Breaking Bread 2021 Hymnal - A Review

951 Songs/Psalms/Commentaries

$17.09 USD

Oregon Catholic Press


Every now and then a book comes along which is rich in wisdom and beauty, and profoundly enlightening to all who encounter it. The latest Breaking Bread 2021 hymnal is not one of those books. Tiresome, inane, fluffy, fruity, and worthless are all words that come to mind when I consider the latest liturgical offering from our bishops. 2020 was a rough year. 2021 is already off to a mortifyingly awful start. 

Enough with the suspense. Let's dive into it. Behold a few examples of what to expect at a church near you in 2021:

At first I misread this title and thought it was Guns & Roses with Knocking on Heaven's Door. And then I thought of Paul McCartney singing "Someone's knocking at the door...." Sadly, it is neither. I love the juxtaposition though. "Somebody's knock-in' at your door," versus the Stabat Mater. I can just see the choir director, "Hmm... shall we meditate on the excruciating sorrows of Our Lady while she follows Christ to Calvary, or sing about knock-in' at a door?"

* * *

This Breaking Bread 2021 is heavy on the St. Louis Jesuits. Check out this incredible poetry by the legendary Dan Schutte ExJay:

Gather the people!

Enter the feast!

All are invited,

the greatest and least.

Inspiring, no? I suppose if Dr. Seuss wanted to get into the liturgical music scene he would write something like this. Maybe add a few "bam, bum, booms" and call it a day. 

* * * 

Aside from the incessant "Bread" and "Wine" talk throughout this book, I must admit that this line stood out most: "May we who eat be bread for others." 

Dude. That's so gnarly. Totally esoteric, man.

* * *


One of two songs titled All Are Welcome. Weaponized ambiguity at its finest.

* * *


"I am your song" and "Sing your songs in me." 

Those lines brought tears to my eyes. Not in the sad way, mind you.

* * *


Just... just... why? 

This song is Bram Stoker in action. It is the Undead, never to entirely leave us in peace. More precisely, it sucks the life out of all Catholics of good will.

* * *


Let's see, last I checked the number was up to 44. That is, 44 women have accused David Haas of sexual abuse. But still, STILL, we publish this monstrous creep in a 2021 hymnal!!! And yet, I'm not surprised at all.

* * *


That's a lot of reasons. I imagine this must be a long song. 

* * *


When I was about nine I wrote a little piano ditty called I Like Rain. It's still far better than this. I especially love it when choirs sing about rain while it's snowing and 40 below outside.

* * *


Laudato Si. The gift that keeps on giving. "Sister, Mother Earth"? You mean Pachamama?
I will just say this, these Breaking Bread hymnals are printed every year (obviously a money-grabbing industry). The books are massive. Poor Mother Earth, having all those trees cut down so that privileged North Americans can sing about how much they love the environment. Maybe these books need another song, Ironic by Alanis Morissette. As for me, I will stick with my traditional Latin Mass missal, 1963 edition. Because unlike Laudato Si singers, Latin Massers actually love trees.

* * *


It would seem that we've been singing this new Church into being for quite some time now. We've reached the point where, dare I say, it is a new Church. At least it is unrecognizable from the one which spread the Gospel for nearly 2000 years.

* * *

Such is the Breaking Bread 2021 hymnal. Now go, as you are, welcome to all, in diversity and in being bread for others, as you sing your songs in others, to rain down the spirit of a new Church into being, beginning with you, and Go Make a Difference.




UPDATE:

To see what I mean by weaponized ambiguity with All Are Welcome, see this year's Canadian Christmas missal, Living with Christ:



The editor is a Jesuit, in case you were wondering.

Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. If I remember correctly, one of the people knocking at Paul McCartney's door was Martin Luther... Maybe you can throw the hymnal over the hills and far away.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It’s like they’re desperately trying to be relevant. Dick and Jane go to church.

    ReplyDelete

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