Sunday, May 31, 2015

Singing a New Church

In many, many ways the "old hymn tunes" still have an amazing musical power that most newer contemporary tunes don't have. Some of that, of course, is because the older tunes have an emotional power that new songs can't match. The old tunes are also rich in musicality. I am a big supporter of those who write new words to these older tunes.

Delores Dufner, OSB, is one of those amazing lyricists.

Last week in church we sang one of her powerful hymns, Sing a New Church, which is sung to the old tune many of us know as Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. That song is amazing and the connection with the old tune gives the tune itself a staying power.

Dufner's words hit me with the wonder of the third line of the refrain. It is a call to "sing a new church into being."

A new church- a renewed church- sung into being. SUNG into being. The music and melody of faith bringing faith into being.

I love her use of words that describe this:

  • Summoned
  • Gathered
  • Diversity
  • Unity
  • Male AND Female
  • In God's Image
  • Dare to Dream
  • The Vision Promised
  • The Art of every race
  • Weaving a song of
  • Peace and Justice

Then finally coming together in the Eucharist- the Table
  • All the human family
  • A circle wide and
  • Free
Amen- and

© Oregon Catholic Press

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