A few days before Christmas my new choir had a practice for the upcoming Mass. I selected "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" for the Offertory hymn. They didn't know "Lo' How a Rose E'er Blooming" and we figured the congregation wouldn't either.
In many cases the version I have at the organ differs slightly from the missalettes. At times I have multiple texts for the same tune. I flipped to the version labeled "Standard" figuring it was safe. But when I looked in the missalette it was slightly different.
Meanwhile the choir was chatting and flipping to the hymn. They knew what I was trying to figure out and someone mentioned "sometimes his text is different". When I heard that I realized it did differ. The two were slightly different, only by one word as far as I could tell.
I began, "OK, I see what they did here. Take a look a the second line and you'll see why my version is different...Peace on the Earth good will to all."
They howled. This group of women to my surprise began to curl their lips up in disgust at being treated like a bunch of oversensitive feminists. I was a little taken aback. After all, this is a Novus Ordo parish and aren't they supposed to appreciate this type of thing?
"I am SO SICK OF BEING POLITICALLY CORRECT", one said. The others were all murmuring the same type of thing. These women were insulted. Why would publishers treat them like this? We agreed that no matter what the missalettes had we were all going to sing "good will to men" and the congregation would just have to go along with it.
The thing is, most of us hear inclusive language all day long and our society uses it nowadays even to a fault. Sometimes at the Novus Ordo you will hear the annoying "My dear Sisters and Brothers" at the beginning of Mass. It is so obvious what is going on there, isn't it?
I guess there are two lessons we can get from the experience. The first is that not all women appreciate the politically correct inclusive language. The second is that they will tolerate it to a degree, but don't you dare mess with Christmas carols.