So yesterday I went to Mass with my wife’s family in Philadelphia. Mass was nice except for the one year old in my arms who was the worst baby…evah.
But following the Eucharist, the song was, “Mary, Did you Know?”
Now, I’ve never given the song a moment’s thought. To be honest, I think I’d only heard it once or twice on an Amy Grant Christmas CD. But I’d certainly never heard it before in Mass. My nine year old always wants to sing along in Mass so I quickly found the page for her to read the words. And I read the words over her shoulder.
Now one thing unsettled me from the start which was the questioned ignorance of Mary in the song. Not that I know what Mary knew or didn’t know but the question presumes that Mary might have been wandering into this whole Theotokos thing blind. Exactly what knowledge was imparted to her is a mystery but in the Magnificat she does say,
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me–holy is his name..
Doesn’t exactly sound like she’s completely clueless does it?
But the song itself is definitely a Protestant song. The writer Mark Lowry is an evangelical and I think the song shows it. Look, I’m not against the song. I think it’s good that Protestants are contemplating Mary. But the lyrics are simply not appropriate for Mass.
Here’s the lyrics that jumped out at me:
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered
Will soon deliver you
Now, according to Catholic doctrine, Mary was born without original sin. Deliverance had already been acquired.
Now, I’m fairly sure that 99.8 percent of the people attending Mass didn’t focus on the words and it likely won’t corrupt anybody’s faith but isn’t it a bit wrongheaded for that song to be sung at Mass?