For the last few years we’ve heard the beautiful voice of our talented soloist, Deirdre Donavan, at Mass. Recently she took on a full-time job teaching music in public school. So after twenty-two years singing at weekend Masses at Catholic parishes, she informed me that she intends to “retire” from being a Church Soloist. Next weekend is to be her final weekend singing at OLM. It is of course a bitter-sweet time for us at OLM. We shall miss her voice and talent that has added so much to our worship of God at Holy Mass. But we can appreciate that she might like to spend more time with her husband and family on weekends!
In your name, I offer my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to Deirdre for her service to OLM. We wish her well on her future endeavors and the blessings of God! In this time of transition for our music program, our talented Music Director, Henri St. Louis will continue to play and sing at Masses along with the OLM Choir. Also we will continue to the great work begun by Deirdre with our Children’s Choir. We thank Henri and our Choir members for continuing to share their time and talent in lifting up our worship of Almighty God!
The goal for Sacred Music, or anything at Mass should never be “us’ or “me.” Let us not think so much about ourselves but on the contrary, we should conform our lives to God. St. Thomas Aquinas, the great Doctor of the Church said: “All things are in God as their first model.”
Pope Pius XII in his encyclical, Musicae sacrae disciplina, beautifully summarized the role of sacred music. He taught: "Thus, at the instance and under the sponsorship of the Church, sacred music, through the course of centuries, has traversed a long road by which, though sometimes slowly and laboriously, it has finally reached the heights: from the simple and natural Gregorian modes, which are, moreover, quite perfect in their kind, to great and even magnificent works of art which not only human voices, but also the organ and other musical instruments embellish, adorn and amplify almost endlessly.”
“He who sings,” said St. Augustine, “prays twice.” The holy Bishop of Hippo meant that singing adds to our praise and worship of God—that our voices are gifts, with which we can make music to the Lord. Sung prayer expresses the joy of the heart, the happiness resulting from one who has encountered Jesus Christ and experienced his love. Sung prayer reminds us of the choirs of heaven, with whom we are called to praise God eternally in heaven.
The Second Vatican Council taught that, “liturgical worship is given a more noble form when the divine offices are celebrated solemnly in song, with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people.” When the sacred liturgy is sung, it becomes more beautiful, and more reflective of the beauty of the Most Blessed Trinity.
Christians have sung in sacred liturgy since the Church’s earliest days. And the Jewish people have sung praise to God, in the context of holy worship, for thousands of years. The Psalms are the record of the liturgical song-prayers of the Jewish people. When we sing in the context of Holy Mass, we join a tradition of sacred worship that goes back to at least the time of King David himself. “Let us come before him with a song of praise,” wrote King David, “joyfully sing out our psalms.”
When we sing, we experience God’s presence in a new way. Pope St. John Paul prayed that every Catholic, by “expressing their faith harmoniously and solemnly in song, will experience its richness ever more fully and will abide by the commitment to express its impulses in their daily life.” St. Augustine was right—he who sings prays twice. May we sing together in holy worship, and our homes in praise and thanksgiving for all that God has given us.
Thank you to the many parishioners who have given to the Annual Parish Collection thus far. It’s off to a good start but we still have not heard from many other parishioners yet. Please put your Annual Collection donation in the basket or send it by mail. Thanks for the support!
October is for Mary and the Rosary. Join us on Mondays at 7:00pm. Be well. Do good. God Bless. Go Sox! Go Pats!!!