Aw, But “Mary Did You Know?” is such a beautiful song!

Aw, But “Mary Did You Know?” is such a beautiful song! December 1, 2014

Yeah, well. light heresy And Mary said: 
   “My soul glorifies the Lord 
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 
for he has been mindful 
      of the humble state of his servant. 
   From now on all generations will call me blessed, 
    for the Mighty One has done great things for me— 
      holy is his name. 
His mercy extends to those who fear him, 
      from generation to generation. 
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; 
      he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 
He has brought down rulers from their thrones 
      but has lifted up the humble. 
He has filled the hungry with good things 
      but has sent the rich away empty. 
He has helped his servant Israel, 
      remembering to be merciful 
to Abraham and his descendants forever, 
      even as he said to our fathers.” This song is fine as a conversation starter, but as a hymn, or as an expression of Catholic theology? Nyet. Check out Mark Shea’s point-by-point analysis of why this song is “a step forward for Evangelical culture, but a step backward for Catholic culture.” 

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  • rozdieterich

    Pardon, but I think that the suffering part of what was ahead was revealed to Mary by Simeon at the presentation in the temple. And there’s nothing in the Magnificat that Mary could not have prayed before the annunciation. Yah, there is that Immaculate Conception thing. I don’t think it’s worth bringing out the big cannons for. (I might be over-sensitive about this since my pastor tends to talk as if omniscience is more than I think it is.)

    Anyway, thank you Simcha and carry on.

  • Emily Kimmel

    At least it’s not “The Christmas Shoes”.

    • Amen to that. I kid you not, I once sat through a homily, given in all seriousness, where the priest recounted how he had once stood behind a couple of kids at the checkout on Christmas eve, how they were buying a pair of shoes for their mother who was ill, etc, etc, right down to the “please hurry sir, we don’t have much time, we want her to look beautiful tonight..” I almost died when I suddenly realized he was passing off “The Christmas Shoes” as his own story. He attempted to tie it into a message about doing little things with great love, or something of the sort. #1 worst homily I’ve ever heard.

  • TheReluctantWidow

    I can’t stand this song. I just want to scream “No! No, she did not KNOW but she knew he was God’s own Son, and that she had been chosen to be part of something awesome. So back off with your cheesiness.”

  • donttouchme

    I had a job once in a Christian book store/gift shop and we had to listen to that on a loop. I got fired for not organizing the Bible covers good enough and for kicking in the door to the manager’s office, which I never did, but she didn’t believe it wasn’t me. It’s weird because the only other people who worked there were mousey homeschooler girl types. One of them broke down the door. Protestant music is the worst. That and the newest Veggie Tales movie for 10 hours straight.

  • Bibliophile

    Wait- are you opposed to Kenny Rogers’ “Mary Did you Know?” or the Magnificat song?

    • snogo

      The Kenny Rogers song is the same one, there are a few different renditions of it.

  • Anna

    I always want to punch this song. It’s like the writer thought Mary had amnesia about the whole conversation with the angel.

    • I have a different perspective… although I personally dislike the song, I don’t think Mary had a clue how Jesus would save us. She acted in faith by saying yes, not knowing the full picture.

      • Anna

        I don’t say she knew every detail, but the song lyrics are all about how clueless she was that Jesus was the Savior and the Son of God in spite of the fact that the angel was quite emphatic on those points.

      • Allison Grace

        Agreed. Sinless does not mean omniscient. Pious Jews all knew that a Savior was coming and what the Isaiah prophesies said. It was all poetic, though, they didn’t Really Know.

  • Leila Miller

    The big heresy in the song is the idea that Jesus would “soon deliver” Mary. Um, no. Mary was already and always Immaculate, even as she cradled her Baby Boy. She had already been delivered, long before she delivered Jesus.

    • The deliverance of Mary was won in Christ, just like it was won for all humankind.

      She may have been conceived without original sin, but the life death and Resurrection of Jesus is still the place where that salvation was attained.

      • Leila Miller

        Absolutely, but at the moment she was holding her “Baby Boy” (as per the song), she had already been the recipient of that deliverance won on the Cross. She had received that fullness of grace at the moment of her conception. So the “will soon deliver you” can only make sense if the song were written from a Protestant understanding (which it was), i.e., that Mary was still waiting, like the rest of humanity, in her sin. Of course we know that idea to be heretical.

        • ProLife Mom of 6

          Unless you ask the question….If Mary was delivered at the time of her conception….could or would that stand in exclusion of the Cross? Was there any contingency…such as the giving His Body at the Last Supper? Was the giving up of the Body of Christ…..though eaten prior to the Crucifixion….dependent on the Crucifixion happening? I have never thought the writer of the song was asking Mary these questions literally, but in an awesome thought musing sort of way….pure poetry. And though Mary did not need redemption…she participated in the redemption of the Human Race won on the Cross both in advance and at the time of the Crucifixion.

