From a reader:
The director of music (and Liturgy, sigh) at our parish, a woman with an incredible voice, learned a contemporary song several years ago which she and a male member of the choir sing together whenever possible. If there is any mention in the gospel about the poor, or the outcast, I brace myself, because I know this song will be performed. Yes, performed. The choir sings oooh ooooh parts throughout.
There’s a hungry one, living on the street.
There’s a lonely one, with no food to eat
All of these are My people (whoo whoo hoo) All of these are My beloved All of these, are Me.
Evicted, illegal, unwanted, diseased, dif-fer-ent….
All of these are Me.
Sorry I can’t remember it exactly, but you get the picture.
It’s a beautiful song in its own way, but it totally rubs me the wrong way at Mass. Am I being unreasonable about this song? It seems very protestant, almost secular, more like a hymn of social work for a Habitat for Humanity work crew.
What do you suggest to get her to stop singing this song?
In the days of Vaudeville, they used to use a looooong hook.
Seriously, the first point one must consider is how the song, any song, is appropriate for the liturgy.
The Church says that music is an "integrating part… pars integrans" in the liturgy. It is not an add on. It is liturgy.
Thus, are the texts sacred and liturgically appropriate? To the day… to the occasion? To the season?
The Church gives us the texts for those times when there is liturgical music to be sung: Introit, Gradule/Alleluia/Tract Offertory Communion. They are sacred texts chosen by the Church for that moment on that day.
They must be urged to think about the importance of the liturgical season and the day, consider the actual texts and whether their music choices have ANYTHING to do with the Church’s liturgy.
Beyond that, you can talk to the pastor and be willing to get involved with the music at church.
You can’t just lob comments. You must be willing to get involved somehow.
Perhaps others will have had experience in their own parishes and will have tips about how to change music around… diplomatically.