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P/P 7601 (1976)

USA,South Bend,Indiana

After the food fight I got into with my posting of the one Word of God album I did,
I became reluctant to post another Catholic Charismatic community album.
I think, however, that the genre needs to be remembered and available when possible,
and this production of the People of Praise in South Bend,Indiana is a good example of it.

Although the People of Praise wasn’t a small community, they brought in
(yes, they did) Jim Cavnar from the Word of God community in Ann Arbor, Michigan,
to produce the album. It’s safe to say that there wasn’t that much difference
in the worship styles of the two communities to start with, but with Cavnar’s presence
it would be difficult to tell this album blindfolded from its Word of God counterparts.
The downside to that is the flat style, tambourines being the only percussion allowed,
and heavy on the acoustic guitars.
The upside is that it was easy for a congregation to sing to
(which is more than I can say for a lot of the current praise and worship music)
and no worse than much of what OCP has produced over the years.

The style may be the same, but most of the songs are different from the Word of God
repertoire. One exception is “We See the Lord,” based on Isaiah 6.
It’s an old favourite of mine and was of my prayer group leader,
who worked for the Southern Railroad. It’s one of several songs with Protestant origins,
common in the repertoire of communities and prayers groups of the era.

In her book Which Way for Catholic Pentecostals,
J. Massyngberde Ford depicted the Ann Arbor-South Bend connection
in a way that reminds history buffs of the Berlin-Rome axis.
(I guess that throwing in Dallas’ Community of God’s Delight makes a Berlin-Rome-Tokyo axis.)
But Ann Arbor’s leadership had fallings out, first with South Bend and then with Dallas,
over the Sword of the Spirit. For all the similarities of the three groups,
that suggests that Steve Clark and his SoS people overplayed their hand,
which contributed to the breakup of the 1970’s Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

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