One of the things about contemporary Christian music (CCM) is that it sounds like most other music folks listen to. It has the sound of pop, rock and roll, folk, or even bluegrass music. What distinguishes it are the lyrics (not that you can always make them out). The sound, the rhythm, and the feeling of the music are all pretty indistinguishable from their secular counterparts.
What struck me in this old clip from Chicago in 1934 is the sound. You have the church bells that sound like no other sounds on the street and the sound of the chant coming from the church -- again, sound like nothing heard on the radios of the passing cars or in the pubs down the street or in the dance hall on the corner. It is the sound of heaven because it is heard ONLY in the church.
I wonder if the growing secularization of our culture and the way the church seems to fade into the background is not due, at least in part, to the fact that many have attempted to mirror the world around them instead of being distinctive. Architecture, art, music, vocabulary, and even language were once things in which the church presented to the world something not found anywhere else. That has certainly changed. Roman Catholics as well as the non-Roman liturgical churches have all experimented with buildings, visual images, music, vocabulary, and language that is common, ordinary, and even casual. Things are changing in some parts of Christendom but in large measure only the Orthodox have retained much of their distinctiveness. It does not seem to be hurting their witness to younger folks. Maybe we should look and learn.
You are free to disagree and probably will but when watching a bit of this clip, I heard how the sights and sounds of a Roman Catholic Church more than 80 years ago clearly signaled the presence of a heavenly reality. I fear that this is not the intention of many Christian communities today and, in fact, this would be considered passe at best or contrary to the Gospel at worst -- at least by those in the church more than those outside.