Thursday, June 28, 2007

Index of Forbidden Hymns

The Catholic Church has a rich heritage of beautiful, sacred music that praises God, songs like "Holy God We Praise Thy Name" and all of St Thomas Aquinas' hymns, which are rarely heard in our modern churches today. Gregorian Chant, which the Second Vatican Council gave "pride of place" in the liturgy, has been totally replaced with David Haas and Marty Haugen drivel that attempts to pass for sacred music. So it's no surprise that most of our children will grow up thinking that Marty Haugen is the traditional music of the Catholic church, having only been exposed to this type of liturgical music all their lives.

What's wrong with these hymns? Well, some of them, like Gather Us In, have the people praising each other, rather than worshiping God. Others, like Come to the Feast downplay the sacrifice of Calvary and make the Mass a mere meal. We Are One in the Spirit could be the theme song for ecumenism, and certainly focuses on human pride. Here I am Lord also makes my list, because God sent Jesus to redeem us, and this song neglects that fact while making us our own redeemers. Lord of the Dance can't go unmentioned, though. It is the most ridiculous song I have ever heard played in a Church, and I have heard it plenty, always accompanied by hand clapping and swaying bodies. That's reason enough for it to be banned from the liturgy.

Therefore, I propose an index of forbidden hymns, starting with these songs: (Feel free to add your own to the list)

Gather us In
We are One in the Spirit
Come to the Feast
Here I am Lord
Lord of the Dance

I know there are many more, so let's hear your input! If you're not sure how the lyrics of these songs affect our worship, read this about the "cult of conceit" from Adoremus Bulletin.

12 comments:

Theocoid said...

While I find the music of Haugen, Haas, and Shutte to be mostly insipid, I think there's a case to be made that Here I Am Lord is actually an allusion to the prohets of the Old Testament and reflects a willingness that we should show to do God's will. That said, I always put my hymnal down when the choir starts singing it.

Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Glad to see that I'm not the only one who gets queasy at that musical equivilant to saccharine.

Here's something that you might appriciate --

http://catholic-caveman.blogspot.com/2006/06/i-love-to-tell-story.html

paramedicgirl said...

Your link doesn't work, Cavey. Try again?

Dr. Bombay said...

"Were You There" should only be sung where the majority of the congregation is black. I've heard black folks sing this song. They get it. Listening to a bunch of whitey suburbanites try to sing it, it sounds like a bunch of cats in heat. It's frightening. In fact, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble....if I may coin a phrase.

Michael R. Denton said...

I haven't been able to listen "Let's Build the City of God" anymore after I heard a priest mockingly sing "Let's a U-Topia without Jesus!" So I would add that to the list.

Simon-Peter Vickers-Buckley said...

LOL!

Fr. V said...

Unfortunately most of our "Eucahristic" hymns are rather low church Protestant. If I hear one more we are communion for one another because we eat bread and wine . . .

And exactly WHY do we have a difficulty with people believing the the Eucharist?

No wonder the Protestant reformers took congregational singing and music so terribly seriously.

Maybe we should learn from them.

jim klasz said...

A point well made fr.v!

Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

"Were You There" should only be sung where the majority of the congregation is black. I've heard black folks sing this song. They get it. Listening to a bunch of whitey suburbanites try to sing it, it sounds like a bunch of cats in heat. It's frightening. In fact, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble....if I may coin a phrase.

Or Johnny Cash.

I'm a cantor and I have to sing this crap! Here I am Lord does make for a killer power ballad though.

Michael Leggett said...

I think my "Lord Of The Dance" sendup is due:

We all need a laugh

Anonymous said...

For sheer godlessness, Ashes has my vote: 'We rise again from ashes to create ourselves anew.'

Another one that drives me nuts is the crooning of 'Only a Shadow.' I have yet to hear someone explain to me what it means for God to have faith. I thought (stupid me) that faith was 'being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we DO NOT SEE.'

Before I was received into the Church, I asked the head of our RCIA to explain these songs to me. In the end, he admitted they were not doctrinally correct, but it didn't bother him, and besides, everyone likes singing them.

Muscovite

AquinaSavio: said...

"Wade in the Water"

"Come, Now Is the Time to Worship"