The question is related to this one: What is the basis for forbidding prerecorded music in worship services?

However, I am interested in the Catholic perspective. What are the canons, rules, and/or rubrics that argue against the use of pre-recorded music during a Sung Mass, specifically, a Sung Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite?

I know pre-recorded music is not allowed because I've had seminarian friends, ex-seminarian friends, and priest friends expressly tell me so. But I need a source to help them back up their claims against a priest who has allowed the use of audio recordings of the chants and propers during Sung Mass.

Many thanks!

1 Answer 1


Recorded music is not permitted.

As far back as 1958 in the important Congregation of Rites’ instruction De Musica Sacra we find at 60 c:

"Finally, only those musical instruments which are played by the personal action of the artist may be admitted to the sacred liturgy, and not those which are operated automatically or mechanically."

Recorded music does not substitute for a living human choir or singer. The artificiality introduced is contrary to the concept of our active participation in the sacred mysteries and the action of the true Actor at Mass, who is Christ the High Priest.

That said, recorded music can be played in church for the purpose of instruction in singing. I also recall that it can be used outside church for the sake of processions.

It may be tempting, from the desire to have excellent music, to use a recording. But that’s a no-no, I’m afraid. - QUAERITUR: Recorded music during Mass

  • 1
    I image these general rules still hold for the Ordinary Rite of the Mass.
    – Ken Graham
    Apr 24, 2018 at 11:36

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