Friday, December 04, 2009

Traditional carols are 'nonsense', says bishop

[Telegraph] 4 Dec 2009--Away in a Manger cannot be sung “without embarrassment”, Once in Roy al David’s City is “Victorian behaviour control”; and O Come, All Ye Faithful is misleading, said the Bishop of Croydon, the Rt Rev Nick Baines.

He blamed the much-loved carols for adding to confusion over the season’s real meaning and turning Jesus into a figure as fictitious as Father Christmas.

While others defended the traditional songs as “joyful” and “triumphant”, the bishop complained that the carols have contributed to the story of Christ’s birth being seen “as just one more story alongside the panto and fairy stories”.

In a new book published by the Church of England, Why Wish You a Merry Christmas, the bishop argues that carols encourage images of Christmas that have more to do with Victorian sentiment than the Biblical account of Christ’s birth.


Joe Mahler said...

Well, I guess the bishop does have a point. The songs sung in church should reflect good Biblical doctrine and not just sentimentalism. A good starting place would be to use the Psalms as the hymnbook of the church. It is done in meter so that the psalms will fit with English music and not just chanted. Sentimentalism seems to be what so many Charismatics prefer in singing or at least the same seven words endlessly. Again the songs we sing should be sound doctrine because they teach as well as do prayer and sermons.

n6okj said...

And "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" pretends the worshippers are in the pre-incarnational era.

Surely there are numerous myths perpetrated thru (misguided) hymnody. "We Three Kings," or unnumbered magi?

Should we follow the Covenanters and forbid all "uninspired" hymns (i.e. anything that ain't the 150 Psalms)?

Or can we discerningly, discriminately, and safely navigate our hymnals unto the edification of all?

Advent blessings,
Hugh McCann

DomWalk said...

A classic set of hymn parodies from Touchstone.

A mighty Mother is our God
A nurturing presence daily.
A helper She amidst the flood
Of sexist males a-wailing.