ECENTLY, I POSTED an article called Seven Solutions: Getting Catholics Singing Again, declaring that we must avoid “goofy, uninspired hymns with extremely predictable rhymes.” In that same article, I posted an elegant hymn translation by Monsignor Knox to demonstrate elevated, dignified, inspiring language. But what would be an example of an uninspired hymn with vapid rhymes?
Consider the following hymn text—by Carolyn Gillette (Presbyterian)—which was kindly emailed to me. [Hat tip to T.P.H.]
For the most part, the hymn speaks for itself. I would point out, however, this curious line:
“We pray for the animals
here in our midst
who cannot defend their own
right to exist.”
I love animals, and Saint Thomas Aquinas says we must be kind to them. On the other hand, do they have a right to exist strictly speaking? When cheetahs eat antelope are they in violation of the law? When whales eat fish, are they in violation of the law?
And here’s something sent to us via Facebook:
Hymn to Greta Thunberg :
Composed by Andrew Pratt (2021)
Time runs away, our life on earth is finite,
young prophets calling, needing us to act
are crying out, lamenting for our planet,
while ‘adults’ sleep, denying fear and fact.
Still others stand, immune, ignore the future,
absolved from fault for all that comes to pass.
When will we grasp the need for urgent action,
see clearly, not net curtained, or through frosted glass?
While sands of time run down, are gone and finished,
in fear of change we hanker for the past,
but life on earth is threatened by inaction,
as lethargy and greed resist and last.
Good God forgive us for each fault and faction,
unwillingness to change to save this earth.
God give us ears to hear the words of wisdom
that we might save this planet, cradle of our birth.
Something Different: Now for something completely different. Look at this beautiful image—from approximately 988AD—of the reception of Holy Communion: