Monday, February 19, 2007

(Don't) Come as You Are

Is there a relationship between the lyrics of the songs we sing at Mass and the way people act and dress for Mass? When I go to the Traditional Mass, people are dressed respectfully and conservatively. The hymns are all traditional, sacred songs. There is much reverence displayed, both by the people and by the priests.

The Novus Ordo I attend has a different atmosphere. People are much more casual, both in their dress and their actions. There is lots of talking before and during Mass, and the prayerful atmosphere of the traditional Mass is lacking. The choir is the centre of attention, and they are positioned right up front, as close as they can get to the sanctuary, without actually being in it.

So how does this connect with the lyrics of songs? Take the chorus for "Come as You Are." Doesn't it just encourage you to take a lax attitude to salvation? Songs like this totally ignore Christ's clear instruction that repentance for one's sins is necessary for salvation.

Come as you are
Don't change a thing
Open your heart
He'll walk right in
Come as you are
No alibis
His love for you
Will never die

This song, like many others that are in wide use in our Churches today, do nothing to inspire one to reverence and holiness. We need humility, reverence and repentance. Piety is reflected both in the way we behave at Mass, and in the way we dress. We need sacred surroundings to inspire us to holiness. A prayerful attitude and appropriate dress are both indications that we are aware of the full meaning of the Mass, and that we are less likely to be a cause of distraction to those around us. It's no coincidence that more and more people are being drawn to the Mass of the Ages. It fills the spiritual void that the modern Mass has left in our souls.


Michael Leggett said...

At this rate, the "FOX NFL Sunday" theme, will be used to sing the "Alleluia", if this keeps up.

Anonymous said...

We only have the NO Mass but there is reverence and silence before, during and after Mass.

Jeffrey Smith said...

I've never encountered this song before. Bit of a shock. The line "you are the reason..." is even worse. Downright "new age".

paramedicgirl said...

Angela, you are blessed to have a reverent NO Mass to attend. Our daily Masses are reverent, but the Sunday Mass is very much of a social gathering. Forget about praying before or after Mass. You need ear plugs to drown out the shouting. There is such a contrast between the two.

Vox Cantoris said...

Whoa, ParamedicGirl, who is the composer? This is a real classic!!!

paramedicgirl said...

I was first tempted to say that Satan wrote it, Vox, but I looked up the auhtor and it was actually Jaci Velasquez. Whoever that is...

Anita Moore said...

I can't recall ever having had the anti-privilege of hearing or singing "Come As You Are," but here are the nonsensical, cretinous, inane lyrics to a moldy oldie we are likely to be afflicted with during Lent: In These Days of Lenten Journey by one Fr. Ricky Manolo, a priest who shouldn't give up his day job.

In these days of Lenten journey
we have seen and we have heard
the call to sow justice
in the lives of those we serve.

1. We reach out to those who are homeless, to those who live without warmth. In the coolness of evening we'll shelter their dreams; we will clothe them in mercy and peace.

2. We open our eyes to the hungry and see the faces of Christ. As we nourish all people who hunger for food, may their faith in our God be renewed.

3. We open our ears to the weary and hear the cry of the poor. To the voices that echo the song of despair, we will show our compassion and care.

4. We call on the Spirit of Justice and pray for righteousness' sake. We will sing for the freedom of all the oppressed; we will loosen the bonds of distress.

For the music, imagine hundreds of cigarette lighters waving in the darkness.

Warren said...

No double standard here. I wear Jeans and a T-Shirt to the Latin Mass. :-)
(No I'm not joking.)

Reverence is on the inside, it's not whether you wear a 3 piece suit for Jesus.

Nevertheless, revealing or provocative clothes (on a man or a woman) are never appropriate at Mass.