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  • Christian Hymn Society Releases ‘Queer Hymns’ for LGBTQIA2S+

    A group known as the Hymn Society has released a collection titled Songs for the Holy Other: Hymns Affirming the LGBTQIA2S+ Community for liturgical use in the United States and Canada.

    Among the nearly 50 “queer hymns” featured in the collection are: “God of Queer Transgressive Spaces,” “Lovely, Needy People,” “Quirky Queer and Wonderful” and “The Kingdom of God is the Queerest of Nations.”

    The ecumenical, non-profit Hymn Society released the hymnal in July but it was publicized just last week by Anglican Journal, the publication of the Anglican Church of Canada, which praised the work for offering “further potential for music as a source of affirmation and inclusion.”

    Sydney Brouillard-Coyle, the “gender-non-conforming” music director at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Essex, Ontario, called the collection “an amazing resource for music directors and for priests who are looking for hymns that are affirming for the LGBT community.”

    The preface for Songs for the Holy Other laments the building of walls and calls for dismantling these walls through music.

    “In our society and in our churches, we continue to build walls marking ‘out’ and ‘in,’” the text reads. “We continue to mark boundaries of ‘us’ and ‘them,’ of ‘normal’ and ‘other.’”

    “Songs for the Holy Other aims to provide congregations working to dismantle these walls with a toolbox of hymns by and for those who identify as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, transgender, nonbinary, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, aromantic, two-spirit, and other sexual/gender minority (LGBTQIA2S+) community and their allies,” it proclaims.

    The preface also explains that the title of the collection, Songs for the Holy Other, “is a self-conscious claiming of otherness as holy and beloved of God.”

    “We who have been labeled as ‘wholly other’ are claiming our holiness, and reclaiming our otherness as a prophetic witness to the church,” it states.

    One of the hymns, “God of Many Faces,” by Amy Cerniglia, calls for the worship of the “God of many genders,” whose multiplicity is reflected in all of creation.
  • Satire, I trust.
  • They'd be Pachamama'd through a shredder.
  • Satire, I hope...but nothing is surprising these days.
  • Not satire, but that doesn't stop my sides from splitting at some of these titles.

    Not to mention that many of these don't seem to be actual hymns, and would probably lead to either guffaws or angry departures from the pews should they be sung in an actual place of worship. Aside from some hilarious lines like "God's own deviance is Jesus" and "Queerly beloved, we have assembled", much of it isn't worth anyone's attention.

    A strange focus on shape note tunes, for some reason.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,930
    Apparently a real publication:

    I'd like to see more emphasis on hymns affirming the Trinitarian community.
    Thanked by 2Kathy CHGiffen
  • The PIPs sit through all kinds of nonsense already, and are unlikely to suddenly walk out because of still more inappropriate music or strange liturgical practices or odd things placed on the altar.

  • Build that wall !!
    Thanked by 1Incardination
  • All the other silliness aside, and I realize that's an enormous amount to put aside, why do these Anglicans think that the purpose of music is to affirm the singer? Surely there are enough real Anglican hymns which illustrate how non-anthropocentric the Anglican liturgy tries (tried?) to be. Even texts such as "My song is love unknown" are clearly theocentric. "I sing a song of the saints of God" manages it, too, even with poetry like this: "And I mean to be one, too". Is it the logical result of the BCP 1979, Rite 2 and all that?
  • What has logic ever had to do with it?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,930
    CGZ, although the story was reported in an Anglican outlet, the project is not sponsored by Anglicans. It's from the Hymn Society, which is independent of any particular denomination but seems to be generally aligned with liberal-Protestant or Unitarian Universalist thinking.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,155
    This reminds me of the comment that the Christian writer Malcom Muggerege once made...He was editor of "Punch" a great British humor magazine. He said that they would dream up ridiculous things and satires to put in the magazine, but the next day were often trumped by the news on the front page.
    Thanked by 1Kathy
  • Ghmus,

    A modern writer (whose name I forget) said something similar: he was having a hard time writing satire because the reality kept getting sillier.
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,339
    It's from the Hymn Society

    Correct. The full name is The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.
    which is independent of any particular denomination

    Also correct.
    but seems to be generally aligned with liberal-Protestant or Unitarian Universalist thinking.

