Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

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Gwyn
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Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by Gwyn » Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:20 pm

I remember hearing that the hymn "Amazing Grace" is not wholly in keeping with the Catholic understanding of "Grace", the conflicting line(s) being:
"how precious did that grace appear,
the hour I first believed.

Colin Donovan speaking on EWTN in 2004 said;
"The problem is the implication that "the hour" in which grace is infused, is when "I believed."
Catholic doctrine is that faith given preparatory to baptism does not confer grace, but that baptism infuses sanctifying grace, charity, Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the infused moral
virtues, into the soul. A doctrinally incorrect hymn should not be used in the liturgy. If "when we sing we pray twice," when we sing such a hymn we err twice. This is not a good thing
for Catholics to do.

I appreciate that a vast body of hymnody is common to all denominations.

What other hymns in current use conflict with Catholic doctrine, and for what reason?

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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by promusica » Mon Dec 24, 2012 2:18 pm

Once, when we were playing at a retreat for priests, one of the participants came up to us to object to Chris Walker's use of the word "sign" in the refrain of One in Body, Heart and Mind: "Christ be love within this sign, shared for all as bread and wine." Many composers refer to the Eucharist as "sign", probably to rhyme with "wine". This priest's point was that Catholic theology has the bread and wine transformed into body and blood of Christ, and not merely a sign. However as well as being body and blood, the Eucharistic species are also a sign of our redemption. Any thoughts on this one?

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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by JW » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:17 pm

Amazing Grace (and other hymns deemed questionable by some) appear in the only hymnal (Laudate) so far to have obtained a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur in England & Wales. It has also been sung recently in St Peter's Rome - and liturgies there are vetted in advance.

So who is correct? The Censor Deputatus and the Apostolic Administrator who gave permission to publish or those who object to these hymns? I respectfully submit that both have some element of rationale. More importantly, perhaps we shouldn't get too hung up about these things; after all, part of the rationale for the New Translation was that the old one was theologically questionable in places..

It's always possible to pick up on dubious meanings and infer that the hymn shouldn't be used. For example, what possible theological justification is there to ask Mary to "remind thy Son that he has paid the price of our iniquity" (Hail Queen of Heaven)? He can hardly have forgotten!

In Amazing Grace, if, as Colin Donovan seems to suggest, Sanctifying Grace cannot be received before Baptism, then only the Baptised are saved and priests are in error if, for example, when they imply at funerals that an infant who dies without Baptism is in heaven.

The church teaches Baptism by Desire and Baptism by Blood (or by Fire as my nuns taught me!). See for example this paragraph from Catholic.com which quotes the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Assuming the grace referred to here is sanctifying, not actual, it clearly states the people can act under the inspiration of grace even if they haven't been baptized.

Thus the Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Those who die for the faith, those who are catechumens, and all those who, without knowing of the Church but acting under the inspiration of grace, seek God sincerely and strive to fulfill his will, are saved even if they have not been baptized" (CCC 1281; the salvation of unbaptized infants is also possible under this system; cf. CCC 1260–1, 1283). . Also, we are taught not to make judgements about who is saved.

I'm not a theologian and I don't see the point (for me personally) in getting as bogged down in theology as I am in this post - so I leave it to others to decide what should and shouldn't be in hymnbooks - and then don't use any that appear to be inappropriate!
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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by JW » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:28 pm

By the way, Happy Christmas everyone.

Anyone care to debate whether we should teach our children "Away in the manger". After all, there wasn't really any manger, there weren't really any cattle to low (v.2) and it was written by Martin Luther. :wink: :)
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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by Southern Comfort » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:43 pm

Several come to mind that are not in conformity with what we believe, and others that are just confused.

The one that is probably sung more often than any other is "Christ, be our light", whose composer has a theology diploma.... The last two lines of verse 5 run:

Let us be servants to one another,
making your kingdom come.


I have not seen the revised Laudate, so don't know if this has been amended, but as it stands it is heretical. We cannot make God's kingdom come. Only God can do that. We can try to create the condtions for the coming of the kingdom, but we ourselves cannot effect it. That is why for many years I have changed the final line to read:

helping your kingdom come

which is not quite ideal ("to come" would be better English but doesn't fit) but better than "making".

