Happy Fourth!
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 968
    Wishing everyone a Happy Fourth of July weekend and praying that all stay safe.

    What are you programming for the Fourth?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,327
    Liszt S 27, the mixed chorus Te Deum. One choir member celebrates hug-day, leaving two others still waiting on their second shots.
  • We're having the external solemnity of Ss Peter and Paul, I think.

    I don't play patriotic music at my current parish.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 826
    I didn’t schedule any patriotic hymns either. My normal fare. It’s just like how I don’t really believe in making a big deal about Mother’s/Father’s Day at mass. Give a blessing at the end if you like, but it isn’t actually a liturgy or a part of a liturgy. Mass shouldn’t abandon the propers onto sing songs about being dads.
  • trentonjconn
    Posts: 181
    Doing without a patriotic recessional for the first time in four years or so; we'll see if I get my hands chopped off.
  • CatholicZ09
    Posts: 109
    My home parish seems to be doing without the patriotic this year. It surprises me, seeing that the 4th is actually on a Sunday.

    Our cathedral doesn’t seem to be wanting to fight that battle this year: “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” at the offertory and “God of Our Fathers” at the recessional.

    I think if you want to say you did something for the 4th but don’t want it to be “God Bless America,” go with “God of Our Fathers.”
  • I'm not doing anything patriotic. I just went about it like a normal Sunday. I will so patriotic music if it is a special mass pertaining to the country (such as on Memorial Day), but that is about it.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    Has anyone noticed that the State wants religious folk to 'stay out of politics' - but the first sign of a national disaster or emergency it wants the Church to pray for it?

    I'm glad to see that most of the above have escaped the secularisation of what is for Christians the Fifth Sunday after Trinity. A prayer for the Church would certainly be acceptable, for instance included in the Universal Prayers. That's all.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CCooze
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,777
    I am not among the woke, myself, but there are some in the parish. Along with some MAGA, and veterans of various conflicts. The current pastor does not like patriotic music at Mass, but I was considering "God of our fathers" as the recessional, with an explanatory note. But I am going back and forth in my mind, trying to decide whether or not to do it.
  • Drake
    Posts: 148
    I am not a director, so I'm not programming music, but perhaps To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King would be appropriate as an entrance or recessional?
  • Good of Our Fathers is a good one. What about Eternal Father Strong to Save? I feel like that one is pretty religious for a patriotic song.
    Thanked by 1Salieri
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,777
    I don't need an Entrance: We sing the Introit. I was thinking "God of our fathers" because it's in the Adoremus Hymnal; "Eternal Father" isn't.
  • Salieri,

    God of our Fathers isn't a patriotic song in the usual sense of that term: it's not praising (or honoring) our own earthly country's fathers. Many people take it to be patriotic because patriotic is bombastic is patriotic or something like that. Like the 1812 Overture it is used on patriotic occasions even though neither of the countries in the Tchaikovsky are America.

    As to Eternal Father, it's also not a patriotic hymn, although it is used as if it were. I seem to remember (but my memory may be misremembering) that it's used in The Hunt for Red October.
  • drjones
    Posts: 11
    It was used in Crimson Tide if I recall correctly. Different submarine movie :-)
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,327
    We just sang Eternal Father strong to save for OT 12B and Mark 4:35ff, using a choir handout after I discovered OCP uses the version turning the Gospel into a Navy-Merchant Marine-Air Force-Firemen hymn.
  • davido
    Posts: 472
    Eternal Father and God of Our Fathers are great choices because, while they have American patriotic connections, they express sentiments that any Catholic throughout the world could express.

    Eternal Father, in the original version, is a hymn for those at sea. Thus, why it is adopted by the US Navy, is sung weekly at the Annapolis Naval academy chapel, and is featured in Crimson Tide (back when films were both patriotic and about themes that mattered).
    The altered version in the Hymnal 1940 prays for those who travel by land, sea, and air, by implication in these USA our armed forces servicemen and women.
    It would be laudable to sing this hymn at any mass, more particularly on the 4th of July when our nation and those who preserve it are on the minds of the faithful.

