The 'We are the Church' texts

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presbyter
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Re: The 'We are the Church' texts

Post by presbyter »

Calum Cille wrote:I hope it won't offend presbyter if I misquote him to make my point.


Not at all CC.

So who else has memories of being brought up with this? Who is still singing it?

Who are the "we" that are the Church in this text?

Who is She that stands triumphant
Rock in strength upon the Rock,
Like some city crown'd with turrets
Braving storm and earthquake shock ?
Who is she her arms extending ;
Blessing thus a world restored ;
All the anthems of creation
Lifting to creation's Lord ?
Hers the Kingdom, hers the Sceptre !
Fall ye nations at her feet !
Hers that Truth whose fruit is freedom ;
Light her yoke ; her burden sweet.

As the moon its splendour borrows
From a sun unseen all night
So from Christ, the Sun of Justice,
Draws His Church her vestal light.
Touch'd by His her hands have healing,
Bread of Life, absolving Key :—
Christ Incarnate is her Bridegroom ;
The Spirit hers ; His Temple she
Hers the Kingdom, hers the Sceptre !
Fall ye nations at her feet !
Hers that Truth whose fruit is freedom ;
Light her yoke ; her burden sweet !

Empires rise and sink like billows ;
Vanish and are seen no more ;
Glorious as the star of morning
She o'erlooks their wild uproar.
Hers the household all-embracing,
Hers the vine that shadows earth ;
Blest thy children, mighty Mother !
Safe the stranger at thy hearth !
Hers the Kingdom, hers the Sceptre !
Fall ye nations at her feet !
Hers that Truth whose fruit is freedom ;
Light her yoke ; her burden sweet !

Like her Bridegroom, heavenly, human,
Crown'd and militant in one,
Chaunting Nature's great Assumption
And the abasement of the Son ;
Her magnificats, her dirges
Harmonize the jarring years ;
Hands that fling to heaven the censer
Wipe away the orphan's tears.
Hers the Kingdom, hers the Sceptre !
Fall ye nations at her feet !
Hers that Truth whose fruit is freedom ;
Light her yoke ; her burden sweet !

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Calum Cille
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Re: The 'We are the Church' texts

Post by Calum Cille »

Answer???

It is We that stand triumphant
Rock in strength upon the Rock,
Like some city crown'd with turrets
Braving storm and earthquake shock !
It is We our arms extending ;
Blessing thus a world restored ;
All the anthems of creation
Lifting to creation's Lord !
Ours the Kingdom, ours the Sceptre !
Fall ye nations at our feet !
Ours that Truth whose fruit is freedom ;
Light our yoke ; our burden sweet.

As the moon its splendour borrows
From a sun unseen all night
So from Christ, the Sun of Justice,
Draws His Church her vestal light.
Touch'd by His our hands have healing,
Bread of Life, absolving Key :—
Christ Incarnate is our Bridegroom ;
The Spirit ours ; His Temple we
Ours the Kingdom, ours the Sceptre !
Fall ye nations at our feet !
Ours that Truth whose fruit is freedom ;
Light our yoke ; our burden sweet !

Empires rise and sink like billows ;
Vanish and are seen no more ;
Glorious as the star of morning
We o'erlook their wild uproar.
Ours the household all-embracing,
Ours the vine that shadows earth ;
Blest our children, mighty children !
Safe the stranger at our hearth !
Ours the Kingdom, ours the Sceptre !
Fall ye nations at our feet !
Ours that Truth whose fruit is freedom ;
Light our yoke ; our burden sweet !

Like our Bridegroom, heavenly, human,
Crown'd and militant in one,
Chaunting Nature's great Assumption
And the abasement of the Son ;
Our magnificats, our dirges
Harmonize the jarring years ;
Hands that fling to heaven the censer
Wipe away the orphan's tears.
Ours the Kingdom, ours the Sceptre !
Fall ye nations at our feet !
Ours that Truth whose fruit is freedom ;
Light our yoke ; our burden sweet !

None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.
If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.
For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

You are not your own; you were bought with a price.