    The Society is definitely ecumenical. It promotes congregational singing in Christian churches and ecclesial communities. I've attended its annual conferences for most of the past 20 years. The number of Roman Catholics in attendance has increased dramatically over that time. There have been quite a few Southern Baptists, Mennonites, Amish, and Community of Christ members in attendance, along with many Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Dutch Reformed and Roman Catholics. So I don't think "liberal-Protestant" is accurate. And I have yet to meet a single Unitarian, Muslim, or Jew at those conferences.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,102
    What's the average age, would you say, of paying attendees?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,102

    This is what our Colloquium looks like, for comparison.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Kathy,

    There are too many young people in that picture. Only old people like stuffy music.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,930
    By way of clarifying: I gave the opinion that the Hymn Society, for all of its good qualities, seemed aligned with liberal Protestant or Unitarian thinking. Now, I've had only little contact with the Society, but Fr. Krisman has had more. He recalled his experience meeting various members, named some denominations represented among them, and said
    I don't think "liberal-Protestant" is accurate

    and he recalled that he's never met any Unitarians at their events.

    And of course I believe him. But I didn't claim to describe the membership: I gave my impression about the predominant thinking. So, to learn more, I looked at the Society's website.

    As for denominational affiliations, the Executive Committee and the Staff include twelve people who, through work or ordination, seem to be affiliated with :

    Presbyterian Church USA (3)
    Episcopal Church
    United Methodist Church
    United Church of Canada
    United Church of Christ
    Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
    Anglican Church of Canada
    Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
    Evangelical Covenant Church
    (There was no clear denominational association for one person.)

    All of those denominations but one are fairly described as liberal Protestant bodies.

    Thanked by 2tomjaw Kathy
  • Chonak,

    There's another way to solve the puzzle: if you add a comma, you designate all Protestant bodies liberal.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,616
    Kathy - the picture at the top of this page suggests to me a predominance of white hair at a Hymn Society conference, but it is difficult to be sure.
  • I'm still wondering how both the text and music to "Quirky, Queer, and Wonderful" was picked up by GIA.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 273
    They will soon change their name to LBTGIA+
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,616
    Schönbergian - where is the GIA connection? A search on the GIA website for that title comes back 'no results found'
  • It's in the copyright notice at the bottom of page 52 within the PDF linked on Breitbart. There were a couple other GIA selections, too, including one that makes reference to "varied forms of family in unions yet unblessed" on page 71. Quite enlightening.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,616
    "Quite enlightening" as in "throwing light in dark places".
    Thanked by 2tomjaw ServiamScores
  • MarkB
    Posts: 273
    GIA's latest releases are subtly moving ever closer to what the original post's music collection unabashedly touts.

    For those interested, consider the following:

    1. New collection by Lori True

    - has an "interfaith chant" titled "O God of Countless Names" that doesn't refer to any Trinitarian faith whatsoever. Not appropriate for Catholic use at all. The lyrics say God's beauty is not bounded by one creed and that we should seek a wider view.

    - the other "interfaith chant" titled "Wage Peace" has lyrics that implore God to "wage acceptance with your mind", and we all can tell what "acceptance" is coded language for

    - the song "Show By Your Life" has the lyric "Be true to yourself, be who you were meant to be." The whole song is a left-wing politically correct anthem with coded language.

    2. Marty Haugen's new collection

    - almost all the songs avoid explicitly Christian references to God, like the Trinity is passe, and there's the expected, coded PC left-leaning language in many songs too

    Quite a few composers favored by the big publishers don't give much evidence of having authentic Catholic faith. If they had authentic faith, they wouldn't write such ambiguous, coded drivel with the expectation it be used in prayer and worship. And if the publishers had authentic Catholic faith, they wouldn't publish that ridiculous music. So-called "Catholic" publishers of liturgical music are actually promoting the dismantling of Catholic faith through their music instead of building it up.

    And I know Marty Haugen isn't Catholic. But what a farce it is that a non-Catholic's theologically problematic songs are used in Catholic worship.
  • This sounds as if it could be from the latest Disney offering. Is that intentional?
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,616
    MarkB - actually for the bishops it is more than farce. The diocesan is responsible for authorising texts used at Mass, according to liturgical law, and if one soul is lost through his dereliction he is personally answerable to God. The same is true of pastors charged with the cure of souls.
  • I can't find either of these works on GIA's website, but both of the "artists" responsible work with GIA. So at least they're trying to sweep it under the rug, rather than being "out and proud".
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,930
    It's on the GIA website in an anthology of hymn texts by Adam Tice.
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