Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

SUBJECT: MUSIC!!! (And Ecumenism!!!)

This is a different sort of post -- and I'm hoping for some good feedback.

Looking back over the recently concluded Christmas season, I was struck once again that, despite the differences which grieve the Body of Christ, the Christmas music we all enjoy is a beautiful example of ecumenism in the best sense of the word. Note, if you will, the background behind some of our most beloved carols.

Joy To The World -- text by the English Nonconformist Isaac Watts; music by the German (presumably Lutheran) GF Handel (who spent much of his life living and working in England).

Silent Night -- text by the German Catholic priest Josef Mohr; music by German Catholic Franz Gruber.

Hark, The Herald Angels Sing -- text by the Anglican Methodist Charles Wesley; music by the Jewish convert to Protestant Christianity Felix Mendelssoln.

O Little Town Of Bethlehem -- text by Episcopalian Bishop Phillips Brooks

It Came Upon The Midnight Clear -- text by Unitarian! clergyman Edmund Sears

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen -- traditional Church of England

Perhaps we are sometimes more united in song than in prayer!

Please feel free to add your favorite Christmas music (and its history/background) to this list.

Papa Z

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Blogger stlouismb said...

Of course I have heard it said: "S/he who sings, prays twice." So maybe we are closer than we think. I would be interested in what recent ecumenical collaborations there have been. :)

Mike Baldwin

10:22 AM  
Blogger JTKlopcic said...

I was racking my brain to think of one, then it came to me: "Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence", which is based on the Oriental Church's Liturgy of St James, translated into English poetry by an Anglican, and set to a French Catholic tune.

8:52 AM  
Blogger David Zampino said...

Thanks for both your comments.

With regard to recent developments . . . it all depends on what you consider recent! How about "Shine, Jesus Shine" being sung during a Eucharistic procession at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham!

It occurs to me that quite a few traditional Latin hymns were translated by High-Church Anglo-Catholic Anglicans, and that these translations are frequently used today. JM Neale translated quite a few.

1:10 PM  
Blogger JTKlopcic said...

Is this the same Anglican Use parish in Houston? "Shine Jesus Shine" is an odd choice for any sort of processional -- the tempo is all wrong for a stately procession.

Have a Blessed Lent, for those who begin today!

8:35 AM  

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