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Calum Cille
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Re: The 'We are the Church' texts

Post by Calum Cille »

Tresham wrote:An entrance song that gathers the thoughts of the assembly to begin worship obviously needs to be underpinned by good Catholic theology. But I said this of Sing a new church
Tresham wrote:it’s never been my choice for a Sunday Liturgy

because it doesn’t fit that occasion, it doesn’t say what needs to be said in song.

However, you also originally said the following.

Tresham wrote:... it has at times been ideal to express the prayers of a gathered community, uniting in song at either a non-eucharistic service or an ecumenical gathering.

A non-eucharistic service - such as Vespers? I'm not sure how "Sing a new church into being" becomes any more theologically acceptable there.

Ecumenical non-eucharistic services are another question, if by ecumenical you mean involving people of various Christian churches and denominations for which I believe the correct term is 'ecclesial communities'. I can understand how terms like "new church" or "different church" would seem appropriate to some there.

The only hymn I ever made for an ecumenical occasion is about peace and reconciliation. My problems with this hymn in such a context are two-fold. Should we assume that God intends such unity to be achieved through a "new" or "different" Church? (Is the post-Vatican II church a "new" or "different" church and should it be? Would reconciliation between Catholic and Orthodox involve creating a "new" or "different" Church?) I think we should stay away from such loaded language as "a new church" which is the kind of thing I hear from presbyterians and evangelicals.

Also, the same hymn in that context would say this about the various Christian denominations represented.

Summoned by the God who made us
Rich in our diversity,
Gathered in the name of Jesus,
Richer still in unity:

Rich in diversity, it says. Diversity, seen in a good light, is essentially harmless. Russians sing hymns that Greeks don't but they are still one church. I know that the diversity which is referred to in the hymn, is actually related to culture, gender and so on, but this is not the most prominent kind of diversity exhibited at an ecumenical service of such a kind. At the start of a hymn in that situation, we're not singing about skin colour, fashion of clothing or music so much as we're singing about schism. Schism producing rich diversity would be, for me, an odd concept in a hymn to be used in an ecumenical context. Good, let's schism some more and be "richer still"!

I would add that the idea is debatable that there is any significant further unity created by people of different denominations sitting beside each other when they pray to God. Further unity is created when we agree to agree, not when we agree to disagree and then carry on with the same diverse schismatic beliefs and practices as before. So on both counts of "a new church" in a Catholic setting and "rich in our diversity" in an ecumenical setting , this text wouldn't be received uncritically by me.
Last edited by Calum Cille on Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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presbyter
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Re: The 'We are the Church' texts

Post by presbyter »

Calum Cille wrote:......... if by ecumenical you mean involving people of various Christian churches and denominations for which I believe the correct term is 'ecclesial communities'.......


Just to clarify

Churches are of apostolic foundation with apostolic succession - e.g. Greek Orthodox - "proper" Bishops, valid sacraments etc…

Ecclesial Communities are those Christians, seen by Rome, as having abandoned that succession.

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Re: The 'We are the Church' texts

Post by Calum Cille »

I got it right, then, I think! Various Christian churches (on the one hand) and (on the other) denominations for which the term is 'ecclesial communities'. My own insecurity over the term is down to the fact that I usually call all of them churches, as most people I encounter do.

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Re: The 'We are the Church' texts

Post by presbyter »

Calum Cille wrote:I got it right, then, I think!


I thought you hadn't at first but you did :)

"Who is she that stands...." arises out of this predominant Counter Reformation ecclesiology that persisted from 1588 until 1943...

St Robert Bellarmine, 1588, De Contoversiis wrote:The one and true Church is the community of men brought together by the profession of the same Christian faith and participation in the same sacraments under the authority of legitimate pastors and especially of the one Vicar of Christ on earth, the Roman Pontiff.... The one true Church is as visible and palpable as the Kingdom of France or the republic of Venice.


I can cope very well with "new understanding" of Church ..... as in Lumen Gentium but I cannot fathom the ecclesiology of Dufner's "new Church" at all. But then, how much can be expressed in a short hymn text anyway?

