Is this song OK?


#1

I heard this song at mass and wondered if it was OK for use in all of your opinions? We really use some wacky music at my parish (We have the Catholic Community Hymnal and Glory & Praise)

Voices that Challenge by David Hass

Call us to hear the voices that challenge
Deep in the hearts of all people!

By serving your world as lovers and dreamers,
We become voices that challenge!
For we are the voice of God!

Voices that challenge:
The children who long to be heard and respected!
The lowly and broken destroyed by oppression!
The old and the fearful who hope for a new day!
Voices that challenge:
The lives and the cries of the poor and the silenced!
The young ones who dream of a world free of hatred!
The sick and the dying who cry for compassion!

Voices that challenge:
The ones who seek peace by their witness and courage!
The women who suffer the pain of injustice!
The people with AIDS and those plagued with addiction!
The prophets and heroes who call us to question!
The healers who teach us forgiveness and mercy!
The victims of violent abuse and aggression!
The Christ who gave his life that we might live!


#2

[quote="LouisvilleRC, post:1, topic:338115"]
I heard this song at mass and wondered if it was OK for use in all of your opinions? We really use some wacky music at my parish (We have the Catholic Community Hymnal and Glory & Praise)

Voices that Challenge by David Hass

Call us to hear the voices that challenge
Deep in the hearts of all people!

By serving your world as lovers and dreamers,
We become voices that challenge!
For we are the voice of God!

Voices that challenge:
The children who long to be heard and respected!
The lowly and broken destroyed by oppression!
The old and the fearful who hope for a new day!
Voices that challenge:
The lives and the cries of the poor and the silenced!
The young ones who dream of a world free of hatred!
The sick and the dying who cry for compassion!

Voices that challenge:
The ones who seek peace by their witness and courage!
The women who suffer the pain of injustice!
The people with AIDS and those plagued with addiction!
The prophets and heroes who call us to question!
The healers who teach us forgiveness and mercy!
The victims of violent abuse and aggression!
The Christ who gave his life that we might live!

[/quote]

What is wrong with it specifically? It seems to me to state quite explicitly things that we as Christians need to pay attention to, rather than continue on in our own little worlds, heedless of the poor, the vulnerable, the sick, dying, etc.

I have never heard it, so I don't know the tune, rhythm, etc. It sounds like it would serve well for an Offertory hymn, or a post-Communion meditation.


#3

I suppose I would ask, what is it you take issue with? Is there a particular lyric that is offensive?


#4

The song is okay for non-liturgical use. It is a nonsacred-style Christian song. I don't have any problem with the lyrics, but they do seem to be a bit incomplete and open to misinterpretation. Why not include the unborn and victims of euthanasia? Or those who lack religious freedom? There are voices that challenge us in those important ways as well.

Currently, there is a big voice challenging the LCWR to return to it's Catholicity.

Let's add a verse or two to complete the song!


#5

I have four objections to this song, namely:

1) This is not a liturgical song and shouldn't be used at Mass. It is a fine religious song, a nice hymn, and could be used in other settings, but not the Mass.

2) The Church has given us what we ought to be singing (i.e. the Propers) so let's sing it. We need to sing the Mass, not sing at Mass.

3) The song (like so many modern hymns) is too focused on "us" on the "people." Compare that to the Ordinary (Kyrie, Gloria, etc) of the Mass, which is focused on God and on our sinfulness, no triumphant "we are the voice of God" there, rather we find "You alone are the Holy One" and "Lord have mercy."

4) You can't tell me there is nothing better to be singing in the centuries and centuries of Catholic music.

God bless.


#6

Proposal for completion of song:

Voices that challenge.
The ones still unborn, in their mother's womb waiting
Or frozen in time as they wait for the thaw.
The elderly brother now deemed to expensive.
Voices that challenge
The consciences of all the people so strangled
By those who oppress their beliefs and push down
Their voices of reason and true moderation.
Voices that challenge.
The call of Apostles to heed true religion.
The call of fidelity to Truth in our witness
The call of the full sign of true contradiction...
Voices that challenge!

There. Now I feel better.


#7

[quote="opus101, post:4, topic:338115"]
The song is okay for non-liturgical use. It is a nonsacred-style Christian song. I don't have any problem with the lyrics, but they do seem to be a bit incomplete and open to misinterpretation. Why not include the unborn and victims of euthanasia? Or those who lack religious freedom? There are voices that challenge us in those important ways as well.

