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Pipe Organs vs. Electronic Organs: 1 of 4

Pipe organs have been used in Catholic liturgy since the 8th century. Today, Church documents related to music and liturgy continue to state that the pipe organ is the preferred music instrument for use in Holy Mass. What about electronic organs?

There is a place for electronic organs. However, St. Joseph Church is not the stereotypical situation in which electronic organs are found. The St. Joseph architecture, marble, windows, chapels, adornments, 26-bell carillon, all of these elements, reflect expressions of higher values and permanence. Our carefully planned liturgies reflect order, projecting mystery and awe. Our sacred music ministry is known and respected in Columbia. All these components typically suggest a noteworthy pipe organ in place.

The “temporary” St. Joseph electronic organ was the smallest model in its line-up in 2009 when it was purchased, according to Jeff Ayers, president of Allen Organ Studios, Atlanta. It is not designed for Roman Catholic liturgy and was intended as an emergency Band-Aid. Over the past three years an organ committee of seven parishioners has been investigating what a potential pipe organ project might look like. Stay tuned to learn more about getting involved in the conversation to explore if this project is something we are ready to do at St. Joseph!


Brad Cunningham, organist

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