Identify the heresy


A member of our parish picks the hymns for the children’s choir.
She has picked "Speak oh Lord"as a communion hymn Inthe past and I objected on the grounds it heritical all and has no place in catholic liturgy.

The song starts with the lyric
" Speak oh lord as we come to you to receive the food of your Holy Word"

This instantly rang alarm bells so I looked up the author (Kieth & Krystin Getty) they are staunch Presbyterians and active in traditional Calvinist circles. Traditional Calvinism is strongly Anti Catholic.

I raised this with the choir leaders, and was begrudgingly acknowledged as correct the hymn should not be used for Communion hymn, but this week it’s back as an entrance hymn /professional. With the excuse that it’s fine as this precedes the liturgy of the word, and Jesus said that man cannot live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.

I’m inclined to take the issue to the parish priest but need to be clearer on exactly what cannon or encyciclal is being breached here. The choir leaders are nuns and don’t seem to get my point… But using this song is teaching falsehood.



Uhh, none.

No, its not. Teaching that the Eucharist is not really the body and blood of Christ would be teaching falsehood. Teaching Calvinism would be teaching falsehood. Simply using these words in a song is not.

It is in fact totally orthodox Catholic teaching that Christ is present in four ways at Mass: 1. In the gathered community of believers; 2. In the person of the priest in persona Christi; 3. In the proclaimed word, and 4. in special way in the Eucharist.

Recognizing #3 is not falsehood.

Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.
Speak, O Lord, and fulfill in us
All Your purposes for Your glory.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of pow’r that can never fail—
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us—
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.
And by grace we’ll stand on Your promises,
And by faith we’ll walk as You walk with us.
Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.



I agree with Deacon Jeff…I think that hymn is beautiful and completely appropriate at any point in the Liturgy. God’s Word is food for us just as much as His Body in the Eucharist. Both are necessary. He is the Living Word and we are asking Him at every Mass to speak to us through His written Word as well.

I really don’t see what your objection to the hymn is, beyond that it wasn’t written by Catholics.

That sounds like a great reflection of this verse:

Rom 12:2 RSV
Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.



The issue is not with the multiple ways in which Christ is present. It with the specific language. “To receive the food of your Holy Word”

John chapter 6 covers in great detail that Jesus realpresence in the Eucharist is absolutely true. Most protestants reject this refering to Jon 1:1-2 to say that the Word (Logos) became flesh and came among us, therefore reading the Bible is complying with the prescription that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood.

To draw a parallel. In the early church 431the council of Ephesus declares Nestorianism to be Heresy, and attached an Anethema to the title Christotokos. (Mother of Christ).

Now there is no doubt that as Jesus is Christ, that Mary was His mother that she is indeed the Mother of Christ, but due to the Association between this title and the Nestorian heresy that denies the Hypostatic union between the human and devine nature’s of Christ, that the title Christotokos was and remains banned.

In the same way, to use a theological concept and language which was explicitly written to teach a Protestant heresy which DENIES the RealPresence in the Eucharist, is wholly in appropriate. Worse the basic statement is not objectively true.
God is present in the Word of God, spoken and scriptural, but that does not make it “food” Inthe way that the Blessed Sacrament is true literal food, for body and soul.



This sounds like a coherent way of expressing your objection. Why don’t you explain it to the priest this way and see if he agrees with you.

Be prepared that he may not because there is an orthodox Catholic way of understanding that phrase despite its origin.



Ok I believe I need to swallow my objection.
CCC 103 And 131 make reference to the holy scriptures as food, and food for the soul, cross referencing to Dei Verbum, and to Suma Theologica.

Thanks for your help.

Perhaps this topic should be closed?



To be honest, I think you are making much ado over very little.

Your priest is the one who gets to decide if the hymn is all right or not. The fact that the author is Presbyterian doesn’t mean the hymn is automatically bad. Many of the Catholic hymnals contain some songs written by Protestants.

I would presume the woman picking the hymns is in touch with the priest about what is allowed and what is not. I’m not sure where you come into all this. If you’re not in charge of picking the hymns, then you’re kind of butting in.



Yes, that was also my impression.

I further note that Jesus is considered to be “the Word made flesh” and we receive Him at Mass.
The lyric, to me, expresses that.



I will say that I would never use that hymn for a Eucharistic hymn, as I like my Eucharistic hymns very Eucharistic. However, the Most Holy Word did give us his body as our food.

1 Like


Makes me think of Amazing Grace. Its origin intended its lyrics one way, but Catholics can find a way to interpret them in line with faith.

I like Amazing Grace.

1 Like


Nourishment hearing Sacred Scripture in the Liturgy of the Word

1 Like


This was a heresy. Mary is the mother of God.

To say Mary is the mother of Christ denies the Divinity of Jesus. It only acknowledges the humanity of Jesus

Therefore a Council was called to deny this heresy and in fact declare Mary too be the mother of God.



I would have a bigger issue with the “My Little Pony Mass” music than this one

1 Like


Is this hymn in a Catholic Hymnal?



I think the words are fine. Jesus is the Word of God. As the Gospel of John begins:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . .and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.




But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

(Matthew 4:4)



Orthodox catholic?

1 and 3 sounds a lot like a protestant cult.

And 2,afaik, applies only when the priest is performing a Sacrament…



I already posted a biblical quote for 3. For 1:

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

(Matthew 18:20)

Or is not knowing the Bible supposed to make us more “orthodox”? It certainly feeds the old Protestant canard that Catholics don’t know their Bible…



They are 100% orthodox Catholic. Don’t know how you could think otherwise.



There is nothing “Protestant” about Jesus being present in the proclaimed Word of the Lord that is Scripture.

John 1:14 states that “the Word became flesh” as Jesus.


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