Currently, there is a big voice challenging the LCWR to return to it's Catholicity.

Let's add a verse or two to complete the song!

[/quote]

"Okay for non-liturgical use". Thank you, I could not find the way to say it and make sure I would not offend anyone. Have found out that tact is not my forte.!

If they sang this song during Mass I would not approve. IMHO


#8

[quote="CB_Catholic, post:2, topic:338115"]

I have never heard it, so I don't know the tune, rhythm, etc. It sounds like it would serve well for an Offertory hymn, or a post-Communion meditation.

[/quote]

last.fm/music/David+Haas/_/Voices+That+Challenge

Sounds kind of like something from a 1970 "Up With People" concert.


#9

The USCCB's Subcommitee on music in the Liturgy gave a presentation to the bishops in general on the role of music in the liturgy

Here is the slidedeck and notes

authorstream.com/Presentation/VolteMort-10448-MUSIC-FDLC-new-music-fdlcnew-ppt-powerpoint/

Generally, liturgical music should be Trinitarian, Christological or Mariological in nature. This does not seem to qualifiy on those grounds.

So I would agree with previous posters, it's is a good song, but it is not Catholic liturgical music.


#10

[quote="Brendan, post:9, topic:338115"]
The USCCB's Subcommitee on music in the Liturgy gave a presentation to the bishops in general on the role of music in the liturgy

Here is the slidedeck and notes

authorstream.com/Presentation/VolteMort-10448-MUSIC-FDLC-new-music-fdlcnew-ppt-powerpoint/

Generally, liturgical music should be Trinitarian, Christological or Mariological in nature. This does not seem to qualifiy on those grounds.

So I would agree with previous posters, it's is a good song, but it is not Catholic liturgical music.

[/quote]

Thanks for the link!
It refers mostly, if not entirely, to the text of the music.
I appreciate the info a lot, but wonder why the actual compositional and performance styles are not mentioned.


#11

[quote="opus101, post:10, topic:338115"]
Thanks for the link!
It refers mostly, if not entirely, to the text of the music.
I appreciate the info a lot, but wonder why the actual compositional and performance styles are not mentioned.

[/quote]

This link was in regards to the US Bishops work on compliance with Liturgicam Authenticam. In addition to driving the new translation of the Roman Missal, it also required an evaluation of the integrity of liturgical music. It required the bishops of the each country to produce guidelines on the texts of liturgical music. It did not address the style of music itself, but the content of text, what the focus of liturgical music should be.


#12

I agree that the text is of utmost importance. But as far as liturgical music is concerned, it needs to be written in one of the styles associated with sacred music. Even newly composed sacred music has certain guidelines to fulfill, totally separate from the text.
Secular styles and instrumentations remove the pieces from the realm of the sacred, and place most of them in the category of secular-style Christian pop music.

So far, the only U.S. Bishops (as far as I know) who have addressed this problem in a well-educated and knowledgeable way are Bishops Olmsted and Sample. It would be good for Bishops who have no serious musical education to acknowledge the expertise of those who do.


#13

Like nearly all of the songs the "music ministry" has us try to sing at Mass now, this song is all about 'we the people', and I refuse to sing such songs. Too many pastors and the people that lead in the music in church have forgotten that we are there to worship God, not ourselves. I refuse to sing any song that pats ourselves on the back and there is way too much singing about "our brokenness". Why aren't we singing about the victory of Jesus instead of how "broken" we are. We know we aren't perfect but do we have to perpetually sing about it? The music we should sing should be to sing TO God, FOR God, ABOUT God, IN PRAISE OF God, not to ourselves, for ourselves, about ourselves, in praise of ourselves, patting ourselves on the back. We are the body of Christ, yes, but we are not Christ. Jesus is the center of the Church and the Mass, not us. Needless to say, I don't sing much at Mass any more, because I am there to worship God, not myself. Lay people have a place in the Church and the Mass, but it is the pastor who is the boss, and pastors need to take the upper hand if the music doesn't reflect worship of God. I have no desire to constantly sing about social justice and pastors need to remember that not everyone approves of the choices of music. They might want to consider that when they get frustrated as to why so few people are singing.


#14

[quote="opus101, post:12, topic:338115"]
I agree that the text is of utmost importance. But as far as liturgical music is concerned, it needs to be written in one of the styles associated with sacred music. Even newly composed sacred music has certain guidelines to fulfill, totally separate from the text.
Secular styles and instrumentations remove the pieces from the realm of the sacred, and place most of them in the category of secular-style Christian pop music.

