Testifies to his Catholic faith on and off the show
Here, lucky parishoners at the Agape House Fellowship Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut, were treated to a special guest, as Connick performs the gospel hymn “Old Rugged Cross.”
The singer talked about his faith recently in an interview with Catholic Vote. In response to a question about how faith helps performers deal with the pressures of the music industry, he said:
Asked about his pre-performance prayer ritual, Connick said, “We say a prayer every night, me and my band. My guitar player, Jonathan [DuBose Jr.], he’s a
reverend in his own church, so believe you me, I’m not going to pray in front of him. I let him do all the praying.”
On a recent American Idol show, Connick joked about needing to go to Confession after seeing a New Agey “sound healer" who talked of chakras and chanting. Connick said, “"I feel guilty and unclean. Like I need to go to confession or something."
Connick is not the lone Catholic on American Idol this season. Patheos blogger Tony Rossi reports:
Here are the lyrics to “Old Rugged Cross,” written by evangelist George Bennard in 1912:
On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.
O that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.
In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.
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