Saturday, August 12, 2006

What did you hear?

Amy Welborn is going to kill me, but I will repent in dust and ashes if she objects to this . . .

With the "Bread of Life" discourse at Mass this Sunday, what did you hear?tm

At St. Mary, in Piqua, we had "I am the Bread of Life" for the opening; "The Lord hears the cry of the poor" (Haugen or Haas setting) for the psalm; "Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silent" (an outstanding hymn, imho) for the preparation; "Taste and See" for Communion, and "Alleluia, Sing to Jesus" for the closing. Mass of Creation settings throughout, but at least, "When we eat" as the memorial acclamation (since Christ has died, risen and will come again too many times at Mass lately).


Anonymous said...

There is no life outside of Christ.

Anonymous said...

I heartily agree with your opinion on Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent.

Anonymous said...

How many of us are named anonymous, anyway? (Chuckle!)

Bro. Andrew, SM said...

"I Myself Am the Bread of Life"

I myself....did not sing that song. You and I are not Jesus Christ.

(Do a syllable count and you will note my response can be sung to the insipid melody of the above potentially heretical song.)

Father Martin Fox said...

Bro Andrew:

I think you are recalling a different song.

The one we had is based closely on Scripture; I can't recall who wrote it, but its words are familiar, as they come straight from the Gospel of John.

Father Martin Fox said...

Here are some words I found online -- I think these are the right ones:

I am the bread of life.
You who come to me shall not hunger;
You who believe in me shall not thirst.
No one can come to me,
Unless the Father beckons.

And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up on the last day.

The bread that I will give
Is my flesh for the life of the world,
And if you eat of this bread,
You shall live forever,
You shall live forever.

And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up on the last day.

Unless you eat of the flesh of the son of Man
And drink of his blood,
And drink of his blood,
You shall not have life within you.

And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up on the last day.

I am the resurrection, I am the life.
If you believe in me, even though you die,
You shall live forever.

And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up,
And I will raise you up on the last day.

I am not defending its musical quality -- but I see nothing wrong with the text. Certainly nothing heretical that I can see.

Bro. Andrew, SM said...

Dear Fr. Martin,

I am reporting what I heard. It was not "I Am the Bread of Life." It was "I Myself am the Bread of Life" by Rory Cooney, I think.

The refrain shares the title:

I myself am the Bread of Life.
You and I are the Bread of Life.
(I don't remember the next two lines)
That the world might live.

I at least have some appreciation for Sr. Toolan's song.

Father Martin Fox said...

Bro Andrew:

My apology -- I thought you were commenting on what I reported from my parish!

Sarada said...

I attended a private baptism Mass on Saturday evening. There was another baptism preceeding ours, and as we were waiting outside we heard bongo drums, marachas, and guitar playing their last hymn. Their priest came out in a white button down shirt and slacks to hand the chapel over to the priest who was presiding over my friend's baptism. They were from different Orders.

Our Mass was a different affair from what the first one seems to have been. We sang "Now Thank We All Our God" and others of the same line. The Sanctus and Agnus Dei were chanted in Latin. The homily was about how Jesus came to bring peace to earth, but did not seek to "enforce" peace on people, but to call them to recognize the seed of peace within themselves. This didn't really fit with my idea of the obvious meaning of the text and I suspected a little political meaning was sneaking in, but I chose to overlook that.

T.O. said...

We had everything except the Psalm -- hmmm... And I'm in Canada, which really burns me. Why pay for the CBW and the CCCB's suggestions if we don't USE them?

Big Tex said...

We had "I am the Bread of Life"... with TAMBOURINES.

Bro. Andrew, SM said...

Dear Fr. Fox,

The two songs have similar titles. The mistake is one that is easily made.

Just don't do it again.


Dennis said...

"The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor" is from the St. Louis Jesuits circa 1980. It's not a bad setting, but it certainly wouldn't have been a good setting for the Responsorial Psalm for today.

I actually would have preferred a the "Taste and See" Psalm 34 setting from GIA (not the one by James Moore, but the one by either Haugen or Haas...can't remember which one), since at least the text matches. Singing the same text for a refrain as the one that's called for the Lectionary is pretty important, I think. In fact, the text is everything. I mean, duh, it's the liturgy of the Word.

cjmr said...

