Wednesday, January 21, 2015

an inspiring contemporary Christian song for Catholics: For King&Country's Proof of Your Love

Yes, dear reader, I have to stifle a cringe when the song leader wants us to turn to page 123 and sing Gather Us In or Lord of the Dance at Mass. Why are we stuck in 1982? Church started years before that- none of the older music is worthwhile to remember? 
In the church, awaiting the holy sacrifice, we should be reverent, solemn.If we truly believe what the priest is going to do, there is not a place for 1982-style strange theology. But there is a place for praise. 
The Byzantine style is traditional, and we frown on innovation because innovation sometimes can lead to theological missteps like Gather Us In. We will sing the old songs over and over. Anything new is probably really an old song that the cantor recently discovered while attending a service in the old country. I prefer it this way within the church, but we might be making a mistake in that we are throwing the baby out with the bath water.
In a Byzantine service, we would never sing the song above, but we can learn from their fervor and the beautiful theology in the words. Listening to songs like these- and also more traditional audio like listening to the rosary or chant- help me get through another long drive in traffic. This song could be a great way to inspire a prayer time. We traditional, liturgical types can sometimes forget that there really is a place for a more charismatic communication with God even if we are not be this way during a religious service in church. 
This song convicts me. Like we say before we receive the Eucharist at the Divine Liturgy- in my life, I am the "greatest sinner"- let my life not be a scandal and a stumbling block to those who are searching for God in His Church.

Proof of Your Love lyrics   

If I sing but don't have love, I waste my breath with every song
I bring an empty voice, a hollow noise
If I speak with the silver tongue and convince a crowd but don't have love
I leave a bitter taste with every word I say

So let my life be the proof of Your love
So let my love look like You and what Your made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof, The proof of Your love

If I give to a needy soul but don't have love then who is poor?
It seems all the poverty is found in me

When it's all said and done-- When we sing our final song
Only love remains-- Only love remains

If I can speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy
But don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rust gate
If I speak God’s word with power, revealing all of His mysteries
And making everything as plain as day
And if I have faith to say to a mountain jump and it jumps
But I don’t love, I’m nothing
If I give all I earn to the poor or even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr
But I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere
So, no matter what I say, no matter what I believe, no matter what I do
I’m bankrupt without love--- 1 Corinthians 13:1-3

6 comments:

  1. I'm a fan of KLOVE and Air-1 for keeping me focused on God outside of church, especially when I'm driving. I'm not a huge fan of most contemporary church music, especially in the context of liturgy; but I love listening to it on the radio.

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    1. Listening to Christian music or classical stuff is like the rosary on my rear view mirror- It keeps me honest in traffic!

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  2. This topic of bad church music has come up on Roman/Latin-rite Catholic websites and blogs so you're not the only one!

    Last year, when I attended Saturday 5 pm Mass at St. Blaise Church in Dubrovnik, Croatia, a religious sister lead all the singing, no hymnal in hand or musical accompaniment. No idea what the other local parishioners were saying but it was worth listening to the language.

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    Replies
    1. I love Croatia! It has been years...maybe next time I cross the pond...

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