View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

YHWH is a no no

Rome has spoken. "Yahweh" is no longer to be part of Catholic liturgies - and that includes hymns.

Catholic News Service ( and other news sources say that the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments issued a letter dated June 29 that said there is a tradition in the Church of not pronounce the Tetragrammaton (YHWH) and thus "Yahweh" is to be avoided.

"Apart from a motive of a purely philological order, there is also that of remaining faithful to the church's tradition, from the beginning, that the sacred Tetragrammaton was never pronounced in the Christian context nor translated into any of the languages into which the Bible was translated," the letter reads.

That means a few hymn have to be rewritten. Of the top of my head, I could think of only two that I remember singing, Schutte's "You are Near" ("Yahweh, I know you are near ...") and the Weston Priory's "Yahweh." ("Yahweh is the God of my salvation ..."). I don't recall using either in recent years. The CNS Story also mention the hymns "I Will Bless Yahweh" and "Rise, O Yahweh" - neither of which I can recall ever singing - and says there are a few others that contain the name. Another one that someone reminded me of is Schutte's "Sing a New Song" ("Yahweh's people dance for joy...").

I guess this means that we won't be using U2's "Yahweh" ( in church either. Dang. Bono's gonna be bummed.


Blogger RailRider said...

How about, "Yahweh, the Faithful One"?

5:22 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Hmm. I guess there's more songs still out there!

11:07 AM  

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