23 November 2008

A sung oxymoron

This morning our high school choir sang at the 11:00 Mass. They always sing well, as they did this morning; had their microphones been working properly, they would have sounded even better.

As one of the preludes before Mass, they sang "Sacred Silence," by Tom Booth, Jenny Pixlar and Anthony Kuner. I've never really liked the song.

I've said before - and I'll certainly say again - that I think too much and it will probably be the end of me. At the same time, it seems as too few people put forth enough effort to carry a thought through to its logical conclusion.

Why don't I like "Sacred Silence"? It is a sung oxymoron.

The song begins, "Sacred silence, holy ocean, gentle water, washing over me." Now, let's think about this for a moment.

If silence is so sacred, the song should simply end and let the silence be. The more we sing the less silence we experience and, presumably, the less sacred will the moment be.

Of course silence is sacred, and it's presence in the Liturgy should be fostered, maintained and encouraged. We should sit, stand, kneel and pray in silence, not sing about it.


  1. I was looking for some thoughts about this song. I completely agree with you though I am curious what you think of the reference to "holy ocean." What is that supposed to mean?

    1. I'm not really sure; I can only guess the "holy ocean" is a symbolic reference to the "sacred silence."