    God of Our Fathers is a hymn that could be sung by the free people of any free country. It’s only fault is it is not explicitly Trinitarian, but since not every hymn can cover any doctrine, that’s not an automatic disqualifier.
    Thanked by 1MarkS
  • MarkS
    Posts: 263

    From Hymnary.org: "God of our fathers, Whose almighty hand " (National Hymn), was written in 1876 for the "Centennial" Fourth of July celebration at Brandon, Vermont.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen WGS
  • Mark,

    Hymnary.org is reliable to what degree?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,659
    From SongsAndHyms.org:
    Daniel C. Roberts, the 35 year-old rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, a small rural church in Brandon, Vermont, wanted a new hymn for his congregation to celebrate the American Centennial in 1876. He wrote "God of Our Fathers" and his congregation sang it to the tune RUSSIAN HYMN.

    In 1892, he anonymously sent the hymn to the General Convention for consideration by the commission formed to revise the Episcopal hymnal. If approved, he promised to send his name. The commission approved it, printing it anonymously in its report. Rev. Dr. Tucker, who was the editor of the Hymnal, and George W. Warren, an organist in New York city, were commissioned to choose a hymn for the celebration of the centennial of the United States Constitution. They chose this text and Warren wrote a new tune for it, NATIONAL HYMN, including the trumpet fanfare at the beginning of the hymn.

    It was first published in Tucker’s Hymnal, 1892, with this tune, then in 1894 in the Tucker and Rosseau’s Hymnal Revised and Enlarged. These lyrics were also set to the hymn tune PRO PATRIA in Charles Hutchins’ The Church Hymnal. But NATIONAL HYMN prevailed and it is the tune to which "God of Our Fathers" is always sung today.
    This comports well enough with the Hymnary.org description, but provides more details and context.
  • I knew I needed a reason to be grumpy.
    Oh well. Take another hymn off the list.
  • ServiamScores
    Posts: 826
    One of my main issues with “patriotic hymns” is that they usually aren’t very good. Or if they are enjoyable on a basic level, they aren’t very religious to warrant deposing a proper. I’m not against them in principal (I do like eternal father, strong to save) but things like the battle hymn of the republic aren’t very appetizing to me from a liturgical perspective.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    Long live the king!
    Three cheers for George III.
    A not pretentious king was he, but a good family man who took his duties seriously.
    Often affectionately called 'farmer George', he was popular and his funeral was attended by thousands.

    And his wife, Queen Charlotte, was a great patron of music. J.S. Bach's son, Johann Gottfried, was her court composer.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,317
    George III was a better king after the Treaty of Paris. For a little bit. American Independence turned out to be better for the USA, Great Britain (not so much Ireland) and even, eventually, Canada. It was certainly good for Catholics in the USA, albeit fitfully; things were better for Catholics in the USA (even with mid-19th century setbacks) before they got sustainably better in Great Britain (Ireland, of course, set aside here as England's specially self-toxic wound).

    It turned out to be not so good for France, Spain and Bourbon/Borbon monarchs.

    It was also not good for First Peoples, but neither side was going to be a good victor for them, the French already having lost the Seven Years' War.

    And it was also not good for enslaved Americans, though it's debatable how much zeal Great Britain would have had for abolition - and developed as quickly - had it not already lost the USA before the Cotton Boom. (Perhaps the Indian Subcontinent would not have become as vital to the UK?)
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    Good points, Liam -
    How, though, do you believe that American Independence was better for 'First Peoples'?
    One of the prime (but unmentioned) motives of the revolution was the whole sale encroaching and development of Indian lands and forcefully moving them from their ancestral homes. Britain was constantly making treaties with the Indians, which colonists continued to violate, necessitating Britain to send forces to put down the insouciantly stirred up Indians. (And then thought it an outrage that they were taxed yp help with the relevant expenses.) Most of the causes and motivations for colonial independence will not be found in the lofty language of the Declaration of Independence, all of which is quite liberally borrowed from Greek, Roman, and European thought - none of it original

