A lightweight topic: "Nearer, My God, to Thee"

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A lightweight topic: "Nearer, My God, to Thee"

Post  SursumCorda on Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:19 am

I'm an ardent ocean liner aficionado, esp. of the Olympic-class liners. This includes, of
course, the Titanic. I've read dozens of books, and virtually every one identifies the
hymn "Nearer, My God, to Thee" as a Protestant song. It's always piqued my curiousity
as to why it is consistently identified as such. Is there some content in it that Catholics
simply cannot accept? I don't think so. I've read the song lyrics and see nothing in
them that would make me always label this a Protestant hymn. Over the last 10 years,
though, at every different Catholic church I've been to, I've peeked into the music
missal to see if I can find this song. I never do.

Just wanted to share that. No particular reason. Neutral

And a very happy Fathers Day to all the dads on this forum. I hope everyone has a
pleasant day.
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SursumCorda

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I don't think it's a content issue at all

Post  VicarJoe on Sun Jun 21, 2009 1:26 pm

I think it may have to do (and this is just a guess) with the relatively late transition that the Catholic church made to the vernacular. That is, all the songs were Latin until around 40 years ago ("Adeste Fidelis," "Agnes Dei," etc.). And in the transition to a vernacular songbook, I think the attempt to be "modern" meant not so much borrowing 19th century protestant hymns as writing new folk rock versions of the psalms. (Blech.) I think there's been some more recent appreciation that the protestant songbook is worth raiding. I remember it was only a few years ago, maybe 2005 or so, that I first heard "Amazing Grace" in church. On a side note, the traditionalist Catholic William F. Buckley Jr named his autobiography "Nearer My God."


angel
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Oh, of course <knocks head with heel of palm>

Post  SursumCorda on Sun Jun 21, 2009 4:30 pm

I feel a bit stupid now for focusing -- for so long! -- on this being a content
issue. Thanks for clarifying this!

I only heard Amazing Grace for the first time in a (Catholic) church a few years
ago, too. I definitely prefer such traditional hymns to the newer ones. I always
check the copyright date on the songs I don't care for, and sure enough, they
are pretty much all from the 1980s on.
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it is actually written by a Unitarian (gulp)

Post  AsADeerPants on Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:43 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nearer,_My_God,_to_Thee

The Hymn "Ah Holy Jesus" is Protestant to the core (or so it strikes me). It is in fact a beautiful hymn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVkq6cFBbPI

Used for Lent.
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Re: A lightweight topic: "Nearer, My God, to Thee"

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