[quote="jeannetherese, post:8, topic:322045"]
Changing words without permission seems disrespectful to the author.
Many authors are dead or unknown, and many hymns and carols are in the public domain already. Public domain means open season on words, music, harmonies, extra verses, fewer verses, you have it.
One interesting thing that happened to GIA was this. In the Gather hymnal there was a certain edition where the editors decided to use "inclusive language" for some hymns. I believe that both "horizontal" and "vertical" inclusive language was introduced. Unfortunately for GIA, some of those authors were still alive, and complained vociferously that their work was changed without permission. GIA printed an apology in the introduction to their next edition of Gather and changed some of the words back.
It is common practice today, even by orthodox Catholic translators, to attempt to use inclusive language for the "horizontal" uses (those which refer to human beings and not God.) You can see it in the new Roman Missal and the new NAB-RE Bible. "Brethren" may become "Brothers and sisters" (or an option of either one) for example. But to be scrupulously avoided is the "vertical" use of inclusive language: that is, referring to God in neutral or feminine terms. Gather did this kind of thing: instead of "His" they would insert "God's", and I have heard it done liturgically, in another parish, the "Gloria" and other parts of the Mass were peppered with vertical inclusive language. It seemed to be an initiative of the people but condoned by the priests there.
Unfortunately, the standard of Political Correctness marches on, and the prevailing culture is rapidly approaching new milestones here. Catholics are called to be counter-cultural. Let's not give in to trends and fads. The vernacular should be prudently updated to current usage, but never in response to militant feminists or homosexualists.