    Fewer than ten percent of the population fought in or otherwise supported the rebellion. Those who didn't had their property confiscated and were driven into Canada. - these poor mistreated colonists were a menace to Indians and had no truck with divergence of opinion when it came to their rebellion. Not happy with the thirteen colonies, they tried to snatch Canada as well. There is no purity of motives here.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,317
    I wrote: "It was also not good for First Peoples...", not that it was good. And Britain was not a great ally for First Peoples either. Hence, a British victory would also not have been good. Of the three, the French were the best option, but their defeat in the Seven Years' War took them off the continental table in that regard.

    IN any event, unless one is a dual citizen/subject, for American citizens we would normally refrain from the phrase proper to the subject of "God save the [insert sovereign of monarch here"] but instead offer "God save the United States."
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Liam,

    See PM
  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,745
    We did "Thee, O Christ, the Prince of Ages". There's nothing better on Caesar Sunday than a good Christ the King hymn.
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,676
    We did nothing. Except one of the other tenors in choir wore a USA flag tie. It looked good on him. I left my Rex Kwon Do pants at home. I tend not to observe celebrations of Whig History - although the production of “1776” I was in with my father in my younger days was a lot of fun.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    In spite of what I wrote above here I pray for this nation daily. It needs our prayers as never before, and it is, after all, our fatherland. In spite of all its troubles, both historical and current, the poor world would be a far worse place than without it. The same can be said for all nations of 'The West'. Without us and them concepts of human rights, human dignity, and the inalienable worth of every human being would not exist, plus, many of them would go hungry, know of no greater hope, nor dream of a refuge for human dignity and a better life. If we note our faults, we can also note our goodnesses, and the same goes for our European Heritage - not to mention the enrichment of other cultures that have found a home here.

    We have just been delivered from the jaws of autocracy by the skin of our teeth, and have only our independent and free courts to thank for it. I am aghast, nor had I ever realised the extent of the boiling, irrational hatreds in our country as they were exhibited in the last electoral period and still have trouble believing that they actually exist in fully half the population. Our country needs every prayer that we can raise for it, for the principles on which it is said to have been founded, and the Classical and Western philosophical heritage on which they rest. May God have mercy on this nation and heal it and protect it from all evils both within and without.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,463
    FREEEEEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!
  • Jehan_Boutte
    Posts: 171
    Happy Independance Day to each and all (I know, I am a bit late)!
  • Jehan_Boutte
    Posts: 171
    It turned out to be not so good for France, Spain and Bourbon/Borbon monarchs.
    It was also not good for First Peoples, but neither side was going to be a good victor for them, the French already having lost the Seven Years' War.


    I presume you are referring to that disastrous event known as the French Revolution. But I do not believe it was caused by the independance of the American colonies. True, it was one of the sparkles that lighted fire in the Ammunition room, but I believe the French Revolution would have happened either way, with or without American independance.
    By the way, most French officers who fought with the Insurgents were ardent royalists themselves; see La Fayette or the Marquis Tuffin de la Rouërie for instance.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    Most French officers...were ardent royalists themselves.
    Indeed, French and 'American' motives were quite different in this regard. For 'Americans, it was a cause shared by less that 10% of the population to set up an elective aristocracy, and call it a republic, in place of a monarchy that wasn't all that bad. For the French it was a grand opportunity to poke its arch-rival in the eye.

    The French revolution was caused by numerous converging disasters - near bankruptcy brought about by funding the American revolution, refusal of the nobility to pay tases (which, if they had, just might have resolved the financial problems), aristocratic extravagance highlighted by 'the necklace affair', drought and lack of food, the growing influence of les philosophes and enlightenment thought amongst the educated classes. Other causes could be illuminated by Jehan.

