October 9: Catholic hymns, or, What could be better on Yom Kippur?

I assume that when the kid inside there takes off the costume, what you don't smell is the odor of sanctity.

A boatload of old-time Catholic hymns today -- or perhaps a tabernacleful, unfortunately not in Latin. Not that it would make a difference to me, but some reader might get a sense of why these songs have been around for a near-millennium. And pre-Vatican II babies, which I am not, might also have a little tinge of nostalgia at the Veni Creator or whatnot. (I see where the Church no longer uses the Dies Irae in the funeral liturgy, because it's too negative. Even the dead have self-esteem!)

I wish I could say more about them, but lyrics without music often seem a little dead on the page to me. This, for example, seems like a greeting card:
JESU, the very thought of Thee
With sweetness fills the breast;
But sweeter far Thy Face to see,
And in Thy Presence rest.
The last line could also be "When I take my driver's test." The old-timey translation is probably to blame, but even so, most songs that stand the test of time strike a different part of the brain than the part that enjoys seeing words on the page being pushed around in a fancy way.

I do have to note the super-Catholic opening of the Stabat Mater:
BY the cross, on which suspended,
With his bleeding hands extended,
Hung that Son she so adored,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
She whose heart, its silence keeping,
Grief had cleft as with a sword.
Blood and Mom. That's the Church I grew up with. When, in "Far Away Eyes" -- one of my brother's favorite Stones songs -- Mick Jagger sings about "The Church of the Sacred Bleeding Heart Of Jesus located somewhere in Los Angeles, California," I think it's not quite right. Protestants, in my experience, keep their crosses bare. It's more about what Jesus can do for you, as opposed to what you did to that slasher-film victim hanging up over the altar at Mass.

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