letters | on the venerable church organ

Catholic Mass has its problems, but organ music isn’t one of them

As pastor of a Catholic parish with an excellent liturgical music program, I was dismayed to read the Oct. 25 op-ed by Jennifer Graham, headlined “Save the Church! (kill the organs).” The music at our church draws parishioners from all over the metropolitan area, and one of the highlights is the beautiful Casavant organ and its versatility in concert with an excellent choir.

Although we celebrate with a variety of liturgical and musical styles at our eight weekend Masses, the organ is the featured instrument at our choir and cantored Masses.

As a Catholic priest for more than 35 years, I am ready to say that there is much that is lacking in our celebration of Sunday Mass, beginning with the recent translations of prayers into an English that is unintelligible. I also regret the formalism in Catholic worship that does not give space for a more dynamic form of expression that invites people to engage in the ritual with heart, mind, voice, and body.


There are many aspects of Catholic worship that lack the heart and soul that the Gospels call for, but the use of the organ in Catholic worship is not one of them.

Robert VerEecke

St. Ignatius Church

Chestnut Hill