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Musical Musings
Solemnity of Our Lord
Jesus Christ, The King
of the Universe, A
November 26, 2023
MD Ridge
Image Overkill

Given the strong images of Christ as shepherd in all three of today’s readings, one can easily imagine a parish using one “shepherd” song after another. And because it’s the Feast of Christ the King, some folks are going to choose nothing but hymns and songs such as “To Jesus Christ Our Sovereign King” (Ich Glaub An Gott), “Hail Redeemer, King Divine” (St. George's Windsor), and “Rejoice, the Lord Is King” (Darwall), to name just a few of the many possibilities.

But there’s a fine line between reinforcement and overkill.

The Gospel reminds us of the Beatitudes
—a good verse-refrain setting would serve well for Communion.
To overuse a single image is inadvisable, like multiplying crosses for the Good Friday Veneration would be. It’s overkill to take a good image and grind it into the ground. Remember, today’s congregations have multivalent attention spans. They get an image without having to be repeatedly hit over the head with it.

The Gospel reminds us of the Beatitudes—a good verse-refrain setting would serve well for Communion. One “shepherd” song, one “king” song, one “end times” song, one setting of the Beatitudes, or a “peace” song—these would reinforce the readings without overkill, while tying the multivalent images together.

Think subtle. What speaks of vigilant living to you and your community?
MD Ridge
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Art by Martin Erspamer, OSB
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical Year (A, B, and C).
This art may be reproduced only by parishes who purchase the collection in book or CD-ROM form. For more information go
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