Herman G Stuempfle hymn texts
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,357
    Fr Chepponis, thank you for the information. It is worth a more thoughtful comment than I can offer at the moment, but I wanted to thank you.
    Thanked by 1Fr. Jim Chepponis
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,686
    Thank you, Kathy, and Frs. Krisman and Chepponis, for your thoughts.

    The use of the word "demons" as a metaphor for psychological problems may have appeared in poetry for a longish time, but I have the impression that the metaphor entered into common speech as part of the jargon of pop psychology and did so during my lifetime, which makes it too much of a neologism to belong in hymns.

    Perhaps I am too literal-minded, but I think it can be harmful to people to throw around the term "demon" so lightly. There are souls sitting in our pews and kneeling in the confessionals who are burdened with plenty of anxieties in life, including anxieties about their spiritual state. They need guidance to be less afraid, to recover from the hurts of life, to accept the goodness of God who created them, and develop both peace of mind and of soul. Loose talk that suggests to them that demons are at work on them would probably do the exact opposite of those good things.

    When it comes to the topic of real demons, that is, evil spirits, I recall that Christian prayer by lay people does not confront the demons directly, but only uses indirect imprecation, calling upon God or the holy angels to drive away the devil and the other evil spirits. The point is: we don't have authorization to confront them directly: they are part of the preternatural realm.

    In contrast, psychological difficulties and mental sufferings are generally matters of the natural realm: they are the products of our experiences, our thoughts, our expectations, and our actions. There may be moral issues involved, or there may not be any. To talk of "demons" in regard to such phenomena is a mystification that can distract people from dealing with these problems in the natural realm.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,332
    I am not saying that the various Gather hymnals, Ritual S and Wor IV are the same hymnals, only that they have become more like each other through the various editions. or rather, that Worship has become more like Gather...I think it clear that the earlier versions of Wor had less new texts, less contemporary music. The first several editions had nothing but traditional tunes and texts that were mostly tried and true. There were not 100 brand new texts thatvare not known in the church. These texts for the most part have never been sung, so in using this hymnal, you introduce hundreds of texts that experimental. It is not bad per se, but again, this seems to streach the definition of what a traditional hymnal is. We were looking for a hymnal that has mainly hymns that are traditional in the sense that they are hymns that have been sung, have tested over time and have remained in the repertoire for the good reasons. If I want new music I will turn to a source such as spirit and song that contains new compositions.
    My comment about how GIA defines "traditional" I still believe is true - many brand new texts are married to old tunes-that makes "traditional". I guess I am trying to understand the term as GIA uses it.
    Thanked by 1Gavin
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,409
    1) "grey-cells of the mind" sounds goofy. Hymn texts should not sound goofy.

    2) after two stanzas of historical content, the pivot in three: "Lord, the demons still are thriving / In the gray cells of the mind" sounds exactly like the Mainline Rationalist Protestant Liberal opinion that Biblical demons and modern psychological disorders are essentially the same thing under two different names. It doesn't read at all as expansive ("demons include a lot of things") but rather reductive ("those ignorant Bible people thought schizophrenia was caused by demonic possession").

    Can it be interpreted the way Fr. K is suggesting? Sure. And perhaps in an editorial board filled with WHOLLY ORTHODOX people who would never, under any circumstances, harbor heretical thoughts, I can understand how the most doctrinally sound interpretation would immediately spring to mind, untainted by the destructive and degenerate theologies fashionable in our day.

    However, a normal parish congregation - especially today - is buffeted on all sides by trendy theology influenced by godless progressivism and rationalist anti-supernaturalism. It would be best to not give them fodder for these opinions.
    Thanked by 2mrcopper Gavin