    When I was young I considered 1789 as the end of civilisation. I still more or less do.
    The only difference between the rich of today and those of the ancien regime is that the former don't have titles.
    Thanked by 2Jehan_Boutte tomjaw
  • Jackson,

    I take exceptional exception to your making that comparison between the rich of today and those of yesteryear in France.

    One could be wealthy and noble, or noble and not wealthy, or wealthy and not really noble at the time of the French Insanity. This last group was mostly made up of the noblesse de robe.

    Nobility is a forgotten idea in American society, one which was intentionally left out of the recipe.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    Point taken, Chris -
    Indeed, there was much more nobility displayed by the nobility during the revolution. They all rode the tumbrels to their executions with true and dignified nobility, as did the king himself. The king, in fact, could have called on his army and put down the whole mess. He didn't.
    When the Tuilleries was being stormed by the Paris mob in August of 1792 the Swiss Guard stood in wait of orders to defend the place. None came because Louis would not allow them to fire on his people. These poor poor people showed no such nobility - the Swiss Guard stood defenceless at their posts and were slaughtered to a man by the crazed and irrational mob.

    Perhaps, Chris, I should have said 'the difference between the very rich of today and that of the ancien regime is that there is very little of nobility to be found in those of today'. I wouldn't want to go so far, however, that there is no nobility at all in our country. It can be found throughout all classes and in places which one would not necessarily expect to find it.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Jehan_Boutte
  • Indeed. To quote a famous movie (which is otherwise not particularly impressive): Life finds a way! Nobility can be found, or at least noble behavior can be found, in spite of, rather than because of, the American experiment.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Jehan_Boutte
    Posts: 171
    Indeed, French and 'American' motives were quite different in this regard. For 'Americans, it was a cause shared by less that 10% of the population to set up an elective aristocracy, and call it a republic, in place of a monarchy that wasn't all that bad. For the French it was a grand opportunity to poke its arch-rival in the eye.

    Indeed. It should be noticed, however, that many French volunteers (unlike the French troops sent by France) had political sympathies with the Insurgents, in that they wanted a large reform of their political system based upon the ideas of the Enlightenment, which had caused the American independence. Those whom I have mentionned, La Fayette and La Rouërie, both wanted a reform of the old French Monarchy. In other terms, they shared many ideas with the Insurgents; but unlike them, they supported the Monarchy, albeit in a constitutional form: La Fayette defended the King in 1790 and emigrated after his downfall, and La Rouërie planned a royalist uprising in Britanny in october 1792 (which never occurred, but gave birth to the royalist guerilla known as the Chouannerie).
    It should also be noted that most of these volunteers were freemasons, like many Insurgents leaders (Washington was a mason himself if I am not mistaken), but also like many of their British enemies. And most Royalists during the French revolution were notorious masons: La Fayette, La Rouërie, Joseph de Maistre, Louis XVIII… just like quite a few of their enemies, of course.

    When I was young I considered 1789 as the end of civilisation. I still more or less do.

    Well, so do I, in a way.


    The causes enumerated by Jackson are all of crucial importance in causing the Revolution, which is why the American war of independence can hardly explain it alone, even though, as I said, it lighted a spark in the ammunition room (no less, no more). I would also add the aspirations of a new social class known as the Bourgeoisie, which was often richer than the Aristocracy, but without privileges; the influence of Jansenism; the legitimate and genuine desire for reforms (something noticed by all men of good will at the time); and last but not least, the consequences of one and a half century of absolutism. Indeed, the privileges of the nobility and clergy were explained by their functions in society: the nobles, especially, were supposed to do battle, thus paying their “blood tax” (l'impôt du sang) to the State. That is the fundamental logic behind Feudalism: to those unto whom much was given, much more is asked. The privileges are only the counterpart of the serviced given to the country. But as soon as those duties were gradually removed by the various Kings (due to their fear of those armed Lords who could raise armies of their own, thus threatening the King), starting at the end of the Middle Ages, what was left was an elite with many unjustified privileges. I see the “Fronde des Princes” as the last attempt by the High Aristocracy to keep some logic and justification to the feudal system. When this revolt was defeated, the Revolution was only a matter of decades.

