Monday, September 22, 2008

The power of sin does NOT "prevail"

Dear readers,

There is a very popular song, "Glory and Praise to our God", that is widely used in our churches and which includes the line: "though the power of sin prevails our God is there to save". I do not believe that this phrase accurately reflects our Faith.

Recently I celebrated a Mass at which this was the opening song. As I began my remarks for the opening rites and the Confiteor I felt compelled to tell the people that "the power of sin does NOT prevail but, rather, it is the power of God to forgive sin which prevails in the heavens, on the earth and under the earth".

The lure or temptation to sin might be described as "persisting" or "perennial" but to say that something finite, such as human sins, can "prevail" over the infinite Being who is God and over His infinite mercy in Christ our Savior, strikes me as erroneous.

To continue to use such a text in our liturgies is inimical to the faith of our worshipping people, is it not?

You can listen to the song here .

What do you think?

Peace be with you,

1 comment:

Rob Stout said...

I have always understood that line to mean "thought the power of sin APPEARS to prevail" (which it often does) and then tells us that our "God is there to save" us because His power is greater than sin.
That said, I have never been a big fan of Dan Schutte's music which is not recognizably sacred in its tempo or sound and is usually theologically barren.