Thursday, July 25, 2013


One of the most loved hymns sung in Catholic and Protestant churches alike is Faith of Our Fathers.  The text was written by Frederick W. Faber, who was raised Anglican, but became a Catholic priest.  In fact, Fr. Faber was a Catholic priest at the time he wrote Faith of Our Fathers, and many other hymns.  His second most popular is probably There's a Wideness in God's Mercy.  However, it is Faith of Our Fathers that we will be singing at the Offertory this Sunday.

As many have probably seen in our Worship hymnal (this edition of Worship we use is the third edition, 1986), there is a sizable number of hymns whose texts have been altered so that they contain this so-called inclusive language.  A couple of things must be understood.  1) Hymn texts are poetry.  They are not conversation.  2) In such poetry, that is, the hymn texts, words such as "mankind", "fathers", "brothers", were intended to include women, too.  "Man" is treated as a translation of the Latin word "homo" (and its more popular form "hominis"), which pertains to the human being, as opposed to the more masculine "vir", which pertains to the male gender.  Despite this explanation I give, a number of left wingers, circa 1980, decided that the hymn texts "weren't fair" to women and needed a change.  Just like many politicians these days feel our Constitution needs a change.  The need for such change is a myth, for the two reasons I stated above.

Putting two-and-two together, how many remember the book Monthly Missalette?  This is the missalette that was used in many a parish before Today's Missal and its infamous Music Issue became popular.  Until about 1987, Faith of Our Fathers appeared in every edition of Monthly Missalette (which, by the way, became Seasonal Missalette around 1985).  Anyways, for about a year, there was no Faith of Our Fathers, and I chatted with someone from the publisher, J. S. Paluch Company of Chicago, Illinois.  When I asked about the absence of the beloved hymn, the rep from Paluch said, "Oh, the ladies have been screaming over that!"  I found that awfully hard to believe, as many ladies sang (and still sing) this hymn boldly.  The hymn was eventually restored.

Worse scenario: Since 1997, GIA Publications, the publishers of our Worship hymnal, have removed Faith of Our Fathers and replaced it with A Living Faith, which is an ill-fated attempt to eliminate the entire meaning of the former.  Thankfully, the edition of Worship we have kept Faith of Our Fathers pretty much intact.  However, we'll be using the authentic text, which is in our maroon hymnal.

Moral of the story: the need for so-called "inclusive language" is a myth, and nothing but.

That said...


Numbers for this Sunday will once again be from the Maroon hymnal.

Alleluia and Mass Ordinary will be the same throughout July and August.

Entrance hymn: 484 Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates (which we've done before)

Responsorial Psalm: Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me, music by Frs. Ralph Verdi (antiphon) and Joseph Gelineau (verses).  Can be found in Worship at #415.

Offertory hymn: 393 Faith of our fathers (Yes, the REAL Faith of our fathers)

Communion anthem: To you I lift my soul, text by John Dunn, music by John Ireland
- John Dunn was assistant to Ted Marier at the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School (now St. Paul's Choir School) at St. Paul's Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Marier was the Choir School's founding director and wrote a good number of hymn tunes, as well as a good number of accompaniments to Gregorian chant tunes.  Dunn wrote a good number of hymn texts, many based on Psalms, many of which appear in the hymnal Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Canticles, which was published at the Choir School (latest edition, 1984) and still used at St. Paul's and a handful of other parishes today.

Meditation hymn: 211 Come with us, O blessed Jesus (Listen)
- The tune used here, Werde Munter, is also used for the classic Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring, arranged by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Recessional hymn: 277 From all that dwell below the skies (familiar tune)
- Another memory from the aforementioned Monthly Missalette:  All those issues I grew up with in the 1970's and 1980's contained Praise God, from whom all blessings flow as the first verse and From all that dwell below the skies (a hymn in itself) as the next two verses.  In the maroon hymnal, it's flip-flopped - From all that dwell is the first two verses and Praise God is the final verse.