Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Heretical Hymns? George Weigle

As usual The Curt Jester found it first...but I will post anyway. George Weigel is one of America's leading commentators on issues of religion and public life. He is also the author of many fantastic catholic books, including Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II.

He wrote an article titled "Heretical Hymns?". Below you will find a few excerpts.
I love hymns. I love singing them and I love listening to them. Hearing the robust Cardiff Festival Choir belt out the stirring hymns of Ralph Vaughan Williams at what my wife regards as an intolerable volume is, for me, a terrific audio experience.

...Hymns are distinct forms of confessing the Church's faith. Old school Lutherans take their hymns very seriously.

Most Catholics don't. Instead, we settle for hymns musically indistinguishable from "Les Mis" and hymns of saccharine textual sentimentality. Moreover, some hymn texts in today's Catholic "worship resources" are, to put it bluntly, heretical. Yet Catholics once knew how to write great hymns; and there are great hymns to be borrowed, with gratitude, from Anglican, Lutheran, and other Christian sources. There being a finite amount of material that can fit into a hymnal, however, the first thing to do is clean the stables of today's hymnals.

Thus, with tongue only half in cheek, I propose the Index Canticorum Prohibitorum, the "Index of Forbidden Hymns." Herewith, some examples.

Again, the full article can be found Here.

In Our Lord and Our Lady,

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