So far, the only U.S. Bishops (as far as I know) who have addressed this problem in a well-educated and knowledgeable way are Bishops Olmsted and Sample. It would be good for Bishops who have no serious musical education to acknowledge the expertise of those who do.

[/quote]

Im sorry but you are attempting to go far beyond where the Vatican has defined.
The Vatican has stated that Plain Chant, and in particular Gregorian Chant should be upheld as a "Gold Standard" of liturgical music. They recommend that all other musical forms and styles should be compared to that form.
On the other hand they explicitly state that no instrument and no musical style is explicitly banned or to be avoided. There is a strong case for the inculturation of the Church into the culture and time of every missionary activity.

As each new generation grows up they become in turn a new missionary field.

The shame is where you can go from one end of a deanery to another and never hear a mass celebrated according to the "Gold Standard" - A sung Mass, with sung propers / antiphons / Graduale all in a form of traditional Chant - with full and proper congreational participation.

It is explicitly good and to be desired however that other forms should be available. This includes the "Traditional Hymns" that we are all familiar with, which have for the most part been inherited directly or in genre from our protestant bretheren.
This includes the "Folk Mass" with guitars and other instruments leading the music, and a more up-beat musical style.
This included "Praise and worship" style music and "Christian Rock" styles.
This includes outreach masses where modern genres of popular music may be used (but explicitly written for worship... not trying to "Baptise" a generic pop song)

In all these cases, however, it is not good enough to just say a musical selection vaugley fits the theme of the mass or that it is by a christian artist.
It must properly fit the themes of the mass. It must properly fit the time of the mass for which it is used.

Whenever possible the first places to introduce music in the Mass is for the Propers and Ordinary of the mass. The Gloria, the Psalm (not to be replaced with any generic hymn there's a Psalm of the day - use it), the Alleluia, possibly the Creed The Sanctus, the Consecration Acclamation, the Great Amen, the Our Father. There should be a Hymn during the distribution of Holy Communion. It should draw the congregation to worship the Lord who they are receiving. It should be for the whole congregation to sing together.

Then the use of a Entrance, the Offertory, and the recessional may be considered. These should be inspired by the Antiphons and/or Graduale.

Hymns and other music used should be carefully selected and assessed for good theology. there's far to many hymns in our hymnbooks that contain bad theology and some are downright heretical

Another important factor is the musical and artistic quality of the music chosen. It is not good enough to select just any musical dross. Music should be selected which is objectively of a high musical/artistic quality in both the music and the Lyrics used.
This is not a comment on musical Taste, as that is a topic which we will never all agree on. it's about the simple fact that some "Art" is just objectively bad, and other art is masterful whether one likes the style or not.

It is also important that the music selected is within the skill capabilities of the music ministry to lead it well. whether that be an Organist, Choir, folk group or any other music ministry form.
There is no excuse for playing music that is unrehearsed, beyond your skill level or for music that is beyond the ability of the congregation to join in with.
The job of the music ministry is not to perform, but to lead the congregation in the worship of God through music.

There's a reason why Gregorian CHant is held up as a "Gold Standard".
1) it's easy to sing. It's easy to lead and easy to follow.
2) It puts primacy of place to the words being chanted and not on the musical skill of a "performer"
3) some forms of cant can include Polyphony without sacrificing these ideals.
4) In the acoustics of a traditional church building the long reverberation times mean that faster musical forms quickly result in the meaning of the words becoming lost in the reverberant "Mush". Traditional Chant is slow and designed explicitly to avoid this.
5) It's been refined and made beautiful for over 1000 years. it's part of the heritage and treasure of the Church.

Some people complain that other forms of music are not "Sacred" based on the instruments or musical styles used. Very frequently people accuse the Guitar of being incapable of producing "Sacred" music. This is, I would point out, a matter of personal taste and interpretation, and nothing to do with objective fact, nor to the scriptures which repeatedly exhort us to Clap our Hands, beat Drums, play Tambourines, Play the Lyar (a strummed 10 stringed instrument), and other stringed instruments. To "Make a Joyfull Noise" and to "Sing a new song to The Lord"


#15

All that said. I don't see the David Haas song listed above as meeting the objective standards required. It contains some theology, but those messages are far better portrayed in other musical choices. It's theology is wide open to misinterpretation. It's certainly not a prayer, or any form of worship.
I can see some scriptural inspiration in it, but it's far divorced from the writings of the prophets that led to its lyrics.

