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Praying for a new Pastor? There's a song for that...

posted May 28, 2015, 9:44 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Jan 10, 2017, 9:24 AM ]
Music enables us to pray in a way beyond what we experience using ordinary speech. So in this time of transition, as we ask for God’s grace to be poured out on Fr. Ilyas Gill as he next assumes the duties of shepherding our parish, here’s some selections that might express what mere words cannot:

Start with hymns that invoke the Holy Spirit, including what we sang this weekend: Come, Holy Ghost; One Spirit, One Church and the chant Veni, Creator Spiritus.

The Psalms are the hymnbook of the Church. English Renaissance composer William Byrd’s setting of Sing Joyfully (Ps 81:1-4) is an example of a compositional technique called word painting, using music to provide a commentary on the meaning of the text itself. A setting of Psalm 46 by Steven C. Warner, Be Still and Know that I am God, is in the style developed by the Taizé community; where the simplicity of repetition invites us to enter into the meaning of the text more deeply. Of course, any setting of Psalm 23 is good; but Fr. Robert’s favorite is Shepherd Me, O God.

Instrumental music has the potential to lift the heart and soul. The lark sings at daybreak, announcing the dawn, and Ralph Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending invites us to “lift up our hearts” so we may soar on its melody and ascend with it. Edward Elgar’s Nimrod, from “Enigma Variations”, provokes contemplation and reflection. Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring offers a mood of rebirth and renewal.

And since we’re dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, listen to your favorite setting of Ave Maria, such as the one by Franz Biebl...