Sunday, December 13, 2009

Our Secret Place?

I have no plans on any regular posts regarding the music played at Mass at my parish. But I think the issue is in no way limited to my parish and in fact is an issue that is prevalent in Contemporary Christian music at large.

Tonight we sang the song Your Love is Extravagant which was written by Darrell Evans. Below are some of the lyrics to the song.

Your Love is Extravagant

Your love (Your love) is extravagant,
Your friendship (ooo) mm -so intimate;
I feel I'm moving to the rythm of Your grace,
Your fragrance is intoxicating in our secret place;
Your love (Your love) is extravagant.

Wow, that was hot.

Now I am aware that great Catholic Saints have used intimate and sometimes erotic language in the past to describe union with God not to mention the Song of Songs. I get that, but I don't think Contemporary Christian music falls into this category. The Song of Songs is an inspired book of the Bible and the writings of the Saints flowed from personal experience with and promptings by the Spirit. While this song does have a nice melody, I'm not sure it fits into the same category.

As a man I feel uncomfortable expressing my appreciation of Christ's love with ooo's and mmm's, and with talk of intoxicating fragrances and secret places. Jesus was not only God almighty, but also a man - a real life man with all the trimmings. Jesus is fully God and fully Man - still.

And I can't help but wonder if suggestive, sensual songs involving the Blessed Virgin Mary's love for us or popular art depicting her with a figure are very far off. Would this be inappropriate? Would that be a double-standard?


Laura The Crazy Mama said...

I tried to catch you after Mass, but now I'm glad I didn't. It makes the fact that I totally beat you to the punch about this ( on our blogs. Wow. That one was a doozy tonight, huh? I usually don't grab a "song sheet", just for the reason that I hate pondering the silly lyrics when I should be focusing on Mass. Tonight, a kid gave me his "last songsheet" so I couldn't say "no" (also, as you know, I was almost late and had to rush in). I almost jumped out of my pew to go cover the singers' mouths when I saw those lyrics. Yuck. I'm sorry, but YUCK!...and did they HAVE to include the "ooo, mmm"s on the sheet? Double yuck.

friend of Chesterton said...

I am hoping that this blog will help people to understand the error of allowing sensual music into our Masses as our intimacy with Our Lord is not suppose to be sexual. However I think the best approach to this would be to speak to the pastor as I don't see it to be a laughing matter. I see this to be the beginning of bigger problems. The Church should be following the guidelines given to us by Rome and yet we continue to ignore it- starting with the use of improper instruments in the liturgy and music that is not Catholic in origin or text. peace!

Quotient said...

While I agree with these comments, I'm not entirely sure what the "rules" are regarding instruments, song origins and lyrics. Anytime I've had or heard of a conversation regarding music as Mass, I hear the passive-aggressive response that "it's not forbidden, therefore..." A well crafted, intelligent letter to the pastor might make headway but be prepared to be told, in a passive-aggressive way of course, to pound sand.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe this song is meant to be sensual. By using the word intimate, I think the writer was trying to express how wonderful it is to know the Creator of the universe and how awesome it is that He knows us completely. This is a special relationship.

Also, the "secret place" is referenced in Scripture. In Psalm 91:1 (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty), it is used to describe a place of refuge. Matthew 6:6 says: "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Additionally, the Bible describes the Church as Christ's bride. This helps us better understand his love - not in a sensual way - but it shows us the qualities of it by relating it to something in our lives.

This is just my opinion. :) God bless!