    I agree with Jackson and Chris' comparison between yesterday's and today's “nobilities”. It seems however unfair to criticize America as a nation almost “unnoble”, or devoid of aristocracy in the best sense of the term. I like to see George Washington and the Founding Fathers as representing some kind of “Republican aristocracy” in the United States. Such an idea was later carried out by people like Robert E. Lee, whose biography I am currently reading (and broadly speaking, by some parts of the Southern upper-class). Was it carried out later, in the 20th Century? I don't know, but I would certainly like to.
    It goes without saying that, as a foreigner, my judgment might be incomplete or incorrect.
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 644
    I guess I'm supposed to be cynical. I'm not, though. When a civic holiday presents legitimate material for prayer, I tend to let that bleed through into the liturgy. July 4? Pray (and express gratitude to God) for our nation. It's what's on everyone's mind, anyway -- baptize it.

    It's not like Catholic monarchs didn't use to have rubrics governing their placement and the deference paid to their presence in the traditional Roman Mass.

    It's very, well, American (in the American "-ist" sense) to separate church and state so hermetically. We shouldn't find ourselves singing, or echoing the sentiments, of the unfortunate and profane theme song to Team America in the liturgy ("America, heck yes!" as 'twere), but judicious and moderate selection of music and timely and topical homiletics can really weave some threads together about Christian citizenship for the faithful (this idea confuses them), and occasion worthy prayers to God for a nation that desperately needs them.

    I don't tend to like to sing "My Country, 'Tis of Thee," since the poet principally addresses himself to the landmass of the continental United States.

    Oddly, though it indulges in poetical apostrophe to an unseemly extent, "America the Beautiful" is really much more of a prayer for the nation. I appreciate deeply that it acknowledges our nation's flawed beauty, and begs for healing and wholeness. That sentiment is never untimely.

    I would never place one of the "America" songs anywhere in the liturgy prior to the Recessional. If a processional hymn that includes the idea of prayer for our nation is desired, "God of Our Fathers" (discussed above) is extremely self-disciplined in its writing as a prayer directed to the Lord. It was rather topical this year, as well.

    I tend also to schedule Immaculate Mary on national holidays, both because the Immaculate Conception is the patronal title of Our Lady for the United States, and because the third verse makes explicit appeal for her prayers for our nation. As a Marian motet was once customary to the point of rigor in some places at Offertory, it usually shakes out as the Offertory Hymn.

    I've been known to indulge in one of the more fiery variations of Heil dir im Siegerkranz by Rinck for the postlude on national holidays. Never yet been brave (brazen?) enough to try out one of Dudley Buck's variations on the national anthem.
    Thanked by 2CHGiffen MarkS
  • Having recently encountered Chesterton's hymn, O God of Earth and Altarand in the process of developing an appreciation for the tune paired with it, I think it and Parce Domine seem the most appropriate hymns for a patriotic festival.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    I think the constant warfare during the time of Louis XIV and the expenses of building Versailles rarely get mentioned. Louis tore up the receipts to keep anyone from knowing the costs. France was in debt and the extravagance of Louis XVI added substantially to the debt. France was also reeling from the effects of the Little Ice Age on agricultural production. Then those darling Enlightenment figures created social instability. Louis XVI proposed a small tax on the nobility which he couldn't enforce. Put it all together and you have chaos and impending bankruptcy at a tune when the leadership of France was its weakest. Seems like a good recipe for revolution to me. But one thing is for sure, those French wrote some damn fine music never equaled elsewhere.
  • Charles, Jackson, Jehan,

