In the mid 1940s Bill Monroe began playing a style of music that came to be known as “bluegrass.” By the mid 1950s bluegrass was established as a recognizable genre, combining influences from American and Celtic folk music, blues, jazz, shape-note singing, and southern hymnody. Bluegrass is primarily an acoustic music and the instruments most associated with it are banjo, mandolin, guitar, fiddle, bass fiddle and dobro.
The Bluegrass Mass, a setting of the liturgy which will be used during the open air worship service on Sunday, July 23, was created by Jim Baseler, Terry Edwards, and Jeff Marble who have attempted to achieve in this liturgy nothing less than what Martin Luther presented with his Deutsche Messe (German Mass)—matching the liturgy with popular tunes. In Luther’s case, it was medieval chant and popular folk tunes of his time. In our case, the composers write, we matched parts of the liturgy with four familiar songs: “In the Pines,” “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” “This Little Light of Mine,” and “Wayfaring Stranger.”
Plan now to worship on the blue grass at Sts. Peter and Paul when we will sing to God with what has been described as the “high lonesome sound” of blue grass music.