Wednesday, November 19, 2014

DO IT YOURSELF CHRISTIANITY; FORGET ABOUT GOD!

There is a discussion in some quarters of a hymn sung at a prayer vigil the night before Archbishop Cupich became the new Archbishop of Chicago.

The Hymn is "All Are Welcome."  Nice no? Who could argue with that? No ideology in it whatsoever, right? At what Catholic parish have you been where anyone was turned away or quizzed about their faith before entering? At least at St. Joseph Church we do not have armed guards keeping undesireables out. If we did, I think our church would be empty on Sundays!

But here are the words to "All Are Welcome" which actually has a singable, nursery school melody of the type that sticks in your mind and you can't get out of your mind for days!:

Let us build a house where love can dwell, and all can safely live…
Let us build a house where prophets speak, and words are strong and true…
Let us build a house where love is found in water, wine and wheat…
Let us build us house where hands will reach beyond the wood and stone, to heal and strengthen, serve and teach…
Let us build a house where all are named, their songs and visions heard…
All are welcome in this place.

What's wrong with this little ditty? In the verse above, God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit are never mentioned as the Source of all that is and all that we can do. Not a mention of grace either!

The ideology of this song is very secular and almost like a cheerleaders' chant.  It is what we do, let us; let us; let us; let us; let us is sung five times in this one verse. Where is God, God's grace in all of this? This song could be sung at a baseball game!

Why not something like this?

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, ALL CREATURES HERE BELOW; (this implies all are welcome to praise God!)
Praise Him above, ye heav'nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

Praise God the Father who's the source;
Praise God the Son who is the course;
Praise God the Spirit who's the flow;
Praise God, our portion here below!


In other words, Praise God From Whom all Blessings Flow is both vertical and horizontal in its prayer inspiring those praying it to join with the Church on earth and in heaven in praising God. It is very much more inclusive of welcome than the little ditty "All Are Welcome." 

The following revision would vastly improve the Catholicity, not to mention the Christianity of All Are Welcome and make it more Christological and Trinitarian:

God the Father directs us build a house where His love can dwell, and all can safely live…
God the Son shows  us how to build a house where prophets speak, and words are strong and true…
God the Holy Spirit inspires us build a house where God's love is found in water, wine and wheat…
By  God's grace alone Let us build a house where by God's grace hands will reach beyond the wood and stone, to heal and strengthen, serve and teach…
Praise God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One God in Three Divine Persons who build a house where all are named, their songs and visions heard…
All are welcome in this place built by God!

Of Course a better melody would be needed to fit all the new words! What about some form of chant?


48 comments:

Templar said...

LOL, have you discussed this with your Vicar? He was raised in a Parish that sings this song as the processional at EVERY SINGLE MASS.

PS: Maybe you can also hint to him that his collar isn't supposed to be visible when he vests for Mass. Just saying.

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - You are aping your friend, Dr. Cummings, in leaving out portions of the source you are citing. Tsk tsk.

Included in "All are Welcome" are the lines:

"Here the love of Christ shall end divisions..."

"Let us build a house where prophets speak, and words are strong and true, where all God's children dare to seek to dream God's reign anew. Here the cross shall stand as witness and a symbol of God's grace; here as one we claim the faith of Jesus:..."

"Here the love of God, through Jesus, is revealed in time and space; as we share in Christ the feast that frees us..."

Christ . . . God . . . God . . . God . . . Jesus . . . Cross . . . Grace . . . Christ . . .

Tsk tsk.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Here Christ's love will end all divisions? Really? This is truthful, I thought Jesus came to "divide" Father against son, son against mother, so on and so on.

This is anything but a humble ditty, it is arrogant and uses the Holy Name of God in an arrogant way.

If I wanted a horizontal, lovey dovey community, I'd join the Salvation Army or better yet the Methodists. What the heck, why not just join the Kwinas Club!

Metal Tubes said...

