Music-List Mondays: Anthem

Music-List Mondays: Where VibrantCatholic chooses a song and talks about it.

Song of the week: Anthem by Tom Conry

Listen to it here: Link (although it’s not the full version, it gives you an idea of how it goes)

We are wonderful, we can be weak, but we are created beautifully by God. We are so splendid in many ways, we are each unique, and made in God’s image. We all have a vocation, and we need to discern it.

Okay…did you see that up there. That was me trying to write as many “we’s” as I could. It reminds me of a certain song, and that song is Anthem.

Let’s first look at the refrain:

“We are called, we are chosen, We are Christ for one another,
we are promised to tomorrow, while we are for him today.
We are sign, we are wonder, We are sower, we are seed,
We are harvest, we are hunger. We are question, we are creed.”

There’s an abundance of the word “we” in the refrain. Thinking about this song during a Mass, it would seem that everyone is just singing to another person. Seems like a song used to empower a group to be closely bonded on their mission. But, wait, isn’t our mission as Catholics more than just becoming a community? Aren’t we essentially forgetting the reason as to why we would be at Mass together?

More than half of the refrain deals with us, the things we are, and what we will be. I don’t necessarily understand the meaning of the entire refrain, since how are we question and creed? That’s the one that really stumps me. Although, the refrain seems to bring about a sense of unity, especially trying to state that we are called to be a multitude of things, it doesn’t seem to bring about a good strong message.

Now, the first verse:

Then where can we stand justified? In what can we believe?
In no one else but Christ who suffered, nothing more than Christ who rose.
Who was justice for the poor, Who was rage against the night,
Who was hope for peaceful people, Who was light.

It seems to say that we should only believe in the suffering and Resurrection of Christ, and other aspects of his life. How about other key factors of the Catholic faith, such as Scripture or Tradition? Also, the “no one else” seems to state we shouldn’t believe in anyone else, but Christ. How about the Trinity? This verse raises questions, but does not give the listener a fulfilling answer at all. It does glorify Christ, but it is in a past sense. Christ is “justice for the poor”, He is “rage against the night. He is “hope for peaceful people, and He is light. Not was, but is. 

Second verse:

Then how are we to stand at all, this world of bended knee?
In nothing more than barren shadows, No one else but Christ could save us.
Who was justice for the poor, Who was rage against the night night,
Who was hope for peaceful people, Who was light.

“This world of bended knee.” Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with humility or humility. And I think that’s what this line is saying. We can’t stand if we’re humble or modest? If we’re being reverent, and kneeling or genuflecting? “In nothing more than barren shadows,” is it all just an act that has no meaning. Of course not! There are reasons why do we do certain actions!

Take a look at James 2:14, “What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?” and James 2:17, “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” With that being said, we need works! Not just plain faith. We hope to earn salvation by both our works and faith. The second verse seems to say we don’t need acts of reverence or humbleness, we just need to have faith, no works or anything.

Finally, the third verse.

Then shall we not stand empty at the altar of our dreams?
When Christ promised us ourselves, Who mark time against tomorrow,
Who are justice for the poor, Who are rage against the night,
Who are hope for peaceful people, Who are light.

So I’m still confused on this verse. I hardly have any idea what it means. Let me try to sort my thoughts…What exactly is the altar of our dreams? Is it a physical destination, maybe a point in our spiritual life? Could it be heaven? The wording is confusing and not specific at all to the meaning. The second line is no less confusing. Is it about us having free will? The second part is just terrible grammar, honestly. While the second half of the verse is now in present tense, shouldn’t it be “is” instead of “are?” The “are’s” remind me of pirates…

Honestly, if anyone has any idea of what this verse was supposed to mean, please let me know. I’d really appreciate it!

Overall, I don’t like this song. Not only for its lyrics, but also because of the way it musically sounds. It doesn’t sound like a song that should be sung at Mass when we are partaking in such a breath-taking sacrifice, and receiving the Holy Eucharist.

Thoughts? Please let me know.

 

An Inspiring Pro-Life Performance

So recently, there was a Vietnamese actress, Puka, who went on a show that was made to test celebrities in fields that were not their expertise. Puka had chosen to do “magic tricks,” but inside her performance, was something very meaningful. Her performance was a very pro-life performance, clearly with the portrayal and the music/audio in the background.

The performance starts out with Puka as being in her mother’s womb, then she seems to be looking at several things she could do in life, such as singing or dancing. Then, the mood darkens, and she gets taken by men in black clothing, while pleading to her mother to save her. The rest of the performance shows her doing circus tricks while the emotional song is played in the background. Then, she has a short moment when she spoke on her personal views on pro-life, and I agree with everything she has.

I would recommend you all to watch the video! It was an inspiring performance, although when I was translating, I wasn’t entirely able to translate the fullest message. It was inspiring to see a young Vietnamese actress with the strong belief that all life is sacred.

 

Silence Before Mass

Silence. Just that word is intriguing, there’s something different that each person thinks of when they hear that word.

This morning at my school Mass, I was sitting on the risers for the choir watching as classmates, upperclassman, and underclassman all walked into the auditorium. I noticed something…silence and reverence were not there. People came in talking to their friends, maybe about the class before, or the test afterwards. It might’ve even been something completely unrelated to school or the Mass. Even those in the choir were talking among themselves.

I sat there, realizing something I hadn’t before. These people and myself had walked into the auditorium numerous times, with no preparation of our soul for the Mass. It’s recommended to have silence before Mass, but there was none of it. It only quieted down when the cantor welcomed everyone and said the song number.

Something was pulling on my heart, I was apologetic to Jesus. How disappointing it must be for him to see the people He died for not appreciating His sacrifice! It was my determination to spend the rest of the mass in reverence. If the others disregarded the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist during the celebration of the Mass, I wanted to at least be reverent myself.

I found it curious that no one had ever mentioned to stop talking before Mass. Shouldn’t we know the tremendous opportunity that we are able to partake in? Many other Catholics in different countries have to celebrate Mass in secret, but it seems that we’ve disregarded the meaning of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection.

“Mass is so boring,” we’ve probably heard it at some point. I think the problem does not lie within the mass, but the person’s understanding and faith of the mass. If a person truly comprehends the sacredness of the mass as bridging us between heaven and earth, I doubt they’d be speaking about their crush just minutes before Mass began.

Silence gives us the opportunity to listen to God’s voice, our lives are already too filled with constant noise. We need silence in our lives, there’s no doubt of that. So, can’t we spare a few minutes before mass to remain silent and prepare ourselves for the Mass?

I’d just like to end this post with a few quotes/bible verse:

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)

“We are realizing more and more clearly that silence is part of the liturgy. We respond, by singing and praying, to the God who addresses us, but the greater mystery, surpassing all words, summons us to silence.”  [The Spirit of the Liturgy, (SF, CA: Ignatius, 2000), p. 209] (Pope Benedict XVI)

” A soul that has never tasted
the sweetness of inner silence is a restless spirit which disturbs the silence of others.” -St. Faustina Kowalska