Tetragrammaton
  • When looking at the contents of OCP's 2010 Heritage Missal, I was surprised to see the title listed for #431 (look under Y). I'll assume for the moment that the opening word of the hymn has in fact been changed, but am I wrong in thinking that retaining the previous title of the piece is rather insolent?
    http://content.ocp.org/shared/pdf/general/HMindex.pdf
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,349
    I don't think the criticism is necessarily justified.

    First: was the decision up to OCP? That is, do publishers have the right to change the name of a hymn without the composer's consent? I sort of doubt that.

    Second: if they were to change the name, they would have every good reason to list the old title next to the new title, so that readers could understand that a title change had taken place.

    Then the list would include some entry such as:
    324: God of My Salvation (formerly "Yahweh")

    So they wouldn't really have removed the Holy Name from the book after all.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,593
    I want to do a Virgil Thomson arrangement of an old southern hymn, "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need." Of course, it has the name "Jehovah" in the first line. I am going to ask the pastor next Sunday whether to leave it alone, or substitute other words for the name.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    Speaking of the tetragrammaton... I have a rather unfortunate story to relate.

    A little while after the Catholic church released the instruction to stop saying that word "for respect of the Jews," I went to a Sunday evening Mass with a friend. When we walked in, we were handed a little song sheet, as they do in that parish often, with songs they'd be singing that aren't in the hymnal. At the top of the song sheet, there was a little paragraph explaining the church's decision on the tetragrammaton; underneath the explanation was a song which formerly had that word in it. It went something like, "Yahweh's people dance for joy..." The song sheet replaced it with, "Texas Aggies sing for joy..." yes... the name of the local football team.

    This was done without the consent of the priest. When he heard it, he visibly flinched.
  • I confess to being very puzzled by this ruling. The 'Name' belongs to Christians as much as it belongs to Jews. I remember a rabbi asking me what the point of this decision was, were we Catholics going to avoid saying 'God' altogether and start referring to "G-d" as 'ha Shem' ....or, he continued, was this some sort of PR thing 'to make you Catholics feel better about yourselves' with regard to us Jews?" 'Tis a puzzlement, for sure, because as a decision it appears to arise more from sentimentality rather than sound scholarship.

    All I can do with it is to put the ruling into "The Motel of the Mysteries" category.
  • I'm still wondering about that Catholic Church with the 'Name' out in Colorado. Does its church sign says, "The church formerly known as...."?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,349
    Maybe I wasn't paying attention at the time, but I did not think this was being done for the sake of relations with the Jewish community. I thought it was a matter of maintaining our liturgical tradition, which has some roots in the Hebrew tradition. Here's the document, for those who haven't had a chance to read it.

    ---

    For Vincent, LOL! this is the last place I would expect anyone to mention "Motel of the Mysteries". :-)

    [For those unacquainted with the book, it's a satire that involves ridiculous (future) historical speculations about the purpose of our mundane present-day household objects.]
    Thanked by 1tomboysuze
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,593
    I have the book. It is about an archeologist who discovers in 4022, a motel that was covered by many feet of detritus in a catastrophe that occurred in 1985. Of course, he totally misinterprets everything he finds. He discovers the remains of two bodies, one on a ceremonial bed facing an altar used for communicating with the gods - a TV set. Another body is in a porcelain sarcophagus - a bathtub. Sculptures with names like Thunderbird and Skylark were found outside the "tomb" - motel. It is is hilarious.
  • Maureen
    Posts: 655
    Well, maintaining our liturgical tradition, _and_ admitting that the Name might really be Yahu-Wahu or something else entirely. (The Cartoon History of the World unearthed some decent scholarship suggesting this, which is why the cartoonist's Israelites march around Jericho yelling "Yahoo!")