Here are 8 great Christian songs. (The links lead to the corresponding audio via YouTube.)
1. Hail, Holy Queen. This is, by far, my favorite hymn. Hearing it during the closing procession at the evening Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption this past week was one of the highlights of that day. And I’m not the only one that shares such a high enthusiasm for it – after all, who could forget the famous Sister Act version?
2. Panis Angelicus. It was written by St. Thomas Aquinas as part of Sacris Solemniis, and it is one of my all-time favorite songs – out of every genre. If it were up to me, singing it would be mandatory around the Eucharist at every Mass. The polished version from Luciano Pavarotti is the best.
3. Turn Around. I’m not a big Matt Maher fan, which is probably due to my unsatisfying Protestant upbringing and, stemming from that, my general distaste for anything affiliated with the charismatic movement. Despite this, the song contains a good message on God’s grace, and I can be occasionally caught humming it.
4. Dies Irae. Considering its prominence in the traditional Requiem Mass, this chant about Judgment Day is hardly uplifting, but it maintains a sense of the sacred that I find lacking in most other songs.
5. The Litany of the Saints. I never hesitate to give credit to this prayer when discussing my conversion to Catholicism. This particular rendition from the 2005 papal conclave always fills me with awe.
6. Te Deum. It has traditionally been ascribed to St. Ambrose and St. Augustine (two of my favorite saints!), and it is simply great. I was first introduced to it by an Anglican, surprisingly enough. The lyrics are not especially profound, but they provide a captivating reflection on the grandness of God.
7. Miserere. This Latin classic is based on Psalm 51 (Greek: 50), which enshrines contrition.
8. The Paraklesis. It consists of a series of odes to Mary, the Theotokos (Mother of God). This version from the Greek Orthodox is beautiful. (An English translation is available in the video’s description.)
What are your favorites? Please share them in the comments section below.