Welcome‎ > ‎

Hymns are like hiking songs...

posted May 30, 2015, 10:07 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated May 30, 2015, 10:09 AM ]
Last week I visited friends who live atop a Colorado mountain, and from their house I could see Pike’s Peak, where Katherine Lee Bates wrote the poem that became the lyrics for America, the Beautiful. I’m reading Sherry A. Weddell’s book Forming Intentional Disciples, and in her chapter called “Grace and the Great Quest” she starts talking about the very spot I’m looking at!... 

“Locals know that the Barr Trail going up to this 14,115-foot-high pinnacle has the greatest elevation gain… A small child could be carried up, but adults cannot simply wander up to the summit casually, much less passively. I don’t think it is an accident that the Church uses the metaphor of a summit to convey the significance of the Eucharist, the pinnacle of the Christian life. Just as we have to actively climb a mountain summit, we have to make an intentional journey to fully receive the inexhaustible grace to be found in the Eucharistic Christ.”

There’s something about hiking that makes us burst out into songs, such as The Happy Wanderer (valderi-valdera). So think of the hymns at Mass like hiking songs, and throw your whole heart, body and soul into them! The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy says “in order that the liturgy may be able to produce its full effects, it is necessary that faithful take part fully aware of what they are doing, actively engaged in the rite”. This is why the Mass requires the “conscious, active, and fruitful participation” of all present. Like the song says, are you “Happy When I’m Hiking"? If so, Happy Trails to you