God's Name

August 14, 2008

The Vatican has ruled that the word "Yahweh" should not "be used or pronounced" during songs or prayers used for Mass. Publishers of hymns that use the name for God that is not supposed to be pronounced will be asked to provide alternative lyrics. Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, who is the chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Divine Worship, said the change is "an opportunity to offer catechesis for the faithful as an encouragement to show reverence for the name of God in daily life, emphasizing the power of language as an act of devotion and worship." This is a good reminder about the importance of thinking about what we say. It does seem that we have lost some of the sense of sacredness surrounding the saying of God's name that Jews in the Old Testament demonstrated.