I must say I'm no fan of the David Haas music I've come across before. I've never thought it was well written.


#16

[quote="LouisvilleRC, post:1, topic:338115"]
I heard this song at mass and wondered if it was OK for use in all of your opinions? We really use some wacky music at my parish (We have the Catholic Community Hymnal and Glory & Praise)

Voices that Challenge by David Hass

Call us to hear the voices that challenge
Deep in the hearts of all people!

By serving your world as lovers and dreamers,
We become voices that challenge!
For we are the voice of God!

Voices that challenge:
The children who long to be heard and respected!
The lowly and broken destroyed by oppression!
The old and the fearful who hope for a new day!
Voices that challenge:
The lives and the cries of the poor and the silenced!
The young ones who dream of a world free of hatred!
The sick and the dying who cry for compassion!

Voices that challenge:
The ones who seek peace by their witness and courage!
The women who suffer the pain of injustice!
The people with AIDS and those plagued with addiction!
The prophets and heroes who call us to question!
The healers who teach us forgiveness and mercy!
The victims of violent abuse and aggression!
The Christ who gave his life that we might live!

[/quote]

No problem with is liturgically and it's use in mass. A very appropriate song for the presentation of the gifts after hearing the word. The words are simply restating the Gospel with modern issues. The same as a good homily on social justice would do. Perhaps not all issues are addressed, but neither did Christ address all issues with one parable.
Deacon Frank


#17

[quote="FAB, post:16, topic:338115"]
No problem with is liturgically and it's use in mass. A very appropriate song for the presentation of the gifts after hearing the word. The words are simply restating the Gospel with modern issues. The same as a good homily on social justice would do. Perhaps not all issues are addressed, but neither did Christ address all issues with one parable.
Deacon Frank

[/quote]

When you say "No problem with this liturgically" are you referring to the text alone, or the music as well? The text plus the music = song. Otherwise we could just recite poetry instead of singing.

The style of music and the way it is rendered is not consistent with guidelines for liturgical music.

The recurring chorus (at top) emphasizes "us". "We are the voice of God". If "we" are the voice of God, He contradicts Himself constantly.

Nevertheless, I realize it probably means something like "We are God's hands and feet", etc.

I find it a bit amorphically gooey in the "lovers and dreamers" part. Even embarrassingly silly.

A great tune for a 1960's-70's Luv show.
It would also work at a Peter, Paul and Mary concert.

Probably would also work in a very ecumenical setting, as "God" is mentioned only once, and only as someone that we represent. Christ and the Holy Spirit are absent, as well as any reference to redemption and salvation.

Personally, I think it is a great song to help people salve their consciences...they'll end up feeling great about themselves and how comassionate they are, being "God's voice" and all.


#18

Ran out of time above.

The song is ultimately about us. It's not about, "Lord have mercy on those who suffer", or "Lord, help us to help them", it's about all of us wonderful lovers and dreamers who are the Voices that Challenge. It's "us". "We" are the voice of God. "We" challenge others.

This is problematic for many reasons. It could easily be the theme song of the LCWR or any group of dissenting "believers", because the issues listed are ones that everyone would agree upon, and it avoids controversial issues like the sufferings of the unborn who are butchered, those who are euthanized, those who are scandalized by by sacrilege, those who are lead astray by future millstone wearers, those who seek truth and are given falsehood instead...the list goes on and on.


#19

It also gives no evidence of being a Christian song...it is theistic in the refrain, but could be representative of any theistic religion. That's not a bad thing, but when it comes to Catholic liturgical music, you would think it would be identifiably Christian.

Like any "fringe" type thing, it is what's absent that is more telling than what is present. Like those book companies that cater to what we call "Traditionalists"...while most of the books are not heretical, it is what's missing that gives them away. Try to find a book on or by Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, the Documents of the Second Vatican Council, books by Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI, etc. Some companies do not carry a single book by or about anyone who lived/wrote after the 1950's.

This song reminds me of that type of thing. It's what is missing that is problematic.


#20

It reeks of 1960s liberal peace pot and love. And it is not Christian specifically. But the biggest reason I would never use this song in Mass is because of it's obvious exploitation and rampant infestation of the exclamation point.


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