Mary, Star of Hope: Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the United States from 1854 to 2010, as Seen through the Lens of Roman Catholic Marian Congregational Song
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This project analyzes Marian congregational song in the Roman Catholic Church in the United States from 1854 to 2010, focusing not only on the texts and music, but also on the contexts out of which these songs came. Marian devotion before 1854 is explored, in addition to pertinent developments in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as cultural developments that affected Marian congregational song from 1854 to 2010. Although many Marian congregational songs have been dismissed by academics as lacking sound theological content, they have been an important part of Roman Catholic spirituality in the United States. Through the analysis of these songs, this study develops a broader understanding of how Marian congregational song developed, persisted, and changed as a mediator of Marian devotion. During this survey of 120 Roman Catholic hymnals printed in the United States from 1854 to 2010 (sixty hymnals from 1854 to 1963, and sixty from 1964 to 2010), data was collected that allowed for the calculation of the percentage of Marian congregational songs in each hymnal and the percentage of Marian congregational songs in Latin, Latin and English, and English in each hymnal. A list of the thirty most frequently found Marian congregational songs was also compiled. Reasons for the decline found in Marian congregational songs after Vatican II are explored. There is also an investigation into the use of Latin and English before and after Vatican II, the number of Marian congregational songs based on musical styles before and after Vatican II, and the influence of Pope John Paul II’s papacy (1978–2005) on Marian congregational song. Looking through the lens of the Magnificat, suggestions are offered as to how Marian congregational song can be reinvigorated and reinvented to speak to the post-Vatican II, twenty- first-century Roman Catholic Church as well as other Christian denominations. A few current texts are held up as examples of excellent Marian congregational songs. Finally, proposals are made as to what qualities might be included in the texts of Marian congregational songs in the future.
PLEASE NOTE: this dissertation was revised and is being published as a book on November 15th, 2014. We have restricted access to it to BU affiliates only until November 15th, 2016. If you a member of the BU community, please log in using your BU credentials, and you will be able to view the work.