patriotic hymns : here comes the 'request line'
  • Chrism
    Posts: 869
    So? Did we repeat from last year or change our minds since the 4th falls on the Sunday?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,501
    I've forgotten what I said last year, but I may well have said that after the Ite Missa Est who cares? That's when we're singing America the Beautiful. Before the choir Mass we're singing the National Hymn. Both strike me as actual prayers, not simply nationalism or triumphalism.
  • Let's all keep in mind that in the U.S. we are not compelled to worship in a particular manner and more importantly we are not compelled to "worship" a secular leader. I don't like mixing secular and sacred, but I thank God every day that I live in this country. No, it's not perfect, but an awful lot of people risk their lives to get here. Must have something going for it. Also, we still have a common sense of religion here. In Europe, you just about have to apologize for being religious and the state owns most of the historic cathedrals. Then in some places you can be killed for being a Christian. I read a lot of general history and I'm amazed that this country has survived intact after the first two conflicts with the British (it was dumb luck we got away in the 1812 War) and a Civil War in which the South should have won if only military engagements counted. Anyway, patriotism may be out of fashion with the educated set, but not with this professor.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,711
    We concluded with The Battle Hymn of the Republic

    don't ever tell me Catholics can't sing!
  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    Chrism, my position was sufficiently detailed to accomodate all holidays, so yes, I am maintaining it.

    Kathy, use the upper right or lower right "< 1 2 3 >" navigating buttons to locate and review your answer.

    francis, that tune and text remind me of two things:
    (1) a Mobile-AL-born classmate who titled the main event of the era "The War Of Northern Aggression"
    (2) the (>*
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,501
    Thank you, eft.

    I find myself refreshingly consistent ;)
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    While visiting Norfolk, VA, I heard it called "the late unpleasantness".
  • Aaron
    Posts: 110
    This morning after one of the four Masses I received the complaint from an elderly woman about why we didn't sing any patriotic songs since it was TRADITION. She further suggested God Bless America. The entrance hymn was, God of our Fathers, but that didn't count. Fr's homily included an exegesis on the text of MATERNA and its relationship to freedom and indifference, further pointing out that the refrain turns focus from God to America. The homily also included a verse sung by all, that didn't count. The postlude was also based on MATERNA but that too didn't count as patriotic. First, how does one respond to the argument from tradition in her eyes? Secondly, one of the other threads talked about having other outlets for the people to sing their favorite or beloved songs rather than trying to force the inappropriate music into the Mass. Has anyone ever done a patriotic hymn sing, either on July 4 or the Sunday preceding, to give an opportunity for the people to sing all their patriotic favorites apart from the sacred liturgy? Would this satisfy their desire or will they show up?
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,501
    It's sometimes hard to please people, Aaron.

    A man on his way out of our annual parish picnic expressed an enormous amount of discontent. This was not like how the picnics used to be! He went on to describe 40 years worth of pancake breakfasts, feast day potlucks, and barbeques that had happened when he was decades younger--when he felt well and his kids were growing up. Those were the days! Never mind that each party he remembered was incompatible with each of the other ones. All of the best aspects of each of the old parties were formed in his mind into "the way picnics used to be at this parish" and from now on, every party is going to fall incredibly short of that shining golden fictitious day in his memory.
  • Carl DCarl D
    Posts: 992
    Aaron, I had a similar experience on Mother's Day last year. After Mass, a lady come up to me and said that she'd prefer if we could sing some "Mary Songs". I explained to her that Salve Regina and Ave Maria were indeed "Mary Songs", but she clarified by saying she wanted songs that people KNOW.

    As I've pondered that over the last year, I've realized that:
    * Everybody has their own favorites and preferences.
    * But the top priority isn't to make people feel familiar and comfortable, it's to worship God.
    * And for my part, I can do a better job of articulating why we're singing certain music.

