I feel like I've written about this before, but I really can't decide what I think (or more importantly, what the Church thinks,) about the playing of preludes during Lent.
Here's what Musicam Sacram says about "instruments as solos," (which I suppose would be what a prelude is.)
66. The playing of these same instruments as solos is not permitted in Advent, Lent, during the Sacred Triduum and in the Offices and Masses of the Dead.
So, does this prohibition against instrumental music only apply to during the Liturgy? I mean, obviously, the organist can still practice playing the organ by himself when no one is around during Lent and of course that is solo instrumental music, but of course that is very much outside of Mass. But if it's not just referring to during Mass, then what about an organ prelude? Is that allowed? Where would the line be drawn?
I think I'm revisiting this as a question because although I would guess that simply to contribute to the more...austere? nature of the Liturgy during these seasons, it is beneficial to refrain from playing the organ even as a prelude, but I don't believe that my boss agrees with me, based on pastoral reasons. That could be supported by the question of whether or not a prelude is "too close" to the Liturgy. But mainly I am continuing to ponder this because I see the wealth of fabulous organ music based on (all my favorite...) Lenten melodies. When will the average non-concert-going Catholic hear them if not at church during Lent?