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David mentions the awkwardness, one might say inappropriateness, of the singing of hymns at Mass. The best case for the practice I’ve read is the one offered last summer by Nathaniel Peters in these pages: ” The Catholic Case for Protestant Hymns .”

Nathaniel makes several valuable, ecumenical points though I’m not sure I’m finally convinced. Even when the best hymns are well sung (as they were at a mass on Cape Cod Nathaniel and I both attended this summer), they do not, I think, conduce to the reverence particular to the Mass. Instead, let’s sing them at work and play, even when we pray the hours. And, as David says, if we must sing hymns at Mass let’s sing them lustily and in full.

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