Monday, February 13, 2006

of Singing and Snow

There are a lot of songs which are not appropriate for use in the Liturgy, which may be, none-the-less, still fun to sing, (depending on your taste). Many of the old spirituals, many of which have Protestant theological undertones, are examples (Just a Closer Walk with Thee, Comin' for to Carry me home, etc, - even Amazing Grace). Unfortunately, all too often songs like these, and even worse, songs from the Glory & Praise book are played at Mass.

There are at least 2 problems with the G&P songs: 1) they are mostly about us and only secondarily, if at all, about praising God; and 2) most are written for piano and guitar-which unfortunately encourages use of the guitar; 3)many of the songs have ranges which half-octave range singers like me, (and I am not alone) can't hit (even if I wanted to), thus the songs turn into a performance by the musicians; 4) (Oh yes, I said only 2 problems...)

Yet one of my children this week made a probably very true observation about the G&P songs. It goes something like this: We are all at some deep level, drawn to sing, and drawn to sing to praise God. Since singing in groups is found so seldom in any place but at Church in this day and age, the songs selected and played by the musicians or 'music minister' become merely a matter of taste-because it is the only outlet for singing, and they sing and play what they know and like best. (Many are converts or group up in the liturgical mess that has been the last 30 or so years.) Many of these songs-while maybe nice around a campfire-have no place at Mass.

Finally, in the same "spirit", you have to read this!

This past weekend I was supposed to travel to NH for my newly born Godson's, (Brendon Christopher), Baptism. A family member was going to share frequent flyer miles and I was all set to go, looking forward to seeing family again and participating in this holy and crucial sacrament. Sickness in the family (as I blogged about all week) last week prevented the trip at the last minute. Turns out, if I had gone, it looks like I would have been snowed in, as New England got more than 2 feet of snow.

We actually had brief flurries here yesterday. Nothing landed-it was in the cooold 40's. In fact, two of the kids were playing tennis at the local courts during the brief "snowstorm".

From Bethany, the small holding in Bethune...Oremus pro invicem!

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