Wednesday, July 20, 2011

America the Beautiful - Appropriate for Church?

I'm still up in the air about the appropriateness of lots of different songs at Mass.

But a few Sundays ago we had..."America the Beautiful" as our...closing song?

Granted I think the Mass was technically ended at that point. Granted that there are a lot of songs that do get sung that are questionable and sometimes heretical. But still. It's patently an anthem to the country, not to God. Now I do think a similar criticism (an anthem to the congregants, not to God) could be raised for some of the songs we sometimes sing. But at least the nominal point of those songs is, nonetheless, to draw the people into the worship of God. I hope.

Singing a patriotic song, on the other hand, had no legitimate place at that Sunday Mass. Yes, the chorus mentions God. But you're singing to America, which, of those songs was not like the others. And yes, technically, it wasn't Mass at that point, but given that to be "proper" I have to stay and am being encouraged to stay after that song to pray, I'm basically trapped with a non-worship song. Now I'm still up in the air about it, not because I'm an American, but because on further reflection the lyrics strongly imply that God is not done with our nation yet and petitions Him to do greater things for it. But again, on the other hand, if a song sung essentially to our congregation (even if in the first person plural) is inappropriate in that context, I'm tempted to say the same of a song sung essentially to our country (in grammar as well as in spirit.)

Thoughts? I'm curious about peoples' thoughts coming both from more liturgical and musically 'conservative' traditions as well as otherwise.

1 comment:

Es said...

God is definitely not done with our nation yet

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