Singing about God
Would any music that sings about God be always considered sacred? Perhaps not. There are songs composed that sing about the disappointment, anguish, and disregard for God. Those might not be immediately be recalled as “sacred” or “holy” or even deserving to be sung at the Mass.
Among compositions that sing of the praise & worship of God – those considered Sacred – consist of many genres. And we will find that a selection of these may form suitable music which we may use in our Liturgy and Rites.
There is an innate form, purpose and function of Liturgical Music. However, such an understanding remains in unfruitful debate between proponents for a liberal interpretation of liturgical music versus those who remain faithful to the guidelines.
Perhaps an understanding of Pope Pius X “Tra le Sollecitudini” might give some starting ground to come to a universal understanding of what is proper and appropriate for the Liturgy. In recent times, at the 100th anniversary of the document, Pope John Paul II had also referred to this particular paragraph as a means to test if a “song about God” ought to be used in complement to the Liturgy:
“The more closely a composition for church approaches in its movement, inspiration and savour the Gregorian melodic form, the more sacred and liturgical it becomes; and the more out of harmony it is with that supreme model, the less worthy it is of the temple.” (Tra le Sollecitudini, para. 3)