Friday, 3 April 2020 – Missing the Music? A Sacred Music Series From St. Gertrude Music Ministry

Friday, 3 April 2020 – Missing the Music? A Sacred Music Series From St. Gertrude Music Ministry

by Catherine Fishlock 

Director of Music Ministry – St. Gertrude Church

Are you missing the music?

Very sadly for me, the music at our masses was the first to go when the coronavirus first started turning our lives upside down.  While I certainly understood the rationale behind the decision – to shorten each Mass and thereby move people in and out of the church more quickly, hence, less interaction, it made for a stark and rather sad Sunday.

Aside from having to tell my choirs (both the adults and the children ) that they were not going to be singing, I had to swallow hard at the thought of cancelling all the beautiful music that we had been working so diligently on, preparing to provide you all with prayerful and glorious liturgies  for the remainder of Lent and on into Holy Week and Easter.  My heart was (and is) heavy for the RCIA candidates preparing to come into the Church at the Easter Vigil – what a liturgy, what a glorious night- but now…

Thinking over the events of the last couple weeks, it seems to me that we could say we’re having a very extended Holy Week, when the statues and holy images of our heavenly companions , the saints, Our Lord and Our Lady, are veiled from our view, when Jesus has been taken from us, when the organ falls silent and the choir and cantors’ voices stand alone, as each of us will before our Creator some day.  Under the circumstances, we don’t even have the unaccompanied voices to inspire and uplift us.

Our journey into the desert with Jesus took an unexpected turn so let us not miss out on  this tremendous opportunity to draw ever closer to Him! Everything that we are missing, longing for, maybe even realizing that we take for granted, can be offerings of sacrifice as we continue to make our way to the Resurrection, through Calvary.

Since I am unable to do my part from the choir loft to draw hearts and minds more deeply into the mystery of the Mass let me offer this: as we all become more and more  familiar with the practice of making a Spiritual Communion at Mass, I want to provide you with some beautiful choral meditations on Eucharistic texts.   This first one is a very famous setting of the Ave Verum Corpus by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

St. Stephen Catholic Church in Baden (lower Austria) – The Church where Mozart composed the motet

I will continue to send you more over the next days and weeks. I hope that they can aid you in your prayer at home in giving praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for the gift of His Son in the Blessed Sacrament.   Enjoy!

Ave verum Corpus natum de Maria Virgine;Vere passum, immolatum in cruce pro homine;Cujus latus perforatum, fluxit aqua et sanguine;Esto nobis praegustatum mortis in examine.O Jesu dulcis!  O Jesu pie! O Jesu fili Mariae.

Hail, true body, born of Mary the Virgin; truly suffering, sacrificed on the cross for man;from whose pierced side flowed water and blood. Be to us a foretaste at death’s trial, O sweet Jesus! O loving Jesus! O Jesus, Son of Mary.