Was there any patriotic music at your parish this weekend?

I asked a similar question a few weeks back, around Memorial Day, and got some interesting responses.

Here’s what happened at my parish at the 5 pm Mass Saturday night.

Following the prayer after communion, the leader of song invited everyone to remain standing to sing our national anthem.

Not “America” or “God Bless America.”  They sang the official anthem of the United States.

And when the congregation finished, they applauded.

I felt like I was at a baseball game.

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14 responses to “Was there any patriotic music at your parish this weekend?”

  1. My question is — did anyone talk to the Leader of Song and the musician to tell them how inappropriate that was? Oh, I’m sorry I am assuming the pastor did not agree with this. My guess is the pastor didnt see anything wrong with this. And that’s the real problem.

  2. Am going to Mass at 10:30; our choir director asked me to play “Faith of Our Fathers” for entrance, and “America the Beautiful” for exit, on the organ. I’m thinking about playing “God of Our Fathers” for a postlude; we don’t ever seem to sing it, but it is a nice stately and solemn piece to play with lots of stops pulled out.

    [“God of Our Fathers” is our recessional hymn this weekend — what a great old barnbuster! And you’re right: we don’t sing it much, either. It’s great to hear. Dcn. G.]

  3. At the Vigil Mass last night (for which I was cantor) and all the Masses today, our pastor requested that we sing “America the Beautiful” as the recessional hymn. Everyone stayed for all four verses (which I can tell you almost never happens), and there were quite a few emotional voices (including my own) after the lines “Thine alabster cities gleam / Undimmed by human tears.” I thought the tribute was appropriate, considering it was a hymn and not an anthem and sung as a recessional and not an “add-on”.

  4. I’d love to do “Jerusalem”, but you have to be British to pull that off. Maybe someone could write suitable American Catholic words.

  5. We sang God Bless America as our recessional hymn.

    And while I agree the Anthem should not have been included in the Mass, I do believe that we forget that the original poem is 4 stanzas long, the last being this:

    O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
    Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
    Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

  6. We did “Eternal Father, Strong to Save” (The Navy Hymn) as our recessional and the Music Director said he was doing all four verses — Pastor said “Fine.” He and I stayed at the altar through the end of verse two and then we processed out.

  7. As Dcn G observed, we don’t sing “Faith of Our Fathers” much any more. I think it is because it is not politically (or in this case religiously) correct. It has also been censored from some song books. Maybe if it could be re-worded to “Faith of Our Mothers and Fathers.”
    On the other hand, some surveys I have seen claim part of the “feminization” of the Church that has driven many men away has been caused by the dumping of much music which appealed to men.
    Another beautiful old powerful hymn officially banned by some churches and song books is “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Yet it was a big favorite of the Civil Rights Movement and famous Catholics like Robert F. Kennedy and most men and young people I know consider that one of their favorite hymns. But what do they know about what is religiously proper???

  8. Well, Deacon, here’s how I get around it. Usually, it is sung in my parish at Thanksgiving.

    I alternate Singing Faith of our Fathers, then change it to Faith of our Mothers when the term comes up again.

    And nobody knows the difference.

    After all, which sex is doing the most work in preparing the Thanksgiving dinner?

  9. John — We still sing it but it has a different — more politically correct — title: “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory.”

  10. Just a picky choir geek aside on comment #8; “Faith of Our Fathers” and “God of Our Fathers” aren’t the same song. “Faith of Our Fathers”, usually sung to the tune St. Catherine, is a traditional Catholic hymn, the lyrics written by Frederick Faber. It is still pretty commonly used. “God of Our Fathers”, also dubbed the “National Hymn”, is more from the Protestant tradition, and that is probably why a lot of Catholics aren’t familiar with it, though it is a good hymn for patriotic occasions.
    pcstokell, I’m glad to hear that “O Day of Peace” will work with the “Jerusalem” tune, which I have always liked.

  11. We had both “Faith of our Fathers” and “God Bless America” at our mass today at recessional. Father said he had been discussing either and they decided to do both and everyone stayed and sang all the verses including those in the recessional who stayed at the door until both ended. We then had coffee, donuts and more in the parish hall after mass.

    We have set up a wall of honor for all those from the parish serving in the war on terror with a special section for those wounded and for the two so far who have given their lives.

    In two weeks we have our annual Credo: I Believe weekend with the youth of our parish. http://www.credoibelieve.org/ which many of the youth are looking forward to after 9/11 ten year anniversary.

    [Edited to remove gratuitous swipe at Islam. — Ed.]

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