I will focus. I will appreciate the sacrifice of the Mass and praise God. And I will not be distracted by the fact that our hymnals have been compiled by someone who was so politically correct that they felt the need to change all of the traditional Christmas carols to include gender inclusive language. I've ranted about this before.
I love Christmas songs. I sang in our Community Christmas Choir pretty much every year growing up and know almost every Christmas song that we sing by heart, verse by verse (and this is a huge part of the problem). You see when we get to a verse and the line ends with "mankind" and the editor of this particular hymnal has felt that it is necessary to change the word, which was penned over a century ago, to "human kind" or "all of us" it feels, to my ears, like nails on a chalkboard. I wince. I usually sing the wrong words accidently, because I'm holding a baby while I'm trying to follow along in the dimly light church (I always opt for Christmas Eve if we can make it). And that's just one of the changes. Anything that sounds vaguely masculine must be made feminine. Or at least castrated into neutrality.
Are there really people who don't understand that the author meant "all of us" when he wrote "mankind?"
As someone who has always been in love with the written word it bothers me quite a bit. The motivation behind it, the idea that we should conceal our differences and pretend they don't exist, bothers me even more.
So when I go to sleep on Christmas Eve I'll ask my husband, "if we someday become rich, or maybe just not so poor, can we donate some hymnals that aren't so awful to our parish? Would it be wrong to say, "Father, we'd love to pay off the mortgage on the hall, and all the bills for the year, just please let us replace the songbooks too?" Not that that's a realistic concern.
Deep breath. It shouldn't bother me. It really shouldn't. And it's something I'm working on and praying about ("Dear God, please help me not to be so wrapped up in silly things... Help me focus on what is important. You. The sacrifice of You. Your Presence."
Because there's a far more important reason for being there that outshines everything else.
And that should be more than enough to keep my bad attitude in check.
A side note that is somewhat related (because it's about singing) and a question: When our parish sings the "Our Father" (deep breath) the words are "...as we forgive those who trespass against us, father hear our prayer. And lead us not, into temptation but deliver us, deliver us, from all that is evil, hear our prayer."
It just seems pretentious (and wrong) to me to change the actual words of the Lord's Prayer during Mass. Frankly I don't care if people want to ad lib and do whatever they want outside of Mass (although I personally wouldn't... after all, who gave us this prayer?), but in Mass it seems like a really big step to take to change the prayer Jesus gave us.
As if we can somehow add to it and make it better.
Thoughts? Would this bother you (the Our Father part particularly, although I'm interested in your thoughts on the other part too)?
Deep breaths again. Sorry this turned into a double rant. I think I need to pray for calm about this a little (okay, a lot) more.