Good Father, you've been busted again!

Paul said...

By mixing in Protestant songs with recent-ish homosexual/secular/nebulous/spiritual sing songs, OCP and GIA have made quite the impact in filling the pews with, propagan, uh, "hymnals".

All this "welcoming" business tries to place the onus on Christ's Church as if Christ got it wrong or is "evolving". This situation is only a beginning. People are watching and waiting to see how it goes, to see if Christ "blinks" first. The onus is on the individual. An idea to consider: Check the Pride at the door and try not to pick it back up on the way out. Otherwise, one will never *feel* welcome.

Pater Ignotus said...

When you say, "This is anything but a humble ditty...", Good Father, you are saying it is NOT a humble ditty.

What you wanted to say is, " This is nothing but a humble ditty...".

Busted again!

Anonymous said...

Father....the new archbishop of Chicago is a big lib. You know as well as I do that libs in power will not tolerate criticism or implied criticicism of any kind. If he or one of his minons finds out about this post you will be transferred to an outpost in India. For your own safety take down this post. Anybody that has any Catholicity about them at all understands just what happened yesterday. We know.

Any bets as to how long it takes him to raise Fr. Michael Phlager to a position of power over the other (traditionally minded) priests in Chicago?

Paul said...

By the way, the writer of the song is a member of the United Church Of Christ. Why is this song in a supposed Catholic hymnal?

Tevye said...

Good Father, I don't think you have enough to do. Perhaps a hobby...other than blogging...

Anonymous said...

I laugh and agree. Were people also swaying in the pews as they sang that rhyme? Not only were your choice of lyrics a great improvement, but a greater improvement could be made if they were chanted rather than sung as a melody.

Henry said...

“or better yet the Methodists. What the heck, why not just join the Kwinas Club!”

As a former Methodist, Father M, perhaps I should resemble your habitual snide references to Methodists. For at the Methodist church of my youth the liturgy was more dignified that that at many Catholic churches I’ve attended since, for instance with communion kneeling at an altar rail. And today its altar has a Benedictine arrangement of six candles and looks more like a real altar of sacrifice than the altar at the nearest Catholic church (or that in the chapel at the papal motel in Rome).

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

My point PI is that it is not humble, it is arrogant!

Anonymous said...

I don't know. This silly song has always reminded me of the insipid "I love you, you love me" Barney song.

United Church of Christ? (who have fairly much thrown out the non-negotiable moral issues)

Yeah, so why *is* this in our hymnals, then?

Catechist Kev

JBS said...

TV,

What is more important than the worship of God?

Jdj said...

Yes, I happened to turn on EWTN late in the Mass yesterday; it was Communion distribution and that ole favorite 80's trite "hymn" droned on and on and on:
"Taste and see, taste and see...".
You know, Communion is really all about ME and WE and how I/WE feel and what I/WE do--let's all go to the table and feel good about ourselves! And then we can all go home and God will accept whatever we do, cuz He's so nice!!!
Arrgh!!! I really was a bit flabbergasted that this would be done at a most solemn "High Mass" to install the head of the third largest diocese in the U.S. I can only assume the song is one of Abp. Cupich's favorites. Oh, well... At it's best, TV Mass is never great, and this certainly didn't rank with the best.

Pater Ignotus said...

Good Father - Not only did you misrepresent the nature of "All Are Welcome," in precisely the way Dr. Cummings misrepresents the pope's "Who am I to judge" comment, you misrepresent the Scriptures, and in a very amateurish way I might add.

No, we are not to become more and more divided. In fact, the opposite is true. Here's the very collect used at mass this morning:

"O God, in the covenant of your Christ you never cease to gather to yourself from all nations a people GROWING TOGETHER IN UNITY (emphasis added)through the Spirit; grant, we pray, that your Church, faithful to the mission entrusted to her, may continually go forward with the human family and always be the leaven and the soul of human society, to renew it in Christ and transform it into the family of God."