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Re: The 'We are the Church' texts

Post by Calum Cille »

I don't mind whether I understand Dufner or not. The thing that counts for me is what the words, more objectively of either her own or my interpretation, will carry in meaning to the average intelligent Catholic who understands his own faith and who is trying to sing the words of hymns meaningfully. The words, "Sing a new church into being," are simply not appropriate, even in the context of a multiple baptism. English would distinguish between the concepts of "new church" and "a new church". The newly baptised are perhaps "new church" but certainly not "a new church".

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presbyter
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Re: The 'We are the Church' texts

Post by presbyter »

In 1928, the year that Pius XI penned the document that would be the foundation of our Society in 1929, the Papal appeal for unity rings out loud and strong.

But look at how it is expressed in terms of submission:

Pius XI, Mortalium Animos wrote:12. Let, therefore, the separated children draw nigh to the Apostolic See, set up in the City which Peter and Paul, the Princes of the Apostles, consecrated by their blood; to that See, We repeat, which is "the root and womb whence the Church of God springs,"[27] not with the intention and the hope that "the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth"[28] will cast aside the integrity of the faith and tolerate their errors, but, on the contrary, that they themselves submit to its teaching and government. Would that it were Our happy lot to do that which so many of Our predecessors could not, to embrace with fatherly affection those children, whose unhappy separation from Us We now bewail. Would that God our Savior, "Who will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,"[29] would hear us when We humbly beg that He would deign to recall all who stray to the unity of the Church! In this most important undertaking We ask and wish that others should ask the prayers of Blessed Mary the Virgin, Mother of divine grace, victorious over all heresies and Help of Christians, that She may implore for Us the speedy coming of the much hoped-for day, when all men shall hear the voice of Her divine Son, and shall be "careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."[30]

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presbyter
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Re: The 'We are the Church' texts

Post by presbyter »

Calum Cille wrote:The thing that counts for me is what the words, more objectively of either her own or my interpretation, will carry in meaning......


Yes. If Dufner had constructed a text praying that the Holy Spirit renews the Church, that would have been much better.

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Re: The 'We are the Church' texts

Post by presbyter »

presbyter wrote:From another blog discussing the Haugen text:

I really dont care what the lyrics are but I think the song sounds cool.


I think that one conclusion we might draw from this thread is that a good tune does not save a poor text.

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Re: The 'We are the Church' texts

Post by Tresham »

Well thank you, Presbyter and CC, I think you've had a good run for your money with this! I’m a musician, not a theologian, but at least I now understand what you mean by the word Church, and why you got so uptight about it.

You quoted St Robert Bellarmine
Calum Cille wrote:The one and true Church is the community of men...

I'm tempted to say perhaps it’s not surprising that Dolores Dufner seems to be from a different planet. Mars or Venus? :)

Calum Cille wrote:A non-eucharistic service - such as Vespers?

Definitely not! I first came across these at Summer School – creative, scriptural, contemporary, musical, artistic, thought-provoking services, and since then I have taken part/created/produced many such liturgies in parishes, sometimes during Advent or Lent, or on themes such as Unity, Peace, or whatever is topical at the time. For musical repertoire I would certainly look beyond any approved list, and yes, sometimes, Sing a new church would fit the bill.

Calum Cille wrote:Should we assume that God intends such unity to be achieved through a "new" or "different" Church?

Let’s put it this way, when unity is finally achieved, we will definitely have a new and different Church – whoopee!

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Re: The 'We are the Church' texts

Post by Calum Cille »

Tresham wrote:Let’s put it this way, when unity is finally achieved, we will definitely have a new and different Church – whoopee!

I wouldn't be so sure that your sense of Church is ever going to be on the agenda, Tresham. Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon said the following on the 24th of September last year.

... God will find a way to overcome all the difficulties that remain, and bring our two churches – the most ancient churches, the churches that share the same ecumenical past, the same traditions, the same sense of the Church — to bring us to full community.

Ut unum sint, paragraph 97 says the following.

The Catholic Church, both in her praxis and in her solemn documents, holds that the communion of the particular Churches with the Church of Rome, and of their Bishops with the Bishop of Rome, is—in God's plan—an essential requisite of full and visible communion.

Yes, all that's very new and different to what is being done now in the Catholic Church!

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