I was having a discussion with a dear friend this week on the topic of the change n music style at her parish. She was overjoyed by the new style but one of her friends who is in the choir is not a fan of the music director or the new songs. (Caveat- I don't have an opinion on the music, it's not my parish and so my point is not to discuss the particulars of this issue)
My friend was having trouble because she did not feel that she was given time to adequately present her point of view to the group, and mostly because she views corporate worship as contradictory to saying "I'm going to enjoy this no matter what the people around me think of it".
We discussed it ad nauseum in another forum, but I am still troubled by the idea that we must all conform to the same tastes in worship in order to be...what...community?
Corporate worship, that one hour a week where we gather as Church is a time to focus on the Creator, to WORSHIP Him. It's not a time to be focusing on the music, the homily, or the kid fussing two rows up unless these things bring us closer to God. If, on the other hand, they DO bring us closer to God as a form of worship, then they are very good. But you will NEVER get a group of more than 10 people together (and 10 is a stretch) who all worship the same way.
Unlike our protestant brothers who split off and form new churches because the pastor doesn't wear a tie, or over the music leader being a woman (two splits in my parent's church in the last decade), we have something that holds us together as Catholics~ the Eucharist. THAT is why we gather for corporate worship, and for no other reason. To receive Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity at Mass. Everything else is just to bring us to the Table.
Whether or not it was St. Augustine who originally said- In essentials, unity, in non-essentials, liberty, and in all things, charity it's a good reminder that the essentials are what make us Catholic, and that even in corporate worship we have the liberty to worship God as best we can even if it is differently done from the person sitting next to you.
Now, having said all this, what my dear friend was describing, a corporate worship where we are all of one mind in how we worship the King of Kings is something that I long for. But I know that we will only sing with one voice on the other side of Glory. The Angels and Saints are doing it right now, and one day I will join them in that glad song.
But for today, I will gladly stand next to you and worship with you, praising God with all my heart even if we do it differently.