Your exegetical skills are as weak as your critique of hymns it seems.

The point, Good Father, is that you are talking through your hat.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I even think of that song, it stays for days. Thanks for that.

Had I been asked, I would have played it behind the Emperor's speech in Star Wars:
"...In order to ensure the security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society, which I assure you will last for 10,000 years..."

Surely we can do better.
Steven

John said...

Why not just sing the propers?

Silly Sesame Street sing-songs do not belong in any part of the Mass.

However, Father, the visceral reaction you got from PI to this posting is a good indication of the liturgically challenged's attachment to banal hymns and music.

Insipid sentimentality represented by such "music" is the opium of the spirit of the council clergy and congregations.

Henry said...

All this quibbling about "All are welcome" misses the point, and illustrates the dead end often reached when the wrong side road is taken.

We should not be singing ANY non-liturgical hymns whatsoever at Mass. In Catholic tradition, hymns belong to the Divine Office (aka LOH), not to the Mass.

As Pius X said, and as repeated at Vatican II, and even in an instruction issued later by Msgr. Bugnini, the congregation should sing THE Mass, not AT Mass. That is,the congregation should sing propers (introit, etc) and ordinary (Gloria, etc) of the Mass. It should NOT sing non-liturgical hymns--whether good, bad, or indifferent--instead of the propers AT Mass.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

John you nailed it: "Insipid sentimentality represented by such "music" is the opium of the spirit of the council clergy and congregations."

And Henry you nailed it too, but alas unless there is any real direction from higher ups, all the way to the Vatican the status quo for insipidity will remain!

Pater Ignotus said...

John - I assure you, my reaction to Good Father McDonald's silly errors is not visceral.

One man's insipid sentimentality is another man's hopeful expression of faith.

John Nolan said...

The problem of course is that in the old days the liturgy (which, let's face it, meant the Mass, since few had experience of Vespers which in most parishes was replaced by 'Rosary, sermon and Benediction' or any of the LOTH, which I understand the post-V2 reform wanted to promote.

The Novus Ordo Missae is clearly designed as a sung Mass. Whether in Latin or in the vernacular it cries out to be sung; the musical balance is explicit. In some respects it is superior to the Old Mass, musically speaking. And I speak as one who reveres the Old Mass but is happy to attend the New.

Marc said...

Please take note of the duplicity here.

The response to Henry's citations is to say that he needs "real direction from higher ups."

cpttom said...

This hymn has trite words, and is written to baby music. It is not worthy of being used during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Henry, you are spot on. That would solve much of the problem.

John Nolan,

I would agree with you IF the New Mass as a norm had the discipline of the Old Mass. As Pope Benedict wrote, there are too many options giving the celebrant the impression that anything goes.

Reduce the options greatly, rewrite the GIRM to favour more traditional practices (Ad Ordinem, Bells, smells, patens and veils, etc.) and state flat out the propers should be sung not hymns, and I think we would do better. Hymns could be done for Procession and Recession, but not in place of the propers.

Actually, Father's idea about using the new translation with the Old Mass's order would be an improvement too. Latin should be used for the "ordinary" of the Mass out of unit with the One Holy Catholic Church.

cpttom said...

Marc,

Not sure why you say Father is being Duplicitous? He is stating reality. We saw this in the last pontificate: If Pope Benedict had put his demonstrated reforms of the mass (Kneeling for communion, the Benedictine Altar arrangement, better music, etc.) into the GIRM or into a Motu Proprio instead of just "modeling" by example, we may be further along with the "reform of the reform" than we are. Father is right in stating the reality of the situation at hand.

Marc said...

This blog's author takes many liberties with the liturgy, as he has detailed here in word and video. Yet, he claims to need additional authority to do those things already mandated by the documents Henry cited.

Joe Potillor said...

