Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Favorite Protestant Hymns

Perhaps its a fruit of my 10 years as a Pentecostal Evangelical, but I really like rousing Gospel music and a number of Protestant hymns -- and I wish there were a way I could share my enthusiasm for much of this music with my fellow Catholics.

An example is a hymn I'll use as part of my homily at Mass later today: "There is Power in the Blood," written by Lewis E. Jones in 1899, who wrote this song at a camp meet­ing at Mount­ain Lake Park, Mar­y­land. Think about it--our Protestant brethren sing this rousing song in a church empty of the Blessed Sacrament, while we are infinitely privileged to adore the very Blood of our Savior at each and every Mass!

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

There is power, power, wonder working power

In the blood of the Lamb;
There is power, power, wonder working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
There’s wonderful power in the blood.


Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow.
There’s wonderful power in the blood.


Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.


(Click on the headline to go to the Cyber Hymnal, where you can play a MIDI of this song.)


Unknown said...

Hello Father! Enjoyed your blog, and I think I'll be stopping by from time to time. I'm a 3rd Degree KofC and DGK in Wilson, NC. Nice to see fellow Catholics out here in the blogosphere!

Vivat Jesus,

Wigwam Jones

DP said...

I can definitely share your desire to share the music. I too weant on my own "meanderings" for a few yeears outside of my Catholic roots. . .but anyways, that's a long story. What I wanted to say though, it's amazing how protestant hymns or worship songs are transformed in light of a sacramental understanding. While I indeed wish more Catholics would be open to being exposed to this music, an even greater desire of mine is to share the meaning of many of these songs from the Catholic perspective with my numerous evangelical friends. I guess it goes both ways.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Protestants used to write grand, beautiful, theologically dense hymns by the dozen. I wish Catholics would steal them; it's not like Protestants use them much any more! I like to study the words of "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing", "O Worship the King", "And Can It Be?", "Crown Him With Many Crowns", "The Church's One Foundation" (actually, that one sounds pretty Catholic!), "Holy, Holy, Holy", "Be Thou My Vision" (is that one Catholic too? I heard it was Celtic, so maybe yes) and lots of others. I feel tempted to start typing them out right now...

Crown him the lord of years
The potentate of time
Creator of the rolling spheres
Ineffably sublime!

Or how about:

O tell of his might
O sing of his grace
Whose robe is the light
Whose canopy space!
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is his path on the wings of the storm!

With a big ol' choir and organ, of course. :)

My Congregational chuch has a big choir and a great organist too, and yet we sing a lot of 7/11 songs (take a seven-word phrase and repeat eleven times.) How will people learn to appreciate better music if they're never even allowed to hear it? Rather than bring worship down to a sixth-grade level, why not try to raise the congregation to an understanding of more advanced English? You need elevated language to really praise God; at least, so it seems to me.

And the idea that that'll alienate the young people is nonsense. When I was in college (I graduated in 2000) I'd go to Christian club meetings, where we'd flip through the songbooks and call out songs we wanted to sing. The songs were always great old hymns; we never bothered with the modern stuff.