Ask a Franciscan

Can Drums Be Used at Mass?

Q: According to one of my friends, the rules for celebrating Mass state that drums cannot be used with other musical instruments or with singers. Is that true?

A: It is not true. No musical instrument is prohibited by the 2002 General Instruction of the Roman Missal (GIRM) or in Music in the Liturgy, issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2007. GIRM establishes universal requirements and notes where episcopal conferences can propose variations requiring the Holy See’s approval. Drums have been used at some Masses in St. Peter’s Basilica and in Masses during the pope’s apostolic visits throughout the world.

Unfortunately, people sometimes confuse their own preferences with what the Catholic Church requires or forbids.


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