Church Criteria for Hymns

Just curious what are Roman Catholic and non-Catholic Churches criteria for hymns?
This is the Lutheran criteria:
Criteria For Lutheran Hymns

  1. A Lutheran hymn is congruent with Biblical doctrine.

  2. A Lutheran hymn Sims Not to create the right atmosphere or mood for worship, but serves as a vehicle for the Spirit-filled Word of God.

  3. A Lutheran hymn is Not entertainment but proclamation.

  4. A Lutheran hymn is shaped by theology of the cross.

  5. A Lutheran hymn is Not bound merely to paraphrase the Biblical Text; rather, it interprets the Scripture in reference to Christ.

  6. A Lutheran hymn is bound to nö culture save the culture of the Church catholic.

I’ll be interested to see what other people post, but I’m not aware of many real formal, universal rules like this about hymns. Heck, I’ve heard “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” sung at a Catholic Mass. :eek: (;))

Then again I’ve never heard “He Walks with Me (In the Garden)” which I remember there being a controversy over in the United Methodist Church when I was still in it. Some people thought the extremely beloved and popular (among Methodists) hymn was wrong, I would guess because of the part

“But He bids me go; through the voice of woe
His voice to me is calling.”

or maybe even

“And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.”

Anyway, the one universal rule (in the Latin Rite Church) that I know of is a new one instituted by our current Pope, that you may not sing a hymn which pronounces the name YHWH. This in part is because of the objection of some Jews to Christians pronouncing that name of God.

Most (maybe all) hymnals used in Catholic parishes get episcopal approval, but exactly what standards are used I couldn’t say.

You are not permitted to pronounce the tetragrammaton, but otherwise any heretical garbage you slap together and send to OCP will find itself used. There’s no standards.
Vatican II put pride of place on Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony, which guaranteed it would never be used, knowing how people are with instruction manuals. (Though for the latter the scarcity is understandable, you need years of training to sing music like that.)

I’d take “Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott” over “Table of Plenty” any day, for the record. :stuck_out_tongue: The former may not be Catholic but it doesn’t feature the doctrinal questionableness of the latter.

Well as of right now there is no real criteria to speak off. That is supposed to change with the new Mass revision and it’s rubrics which comes out in Advent this year, but we still don’t have many details on that.

The cause of much of the terrible hymns at Mass today is because in the General Instruction in the Roman Missal, there appears a loophole. Musicians can sing what is appointed, or (“option 4”) they can sing something else, and that something else is limited only by what the musicians themselves deem as “appropriate.” What this has meant, in effect, is: anything goes.

So I’m hoping the new “General Instruction” they will eliminate option 4.

hn160, I couldn’t help but notice that little umlaut you slipped in on the “o” in “no” at the bottom of the paragraph.

The refrain goes:

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

So contrary to the intention of, “where two or more are gathered in my name…”.
None other has ever known :confused: Really?

One shouldn’t hear it in a Lutheran church either.

I was using an iPad and the keyboard got changed to a German keyboard.
In my church today, the Gospel was on the parable of the sower and all the hymns were based on the Gospel as well as the sermon.
On a side note, some of Lutheran hymns have 10 or more verses and it is said that when Lutherans get done with those verses, they look around to see if there are any more.

Sorry for bringing up such an old post, but this question was interesting to me.

The biggest thing we look for is doctrine, whether or not the whole congregation can sing, and whether the focus is on man or God.

One of my favorites that we sing in our church is:

’Tis finished! The Messiah dies,
Cut off for sins, but not His own:
Accomplished is the sacrifice,
The great redeeming work is done.

’Tis finished! all the debt is paid;
Justice divine is satisfied;
The grand and full atonement made;
God for a guilty world hath died.

The veil is rent in Christ alone;
The living way to Heaven is seen;
The middle wall is broken down,
And all mankind may enter in.

The types and figures are fulfilled;
Exacted is the legal pain;
The precious promises are sealed;
The spotless Lamb of God is slain.

The reign of sin and death is o’er,
And all may live from sin set free;
Satan hath lost his mortal power;
’Tis swallowed up in victory.

Saved from the legal curse I am,
My Savior hangs on yonder tree:
See there the meek, expiring Lamb!
’Tis finished! He expires for me.

Accepted in the Well-beloved,
And clothed in righteousness divine,
I see the bar to heaven removed;
And all Thy merits, Lord, are mine.

Death, hell, and sin are now subdued;
All grace is now to sinners given;
And lo, I plead the atoning blood,
And in Thy right I claim Thy Heaven!

At least one Catholic Church that used “Just as I Am” at least half of the time as a commion hymn. When I was very young, the my family’s home church’s get togathers the Baptist Pastor and wife would be there for a “hymn sing”:eek:

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