One of the more curious interpretations is how the USCCB Doctrine Committee handled the popular text, “Lord of the Dance.” Before I get to that, let me say that my first introduction to the tune in a liturgical setting was to the text of “Simple Gifts.” When I went to the Midwest for full-time ministry, I was surprised and a little dismayed to find Joseph Brackett’s Shaker lyrics replaced by what I thought was an inferior (and admittedly unfamiliar) set of words.
Here’s the relevant analysis from pages 10-11 of the Catholic Hymnody document:
I’ve never seen “holy people” capitalized. I think the poem has problems in a liturgical setting, but being anti-Jewish is hardly one of them. This is less sarcasm and more a critique Jesus offered to poke at the self-satisfied religious.
The Reproaches are on unsteady ground in comparison. This site does identify them as a testimony against the Chosen People. I’d agree that the bishops’ interpretation of the Improperia is more mainstream these days, but it could easily be argued it’s a point of confusion, especially with self-styled orthodox sites trumpeting otherwise.
If I were in some purple chair, I’d use the Shaker tune and text, and forget “Lord of the Dance.” I think there are better alternatives to the Reproaches. A new and clarified text there would be welcome.