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Renew the Mass of Renewal...

posted Sep 16, 2013, 10:41 AM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Sep 16, 2013, 10:42 AM ]
This Wednesday evening, at 7:30 pm, I'll spend an hour reteaching the harmony parts of Curtis Stephan's Mass of Renewal we sing. Everyone is welcome to attend, though why would members of a congregation want to sing in harmony? Isn't that the choir's job? Well...

First, it sounds nicer. Beauty lifts our hearts and spirits. And by striving to create more beautiful music, we form relationships with each other; which in turn draws us closer to God. The result of this effort to create beauty during liturgy is defined by Blessed John Paul II:


Hence, between heaven and earth a sort of channel of communication is established
in which the action of the Lord and the song of praise of the faithful meet.
The Liturgy unites the two sanctuaries, the earthly temple and the infinite heavens...

Give Praise Through the Beauty of Music, Feb. 26, 2003

Second, it requires effort, discipline and humility, recognizing that even natural gifts need to be honed. It enhances attentiveness, not just to music, but to voices and people around you. And, like any skill done well and with right motives, it honors God. Lastly, it recognizes that differences exist. It trains us to offer our own abilities to the good of all. Even when not done perfectly – a congregation singing in harmony becomes a visible sign of the invisible grace that unites the different parts into one. As St. Paul writes:

For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function,
so we, though many, are one body in Christ – and individually parts of one another.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us exercise them...

                                                                                                                        Romans 12:4-6

Curtis is visiting our parish next weekend, and will be at all three Masses to speak and to hear our interpretation of his Mass setting. We should try to inspire him as much as he will inspire us at Age to Age: Generations of Faith.