them but not to the excusion of -yes Dom, I know-the priority of organ at the Mass. 

    I DO believe that you can use other instruments wisely AND maintain dignity and holiness in the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

  • While I’m not a fan of using whatever we like just at Mass, I am with you Joe on this one.  We didn’t have tamborines at FUS, but we did have guitars-and keyboards, and electric guitars and drums, and clairanets and violins and trumpets….
    Growing up in the Charismatic Renewal I discovered that nearly EVERYONE I met who was Catholic and Charismatic was dedicated to all things orthodox-and used guitars for Masses, it is just the way of Charismatic prayer.  I say keep them, use them but not to the excusion of -yes Dom, I know-the priority of organ at the Mass. 

    I DO believe that you can use other instruments wisely AND maintain dignity and holiness in the holy sacrifice of the Mass.

  • Jen,

    It’s a taste thing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a good hymn where tambourine played a prominent role. Whenever I see it in someone’s hand, I just know I’m not going to like what I hear. I’ve rarely been wrong about it.

  • Jen,

    It’s a taste thing. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a good hymn where tambourine played a prominent role. Whenever I see it in someone’s hand, I just know I’m not going to like what I hear. I’ve rarely been wrong about it.

  • well, i agree with you there, Dom. Not a fan of tamborines myself, a little too goofy,  to 70’s for moi-but I am not against guitars, electric guitars and drums… etc

  • well, i agree with you there, Dom. Not a fan of tamborines myself, a little too goofy,  to 70’s for moi-but I am not against guitars, electric guitars and drums… etc

  • I am having flashbacks to the dreaded folk mass of my youth. Tamborines make me think of all those Brady Bunch episodes with musical bits. “Gonna keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on…..” Dreadful instrument!

  • I am having flashbacks to the dreaded folk mass of my youth. Tamborines make me think of all those Brady Bunch episodes with musical bits. “Gonna keep on, keep on, keep on, keep on…..” Dreadful instrument!

  • Hey, Mr. Bettenelli, play a song for me.
    I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no use in trying to.
    Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
    At the Sunday morning masses,
    I’ll be in my pew.

  • Hey, Mr. Bettenelli, play a song for me.
    I’m not sleepy and there ain’t no use in trying to.
    Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.
    At the Sunday morning masses,
    I’ll be in my pew.

  • Ohhhh…here I am!!!!  Didn’t think I’d find it did you Himester wink

    Tambourines????  Tambourines????

    Hey everybody….percussion instrumentation is not allowed in the Sacred Liturgy of the West.

    Charismatic Renewal is not a justification for bad liturgical music.  I remember once as I was walking into choir while in college, one of the choir-sters was sitting at the piano getting ready to warm us up. Rob (the choir director) came in and apologized for not warming us up at the piano, but he bruised his hand playing the tambourine at Mass the day previous.

    The moral of that…any instrument that can cause injury because of playing it, should not be allowed at Mass.

    We all started laughing hysterically at him by the way and he got extremely upset.  So mad in fact that later in that rehersal, he threw a music stand across the room and hit the door half way up.  (Jaime will tell you that this was quite a chuck of the stand, because the rehersal hall is big.)

    Seriously though, instrumentation in the Sacred Liturgy should be appropriate to the dignity of the Mass…tambourines are not that.

    Cam

  • Ohhhh…here I am!!!!  Didn’t think I’d find it did you Himester wink

    Tambourines????  Tambourines????

    Hey everybody….percussion instrumentation is not allowed in the Sacred Liturgy of the West.

    Charismatic Renewal is not a justification for bad liturgical music.  I remember once as I was walking into choir while in college, one of the choir-sters was sitting at the piano getting ready to warm us up. Rob (the choir director) came in and apologized for not warming us up at the piano, but he bruised his hand playing the tambourine at Mass the day previous.

    The moral of that…any instrument that can cause injury because of playing it, should not be allowed at Mass.

    We all started laughing hysterically at him by the way and he got extremely upset.  So mad in fact that later in that rehersal, he threw a music stand across the room and hit the door half way up.  (Jaime will tell you that this was quite a chuck of the stand, because the rehersal hall is big.)

    Seriously though, instrumentation in the Sacred Liturgy should be appropriate to the dignity of the Mass…tambourines are not that.

    Cam

  • Himester,

    I love you (I’ll let you bloggers figure out which way)….why make stinkies on me???

    Cam

  • Himester,

    I love you (I’ll let you bloggers figure out which way)….why make stinkies on me???

    Cam

  • I didn’t SAY it was a justification for bad music-it’ s a different form of prayer that is as valid as contemplative prayer.  I am saying that there is room for other instruments (keeping of course, the organ) and securing good liturgy.  It’s being done in one of the most orthodox parishes in the Lansing Diocese-Christ The King.  If anyone is in the Ann Arbor area, and looking for good liturgy, go there. 

  • I didn’t SAY it was a justification for bad music-it’ s a different form of prayer that is as valid as contemplative prayer.  I am saying that there is room for other instruments (keeping of course, the organ) and securing good liturgy.  It’s being done in one of the most orthodox parishes in the Lansing Diocese-Christ The King.  If anyone is in the Ann Arbor area, and looking for good liturgy, go there. 

  • Itf them, can we all agree that tambourines are not a valid sacred musical instrument proper to the celebration of the Mass?

    My skin crawls every time I hear one because I just know the hymn to follow is going to be some sappy 70s throwback.

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    2004-10-11 17:00:01
    A parish near me has jettisoned the tambourine in favor of … the woodblock!  You simply haven’t worshiped until you’ve prayed and swayed to the a cha-cha rhythms of the Holy Name folk/pop group’s version of the Lamb of God.

    Talk about making your skin crawl!

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