Catholic Hymns and Songs

My wife thinks I am crazy. During Mass this morning, a young lass from the parish choir got up and started to sing “O Filii et Filiae” (aka “O Sons and Daughters”). I turned to the Misselette and followed along…

(middle of the song)

That night th’apostles met in fear;
Amidst them came their Lord most dear,
And said, “My peace be on all here.”
Alleluia! Alleluia!

When Thomas first the tidings heard,
How they had seen the risen Lord,
He doubted the disciples’ word.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

“My piercèd side, O Thomas, see;
My hands, My feet, I show to thee;
Not faithless but believing be.”
Alleluia! Alleluia!

No longer Thomas then denied;
He saw the feet, the hands, the side;
“Thou art my Lord and God,” he cried.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

How blessed are they who have not seen,
And yet whose faith has constant been;
For they eternal life shall win.
Alleluia! Alleluia!

It was a spectacular hymn that matched perfectly with the gospel reading about the Apostle Thomas. It is also one of the few hymns that I believe I can maintain tune and pitch throughout. :slight_smile: I was really moved by the connection of the two and the beauty of the music.

Back to my story… I loved hearing it so much I went back home and went online to find a place to download a version of the hymn (paid for of course). I burned it on a CD, and then popped it in the car audio and started listening to it on our way to running an errand with the whole family. The wife gave me the funniest look as the first few notes from the song started to play… she thought we were back at Mass all over again!

Anyone else fall in love with a hymn or song you sang, or just heard, at Mass and couldn’t wait to find a version to add to your home library of music? Did your spouse or loved one think you were crazy? :wink:

Actually, it’s funny that you should mention this because I was just asking my husband tonight if he could burn me a CD of my favorite hymns as a Mother’s Day gift. So I don’t think you are crazy at all. :slight_smile:

I have to say, I love “O Sons and Daughters” too. I hadn’t heard it in a while, and we used it as a communion hymn this week at Mass. Really great for Easter, especially if they play it at with a fast tempo (sometimes you hear it done at about half-normal speed, and it sounds like a dirge).

One of the things that I really like about it, and other good old hymns, is that they’re easy to sing. The melody goes where you expect it to should go, but without being trite. They don’t have weird intervals, and major-seventh chords all over the place because the composer thought it sounds more interesting.

And the best hymns are good catechesis - if you sing along, the words really sink in, and you learn something. “O Sons and Daughters” takes you through the story of Easter straight from the gospels, and the constant “Alleluia” refrain drives it home that this is the central part of our faith. And to sing that story during Communion, when we are receiving the very same body & blood of our Lord, the same Lord who appeared to the Apostles, and into whose hands & side Thomas put his hands, is a very moving thing!

I also love “O Filii et Filiae”. We sing it for communion during the Easter Season each week. It’s one of my favorite Easter Hymns to cantor. We also chant the “Alleluia” melody with the verse for the Gospel Acclamation. Our choir does a beautiful arrangement of it by Thiman. What is also so wonderful about this hymn is that not only is it “old”, it’s ancient - Medieval. Whenever we sing this, I feel connected to my christian ancestors from centuries ago. To think that they sang the same melodies, awes me and reminds me of our wonderful sacred heritage.

We sang this today also!:slight_smile:

I know that I will start a chorus of gags and groans out there in Internet Land, but I love the hymn, “Gather Us In.”

While my husband and I were still Protestant, we started attending mass. The first time I ever heard this hymn, I copied the words onto the bulletin. There is so much imagery in the hymn, and I like imagery. I also like the jaunty melody.

I didn’t realize for quite some time where I had heard the song before. For many years before even thinking about Catholicism, I had listened to a local talk radio station’s weekly broadcast of a local Catholic talk show called “Catholic Forum” featuring the bishop of our diocese. Whenever I heard this bishop speak, I knew I was listening to Christ speak. I absolutely LOVED listening to him–what a difference from some of the mealy-mouthed, please-everyone, feel-good Protestant pastors that I was used to hearing! (Our bishop is known as a no-compromise, conservative Catholic, and our diocese actually has a surplus of priests and seminarians.)

The theme music for Catholic Forum is “Gather Us In.”

My husband loves the Litany of Saints, and searched all over to find a recording of it.

Thanks everyone… it is nice to know that I am in such strong company.

