“He who sings prays twice.” This is a phrase attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo, the patron saint of our Diocese. He is saying that when we sing our prayers, we adorn the words we speak to the Lord with a beauty that comes from our hearts’ love for Him. It is like the Medieval monks who, while copying their manuscripts, adorned the words of Sacred Scripture with colorful images and intricate designs. Like the illuminations in those manuscripts, singing dresses the sacred words of prayer in vesture of pulchritude.
Music plays an important role in the Mass, facilitating the experience of being drawn into the great liturgy that is Heaven. Not all music at Mass, however, is created equal. Certain parts of the Mass are more important to sing than others. “Preference is to be given especially to those [parts] which are to be sung by the priest, the deacon, or a reader, with the people replying, or by the Priest and the people together” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal, II-40). This means that it is more important to sing the prayers than the hymns – particularly those prayers in which the ministers and the congregation engage in a “call and response” or when they sing together. In order to enhance the beauty of our liturgical worship of the Lord in a way envisioned and encouraged by the Church, we will be introducing more singing into some of our Masses, particularly the 11:15 Mass on Sunday (but never at the 7:30am on Sunday!). Specifically, we will sing what’s called the “Preface,” which takes place after the preparation of the gifts at the Offertory, and which begins with the priest calling upon the people to lift up their hearts to the Lord. We will also sing the Lord’s Prayer together at the 11:15 Mass, and perhaps at others. This will begin the weekend of Oct 1-2, with the cantor giving an overview of the sung parts prior to Mass and providing support to the congregational singing during the Mass. It might take a few weeks for the singing to sound beautiful in our ears. I assure you, however, if sung with devotion it will harmonize perfectly with the celestial choirs and sound sweetly in the ears of the Lord, Our God.
After almost four months of work, the new Parish Office parking lot and handicap ramp are now complete. There are still a few minor adjustments to be made, but beginning this week parishioners will be able to access the office building through the front entrance again. The improvements make the building much more easily accessible and aesthetically pleasing. I hope you like the final results as much as I do.
Again, I want to thank all those whose contributions to the We Stand With Christ capital campaign have made these much-needed capital improvements possible. Please remember to keep fulfilling your pledges, as those funds are absolutely essential to the parish’s ability to finish paying for the work that has been done.