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  #1  
Old Mar 20, '17, 3:13 pm
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Peter J Peter J is offline
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Default It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

I've been thinking recently about what music people (Catholics and Protestants alike, and Jews for that matter) consider appropriate to sing during mass or church service, so I found this article interesting:

It's OK to Sing 'America, The Beautiful' In Church
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  #2  
Old Mar 20, '17, 3:28 pm
friardchips friardchips is offline
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

Not keen. While it is good to love one's country, it is quite another to sing along to songs about God's created natural environment, in a Holy Church that is all about God Himself, and His redemptive saving plan. It could be tantamount to praising oneself and one's American neighbours, and self-praise,as we all know, is no praise.
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Old Mar 20, '17, 3:55 pm
twf twf is offline
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

Perhaps on the Fourth of July, as a recessional, after the Mass proper is concluded... outside of that, I would find it very distasteful. Same goes for "O Canada" in Canada - recessional after Mass on July 1... period. I would totally be for singing "God Save the Queen" as a recessional on Victoria Day here in Canada, but I don't think that's common practice. After all, prayers for the monarch were very much a part of the liturgy for most of Church history.
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Old Mar 20, '17, 4:06 pm
friardchips friardchips is offline
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

For got to say too, that as Catholics, we are united to all brothers and sisters, wherever they are in the world, with Christ as our identity, and therefore, we are beyond physical boundaries, and a strong nationalism is quite possibly an immediate kind of obstruction, to this deeper spiritual awareness.
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  #5  
Old Mar 20, '17, 4:43 pm
MaryT777 MaryT777 is offline
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by friardchips View Post
Not keen. While it is good to love one's country, it is quite another to sing along to songs about God's created natural environment, in a Holy Church that is all about God Himself, and His redemptive saving plan. It could be tantamount to praising oneself and one's American neighbours, and self-praise,as we all know, is no praise.
I agree with this opinion; well said.

Mary.
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  #6  
Old Mar 20, '17, 4:47 pm
tafan tafan is offline
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

I think, if it is mass on the 4th of July, it is certainly OK as a recessional hymn after mass. I think "God Bless America" would be better, as it is actually a prayer.
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Old Mar 20, '17, 5:00 pm
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

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Originally Posted by tafan View Post
I think, if it is mass on the 4th of July, it is certainly OK as a recessional hymn after mass. I think "God Bless America" would be better, as it is actually a prayer.


YES.
This happens at the conclusion of Mass all over the U.S.
Maybe if American Catholics prayed for their country more........

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having this at the conclusion of Mass.
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Old Mar 20, '17, 5:08 pm
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

It is in our hymnal. The song is actually a prayer.
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Old Mar 20, '17, 5:23 pm
revert_jen revert_jen is offline
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by friardchips View Post
Not keen. While it is good to love one's country, it is quite another to sing along to songs about God's created natural environment, in a Holy Church that is all about God Himself, and His redemptive saving plan. It could be tantamount to praising oneself and one's American neighbours, and self-praise,as we all know, is no praise.
Just speaking of the first verse, I don't see how it's praising anyone except God. God provided the created natural environment, and to me it has always been a song of gratitude (first half) and prayer (second half). How on earth is it self-praise?

For the second verse, as a Catholic and a Virginian, I'm not as keen on pilgrims as the author of the lyrics, but again, certainly not self-praise. And the second-half is an excellent prayer:

America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

The third and fourth verses are iffy to my mind, but who gets that far? Certainly I agree with others that it would be appropriate only for the recessional, but you seem (please pardon me if I am misunderstanding) to think there is something wrong about singing it at all. That singing it would be praising ourselves and hinder our feeling of brotherhood with people in other countries.

Well, in our parish, we pray every week for our bishop and the faithful of the diocese. Is this wrong too, hindering our feelings of brotherhood with people in other dioceses? I don't personally think so. I think we have a responsibility to pray for our diocese and our country, not to the exclusion of all others, but in the same way that we pray for our own families. Sometimes that prayer can be in song.