I agree with Henry, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not the place for hymns, in the Roman tradition, the hymns are for the Liturgy of the Hours, enough depriving the Faithful of Scripture, enough depriving the Faithful of what the Church wishes...enough...God help Chicago.

JBS said...

The singing of Psalms at the Entrance, Offertory and Communion helps reconnect us to the Jews (who sang the Pslams at the Temple and in the synagogues) and to the Holy Bible (from which the Psalms are taken). It's a win, win situation.

We need to leave behind the pre-Vatican II corruption of the "four-hymn Low Mass" and move deeper into our Jewish liturgical roots and Biblical foundations.

cpttom said...

JBS

It is interesting you bring up the 4 hymn sandwich of the pre-concillor Low Mass. I submit that this is why it was so easy for the abuses of the 70s to happen, as the 4 hymn sandwich and other innovations in the 40s-60s pre VII laid the groundwork for what was to come and the speed that it happened.

Jdj said...

You know the truth is, none of us would object to songs of "insipid sentimentality" being part of a non-liturgical prayer service, youth group, over-60s luncheon, or any other informal guitar fest get-together (and, heck yeah, maybe even a clown or two). "Another man's hopeful expression of faith" is his business, not mine when used in a non-obligatory service. But an obligatory Mass is another thing entirely. And most especially, a solemn High Mass is no place for inane and childish sentimentality.
We have survived nearly 50 years of the insipid and we will continue to survive it. Many of us have no choice. I pray that the faithful remnant of priests dedicated to transcendent liturgies will persevere in dark times like guiding lights and be protected by God's grace always.

John Nolan said...

Fr MacDonald does not 'take liberties with the liturgy'. If in doubt, or where the Novus Ordo rubrics are imprecise or non-existent, then the model to follow is the traditional Roman Rite. GIRM 42 comes very close to acknowledging this.

Marc said...

John, I appreciate your generalized liturgical expertise; however, I was a parishioner at his parish for several years, attending and serving at both so-called "forms" of the liturgy.

I stand by what I wrote.

George said...

We are fast approaching Advent where we will begin to hear religious- themed Christmas songs such as "O Little Town of Bethlehem" , "The First Noel" "O Come All Ye Faithful" " O Holy Night", "Away in a Manger" "Silent Night". These to me are all of better quality than "All Are Welcome." Would it be suitable to include any of the above within the Christmas Mass Liturgy? No. Some of them at the conclusion of the Mass, OK. Even if you had songs such as these, of this same quality written for any season , they would not be appropriate to include within the liturgy of the Mass.

Anonymous said...

George....BS. I'll bet it would be hard to find a Midnight Mass anywhere in America....maybe in the world where none of those Christmas hymns are sung.

JBS said...

Anonymous,

Please note that George describes what is appropriate, while you describe what is done. The fact that something is done does not prove that it is appropriate, and so your argument does not rebuke that of George. You could try reading "Introduction to Foundational Logic" by D.Q. McInerny to help you construct more effective arguments.

Henry said...

JBS: "We need to leave behind the pre-Vatican II corruption of the 'four-hymn Low Mass'"

It's true that a goal of those who wrote Sacrosanctum Concilium was to eliminate the "4-hymn sandwich" that the congregation sometimes sang at Sunday low Masses.

However, it should be remembered that prior to Vatican II, the propers of the Mass--the introit, offertory and communion antiphons--were never ever REPLACED with hymns, nowhere no time (so far as I know). If there was no choir to chant the propers, they were still said by the celebrant, whether or not the congregation sang hymns in addition.

So reference to the "pre-Vatican II 4-hymn sandwich" is a bit misleading, in that the complete omission of the propers from the Mass never occurred prior to Vatican II, and is solely a post Vatican II corruption.

Henry said...

George is correct. The inclusion of Christmas carols in the Mass of Christmas is just as inappropriate as any hymns in any other Mass.

