Least favorite hymns

Does anyone else have a hymn that they cannot stand? I do not like the following for one reason or another:

Amazing Grace - too protestant
How Great Thou Art - ditto
Lord of the Dance - like a bad hoe down
Sing a New Church - the melody is nice, the words are horrible
The heavens are telling the glory of God - i forget the title, it might be Canticle of Creation
Almost anything by Marty Haugen - too light and fluffy for Mass
Negro Spirituals - they seem ill fitted for a Mass full of middle to upper class white people.
Any hymn that focuses on us rather than God

Perhaps you’d enjoy reading one of the many, many threads like this that have gone before. Just put “Hymn” in your search box and you’ll get lots!

Happy Easter!


That’s funny. I love all of the first three (Lord of the Dance has more to do with it being played at the first Mass after my aunt died than anything else, but I love Amazing Grace, no matter how its played, and How Great Thou Art always moves me).

How Great Thou Art originated among Ukrainian Catholics as a hymn sung during Supplikatsya (Benediction).

How therefore can it be “too Protestant”.

I’m of the firm conviction that we should only ever hear Amazing Grace played on the pipes with the piper walking away.:smiley:

You completely lost me when you said “Negro spirituals seem ill-fitted for a Mass full of middle to upper class white people.”

That is incredibly sad. Maybe that’s why there aren’t more black Catholics in the U.S.–they know they aren’t welcome.

My parish is 99.9% white and when they try to sing spirituals, it totally lacks rythmn and soul and comes off stilted and awkward. I have been to a “Gospel” Mass full of African Americans and they can pull it off because they really get into it. I did not mean anything racist by it, I am just describing the situation as I see it.

I don’t really like Amazing Grace.

As for the Spirituals, I like them. I used to not like Soon and Very Soon done on the piano which almost every parish in the area does because it is in the OCP Planning Guide, but when I heard one parish do it on organ with a special touch, it sounded very fitting and regal. It would probably sound great in a Tridentine Mass. :smiley:

I also like Swing Low, Sweet Chariot and Uyai Mose.

You’ve got to hear this “classically-styled” rendition of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot:


I would have to say that I probably dislike Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art from hearing them a zillion times. It seems like the mega churches on tv always sing them. It also seems that whenever there is a church congregation portrayed on tv or in the movies, the choir is singing one of those hymns.
One of my favorite hymns is God Beyond All Praising. I think that’s the title. I also like Awake, Awake and sleep no Longer. I’m not good with titles so bear with me.

We sang Were You There? during the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday. It brought tears to my eyes. The fact that it is an African American spiritual doesn’t have any bearing whatsoever on the appropriateness of its use. It was the perfect hymn.

In a similar fashion, I’m sure African American Catholics don’t find it inappropriate to sing moving hymns written by “white folks.” :shrug:

I really think that it depends on when in the Mass they are being sung. I am not the biggest fan of contemporary hymns. My first love in liturgical music are the old Latin hymns of my childhood.

Black Gospel is wonderful to listen to. Although I must agree it just does not hit the mark IMHO when a white middle class group gets together and tries to do it. I could listen all day to them when well done and not at Mass.:smiley:

Amazing Grace is nice again when well done on limited occasions or outside of Mass.

Music at Mass should be Catholic in doctrine and used to exalt God not ourselves.

This being said the music at our church last night (Vigil Mass) was beautiful. It was mostly contemporary and “drums” were used (sorry I don’t like drums at Mass) in some of the songs. The music was not to my taste yet was as I said beautiful. I know that my likes and dislikes are just one of many.

So maybe we need to remember that there are many persons at the Mass and each of them should be glad that the choir is there and they have music at Mass.

The Gloria by Anderson (the one with the clapping…uggh…that one really gets under my skin). It’s not a hymn, but it’s probably my least favorite of my least favorite songs.

I prefer a mixture of traditional-style hymns and traditional-style choral music. I can appreciate contemporary-style music if it isn’t too loud, the lyrics have more substance than most contemporary “praise and worship” music has, the lyrics don’t contain bad theology, and the people who do them aren’t pretending to have talents they don’t have. That being said, the church choir where I went for Good Friday sang some of my favorite choral pieces- they sounded absolutely dreadful…but I loved those pieces so much I was able to look past that.

I agree there are some bad hymns, annoying melodies or terrible lyrics. I can get past that usually.

The worst is when a song is played at an inappropriate time in Mass. Like on good Friday the hymn ‘Jerusalem my Destiny’ was played during communion. Sigh, it was completely to peppy for Good Friday and not the best communion song in the world IMO. I refrained from singing and tried to block it out. Oh well :shrug:


“A Mighty Fortress is Our God” I actually really like it but I think we should leave it to the Lutherans.

Also, right before Lent started “America” and “God Bless America” were sung during Communion :confused: :frowning: :confused: Huh?
Okay, you can sneak in “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as a hymn, but not those two.

I wouldn’t want to sing Amazing Grace during Mass, but I’m ok with the song when it’s sung at other times (once in a while it pops into my head when I’m in the shower). How Great Thou Art is different for me; because it was my grandpa’s favorite song, singing it makes me think of him and I usually get a little emotional.

I don’t know about anyone else, but in my parish hardly anyone sings. My Church can easily have 1,000+ people for Mass and it sounds if a dozen are singing. Maybe some of the hymns would sound better if peope would actually sing.:shrug: Also, I do not mean offense if I criticize someone’s favorite hymn.

   On a side note, has anyone noticed that "Here I am Lord" melody and the Brady Bunch theme are very similar?  Lord of the Dance and the Beverly Hillbillies theme are pretty close too.  ;)

I always end up asking the same question. :smiley: Which “Here I am Lord”? (A) The one that goes “Here, I am, Lord, I’ve come to do your will…” or (B) the one that goes “I, the Lord of sea and sky…”?

There are two of them and it is darn confusing. :eek:

I have never thought of the Brady Bunch when singing “Here I am, Lord” (B). It actually happens to be one of my favorite hymns. I will say I was surprised to see it in the hymnal though, mostly because it was sung fairly often at the protestant church I was attending.

How can anyone have forgot to mention “Gather Us In”??? Like someone is out in the parking lot rounding up all the stray people. Doesn’t that one sound like “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”?

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