Debate about a hymn for Christ the King
  • My pastor and I are having a debate about using a particular hymn for Christ the King this year. He wants to sing I Bind Unto Myself Today at offertory, but I think that it is more suited to Trinity Sunday than Christ the King. What are your opinions on using it? I am also attaching the version he wants to use.
  • JMJones
    Posts: 27
    I'm guessing he's latching on to the line about judgement and the apocalyptic feeling, but I agree that Trinity Sunday or St. Patrick's Day would be most apt. You can make an argument, though, for Christ the King or the Holy Name.
  • I agree that St Patrick's Breastplate is an eccentric choice for Christ the King. It is in celebration of the Most Holy Trinity, not Christ the King. I suspect that your pastor is focusing on the 'Christ be with me' verses, sung to Dierdre, but this would not win the case for me. If you do end up using it just be thankful that your pastor knows what good hymnody is!
    Thanked by 1PolskaPiano
  • Chrism
    Posts: 717
    There's a verse which works well for Last Sunday before Advent, or at least November.
    The HPSC version reads:

    Against the spell of Satan's wiles
    Against false words of heresy
    Against all action which defiles
    Against the heart's idolatry
    Against all pride of earthly state
    Against Hell's pain and bondage stern
    Against that endless fiery fate
    Protect me, Christ, till Thy return.
  • I think you are both right about which lines of text he is focusing on. A complicating factor I should mention is I conceded this one to him last year on account of there being a confirmation (long story but, but the short version is there was someone who joined RCIA too late for Easter Vigil 2019 confirmation but my pastor did not want to wait until Easter Vigil 2020). I Bind Unto Myself Today goes with a confirmation so I gave it to him. Now he wants to do it again this year. The hymn I proposed is Alleluia Sing to Jesus, but he says it is too much of an Easter text.

    MJO, I definitely should be thankful he appreciates good hymnody. He served as our bishop's master of ceremonies prior to his current job and got to be good friends with the cathedral music director, an Anglican convert. Needless to say that he was exposed to good hymnody then.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • JMJones
    Posts: 27
    As an aside, it's strongly preferred that unless someone is a Catechumen who is being baptized, it's better to not do Confirmations at the Easter Vigil anyway.
    Thanked by 1Paul F. Ford
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,220
    I feel we sometimes focus too much on what my grade school used to call the theme of the day.

    The GIRM includes sensitivity to the mystery of the day as a criterion for the Entrance Chant, admittedly.

    In any case, there is plenty of the victorious and reigning Christ in the Breastplate. I don't think praise of the other Persons detracts from that.
  • If your pastor is looking for a superior hymn to Christ the King,
    there is the French one, Parle, Commande, Regne
    I really wish that I could find adequate English lyrics for this; the French is so powerful!
  • Definitely thrilling - bombastic - exuberant.
    It really has about it the air of some national anthems - like, for instance, La Marseillaise???
    But not quite the thing for liturgical services, I should think.
    Maybe at a great rally of thousands of fervent and 'on fire' Catholics at some out of doors event..
    What is it about the French language that is so mesmerisingly beautiful - so piquant?
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • MJO - recessional, which begins an outdoor procession. :-)
  • Maybe so.
  • Well - we are the Church Militant, yes?
    Parle, Commande, Regne has a military march pace - surprising that it might be viewed as schmaltzy.
    I now return you to the original thread :-)
  • The French piece is wonderful, but I don't think any of the musicians (myself included) want to learn to speak the French text.

    I think my pastor and I have reached a decision. The music list currently stands at:
    Entrance: To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King (we will have the antiphon at our principal mass instead of the hymn)
    Offertory: At the Name of Jesus
    Communion: O Thou the Heaven's Eternal King-to the hymn tune Dunedin LM (antiphon will be sung before the hymn at the principal mass)
    Recessional: Crown Him With Many Crowns
    For the principal mass where I am playing organ:
    Organ Prelude: St Anne Prelude BWV 552
    Organ Postlude: Carillon Sortie by Henri Mulet
  • Those are good hymns. I checked my music and I have Alleluia! Sing to Jesus and Crown Him With Many Crowns. I'm trying to bring in good Advent hymnody (and phase of the less desirable songs) so I am using The King Shall Come As Morning Dawns as a recessional and tying it in to First Sunday of Advent as an entrance hymn on that day.
  • Polska, that is a great hymn for Advent. I wish it was in the hymnal at my church.
  • I am wondering if someone could help me find a descant. I will have a violinist playing with us on Christ the King and would like a descant for At the Name of Jesus. The only one I have been able to find is written to go with an alternate harmonization. The descant will not work with the standard harmonization of the hymn. Does anyone know of a descant that fits this criteria?

    I already have one that she will play for Crown Him With Many Crowns.
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,220
    The easy solution is the alto or tenor line up an octave. There's enough of an "alto line" in the standard harmonization to begin with. Might need some tweaking.
  • davido
    Posts: 311
    There is a choral octavo on At the name of Jesus that RVW himself did. I think it’s on IMSLP. It has multiple descants
  • I've looked at the RVW octavo on IMSLP. The first descant he writes in verse 3 has different choral harmonies under it. The second descant which appears in verse 4 and 6 works mostly. The harmonization is almost the same, but for the last line he changes a couple chords and the descant would not work for these couple lines with the standard harmonization. I'm not sure how to rewrite it for that part.

    If I had the choir to do the full octavo (and the time to practice it), I would do it. However, I will just have 2-3 guys singing, myself on the organ, and the violinist.

    I think we have a couple old OCP solo instrument books lying around. I might have to check those.
  • Also I would have to transpose the octavo down a whole step. The guys I have singing won't like the high e in the morning.