We will be singing "America, the Beautiful" as our recessional hymn this Sunday, in remembrance of those who lost their lives ten years ago Sunday in the horrific terror attack against our nation. I don't really have a problem with this; the song is a prayer praising God for America's beauty and then asking Him for specific blessings for this nation of ours. But I have heard some people say that no matter how lovely or musically pleasing, no patriotic hymn should ever be sung at Mass, because we are a universal Church, not a national one.
I did request that we would sing, in addition to the first verse, this one:
- O beautiful for patriot dream
- That sees beyond the years
- Thine alabaster cities gleam
- Undimmed by human tears.
- America! America!
- God shed His grace on thee,
- And crown thy good with brotherhood
- From sea to shining sea.
Still, I realize that people have different opinions as to the appropriateness of singing any patriotic hymn at Mass. Please vote in the comment box, if you feel so inclined:
Should patriotic hymns like America, the Beautiful be sung at Mass?
a) Yes, anytime.
b) Yes, on appropriate occasions.
c) Yes--but only very rarely.
d) No, never.
e) No--because all hymns should be eradicated from Mass and only chants should be sung. There should be no Recessional Hymn, but only instrumental music as Father processes out.
Feel free to add comments to your vote.
However you feel about patriotic hymns, let's remember to keep the victims of 9/11, their families and loved ones, and all who mourn in our prayers on this sad anniversary.