Shabbat Notes, 9/24/2011: Dad’s visit; Gospel music in musaf

My dad is in town. He and I usually talk on the phone at some point on Shabbat to fill each other in on any particularly excellent bits of chaos we witnessed in shul that morning. He’s also a reader of this blog, so his visit would not have been complete without a visit to Beth El. He rightly told me that he approved of the level of chaos.

In musaf this morning, the Christian gospel tune, “Lord Prepare Me,” was on the march again. I’ve previously discussed the tune’s increasing use in Jewish worship here and here. I’ve encountered the use of this melody several times, though this use of it is new to me. Today Cantor Perry Fine used it for the musaf kedusha. Eschewing the usual call-and-response-and-repetition style, he led us through the prayer in unison to the tune of “Lord Prepare Me,” from the beginning–“Na’aritzecha venak’dishecha…”–through “Baruch kevod Adonai mimekomo.” Then we proceeded to the the tune of “Erev shel Shoshanim” for a while.

Also, I had an aliyah. More on why that happened sometime next month.

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3 Responses to Shabbat Notes, 9/24/2011: Dad’s visit; Gospel music in musaf

  1. John Wofford September 24, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    It’s a pet peeve of mine to hear that song in a Jewish liturgy. It’s not exactly a terrible number, but it brings back memories of sweaty, extremely humid, sexually frustrating bible camp experiences in my “Holy s–t, I used to be a Pentecostal” childhood. I have to wonder if those employing the use of “Lord Prepare Me” actually get that it isn’t merely a sort of metaphor for the human body as temple, but a specific invitation for accepting “the Holy Spirit.”

    • David A.M. Wilensky September 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

      Indeed! I don’t mind its use when it’s only the melody, which was the case this time. But you’re right that the words just don’t fit in shul.

  2. Julie September 24, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    If I’m honest, I find that song somewhat irritating when it’s used as part of Christian liturgy. Can’t imagine what it must be like in the context of Judaism.
    I don’t mind some level of borrowing songs/tunes from other religious traditions, but it ought to be done judiciously. It’s a problem in the Catholic world — we’ve got a significant history of rather lovely religious music, but some people seem to prefer their songs straight from evangelical megachurches.