At the (EF) Christmas Masses I have attended in recent years, Adeste Fidelis (For those in Rio Linda, O Come All Ye Faithful in Latin) has been sung as a processional before Mass, and perhaps Joy to the World as a recessional after Mass. But never have I heard a vernacular carol sung within the Mass by either choir or congregation).

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate, and to many of you, I'm sure, disappointing that you can't blame the use of the traditional Christmas carols on Vatican II. I have been going to Mass at Christmas for many, many years and I have NEVER been to a Christmas Mass when they were not done.

It seems that many here would prefer a stuffy, pompous liturgy with Latin and your boring, annoying "chant" to a liturgy in which the people celebrate, with emotion and love the birth of a baby...an occasion upon which, I assure you, the blessed mother and father don't feel like doing Gregorian chant. The Pope wants a Church for the people....all the people, not just for a few intolerant, know-it-all elitists.

I think he's on the right track.
Viva il Papa!

It might help if the "celibate", "chaste" clergy could experience for themselves the flood of joy and emotion that comes with the birth of your own child.

John Nolan said...

There is a danger that the Xmas Midnight Mass can become a glorified carol service. The correct custom is to sing traditional carols at 11.30 but the Mass begins at midnight with the Introit 'Dominus dixit ad me' - so simple that I guarantee I could teach it to an eight-year-old in fifteen minutes.

It is traditional to sing Adeste Fideles after the day Mass, to include the fourth verse 'Ergo qui natus die hodierna'. Of course there is no recessional in the Roman Rite (either form) and so you could sing it in English, although why one would prefer a mannered Victorian translation to the original Latin is beyond me!

Anonymous said...

Holy John Nolan, has replaced the name of Christ with an X. I've heard about the war on Christmas. Looks like we may have one of its soldiers right here in our midst.

"Happy Holidays" John. (Hope you'll reply...with some Latin maybe..)

George said...

I love traditional Christmas songs and Carols as much as anyone( the religious themed ones of course). My point was that there are well crafted words and music of all types that never make anywhere near a Mass Liturgy and would not be appropriate if they were so employed. The liturgical music genre is different.When the created result of the genre is constructed and performed well, then it is powerful without being over-powering, and sublime without being banal, pedestrian, understated or subject to misinterpretation. Now I do acknowledge that there are small Churches with limited musical resources to apply to liturgical arrangements but the operative principle should be to go for having and doing the best you can.

JBS said...

Anonymous, what's wrong with the "X"?

John Nolan said...

Anonymous @ 2:52

X (the Greek letter Chi) has been used to represent Christ for two millennia. It is often combined with the second letter of Christ (P or Rho) to make the Chi-Rho monogram. Father Faber, no less, wrote above his hymn 'Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all' the words Corpus Xi.

I think you must take a perverse pleasure in parading your ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Just sayin'...my Xmas (as John says) wouldn't be complete without Elvis doing "Blue Christmas".

Anonymous said...

Wow, John...I've been busted. Guess I should have taken a little bit of Greek (I did have some Latin) when I was doing some of my advanced degrees. I was pretty determined, however, to avoid anything that leaned toward "Liberal" Arts. I concentrated mostly on rocket science and brain surgery.

So, I guess that in some areas I'll continue to parade my ignorance. I can probably rest assured that you will retain your default setting of smug superiority.

On a positive note...my church folk choir has a new tune...."They Will Know We Are Xians By Our Love".

Henry said...

It's entertaining to have someone here who plays the role that court fools played in former times. And good that he's anonymous and therefore fair game for pointing out what kind of ..., well, fool, he is.

Tevye said...

Father, if it is alright for Henry to call Anon 10:32 a fool, what are your general limitations on name calling? Are names of body parts or orifices OK.

John Nolan said...

'It is better to be rebuked by a wise man, than to be deceived by the flattery of fools. For as the crackling of thorns burning under a pot, so is the laughter of a fool: now this also is vanity' (Ecclesiastes 7, vi-vii)