I Will Follow Him – A Gospel Song?

“I Will Follow Him” is a popular song that was prominently featured in the 1992 comedy film “Sister Act,” starring Whoopi Goldberg. The song was originally written in 1961 by Franck Pourceland Paul Mauriat with lyrics by Norman Gimbel, and it was originally French titled “Chariot.”

In the movie “Sister Act,” Whoopi Goldberg’s character, Deloris Van Cartier, takes on the persona of Sister Mary Clarence and becomes a member of a struggling convent choir. As part of her efforts to revitalize the choir and bring new life to the convent, she introduces a contemporary twist to their traditional church music. “I Will Follow Him” is one of the songs she introduces to the choir, and it becomes one of the film’s signature musical moments.

The song could be heard as a call to follow God, which is how it was used in the 1992 comedy Sister Act, but it was written as a romantic love song about a girl who finds herself crushing hard on a guy, willing to follow him to the ends of the earth because she’s convinced he’s her destiny. The singer Peggy March released the song when she was 14.

March was busy traveling at the time the movie was shown and didn’t know about the film until a friend told her. After she watching it – and loved it – she learned the filmmakers had tried to contact her. “The right people didn’t know where to get a hold of me,” she explained. “Not that they needed my permission – but I wouldn’t have minded playing one of the nuns!”

Some people or groups were inspired by the movie and mimic the scenes and sing the song for entertainment and party presentations. Some choirs of the Christian churchers started singing the song in gospel style incorporate it into their service and liturgy.

The Catholics asked: Is it appropriate to sing the song in the Sacred Liturgy or in the celebration of the Holy Mass?

In the Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy SACROSANCTUM CONCILIUM, promulgated by Pope Paul VI on December 1963:

Composers, filled with the Christian spirit, should feel that their vocation is to cultivate sacred music and increase its store of treasures.

Let them produce compositions which have the qualities proper to genuine sacred music, not confining themselves to works which can be sung only by large choirs, but providing also for the needs of small choirs and for the active participation of the entire assembly of the faithful.

The texts intended to be sung must always be in conformity with Catholic doctrine; indeed they should be drawn chiefly from holy scripture and from liturgical sources.

Chaper VI, Paragraph 121

There are other songs that are being sung in the celebtration of the Holy Eucharist that deemed to be inappropriate and therefore the formation of the choir ministry should be revisited.

In certain parts of the world, especially mission lands, there are peoples who have their own musical traditions, and these play a great part in their religious and social life. For this reason due importance is to be attached to their music, and a suitable place is to be given to it, not only in forming their attitude toward religion, but also in adapting worship to their native genius. – par. 119

Here is the lyrics of the Song:

I love him, I love him, I love him
And where He goes I’ll follow, I’ll follow, I’ll follow

[Verse 1]
I will follow him
Follow him, wherever he may go
There isn’t an ocean too deep
A mountain so high it can keep me away

[Verse 2]
I must follow him
Ever since he touched my hand I knew
That near him I always must be
And nothing can keep him from me
He is my destiny

I love him, I love him, I love him
And where he goes I’ll follow, I’ll follow, I’ll follow
He’ll always be my true love, my true love, my true love
From now until forever, forever, forever

[Verse 1]
I will follow him
Follow him, wherever he may go
There isn’t an ocean too deep
A mountain so high it can keep, keep me away
Away from my love

Leave a Comment