    • Emily

      Three cheers for Leila. That is EXACTLY what is incorrect with this song. I have a friend who loves the son ut always replaces “will soon” to “has” 🙂

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      Who told you THAT?,Leila? The so-called ” Protoevangelium of James “? Tell me, Leila, if catholics believe in the veracity of this”gospel “, why isn’t it in the canon of the New Testament?

  • Guest

    So my natural inclination to stop the music video as soon as the doo wop business in the dark cave started was the correct choice. Cool.

  • Louise

    Thank you for saying this. When I first heard it, I thought the words were, you know, a bit hereticy. Yes, it is sung beautifully by Pentatonix, but that just means more people listen to it. 🙁

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      It’s sung even better by Cee-lo Green from the”Son of God”movie.Relax, catholics…Sheesh. Your world won’t collapse because of a song that’s got you all bent out of shape. If you want, just view it as rhetorical, as someone has suggested. PEACE.

  • Anna

    I have to say I find it very funny that the big bearded guy’s* blog readers appear from the comments to nearly all be fans of sap, while the mommy blogger’s readers are nearly unanimous in detesting this song…

    *Not Santa; Mark Shea.

  • Stephen Miller

    Simcha did you know that questions can be rhetorical?

  • Jyb

    Thank you. Every time I hear this song I am compelled to point out that, yes, as a matter of fact Mary did know. My husband then asks me to vacate my soapbox. 🙂

  • KarenJo12

    “Mary Did You Know” is a Protestant song and demonstrates our theology of her role, which is the one actually in the Bible, not the one made up by the hierarchy. It isn’t Catholic and isn’t intended to be.


    Mary was immaculately conceived. The thing is, was she aware? “Mary was alarmed and ponder what greeting this might be.”

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      Speaking only for myself, I don’t believe that the idea of Mary being”immaculately conceived”can be Biblically proved, otherwise the so-called ” Protoevangelium of James ” would have been placed in the canon of the New Testament. It’s a pious, fraudulent fairytale.

      • Laurence Charles Ringo

        Uhh…No,Joseph.I’m afraid you’re sounding just a tad inconsistent here.You claim that…”the Catholic Church validated the perpetual belief of Christians regarding the Immaculate Conception”…,and yet you would have us believe that your Church did that WITHOUT including the Protoevangelium of James within the Bible you keep insisting you gave the world? SERIOUSLY? Exactly who is supposed to believe that,Joseph? Your use of the Trinity to attempt to make your point is simply bizarre;exegeting that particular doctrine is easy enough;Almighty God’s Triune nature is easy enough to discern,if one knows where to look.But the concept of Mary’s mother,traditionally named Anne,conceiving her in the matter in which you Catholics claim must be explained within the established canon,otherwise it’s impossible to explain the exclusion of such a presumably singularly important doctrine from said canon,which simply cannot be done.(At the very least,YOU haven’t done so.)—So…try again Joseph,and don’t try to throw up pseudo – hermeneutical”smoke and mirrors”,O.K? Just explain why,given the importance you Catholics give to the gospel that relates very specific details of what you claim validates your beliefs about Mary’s activities inre her interaction with the Infant Jesus,why this seemingly VERY important account is excluded from the established canon.It simply makes NO theological sense to do so,and I’m waiting for someone to explain the exclusion.So far,you’ve proven yourself unqualified to do so,Joseph.—PEACE IN CHRIST.

  • Regina

    I dedicate this little diddy to Clay Aiken:
    Clayton did you know. . .
    that your Bible exegesis would make the Catholics shudder
    Clayton did you know. . .
    that your Bible exegesis makes us want to defend our Mother
    Did you know
    that your Bible didn’t come gold lined and packaged all brand new
    That the title Theotokos is historical and used as early as 252?

    Clayton did you know
    that all generations would call my mother Blessed
    Clayton, did you know
    That for 1500 years, her virginity was uncontested?
    Did you know
    That we could not have our beloved Baby boy
    Without the humble “fiat” from the Cause of all our Joy

    Clayton did you know.. Oh Yes it is True

    Solomon’s queen mother
    Esther’s people
    See how women helped them all
    Deborah leads
    Hannah grieves
    And still they heed the call

    Clayton, did you know
    that the ark was just a taste of better things of yet to come?
    Clayton, did you know
    A priestly staff, a better law and the bread of life that saves with just one crumb?
    Did you know
    that to love this humble woman
    Takes nothing from the great I AM