The song “Mary Did You Know” is heretical.

Many Catholics are not aware of the fact that the song “Mary Did You Know”, is heretical.

“Mary Did You Know” is a very popular song with many Catholics. Many, however, are not aware that the song in heretical and should not be performed in Catholic venues. Below is a critique of this song by two orthodox priests.

Fr. M. Wrote:

Your suspicions regarding "Mary, Did You Know?" are correct. The very title of the song is misleading. We need to remember some of the effects of Mary's Immaculate Conception. One effect was that she received the same gifts that Adam and Eve had before the Fall. One set of gifts Adam and Eve had are the preternatural gifts, of which there were 3 kinds. The one of most interest to this discussion is infused knowledge. Infused knowledge is a special knowledge of the providence of God. It is the ability to see in the natural the supernatural of what God is doing. Mary saw the supernatural ramifications of all that Jesus said and did. Recall that Luke tells us that Mary "pondered all these things in her heart."

Also, Mary was "full of grace" from the moment of her conception. Her will was completely united to the will of God at all times. She experienced throughout her life the "transforming union", the pinnacle of the spiritual life possible here one earth. Souls in that state of union have a much greater knowledge and love of God, the spiritual writers teach us. Plus, Mary knew the Hebrew Scriptures intimately. So she knew that Jesus was the Incarnate Word of God (Lk. 1) as well as the Suffering Servant of Yahweh (Is 52-53). She also knew from Simeon's words that she would suffer with Him. Conclusion: she knew a lot more than is implied by the song "Mary, Did You Know?". Please do not include that song in your repertoire. Hope all this helps.

Fr. A, Wrote:

You hit the nail on the head re: the lyrics of the song. My concerns are the same as yours. The song is an appeal to the mystery surrounding the Incarnation and Nativity. That's fine, as far as it goes. The lyrics, however, leave the door open to erroneous and heretical opinions, thanks to their ambiguity. I would avoid performing or promoting the song for that reason.

1 Like

I have never heard of the song you mention and you did not show us the lyrics.
However, the two priests you quoted did NOT say the lyrics were heretical. Read the quoted comments you posted again and tell us where they say the song is heretical.

azlyrics.com/lyrics/clayaiken/marydidyouknow.html

Above are the lyrics.

Love the line where she's asked if she knew when she kissed Him, she was kissing the face of God.

IMO, Mary is being asked a series of questions. What is needed is the second part of the song where Mary answers....."Yes, I did Know."

Mary's knowing is what makes her so very special. Because she knew He would be crucified.

How could it be heretical to ask a question, without providing an answer?:whistle:

For Heaven's sake it's a stinkin' song-not a theological thesis.Song-poetry.? Poetic license ?

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Fr. A, Wrote:

“You hit the nail on the head re: the lyrics of the song. My concerns are the same as yours. The song is an appeal to the mystery surrounding the Incarnation and Nativity. That’s fine, as far as it goes. The lyrics, however, leave the door open to erroneous and heretical opinions, thanks to their ambiguity. I would avoid performing or promoting the song for that reason”.

Perhaps I should have said the song is theologically inaccurate. In any case, both priests reccomended that the song not be performed in Catholic venues.

I like the song. Whenever I hear it, it gives me reason to pause and reflect. If it does the same for others during this season of increasing contention, then 'bah' to "Catholic venues."

How can a question be inaccurate? :confused:

In reply to THISTLE

*Fr. A, Wrote:

"You hit the nail on the head re: the lyrics of the song. My concerns are the same as yours. The song is an appeal to the mystery surrounding the Incarnation and Nativity. That's fine, as far as it goes. The lyrics, however, leave the door open to erroneous and heretical opinions, thanks to their ambiguity. I would avoid performing or promoting the song for that reason".
*
Perhaps I should have said the song is theologically inaccurate. In any case, both priests recommended that the song not be performed in Catholic venues. Do you disagree with what they said?

Even though the song may have been written only for entertainment, it still can send a message to the audience and be confusing to the uninformed. From a Catholic songwriting point of view, the lyrics of a song should never be confusing about matters of doctrine or Church teachings. In whatever form of expression, music, poetry, essays or everyday speech, our actions or example, etc, we should always try to lead people to Christ, not away from Him. We should always be cautious about statements concerning Church teachings, when those statements come from secular sources, especially if they are disguised in the form of an innocent sounding song.

Even though no answer is given, asking a question is a good way to put doubt into the mind of the listener.

I always want to scream "YES"

[quote="stccp, post:11, topic:178756"]
Even though no answer is given, asking a question is a good way to put doubt into the mind of the listener.

[/quote]

Doubt about what?

Doubt about all the affirming qualities of the Incarnation?

Exactly, how many people here would be defending a hymn that asked questions such as

“Did you know that blacks are inferior”

or “Did you know that gays should be beaten”

Sure, both of those go against Catholic teaching, but if the correct answer isn’t provided, would that make the question OK?

What would be the purpose in asking such clearly erronous propositions?

If we looked at those lyrics, even though we all should know that correct, Catholic, answers to those questions, would anyone consider the lyrics to be an accurate reflection of Catholic teaching?

Would anyone chalk it up to poetic license?

Even if Mary’s answer to these questions was “Wow, I didn’t know that!” or “That’s really neat! I’m glad I learned something today!” the very nature of the questions are affirmative of the Incarnation and what that signifies for all of humanity, including Mary. The last time I checked my catechism, it was the Incarnation we celebrate this time of year, the coming of the Great King, or as the song says, “heaven’s perfect Lamb.”

While I’ll grant that the song does throw up a red flag concerning the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, it at least doesn’t explicitly deny Mary’s role as Theotokos, which, at last observation, is coming under fire more and more frequently by Protestants, academics and other secular-minded people.