    Are any of you familiar with the film called Le Prise de Pouvoir de Louis XIV
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    Chris - no
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    Charles's summation is perceptive. Pity is, though, that none of the last three Bourbons was the true leader and statesman who could have taken the reins and guided the nation into what the future world was becoming. We even can recall that one of them was blithely indifferent to what he was leaving his unfortunate heir - apres moi le deluge, he said, as even all school children know. And indeed the deluge carried all in its path a way. It didn't have to end that way. Louis was, until the revolutionaries and the Tennis Court Oath imposed themselves on the nation, at the head of the most enlightened nation, the most potent of European powers, the monarchy, in spite of ruinous scandals, seeming the most secure in all Europe. If, if only Louis XVI had had the mind of a true leader instead of becoming the victim of circumstances beyond his control. He likely had a greater and more genuine love of his people than any of his predecessors - he certainly did not deserve his fate.
    Thanked by 1Jehan_Boutte
  • The film puts forward the hypothesis that Louis spent so extravagantly because he knew his courtiers would feel that they had to do so also, and if they were busy being extravagant (so goes the theory) they couldn't plot his overthrow. Remember that both Louis XIII and Henri IV came to a bad end.

  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,979
    Chris - a grain of truth there =
    It was Louis XIV, le Grand, who spent his nobles into penury and kept them safely at court (and away from volatile Paris) where he could keep an eye on them because he had bitter memories of the noble revolts (the Fronds), which more than once saw him as a child escaping Paris in near rags from rebellious noble factions.

    The irony of the revolution is that The State came to exercise more power and control over every individual in the nation than any monarch ever dreamed of (as do modern 'democracies'). Then came Napoleon - a true leader, but with an unfortunate ego that knew no bounds (there are the makings of an Euripidean tragedy there). Louis XIV and Napoleon were cut from the same cloth. They would either have been great friends - or arch enemies.
    Thanked by 1Jehan_Boutte
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,169
    Chris, not familiar with that film.
  • PaxMelodious
    Posts: 349
    We did "Thee, O Christ, the Prince of Ages"


    Interesting choice. What do you know about that hymn - as in who wrote it, when, what tune, etc?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,327
    Rossellini's late history films (all of them worthwhile) used to be available in video rental stores, part of the Criterion Collection. Youtube has an introduction to Louis XIV.
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,659
    "Thee, O Christ, the Prince of Ages" - commentary from the GodSongs website:
    The origin and author of this hymn are unknown, although the language in the 2nd verse suggests some European background. The third verse is Australian - it's not clear if this was original, or was added later.

    It is suggested for Christ the King is in "The Hymnal of Pius X a collection of masses and hymns for the use of parishes and schools in the Catholic Church", published in Melbourne, Australia in 1952 and edited by Rev Percy Jones (ref), where it is set it to the tune LAUDA ANIMA by J Goss 1800-1880, with the lyrics being credited to Anon.

    The first two verses were used in New Zealand in the 1970s, alongside other traditional hymns like "Holy God we Praise Thy Name" and "Now Thank we all our God", and assumed to be of similar origins. A 1979 recording made in New Zealand refers to it simply as "traditional".
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • PhilipPowell
    Posts: 16
    We did "I Vow To Thee My Country" as the recessional (a tradition at our parish) and then a played a little arrangement of the National Anthem... you may have heard of it ;)
    God Bless America!
    Thanked by 1Jehan_Boutte
  • Jehan_Boutte
    Posts: 171
    Chris: Are you referring to the movie called Le roi danse ?

    The film puts forward the hypothesis that Louis spent so extravagantly because he knew his courtiers would feel that they had to do so also, and if they were busy being extravagant (so goes the theory) they couldn't plot his overthrow. Remember that both Louis XIII and Henri IV came to a bad end.

    There is truth to that. Louis XIV was probably the greatest French Monarch of the modern era (even Napoleon, for all his glory, was not half the leader Louis XIV was), but he is, in a way, responsible for the Revolution, by depriving the nobility from its historical function, which explained its privileges.

    When it comes to centralization, I think Jackson nailed it. The Revolution made France a centralized state, though this was also the making of most French Kings since Henri IV at least; anyway, it is France's doom. I don't know about the USA, but I see centralization in general as causing more harm than good.