Taking up JW's first point, different censors say different things. The principal problem appears to be that there is no possibility of dialogue with the censor actually deputed to do the work in a particular instance, even if another theologian provides you with a different opinion.

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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by JW » Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:54 pm

Southern Comfort wrote:The one that is probably sung more often than any other is "Christ, be our light", whose composer has a theology diploma.... The last two lines of verse 5 run:

Let us be servants to one another,
making your kingdom come.


I have not seen the revised Laudate, so don't know if this has been amended, but as it stands it is heretical. We cannot make God's kingdom come. Only God can do that. We can try to create the condtions for the coming of the kingdom, but we ourselves cannot effect it. That is why for many years I have changed the final line to read:

helping your kingdom come



Nope, it's not altered in the revised Laudate. We sang it at a diaconal ordination last summer and goodness knows how many people vetted that particular order of service, including, of course, the ordaining bishop.........
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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by Nick Baty » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:04 pm

JW wrote:Anyone care to debate whether we should teach our children "Away in the manger".
My PP's not too fussed. He doesn't like the line "...but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes", claiming that it suggests Christ wasn't fully human.

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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by JW » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:13 pm

Nick Baty wrote:
JW wrote:Anyone care to debate whether we should teach our children "Away in the manger".
My PP's not too fussed. He doesn't like the line "...but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes", claiming that it suggests Christ wasn't fully human.


Well, if, according to Catholic Tradition, Mary can have a pain-free birth, why should the baby Jesus have to cry?
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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by Nick Baty » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:17 pm

Do you really think she did?

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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by JW » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:24 pm

Nick Baty wrote:Do you really think she did?


Shh... this is a Catholic forum :wink:
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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by dominus » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:35 pm

Nick Baty wrote:Do you really think she did?

According to the Council of Trent: "To Eve it was said: In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children. Mary was exempt from this law, for preserving her virginal integrity inviolate she brought forth Jesus the Son of God without experiencing, as we have already said, any sense of pain."

And was it not St Augustine who said that in conceiving thou wast all pure, in giving birth thou wast without pain?

Aside, I'm always uncomfortable choosing Amazing Grace for Sunday Mass - for those reasons mentioned in previous posts, even if it is sung gustily at Funerals!

Merry Christmas

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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by oopsorganist » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:43 am

The little family to be might have been relegated to a stable .. cos who wants a labouring mother in the upstairs hostelry - lots of blood and screaming and other bodily substances aye all that.

She had all pain. For if "He feeleth in our sadness" (vomit) then surely His mother feeleth our pain. And that sudden Love for the limbs and life of a new born.

"All the powers of heaven combining , gathered in that woman's pain
God defying expectation
Sows his seed against the grain" (Wild Goose)
and that is a good hymn.
Trouble with Augustine was - he was a man.
uh oh!

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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by organist » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:37 am

Too late - the horse has bolted - no point in shutting the stable door at all. "Amazing Grace" , "Once in royal David's city" and "Away in a manger" are all in our collective psyches and in the people out there - it's one way we can reach them! So let's use that bridge and then we can explain the Faith once we have their interest. :)

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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by Peter » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:22 pm

One hymn with which I feel rather uncomfortable is "We come as guests invited", no 630 in the "Communion Processional Songs" section of the old Laudate. It talks about "shar[ing] bread and wine; the bread ... broken, the wine ... poured ... in token of Christ..." and later about "fellowship ... renewed in bread and wine" in a way that never quite seems to accept Christ's real presence in the Blessed Sacrament. Is this hymn still in the new edition of Laudate, which has received an Imprimatur?

Admittedly, the second Memorial Acclamation in the Mass starts "When we eat this Bread..." and the Fraction Rite is described as "The Breaking of Bread" in some editions of the Missal (e.g. the Pope John Sunday Missal: Redemptorist Publications, 1978), so how pedantic should we be about the use (or avoidance of use) of the term "bread" after the Consecration? Is the Taizé chant "Eat this Bread" acceptable as a Communion processional chant? It's also in that same section of Laudate, no 633.

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Re: Hymns that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Post by alan29 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:05 am

..... "One Bread, one Body......."
Would the Didache pass the "don't call it bread or its the Spanish Inquisition for you" test?

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