    The ideal response, I suppose, is to say that if YOU help put the music together in the first place, then you'll get a say in the result. Kathy, let the guy go ahead and organize the parish picnic of his dreams. Then he'll get to make some decisions about how to please everybody. And, of course, he'll have just as many people complaining to him.

    We need to listen to the feedback to a certain extent, but not lose sight of the Big Picture.
  • DougS
    Posts: 793
    "Battle Hymn of the Republic" doesn't have the overt national references of many of these other songs. Abolitionists tended view freedom from bondage as transcending nation, and the text clearly equates it with the inexorable movement toward the eschaton. I'm surprised that it still has "nationalistic" associations at all. It is a far cry from something like William Billings's "Chester," which basically equates American independence with God's will but has a more open-ended teleology. What does anyone make of that?

    (Hard to get a congregation to sing "Chester," but it might make a nice prelude-anthem on the 4th, if you can stomach the triumphalism).
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    A little triumphalism now and then isn't bad. It's a good alternative to political correctness, which would have us apologize to everyone for everything - whether or not we were in any way responsible. Today we sang "God of Our Fathers," "America, the Beautiful," and even the Wilhousky "Battle Hymn..." If any of us are still in music when the 4th again falls on Sunday, we may do it again. If anyone complains, we will silence them with fiery organ trumpets and blazing mixtures. ;-)
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,460
    At my Episcopalian job...

    We did:

    Processional: All who love and serve your city (#571- A tune from "The Southern Harmony")
    Offertory: This is my Song (God of all the Nations -- Finlandia)
    Communion: What I labeled "Three American Hymns" :: Let us Break Bread Together; What Wondrous Love is This; Simple Gifts -- As I'm working toward unaccompanied sining, we did all three unaccompanied, which is "authentic performance practice"
    Recessional: Glory, Glory, Hallelujah


    "All who love and serve your city" is an excellent text for a patriotic occasion. The tune from the Southern Harmony was nice (there are two tunes in the 1982 hymnal for this text, I chose that one for its "Americanness"), but the organ accomp. didn't feel right.

    "This is My Song" is always a good choice. It sounds patriotic, and the text explores "pace and justice" without being cheesy. Sometimes it even brings a tear to my eye.

    Unaccompanied singing worked really well for the "Three American Hymns." We inch closer every day to congregational unaccompanied Anglican and Gregorian chant.
    Also- Grouping the pieces together and labeling them turned three random (but well-known) spirituals into "Patriotic Music"

    I told the nice lady who puts the program together that the title of the last song was "Glory, Glory Hallelujah." It showed up as "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Oh well. I've always loved, "be swift, my soul to answer him; be jubilant my feet!"


    No complaints that it was too patriotic. No complaints that is wasn't patriotic enough.
    The pastor did come over after Mass and suggest that we do "Dixie" to counter-balance "Glory, Glory."
    He was joking, of course.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    Yeah, we did "This Is My Song," as well. It's a good hymn. I like some of the early American hymns because they are easy to sing and in a range singable by the average congregation. That is probably part of their enduring appeal. However, unaccompanied singing has never been one of my goals. Singers are God's instrument to punish me for my sins - sopranos are the worst! ;-)
  • ChaedatylChaedatyl
    Posts: 45
    Our pastor did not want patriotic music at Mass :) We sang "Immaculate Mary" as Recessional for the two Masses I chose music for. I figured that since our nation is dedicated to Our Lady, we could be patriotic in a liturgical way. It also went well with the reading from Isaiah. The congregation sang "lustily". They love Our Lady, and love the hymn.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,460
    Oh, I do love lusty singing.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,956
    HeHeHe :-)
  • After Mass: the second verse of the "Star Spangled Banner"
    and when Trinity Sunday occurs on Memorial Day weekend: "Eternal Father Strong to Save." land air and sea/ Father , Son and Holy Ghost
  • francis
    Posts: 10,711
    O I do love Our BVM!
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