A clarification of my earlier post about the song "Mary Did You Know"

In my original post titled; ***“The song, ‘Mary Did You Know’ is heretical”. *** I should have been more accurate in my explanation concerning the term “heretical”. I hope the following will clarify my earlier statements. I also wish to thank Rach620 for her excellent comments, upon which, this post is partially based.

“Mary Did You Know” is a very popular song with many Catholics today. Many, however, are not aware that the song is theologically inaccurate and contains elements of heresy and therefore should not be performed in Catholic venues.

In the song, Mary is asked a series of questions. The main problem, from a Catholic point of view, is with one particular question; *"Mary, did you know that the baby you delivered, would soon deliver you?”. *

This question assumes that Mary, is herself, in need of deliverance, assumes that she is a sinner. This is opposed to everything that Catholics believe about the Mother of God. If one accepts this verse as true, then this leads to a denial of the Immaculate Conception, which would be heresy.

Mary was “delivered” at the instant of Her conception. She was conceived immaculately and was never subjected to even the slightest tainting of original sin. The song would also tend to confirm protestants in their erroneous belief that Mary was a sinner just like everyone else, thus diminishing the honor She is rightly due. Below is a critique of this song by two orthodox priests to whom I wrote.

Fr. M. Wrote:

Your suspicions regarding “Mary, Did You Know?” are correct. The very title of the song is misleading. We need to remember some of the effects of Mary’s Immaculate Conception. One effect was that she received the same gifts that Adam and Eve had before the Fall. One set of gifts Adam and Eve had are the preternatural gifts, of which there were 3 kinds. The one of most interest to this discussion is infused knowledge. Infused knowledge is a special knowledge of the providence of God. It is the ability to see in the natural the supernatural of what God is doing. Mary saw the supernatural ramifications of all that Jesus said and did. Recall that Luke tells us that Mary “pondered all these things in her heart.”

Also, Mary was “full of grace” from the moment of her conception. Her will was completely united to the will of God at all times. She experienced throughout her life the “transforming union”, the pinnacle of the spiritual life possible here one earth. Souls in that state of union have a much greater knowledge and love of God, the spiritual writers teach us. Plus, Mary knew the Hebrew Scriptures intimately. So she knew that Jesus was the Incarnate Word of God (Lk. 1) as well as the Suffering Servant of Yahweh (Is 52-53). She also knew from Simeon’s words that she would suffer with Him. Conclusion: she knew a lot more than is implied by the song “Mary, Did You Know?”. Please do not include that song in your repertoire. Hope all this helps.

Fr. A, Wrote:

You hit the nail on the head re: the lyrics of the song. My concerns are the same as yours. The song is an appeal to the mystery surrounding the Incarnation and Nativity. That’s fine, as far as it goes. The lyrics, however, leave the door open to erroneous and heretical opinions, thanks to their ambiguity. I would avoid performing or promoting the song for that reason.

\In the song, Mary is asked a series of questions. The main problem, from a Catholic point of view, is with one particular question; "Mary, did you know that the baby you delivered, would soon deliver you?”. \

**As I understand the doctrine of Immaculate Conception as defined by Pius IX, the Theotokos was delivered from original sin IN ANTICIPTION of what Christ would Himself accomplish.

In other words, Christ had to still perform the work (some 30 years later) that actually accomplished the deliverance that she was allowed to anticipate.

I also personally think that were you to have quizzed her on even basic Chalcedonian Christology, at that point she might well have said, “Huh?”**

I think you should be careful not to suggest a kind of hypostatic union between Mary and the Deity. Mary was a human being, pure and simple. If she knew the consequences of the Birth of the Messiah into a sinful world ,saw with greater clarity that world than any prophet, it does not necessarily follow that she knew how that was to be accomplished. She, after all, lived in time and space. She knew what she knew, and what she knew, we don’t know, except what has been revealed to us.

Dear RobbyS

Even though there is nothing wrong with a lively theological debate (which this has been), I somehow feel we are drifting away from the central issue here.

My basic statement concerning the song is:
1, it is theological inaccurate,
2, can lead to heretical or misleading interpretations as Fr A said, and
3, the song reinforces the incorrect beliefs that protestants have about Mary and her I.C., and therefore should not be performed. I am in agreement with the statements of the two priests who I consulted with.

God bless.

Your point was well-made by yourself and others in your initial thread, and it was responded to adequately too. I see no reason for *another *thread about the *same *subject except for you to try to claim some sort of victory for orthodoxy (against a single song, at that) which honestly isn’t necessary.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.