A very dear internet crony, who has been feeding my ego by reading my books 😉 came up with the phrase “barking mad” to describe one of my characters, who is indeed slightly batty. A crank. Just at the moment, that’s a bit how I feel.
I live next door to a Catholic church. Regardless of what we are all supposed to think about Catholicism (namely, that God Loves Them Too and that we should Pray That We May One Day All Be One, etc.), the fact remains that after Vatican II, they became horribly Protestant in their entire tone and structure. Their substance remains Catholic (and therefore, by Orthodox understanding, flawed), but the form has radically changed.
This particular church is about typical of most Catholic parishes I’ve seen in action: lots of emphasis on Peace and Justice Issues, lots of Programs, and lots of congregational singing of mostly Protestant hymns. Now, some Protestant hymns are gems–I’m thinking in particular of the hymns written during the Reformation, and those by the great J. S. Bach–but post-Bach, there came to be a movement known as the Quietist Movement, or maybe it was the Pietist Movement. Anyway, those marvellous old Reformation hymns were all transformed into 4/4 meter and rhythm, referred to by one Orthodox musician as the Plod of God, and so help me, he was right.
This place next door has an electronic carillon, and they play a lot of Plod-of-God hymns. Most of the year, I have to put up with, “Immac-u-LATE Mary, THY praises we-he sing,” which gets old when you hear it twice a day, every day. At Paschaltide, however, they change the record, so now I listen to a variety of Plod-of-God hymns. This evening’s was “The Church’s One Foundation is Jesus Christ, Her Lord,” which at least doesn’t repeat the same dratted thing over and over.
My particular pet peeve, though, is, “Jesus Christ is risen today.” As in, “A-a-a-a-ahhh-lay-hay-loo-hoo-ya.” You know the one:
“Are try-umph-ant ho-ly- day-hay, a-a-a-a-ahhh-lay-hay-loo-hoo-ya.”
In sheer defense of my own sanity, I have had to compose my own lyrics:
“Cheerless on the path we’ve trod, a-a-a-a-ahhh-lay-hay-loo-hoo-ya,
Marching to the Plod of God, a-a-a-a-a-a-lay-hay-loo-hoo-ya!”
Please, PLEASE, somebody tell me you have heard a version of this hymn that actually SOUNDS triumphant and glorious?!?!? Otherwise, I shall shortly join my (very peripheral) character in the Barking Mad category. Thank you.