The Armchair Liturgist: The Trinity in Song

A feast to celebrate this weekend, and perhaps a dilemma for the pragmatists among us. If you’re using four-part hymns, many of them have a final verse invoking the Trinity. Do you sing all the verses? Do you stick tight to the two-verse syndrome and tell people to sing the first and last verses? Or are the Trinitarian doxologies a bit of overkill for a feast you know will be preached?

Any favorite pieces of sacred song you’ll be employing or wish that you could program?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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7 Responses to The Armchair Liturgist: The Trinity in Song

  1. Gavin says:

    We sing all the verses, all the time. Following a common Lutheran tradition, I typically play a short interlude before a doxology verse to set it apart. Trinity, being my favorite feast, is the one day I will admit to putting my personal taste first and so I always program my favorite Catholic hymn, “O God, Almighty Father”, or for any feminists in the crowd, “O Deity, somewhat-mighty-but-not-too-mighty Creator” I do so love German Catholic hymnody!

    Of course, being a good liturgist, I’m sure you or your priest will remind your congregation that the GIRM instructs all to make a bow of the head at any mention of the three persons of the Holy Trinity, right? Good day to bring that up.

  2. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Or are the Trinitarian doxologies a bit of overkill for a feast you know will be preached?

    Might as well skip the sign of the cross, too… >;)

  3. Jeff Pinyan says:

    Gavin: Of course, being a good liturgist, I’m sure you or your priest will remind your congregation that the GIRM instructs all to make a bow of the head at any mention of the three persons of the Holy Trinity, right? Good day to bring that up.

    You get a cookie, sir. Or a gold star. Whichever you prefer. Excellent opportunity for a simple reminder of a simple act of reverence!

  4. Liam says:

    Of course, were one in the Spirit of Vatican II to take an Eastern perspective: there is no such thing as overkill in proclaiming the Trinity. The West’s tendency to reduce God to Jesus (and, in the 20th century, the Holy Spirit) is not a good thing. We need, if anything, more to be more expressly Trinitarian, if if anything.

  5. Neil says:

    Dear Todd,

    If I could suggest a short yet theologically rich Trinitarian hymn (that happens to be available in both PDF and Sibelius formats online), I would point our readers to Charles Wesley’s “Hail, Holy, Holy, Holy Lord”.

    Best,
    Neil

  6. Gavin:

    A timely suggestion–I included that in my homily, see by clicking on my name…

  7. Matthew Meloche says:

    The Lorica of St. Patrick (from the Pius X hymnal) or I Clasp Unto My Heart (from Hymns, Psalms and Spiritual Canticles) is my personal favorite. Though I’ve no complaints with “O God Almighty Father.”

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