Category Archives: Liturgical Music

Las Posadas (The Inns of Bethlehem) Advent Novena Pageant December 16-24

(Go to Therese’s Carols for Las Posadas)


1. St. Joseph
Pray give us lodging, dear sir, in the name of heav’n.
All day since morning to travel we’ve giv’n.
Mary, my wife, is expecting a child.
She must have shelter tonight. Let us in, let us in!

2. Innkeeper
You cannot stop here, I won’t make my house an inn.
I do not trust you, your story is thin.
You two might rob me and then run away.
Find somewhere else you can stay. Go away, go away!

3. St. Joseph
Please show us pity, your heart cannot be so hard.
Look at poor Mary, so worn and so tired.
We are most poor, but I’ll pay what I can.
God will reward you, good man. Let us in, let us in!
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We Should Hear The Blessed Lord Jesus’ True ‘Bread of Life Narrative’ in Song

Update – an affirmative Eucharistic catechesis is now set to the Drakes Broughton hymn tune by Edward Elgar.

An awe-ful mystery is here
to challenge faith and weaken fear:
The Savior comes as food divine
concealed in earthly bread and wine.

 
This world is loveless but above,
what wondrous boundlessness of love!
The King of Glory stoops to me,
my spirit’s life and strength to be.

 
In consecrated wine and bread
no eye perceives the mys’try dread;
But Jesus’ words are strong and clear,
“My body and My blood are here.”

 
How dull are all the pow’rs of sense
employed on proofs of love immense!
The richest food remains unseen,
and highest gifts appear as mean.

 
Now here we have this boon on earth,
but faith alone discerns it’s worth;
the Word, not sense must be our guide,
and faith assure since sight’s denied.

 
Lord feed You us with Your own hand,
as first to Your fraternal band.
Yourself our food let us become.
May God made man make men like God.AnAweFulMysteryIsHereTHUMBNAIL

(This article is under development, subject to continuing revision.)

Call to Petition Oregon Catholic Press (Breaking Bread hymnal) to Edit ‘See Us Lord About Your Altar’ regarding the lyric “Now his form is but a sign”

In an intrinsically subjective esthetic medium, music with lyrics, a musical piece published by OCP–”See Us Lord About Your Altar“–concerned with the Catholic Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, implicitly conveys lack of belief in the full, authentic, essential Eucharistic teaching.


Drakes Broughton hymn tune by Sir Edward Elgar, to which John Greally applied his lyrics “See Us Lord About Your Altar”

The doctrinally deficient lyrics, “Now his form is but a sign”, fail to convey the primal sacramental definition of “a sign that really and truly  effects what it signifies”, an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace. This is in the medium of music which, because of the immediacy of its impact, is prone to cause uncritical acceptance of any doctrinal proposition conveyed through it, whether correct or incorrect.

DrakesBroughton-SeeUsLordAboutYourAltar-verse3-THUMBNAIL

This will be a request for the lyrics of a song distributed to the majority of American Catholic parishes by the Oregon Catholic Press (OCP), to be slightly changed to more affirmatively reflect Jesus’ wishes, as He clearly expressed them.

This problem was remarked upon more than a decade ago, in a January 11, 2007, Catholic Answers Forums posting titled Questionable Song Lyrics.

International Liturgy Publications’ St. Augustine Hymnal publishes a version of See Us Lord About Your Altar with the problematic verse 3 as in OCP, altered to:

Wheat and grape contain the meaning: Food and drink He is to all; One in Christ, we come adoring, Gathered by His loving call.

(Cf. Jeffrey Tucker, The Hidden Hand behind Bad Catholic Music, Crisis Magazine, May 13, 2009.)

What does this mean?

The lyrics of a piece music published by the Oregon Catholic Press,
See Us Lord About Your Altar“, can be improved to better reflect Jesus’ explicit teachings about the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.

The Problematic Verse (3)

  • Once were seen the blood and water:
    Now is seen but bread and wine;
    Once in human form he suffered,

    Now his form is but a sign.

The subtle assertion that Jesus’ form within the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist “is but a sign”, less than adequately conveys the full, authentic, essential Catechesis about the Holy Eucharist, in an environment prone to non-critical acceptance of doctrinal content, the medium of music which by its very nature renders its audience prone to unthinking, emotional acceptance of its meaning. This environment requires very careful discrimination about the precise formulation of Catechetical content.

Perhaps unintentionally, the verse seems to express a belief that the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist is merely a symbol, not literally our Blessed Lord Jesus’ Body and Blood. Continue reading