Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Deconstruction of the Catholic Creed: A Prayer for the Lost and Faithless
by Vega-Castillo, Josué Jared, M.M., California State University, Long Beach, 2019, 38; 22583424
Abstract (Summary)

Religion -in this case Catholicism- has a wide variety of effects on various different people. Take for example the Catholic Creed, which is meant to provide structure, conviction, and comfort for the devout. But, it also lets us know what we should believe, and is a formal statement of our faith. For me, however, this prayer removed all structure from my life, had me second-guessing my principles, and put me at odds with everything I was ever taught as a child. Being raised in a traditional Mexican Catholic household there was no other option other than being Catholic so Mass and Catholic traditions were not just religious, but also integrated in the family life. When I began to grow away from the Catholic Church, this also removed the foundation I had built with family and left me in a position where I felt lost, vulnerable, and worst of all, alone. It was during these times that I remember reciting the Creed in Mass with my family and the bitterness I felt in my heart conflicted with the words I spoke during the Creed. I carried these feelings with me for my whole childhood, pretending to be a picture-perfect Catholic while the whole time feeling imprisoned in the church with the words of the Creed themselves forming the bars to my cell. I remember looking around to the other kids my age and wondering if they too felt the same, but being too scared to say anything knowing that anybody who did not believe was not welcome in the family. Now, looking back on my life and all of the emotions I had to deal with alone in a religion where I did not feel welcome I was inspired to write a piece to let others like me know that they also were not alone. I wished to capture all of the anger and criticism I had of the Church and display them in a way that was helpful, instead of trying to “destroy” the religion I wished to make it a better place for the young and impressionable so that no one else would have to feel the same way I did growing up.

One of the ways that I chose to convey this message was by using the words of the Creed itself, making the powerful Catholic prayer the climax of the mass. Through deconstructing the Mass and rebuilding it, I attempt to bring to light the conflict felt by those trapped by these words of comfort as well as my own confusion as to my own religious beliefs. In it, I attempt to blur the black and white line of religion that I grew up with that cause me so much anxiety and hopefully teach other kids that they are not alone and hopefully show other more religious people the damage that can be caused by not accepting the ideas of others.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Torres-Santos, Raymond
Commitee: Verdié, Adriana, Doyle, Alicia M.
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Bob Cole Conservatory of Music
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 81/4(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Musical composition, Religion
Keywords: Catholicism, Composition, Mexico, Music, Religion, Youth
Publication Number: 22583424
ISBN: 9781687913654
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