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Sydney priest in plea for updated hymns

A parish priest in Sydney's southern suburbs has criticised the choice of hymns for this year's Archdiocese of Sydney Confirmation ceremony at the Sydney SuperDome.

Writing in today's issue of Online Catholics, Fr John Crothers, of Penshurst-Peakhurst Parish, criticises the inclusion of hymns for 11 year old school children that include phrases such as 'Godhead Here in Hiding'.

He called for "hymns from a bygone era" to be set aside in favour of more modern compositions that contain lyrics that today's young people can understand.

"Don't get me wrong," he says. "I was brought up on these hymns as a child in the 1960's. They, and others like them, were good hymns for their day and some of them still hold up well. The melodies were especially good. Having said that, however, I must say that I have strong reservations about the appropriateness of some of the texts of these three particular hymns."

He said that the language is "so antiquated it would be almost meaningless to pre-teens", and that "triumphalism of the era and its inherent tendency to polarise is not the sort of thing we should be teaching our children".

"Unbelievable!" (Online Catholics 30/3/05)

30 Mar 2005