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There is much to admire in modern liturgical music

ANY new initiative for promoting music for the liturgy in Glasgow should be welcomed (Letters, November 27, 29, 30 and December 1, 3, & 4).

But it is surely inaccurate generalisation for the new academy's organiser, Joan Dillon, to describe contemporary liturgical music as lousy and happy-clappy when it clearly isn't ("Lay Catholic says 'lousy music' puts the young off church", The Herald, November 23).

Perhaps this may be put down to her not knowing enough about what is actually happening in liturgical music, or is it possible that she doesn't understand that the priorities in liturgical music are based on the full, active and conscious participation that Vatican 2 encouraged?

We welcome this new choir – as we have welcomed the new choir at Our Lady and St George's in recent months and the new choir at St Mary's, Calton even more recently – to join the growing number of choirs in the archdiocese. Such choirs are vital in their community, preparing music, leading the congregation, and enriching their song with harmony and descant and so on – not replacing the congregation but supporting it.

However, music for the church is about helping people to pray – and since people are very different, in their experience and expectations, it is inevitable that their music should be varied too. We shouldn't patronise. Art is at the service of people at prayer, and not vice versa.

In the Archdiocese of Glasgow countless musicians have worked hard to encourage people in their public prayer. Archbishop Emeritus Conti wrote last year: "I have frequently expressed my admiration of the way in which throughout this archdiocese the psalm and the Common are generally sung ... the faithful sing out".

The late Cardinal Winning once said: "Look with the eyes of love, and you will see what is lovable. Look with the eyes of fear, and you will see what is terrible. Look with the eyes of hope, and you will see growth." After more than 40 years of working in liturgical music in the archdiocese, and as Archdiocesan Director of Music for more than half of them, I see plenty of growth and an enormous amount to cherish and admire.

Gerry Fitzpatrick,

Saint Leo the Great,

5 Beech Avenue,

Dumbreck,

Glasgow.

I NOTE that Pope Benedict is at the cutting edge of technology and using admirable common sense in relation to the languages he will employ when the Vatican launches his personal Twitter account later this month ("Vatican reveals Pope to start using Twitter to reach out to new followers", The Herald, December 4).

You report that he has chosen to use the handle @pontifex to tweet in English, Spanish, Italian and a number of other languages, including Arabic, but not Latin.

It would appear the Pontiff recognises the limitations of Latin when it comes to communicating in the 21st century.

It is further reported that questions for the Holy Father can be tweeted to #askpontifex.

I am a Facebook person myself, but I will be watching out with great interest for the Twitter traffic on that one.

Bill Heaney,

39 Round Riding Road,

Dumbarton.

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