--Jen
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Old Mar 20, '17, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by tafan View Post
I think, if it is mass on the 4th of July, it is certainly OK as a recessional hymn after mass. I think "God Bless America" would be better, as it is actually a prayer.
Agree. We sing "God Bless America" at the conclusion of Mass on July 4th.
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Old Mar 20, '17, 7:07 pm
GKC GKC is offline
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

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Originally Posted by tawny View Post
Agree. We sing "God Bless America" at the conclusion of Mass on July 4th.
We do too, from time to time.
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Old Mar 21, '17, 5:30 am
friardchips friardchips is offline
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

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Originally Posted by MaryT777 View Post
I agree with this opinion; well said.

Mary.
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Old Mar 21, '17, 5:47 am
friardchips friardchips is offline
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

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Originally Posted by revert_jen View Post
Just speaking of the first verse, I don't see how it's praising anyone except God. God provided the created natural environment, and to me it has always been a song of gratitude (first half) and prayer (second half). How on earth is it self-praise?

For the second verse, as a Catholic and a Virginian, I'm not as keen on pilgrims as the author of the lyrics, but again, certainly not self-praise. And the second-half is an excellent prayer:

America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
Difficult to explain other than what has been said. It's a little bug-bear. I think, as posters have mentioned, that a prayer is different to a song, in the sense that one is praying TO God For America. But this song seems to be singing to America with the inclusion of God. Also, God transcends human law, though human law and authority is of God. But the difference between worldly law and God's law are not always in sync.

I think too, there is a danger of bringing too much of the..oh, how lovely is creation..sort of thinking into what is a mystically-founded, though visibly instituted Church, meant to be focused on the Sacrifice of the Mass, that heals us, and restores us, spiritually.

In my mind, praise in Church is fitting for the subject of God and His saving plan, inclusive of those who have undertaken this plan, with unbending faith and commitment.

Allegory, metaphor etc..within hymns to God, is a different scenario, because creation reflects the beauty of God, as opposed to the subject being about a country as the object, with God as the secondary subject.

Quote:
The third and fourth verses are iffy to my mind, but who gets that far? Certainly I agree with others that it would be appropriate only for the recessional, but you seem (please pardon me if I am misunderstanding) to think there is something wrong about singing it at all. That singing it would be praising ourselves and hinder our feeling of brotherhood with people in other countries.
Yeah, maybe I do. There are places in the Mass, in the Bidding Prayers, where it would be entirely suitable to pray for one's country (for example).

I can't imagine singing in Church about the U.K; the only sentence I could think would be appropriate after this intro, would be: "be converted...and quick about it!".

I'm not knocking the song as a song in itself, but just being sung in Mass; I think such a scenario would make me shift uncomfortably. I am sure America is a country that is greatly blessed with a great and firm faith to accompany it, from what I have read.

Quote:
Well, in our parish, we pray every week for our bishop and the faithful of the diocese. Is this wrong too, hindering our feelings of brotherhood with people in other dioceses? I don't personally think so. I think we have a responsibility to pray for our diocese and our country, not to the exclusion of all others, but in the same way that we pray for our own families. Sometimes that prayer can be in song.

--Jen
I think this is a slightly different scenario, because when this is the case, you are praying for the Church, and wider world, within the context of the Mass.

Just my opinion, btw...

Last edited by friardchips; Mar 21, '17 at 6:05 am.
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  #14  
Old Mar 21, '17, 5:51 am
jediliz jediliz is offline
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

the only time we've sung these (whether ny parish or one we were visiting) were 4th of July weekend or memorial Day weekend. Other than that, I can't recall any other dates. I think it was the recessional song.
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  #15  
Old Mar 21, '17, 5:51 am
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Default Re: It's OK to Sing 'America The Beautiful' In Church

I've basically just been reading the comments here rather than commenting on them, but I just want to say I wonder if we'll get any Protestant posts.

Oh wait ...

Last edited by Peter J; Mar 21, '17 at 6:04 am.
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