Theo Tigno

Composer and Musician

Recording Day Thoughts

Recording the Mass of God's Kingdom and more

Today, on the Feast of St. Thomas More, I'm excited about recording the Mass setting written by my mother-in-law, Mary Brown. The setting she wrote is entitled "Mass of God's Kingdom" and it was recently approved by both ICEL and the USCCB.

It has been a long time since I have some recordings for public listening. I guess the last time was during Lent while recording the Lenten Reflections from Dawg's Thought. That, though, was simply putting a Shure SM58 in front of me and hitting record.

Why am I blogging about this after not blogging for a while? Well, it may be a part of something ... an idea ... that started while I was journaling in front of a pastry cafe in Rome at the Bologna stop. While I was there, I thought about starting something called "Holy Face Music". I purchased the domain a while ago but I haven't done much with it.

The website would be a resource for Liturgical music.

I was reminded of this when I saw the lastest email from They were marketing their latest song, Christ Is Enough. Looking at the title alone, I was saddened by the fact that Christ was reduced to merely being "enough". The One who can command demons to flee ... the Alpha and the Omega ... The King of Kings and Lord of Lords ... is beyond enough.

The problem with a lot of music being written and published today is that the disposition of the song is written from the point of view of the writer. In a way it does an injustice to Who God is.

If we look at the opening lines of the song ...

Christ is my reward,
And all my devotion
Now there's nothing in this world
That could ever satisfy

The first line almost feels like a mockery. Christ is YOUR reward? It is an objectification of a loving God Who we should worship and adore. How is He YOUR reward? I wouldn't dare say that about my wife, let alone God Himself!

In contrast, if we read the first lines of the Gloria (tying it back to the Mass setting):

Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to people of good will

Yes, the phrasing is different than we are used to, but the first line places God in proper disposition. We the people proclaim "Glory to God" instead the former which treats God as a mere object.

To objectify is to use. The late Blessed John Paul the Great said in his book, Love and Responsibility, that the opposite of "to love" is "to use". If we objectify God, are we not then using God. If we are using God, we are not then doing the opposite of loving God?

We live in a time of shallow Theology and immature faith. I do not want to throw stones; I am in the same boat. Yet, I desire a deepening of the waters of faith in God's people. In God, there is an infinite supply of clean water and we are left drinking water with Kool-Aid mixed in. We are supplementing additives to the our faith that sugar coats the Gospel message.

It should not be about what God can do for you. I will go President Kennedy here. It's about knowing God ... worshiping and adoring God ... loving God in obedience and donation of self ... full abandonment in trust.

The irony of this is that many people tout the "relationship with Christ" as the reason to leave the Catholic faith. Yet, in the Sacramental life of the Church, we have more "personal relationship" bang for the buck than any other faith that has been made up or splintered off of the Church Christ Himself instituted. What can be more personal than confessing your sins to God Himself in the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Sure, we hear the argument that it is just confessing to a priest. This is a short-sighted understanding of the Sacrament. In the Sacrament, we confess to the priest who is in "persona Christi". We are confessing to Christ through the priest, who is ordained through the Apostles. The Bishops are in the lineage of the Apostles. It began with the Twelve and it continues today through the Bishops. Why do you think that the Pope's chair is called "Chair of Peter?" He was the first Pope directly commissioned through Christ.

There is so much more to our faith and it saddens me to hear God reduced to a mere object. Our art should reflect a greater and deeper understanding of God. It is art that can communicate beauty and truth in a unique way. If we are using art to communicate personalistic relationships and usury of the Divine, God's people AND those outside of the faith will know usury and beauty and truth ... objectification as beauty and truth. How we worship is how we live.

Last weekend, I was thinking about what it means to be a true warrior in a sense that most men, at one time or another, might of thought of themselves as warriors when they were kids. I also think about it because of the few martial arts I have taken over the years and have seen the dignity and discipline of the martial arts. I came up with a definition that I like and I want to make a meme of it. The saying goes like this: "A true warrior is someone who knows how to destroy, yet uses that knowledge to protect." I want to be a warrior who protects effectively, but I cannot if I do not know how to destroy.

Let us learn how our relationship with God can be destroyed by subtle cuts so that we can safeguard against it. We can learn this in our "personal" lives and through the lives of those who have fought the fight well: the Saints. The Saints have fought the fight and is now in Heaven. We can look to them, and pray with them, to be effective warriors.

Fighting begins with submission ... on our knees in prayer to God. Good art can help move our will so that we can get there.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

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    This website is for showcasing my compositions as well as a musician blog. For more information regarding my professional career, please visit my LinkedIn page.

    About Me

    I am a Catholic composer and musician. My compositions include music written for the Polk Street Band, a Mass setting (Mass of the Immaculate Conception) and Antiphon settings for the full year that are geared toward contemporary ensembles. As a musician, I am a bassist and guitarist for Catholic recording artists and bluegrass bands.