21: Father George Rutler on church music: Back to the Future?


If you’re like me, you enjoy complaining about bad church music. Whether it’s the stuff the Glory and Praise collections, or the St. Louis Jesuits, or the Marty Haugen/David Haas Monster – most of what passes for hymns of Christian worship at suburban parishes today is dreck: saccharine, sentimental, and syrupy, not to mention mostly unsingable (unless you have vast experience belting out Broadway power ballads).

Well, there is good news, and Father George Rutler announces it in his new book The Stories of Hymns: The History Behind 100 of Christianity’s Greatest Hymns

In this interview, the wry and erudite Father Rutler dives into the stories behind the songs that generations of Christians have loved to sing – yes, including male Christians. As the prophet Joni Mitchell thus spake, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.”

If you’re a junky for good “story behind the story” content, you’ll love this conversation about the great hymns of the past, which may yet, please God, see a return to your local parish.


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