“All Are Welcome” placed number eight on the NPM poll, the highest rated Marty Haugen song. It implies, like another oft-used gathering hymn, a standard at which we aim, but haven’t really achieved. That quality of hopefulness seems irrepressible in many Catholics, despite the naysayers who prefer to sing and speak about surety. From Pastoral Music, a commentary from Linda Corey of Eau Claire, Wisconsin:
I believe that the words really are words for our time, both for our Church and our world. They tell us who we ought to be and what we are to be about as Catholic Christians. It calls us to be who we say we are. When we sing it at our parish I feel a real sense of community, even though I know we have a long way to go to be the ideal Christian community. When we sing it I experience a sense of unity even as it challenges us to strive together to become that more ideal Christian community.
“In Christ Alone” is one of the most recent compositions in the Dance 2012 polling. In a little more than ten years, this Keith Getty/Stuart Townsend collaboration has soared to the top of many UK polls and has a lot of traction in some Catholic circles on this side of the Atlantic too. I’m not aware it has made it into any mainstream hymnal yet, but that seems likely to come. View and listen to a nice video at the composer’s web site. I was first introduced to the tune when my last parish’s middle school music director (a non-Catholic music director on his weekend gig) brought it to the young people. Nice tune. Enjoy the polling.