Christian Hymns

Ginsburg’s “Neutrality” Over Religious Liberty

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (joined by Justice Sotomayor) wrote the dissenting opinion in last week’s Supreme Court decision upholding the presence of Bladensburg’s “Peace Cross” on public land. The Court, fractured about the basis for its ruling, nevertheless managed to cobble together a 7-2 split (with Justices Breyer and Kagan as part of [...]

The Disposable Modern Hymn

The outcry against bad liturgical music has been growing in volume and numbers. Crisis author and professor Anthony Esolen has provided deeply insightful explanations of why many modern hymns are aesthetically and theologically shoddy compared to older, more traditional ones. Podcasts such as “The Catholic Talk Show” devote episodes to mocking the worst church music [...]

The Bad Poetry of Modern Hymnody

In an earlier column, I asked why we could not sing hymns from the Christian treasury, which is nearly two thousand years old, and which features composers with names like Bach and Handel and poets from Prudentius to Thomas Aquinas to Isaac Watts, the Wesleys, and John Henry Newman, rather than silly, sloppy, banally sentimental, [...]

Why Traditional Hymns are Superior to Modern Ones

I’m sometimes accused, when I write about bad hymns, of wanting to impose a single style upon everyone. I find this strange. It’s like saying that all classical music sounds the same, and that Bach, Brahms, Dvorak, and Debussy are all the same. I point out that the hymns in a good hymnal were composed [...]

Novus Quodlibet: The New Whatever Liturgy

I have attended the Novus Ordo Mass all my life. I do not believe it was necessarily a mistake to have the Mass translated into the vernacular so that people could more readily understand the words and actions. Yet I have great sympathy for people who flock to, or flee to, the traditional rite, and [...]

Rescuing Hymnody from Stupidity

Hunkering down during the latest snowstorm, my family and I had to attend Mass via television. We saw a nationally broadcast Mass that wasn't heretical, but that was an emblem of just about everything that I have criticized in my last two articles, on vocations. In particular, the little girl (and one boy) choir sang [...]

Paint-by-Number Hymns

“Are you interested in painting, sir?” asks the cheerful curator of the modern art museum. “No, not me,” says the detective.  He passes his hand across his rumpled hair.  “Now, Mrs. Columbo, she’s different.  That woman is into everything.  She does a little painting herself.” “She does?” “Oh, yeah, all the time.  She buys these [...]

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