Irish Grinch steals mood music

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 02, 2004

I mean, is nothing sacred?

From the Irish Independent comes the news that "Frosty the Snowman" cannot be performed during Christmas-carol services in the parishes of the Kerry diocese. Also explicitly banned is "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." (I confess that I am not familiar with that particular oeuvre, but then I don't own the comprehensive edition of Glory and Praise.)

Padraig McIntyre, the music director for the Kerry diocese, explains that music performed in churches should seek to "create an encounter with God." Leaving aside the possibility that Grandma's accident might have led her into an encounter with God, I guess I can see what he means.

But just when you start thinking that the iron discipline of the Kerry diocese knows no bounds, McIntyre reveals that these guidelines are really just suggestions. Like all good liturgical guidelines, they won't be enforced.

Now tell me this: If a pastor is so spiritually tone-deaf that he can't see for himself why "Frosty the Snowman" shouldn't be sung in church, do you suppose a "suggestion" from the chancery will set him straight?

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  • Posted by: - Dec. 03, 2004 10:35 PM ET USA

    Last year our pastor chose "Feliz Navidad," "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," and "Happy Birthday" for recessional hymns at the Christmas vigil Mass. He admitted that they weren't especially religious, but they were "festive." I hope Father doesn't see this article. It might give him ideas.

  • Posted by: Sterling - Dec. 03, 2004 8:36 PM ET USA

    Frosty should never be banned. The song is clearly allegorical. Consider: Frosty the Snowman Had to hurry on his way But he waved good-bye Saying don't you cry I'll be back again some day. As for Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer, it's sort of an American redneck On Eagles Wings. I guess the Irish just don't understand. For you, Diogenes, and others who might not be familiar with the work, follow this link.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 02, 2004 10:02 PM ET USA

    Another retraction, please! I can hardly believe you would place "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" along with the tripe in "Glory and Praise" without even knowing the song. "Grandma" is far better than the songs you find in "Glory and Praise." The song has tradition, shows the importance of family and the dire consequences of living a dissolute life, There is even a recurring and uncompromising statement of faith. Please do yourself and the rest of us a favor and Google up the lyrics.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 02, 2004 9:19 PM ET USA

    Diogenes, refer to the other discussion about the poor priest who got lambasted for telling children the truth about Santa Claus. There are really people who think that "Santa" and "winter wonderland" stuff is integral to Christmas - some amongst this readership! It is sad that those guidelines won't be enforced.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Dec. 02, 2004 6:28 PM ET USA

    What about I Saw Mommy Kissing Santy Claus? Surely Fr. Peter Kennedy would approve of that. Maybe he just needs to move from Australia to the Auld Sod.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 02, 2004 5:36 PM ET USA

    Suggestions are better than nothing. Our diocese could use some. Last year I was in the daily Mass chapel praying the Rosary. Suddenly I heard a chorus of children's voices singing "jingle, jingle, jingle, etc." There were practicing for the children's Christmas concert. I told my pastor that "Hail Mary, full of grace, jingle, jingle, jingle, just didn't work. He's a good priest. They didn't jingle during the concert.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 02, 2004 5:07 PM ET USA

    Sacrosanctum Concilium required the preservation and nurturing of the Church’s body of sacred music, yet everywhere one goes in the Novus Ordo, Catholic liturgy is now accompanied by irreverent protestant or secular music. Given forty years of papal and episcopal indifference to this kind of nonsense, I can’t imagine why anyone is surprised that a Catholic would find Frosty the Snowman appropriate in a church setting. So… why should CWN want to roast McIntyre’s chestnuts on an open fire?

  • Posted by: michaelwilmes - Dec. 02, 2004 3:57 PM ET USA

    Ah! I have sweet visions of a mini-skirted nun strumming her guitar while seated on the Communion rail........