Listen to Gregorian Chant this Christmas if you want, but I’m at least glad that Our Blessed Mother is getting some exposure on national airwaves even if it’s not up to par with the Catechism – but what is anymore?

This thread seems like a big case of “Get over yourself.”

[quote="stccp, post:1, topic:178756"]

You hit the nail on the head re: the lyrics of the song. My concerns are the same as yours. The song is an appeal to the mystery surrounding the Incarnation and Nativity. That's fine, as far as it goes. The lyrics, however, leave the door open to erroneous and heretical opinions, thanks to their ambiguity. I would avoid performing or promoting the song for that reason.

[/quote]

I do not have a lot of value of a priest that does not understand heresy. Using poetic license is not obstinate denial of truth. Asking questions is a form of expression. I would think the repetetive nature of the questions would be obvious. Is the bishop ignorant of Church doctrine when he asks questions of confirmation candidates? Are they ignorant because they are asked. Does the Psalmist imply God is ignorant when he employs questions? If this song is heresy for using this technique, then the Bible itself is heresy. No, I would rather believe the author of this opinion let his anti-protestantism get the better of his logic.

For me the doubt infered regards Mary not knowing that Christ is the Son of God and what His life would be like.

Catholic children are taught at an early age that Mary did know because she was raised as a devout Jew and knew the prophets. She knew what she was being asked to do when Gabriel visited her. She knew she’d raise this child, love Him, watch Him grow, and then watch Him be viciously killed on the cross. She knew what was being asked of her and she said yes. That is the wonder of Mary.

[quote="Epistemes, post:15, topic:178756"]
Even if Mary's answer to these questions was "Wow, I didn't know that!" or "That's really neat! I'm glad I learned something today!" the very nature of the questions are affirmative of the Incarnation and what that signifies for all of humanity, including Mary. The last time I checked my catechism, it was the Incarnation we celebrate this time of year, the coming of the Great King, or as the song says, "heaven's perfect Lamb."

[/quote]

Technically, we celebrate the Incarnation at the Feast of the Annunciation, as that is when Christ became Incarnate.

Christmas is the celebration of the Manifestation of the Incarnate Word. In other words, the Nativity of Our Lord.

Listen to Gregorian Chant this Christmas if you want, but I'm at least glad that Our Blessed Mother is getting some exposure on national airwaves even if it's not up to par with the Catechism -- but what is anymore?

Quite a lot actually. Why promulgate falsehood about Mary? Are we as Catholics supposed to be in the role of assisting in the promulgation of that which is not true?

There are plenty of other songs that correctly tell of Mary's role in the Mystery of the Christ Mass.

I’ve got to say, I think many of you are missing the message of the song entirely. The question the song explores is: “*How *can a woman possibly fathom the mystery incarnate in the Christ, much less in being the *mother *of that very Christ?”

We ought to agree to this much: that Mary was a human being, with the thoughts and emotions and limitations that are entailed by humanness. (So was Jesus, although perhaps “limitations” ought not apply when one has chosen those limitations). Mary was not a Scripture scholar, and it is very unlikely that she had the idea that the Messiah would die an agonizing death.

Let’s look at what Scripture tells us she knew:

He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

There is no indication that she was anything but joyous before Jesus was born, although there is a sense of some anxiety when we hear (in Jesus’ childhood) that she “kept all these things in her heart”. This is likely due to Simeon’s prophecy:

Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

We have no reason to suppose that Mary received any other extraordinary revelations, although it is certainly likely that she “knew”, in some sense, that “when she kissed her little baby, she kissed the face of God”. And yet…

How could she *know *such a thing? That is, how could she comprehend it? Who can fathom the glory of the Most High, and who can take in God under her own humble roof? There is a richness of mystery here, which cannot simply be swept away by answering the song’s questions with “Yes”.

My own humble belief: Mary did not know, in any amount of fullness, the power and the glory and the majesty of God until Jesus died on the Cross. For only then the curtain was torn; only then could we truly behold His glory, as we had the freedom to walk into the Holy of Holies and yet live! Mary was the first to take that step, but I highly doubt she was fully aware of her calling before the very end.

**

[quote="Brendan, post:18, topic:178756"]
Quite a lot actually. Why promulgate falsehood about Mary? Are we as Catholics supposed to be in the role of assisting in the promulgation of that which is not true?

There are plenty of other songs that correctly tell of Mary's role in the Mystery of the Christ Mass.

[/quote]

No, we, as Catholics, are not supposed to be in the role of assisting in the promulgation of that which is not true, and when it comes to this particular song, our conscience can rest easy since this song is faithful to supreme truth that Jesus Christ is Lord of all Creation and was born of a woman. I, for one, love the song and consider Mary my Mother, my Advocate, and my Help. I am consecrated to her, call upon her daily for her assistance, and pray her rosary daily, but this song has *far *from pinched my pious nerve, especially considering that we *Christians * (whatever denomination or church) are suddenly having to fight to keep Christ in Christmas, much less His mother.

This is one of the few religiously themed songs which I hear played on radio stations at Christmastime, and, as I mentioned in my first post, since we're already in a fierce national debate regarding the political correctness of "Christmas," I don't really feel it's expedient for a bunch of lofty-minded orthodox crusaders to be debating the theological astuteness of one of the more beautiful homages to Mother and Child. While there may be "other songs that correctly tell of Mary's role in the Mystery of the Christ Mass," I must confess that I've never heard those played on any local radio stations whereas I have heard the song at the center of this debate played several times, mostly because known pop stars are willing to sing it.

So, please, get your priorities straight.

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