11 August 2008

Don't Misuse the Name of the Lord

It is one thing I cannot stand, since I became Catholic, and that is people who misuse the name of the Lord. I'm sure you will have heard many of your friends and colleagues exclaiming "Oh my G**" (I'm not even gonna write it, you will know what I mean) in so many situations. It is used extensively on TV, for example in the TV program 'Friends' there is a character called Janice. It was pretty much her 'catchphrase'. It makes me cringe. Very often I will point out when someone in my company has said something like this. Usually it is said out of habit, without any malice intended, although that is not a valid excuse. Even worse, is when the name of the Lord or the name of Christ is used as a curse word, that really upsets me.

This came to mind after I read a post on the Young Fogeys blog. It says that a letter has been sent out from Cardinal Arinze to presidents of Bishops' conferences around the world. Pope Benedict has recently approved a directive that the literal Hebrew pronunciation of the name of God should not be used in song or prayer.

This is the Tetragrammaton, the YHWH. I was told during my RCIA that it was written like this to indicate something that should not be said, to remind people not to mistakenly say the name of God. A fine rule to work by. Our RCIA leader suggested if we were ever in a situation of reading out Scripture aloud we should substitute YAHWEH, using Adonai, or Lord instead.


Mark said...

Isn't it the other way round, Jay? If you see Yahweh, you say Lord.

Jay3GSM said...

Oops, yeah that's what I meant to say. I've changed it now. Thanks! :-)