A U.K. church is raising eyebrows for performing the iconic Christmas carol “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” with altered lyrics that reflect a “woke, unbiblical” ideology.
What are the details?
All Saints with Holy Trinity in Loughborough used the updated carol — which removes references to Satan as well as to Christ as Savior — and instead refers to “queer and questioning” “women, who by men have been erased,” MSN reported.
The network added that the altered lyrics were printed in the order of a Monday carol service to feature “new inclusive words for a traditional hymn.”
MSN said the new lyrics read, in part:
God rest you also, women,
who by men have been erased,
Through history ignored and scorned,
defiled and displaced;
Remember that your stories too,
are held within God’s grace.
The network noted there’s more where that came from:
God rest you, queer and questioning,
your anxious hearts be still,
Believe that you are deeply known
and part of God’s good will
For all to live as one in peace;
the global dream fulfilled.
— Macira (@Macira)
Apparently, this week wasn’t the first time the altered carol was performed at All Saints. Here’s a video of the church’s Carol Service from 2020, during which a choir also belted it out:
The Mayor’s Community Carol Service 20/12/21 @ 19.00 from All Saints with Holy Trinity, Loughborough
Commentators on GB News seemed none too pleased by it all:
— GB News (@GB News)
The outlet said All Saints with Holy Trinity in Loughborough was contacted for comment on behalf of its rector, Rev. Wendy Dalrymple.
‘Woke, unbiblical agenda’
In a separate story, MSN reported that the altered lyrics ignited an argument on social media between traditionalist members of the clergy and General Synod — the Church of England’s legislative body — and LGBTQ activists within the Church.
Rev. Matthew Firth, former vicar of St. Cuthbert’s and Holy Trinity Darlington in the Diocese of Durham, told the outlet, “I’m not sure where the lyrics came from, but it seems clear that they were changed to fit with the [Church of England’s] woke, unbiblical agenda.”
MSN said Firth added, “Compare it with the real words. All ideas about Christ as Savior have been erased. Triumph over Satan’s power has been erased. And the whole nativity story has been erased.”
Sam Margrave, a General Synod member, added to the outlet that he was “absolutely disgusted” that an “act of worship to our Lord and Saviour is being used to push political ideology.”
But Jayne Ozanne — a prominent gay, evangelical Christian and also a General Synod member — praised the altered lyrics, telling MSN: “What an utterly Spirit-inspired set of words for our time! I love the way this speaks into the pain that the Church has caused so many different groups & yet recognizes that God’s love is so much bigger than it all. May people who sing it be blessed & restored this Christmas!”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols — the Archbishop of Westminster and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales — said carols shouldn’t be rewritten, the outlet said.
MSN said Nichols spoke to Times Radio about the recent trend of rewriting carols to be more inclusive: “I think what Christmas does … it tells us the importance of ritual. And ritual helps us to step outside of our own little bubble, connect with something that we have received, inherited, and that we hope to pass on. And I think those values of a continuation of musical repertoire, of the ability to sing together, of looking at the rituals that have been fashioned over centuries. And those are, probably for me, more important than particular sensitivities which come and go.”
The outlet said the updated lyrics are described online as “new inclusive words for a traditional hymn” on the ResistHarm Movement website, a United Methodist movement of “faithful resistance to anti-LGBTQIA+ policies and practice.”