I also like “Gather Us In” and would love to hear other people’s favorites! :slight_smile:

“Gather Us In” was something my childhood parish used to do all the time. I probably haven’t heard it sung in a church since the early 1990s, though. I personally do not like it, but I will try to stifle my groans and gags for you. :slight_smile:

I think the problem that some people have with the hymn is not only the melody, which I will not go into, but some of the text. There are some parts of the text which are questionable and some have even called it heretical. This part of the text has caused the controversy over the hymn:

“Not in the dark
Of buildings confining
Not in some Heaven
Light years away
But here in this place, the new light is shining,
Now is the Kingdom, now is the day…”

To me and to others, it seems as if the writer of this text is putting down our churches. Even worse, Heaven and the after-life is almost disregarded “Not in some Heaven LIght years away”. It’s as if Haugen (who isn’t even Catholic, although I’m not sure if he wrote the text) is trying to say by using the word “some” that Heaven and the afterlife is something we shouldn’t have to worry about right now. And then what is this place the Haugen is talking about if it’s not Heaven or the Catholic Church? What is this Kingdom? Is he trying to say that here on earth is the Kingdom or is man the Kingdom, rather than God?

“We have been sung
Throughout all of hist’ry,
Called to be light
To the whole human race.”

In this phrase are we praising ourselves as being “good” and “holy”, as if we were the ones called to save the world, instead of Jesus? Why are we being “sung throughout all of hist’ry”? How can we be the Light to the whole human race? That would make us equal to God. I thought only our Lord could be the Light.

Anyway, those are just a couple of things that people have found wrong with the hymn. I’m not sure if by talking about this we got off topic, so my apologies if we did.

I agree w/Sarabande. I kinda like the music, but I don’t like the text for some of the verses. And my childhood/previous parish sings it ALL THE TIME.

When we changed parishes, the Mass Ordinary they use is Missa de Angelis (Latin prayers). After the first two weeks of trying to learn the Latin & tune alone, I searched on Amazon and found Mass of the Angels recorded at the Vatican. All the prayers + lots of other chant were included on this CD. My kids and I listen to this CD all the time and it had made it much easier to learn the Latin text for the prayers. Something about singing makes things easier to learn.

I don’t know what my favorite hymn is. I have so many that I love and are really moving. I

I love the “Missa de Angelis”. I have the sheet music for it and have heard it done during mass before.

We should start a separate thread for analysis of “Gather Us In.” I don’t want to derail this very nice thread.

I agree. :slight_smile:

I like the second verse of “Crown Him With Many Crowns” this time of year. It has a lot of theology packed into a few lines.

Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o’er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save.
His glories now we sing,
who died, and rose on high,
who died, eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.

Anything Latin! We bought a CD with traditional Latin classics on it. The in-laws give me strange looks when I put it on in the car.
We don’t get to hear too much Latin since we moved. Somehow O Salutaris and Tantum Ergo just don’t seem as beautiful in English. On Holy Thursday, I accidentally started singing the Latin during Pange Lingua…

My first thought was, “Heck no! All the music at my parish is that horrible hippy-dippy junk!” But then, my more charitable side come out (wow!) and I remembered…

I don’t remember what it’s called (help me out, if you know it), and I only remember a little (we sing it maybe once a year)

sing of Mary
pure and lowly
Virgin Mother, undefiled

And that’s all I remember, since, like I said, we never sing it. But MAN, I love that song!

I have several I really like

“Take and Eat” (It reminds me of our deceased pastor. Furthermore, it just makes me feel closer to God and helps me to contemplate Him.)

“For You Are My God”

“Holy, Holy, Holy”

…and finally my favorite that I have on CD (it is beautiful with a lovely choir, and awesome instruments…including a trumpet or something which just seems very fitting):

“Christ the Lord is Risen Today”

(I know the first two listed may not be very popular, but I just can’t help it.:o )

It is actually titled Sing of Mary, Pure and Lowly. One of my faves too.

Oh yes!!! :slight_smile: I also prefer the O Salutaris and Tantum Ergo in Latin, as well as the Stabat Mater. The Pange Lingua is beautiful. Our choir does the Victimae Paschales sequence beautifully in Latin. Only the men chant it and it’s haunting.

My favorite Latin song is “O, Santissima” It goes well on guitar.

In 2001 I was part of a pro-life celebration put on for the donors of our CPC. The bishop, our patron, was present.

After the supper we had entertainment provided by an organist and a soprano. We listened in appreciation to their recital. All of a sudden they gave us Salve Regina in Latin. All at once everyone in the room joined in, even though the majority of us hadn’t sung it in over 25 years.

It was the first time in my adult life I had heard it sung and I fell in love. Now I attend a Latin Mass where we often sing it after the Last Gospel reading.

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