Use rock music to bring young people to church

One aspect of Mass which is crucial in making it connect more with the youth of the Church is the music used in services. Music is a huge part of a person's identity, especially for young people. As a teenager I was a massive heavy metal fan and the music strongly influenced what I wore and who I socialised with, writes Edd Bartlett.

- The Tablet

While working at the Kintbury Experience, a youth retreat centre run by the De La Salle brothers, in my gap year, I used music by the heavy metal band Bullet for my Valentine and punk band Blink 182, to name a couple, in prayers and presentations.

The lyrics of songs like Bullet for my Valentine's 'All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)' worked well as introductions to prayer and worship sessions, or as ways in to meditation. This strongly connected with the young people, who had never experienced their own music tastes being used in a religious context.

The team I worked with also used music by Evangelical artists like Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman, which was similarly written to secular pop styles, but was entirely Christian in content. Another excellent Matt Redman Song is We Are The Free.

As a young person I had never experienced music like theirs - the liveliest religious song I knew was Walk in the Light (a song I still enjoy). However these Christian artists write energising music which is catchy and to young people's taste, without mentioning sex, drugs or using a vast array of expletives.

My girlfriend has recently returned from doing 10 days of youth ministry at Lourdes and has had equally positive experiences of using Christian music in Mass. I was amazed when she told me that some of the young Catholics who she was working with will only listen to these artists because they like the content compared to the materialistic, sexualised secular music that their peers listen to.

FULL STORY Use rock music to bring young people to church (The Tablet)

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