Sunday, June 14, 2009


I can remember on the RPInet message boards a while back (probably about a year or so ago at least anyways) a discussion thread on the song Gather and Remember. The text was written by OCP's own Owen Alstott. The tune is the beloved "Finlandia" by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957).

This is one of three pieces that the choir at St. Joan's in Cumberland sang this morning.

If I remember correctly, some of us started looking at the text as a celebration of the so-called "spirit of Vatican II". It is for that reason that I feel that, though Mr. Alstott has written some very good works, this, I fear, is not one of them.

For copyright reasons, I will not post the text here. However, one can access it here. Check it out and let me know what you think. I for one don't think that celebrating the so-called "relief from the dark ages" via "the spirit of Vatican II" is something we should be singing about at Holy Mass.



Bear said...

What a piece of junk. He hits almost every bad cliche about Vatican II there is. "voiceless throng" replaced by joyful singing, my eye. I don't idealize the past, not by any stretch of the imagination, but I don't demonize it either. This kind of triumphalism about the post vatican ii Church is rather prematuer.

I volunteered to try and start a youth choir at my parish. One of the things keeping me awake at night is the idea that some on the parish council will start pressuring me to have them sing dreck like this.

Brian Michael Page said...

Yes, Bear --- that was pretty much the answer I was invoking (tee hee!)

Hopefully your parish council hasn't seen this piece yet.

Steve O said...

And even more... notice the line about the great shepherd??? Well, when you read farther, you get the impression that he's invoking JP2. When the great shepherd who opened the door (and the skunks got in) was John XXIII. The text is a great way to bring up phlegm on a page with a great tune. Too, too bad. Poor Owen.

Steve Weatherbe said...

Three years after the previous post, I finally got to sing this. Total dreck. It does accurately reflect the arrogance of some Vat II types. Here is my blog on the subject.