We had:
Glorious in Majesty
Psalm 47
Make Me a Channel of your Peace
I Am the Bread of Life (naturally)
and Sing of the Lord's Goodness

All ones I love to sing, despite occasional questionable theology. Well, except for the Psalm, I'm not too fond of our setting for that, and I have to lead it next week.

I love Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent, too.

J.T. said...

I read today's posts before Mass this morning. Interesting because what hymn did we have for the preparation of the gifts? "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silent." So after reading your post and your homily, I paid close attention to what we were singing. I found it lifted me into an awareness of the divine in what we are doing. Very enlightening experience.

Father Martin Fox said...


In Ordinary Time, it is actually a legitimate option to substitute another psalm for what is in the lectionary.

kronprinz1918 said...

Fr., I've often wondered about substituting the psalm for something else. Why would a liturgist (or priest) choose to do this? The particular congregation isn't really "praying with the Church" if they pick their own psalm it seems to me. My own parish never does this but when i'm visiting other parishes and encounter this i always find myself suspicious why they would choose to change it.

Mary Martha said...

I am not really a music person but there are three songs that I refuse to sing.

Eagles Wings - I think this was the recessional at every Mass in my childhood.

Here I am Lord - It bugs me that it is totally all about me.

I am the Bread of Life - I understand it is based on scripture. However *I* am not the bread of life. I think it is kind of creepy to sing that I am.

When I was Parish shopping (yes I know I am not supposed to) singing any one of these was a yellow light... two of them and I didn't come back. Partly because I hated the songs and partly because it just generally shows a lack of imagination. It also is a sign (along with felt banners) that my fairly conservative self won't fit in very well.

Father Martin Fox said...


Well, a very basic reason is that the musician or cantor does not know how to sing the one assigned.

One of the problems currently is that many popular hymnals do not have the proper psalm texts. Many parish musicians are only familiar with what's in the hymnals -- many of which are not suitable because they aren't proper translations.

It takes time and energy to retrain musicians and cantors, and in the meantime, substituting a proper text for a poor setting of the assigned psalm, seems a reasonable solution.

Father Martin Fox said...

Mary Martha:

I understand. However, you should know that the three you mentioned are very popular.

Anonymous said...

Kelly M.:

I'm wondering how a parish/a priest allowed for a "private baptism" - or even two private baptisms in a row... I'm also wondering how a parish/a priest allowed for an apparently private Mass after 4:00 on a Saturday...

Dennis said...

Fr. Fox, you're right that we're allowed to substitute psalms, and even outside of Ordinary Time, I've heard of parishes using Seasonal Psalms. I think I was at a music conference once where a speaker promoted the idea of using Seasonal Psalms to unify the music of an entire liturgical season.

I've just gradually become more and more convinced that if the Church gives us a text to use, we ought to use it. I'm not a big fan of substitution. I'm flexible on translations, and the GIA stuff doesn't really bother me.

For instance, if refrain for this past Sunday had been, "This poor man called and the Lord heard him," I would go along happily with "The Lord hears the cry of the poor." Both are from the same verse in Psalm 34. However, if the refrain were "Taste and see that the Lord is good," then I probably would be more likely to go with James Moore than the St. Louis Jesuits.

Still, my internal liturgical and aesthetic sense is not the same thing as what the Church does and does not allow, so I stand corrected.

Robin said...

As a convert I am surprised at the complaints. We have Jesus in the Eucharist! I wish I had time to be at Mass every day, but that day will come soon enough. Just being there is fantastic, remember who is in the Tabernacle!

Father Martin Fox said...


I don't disagree.

Barb, sfo said...

I would have loved to have done "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence" but I had no was guitar accompaniment only, so here's the lineup:
Table of Plenty
Taste And See (Moore) for the psalm
In This Place
The Supper of the Lord
Canticle of the Sun
(Mass of Creation acclamations, Celtic Alleluia. It's summer. Half the choir was missing. We did our best!)

Sarada said...


The Mass was at a private chapel which is a historical site, not an active parish. It is only open for scheduled marriages and baptisms. The site is under the care of an order of priests.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your response, Kelly. I presume, then, that the local diocese and parish allow for these celebrations to happen. Still, I am taken aback by the notion of a "private baptism" outside a parish church, and by "private masses" scheduled in those hours we consider the Lord's Day. Thanks for your reply.

Anonymous said...

Nothing heretical about "I am the Bread of Life" but... the current version is gender neutered relative to the original composition.
Originally it went "I will raise him up..." etc.