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Music Ministry

10-27-2013Weekly ReflectionCheryl Madfredonia

Dear Parish Family,

Have you seen the book "Why Catholics Can't Sing"? My thought is that the author never attended mass at St. Magdalen de Pazzi!! Mid-summer, I was blessed to become a part of your parish community as Director of Music and Sacred Liturgy. I have enjoyed hearing you raise your voices in joyful song and praise. Shortly after I arrived, a new parishioner came to me and asked how many music groups or ensembles are there at St. Magdalen's? Well, it took me several weeks to give her an accurate answer, because at every turn a new musician, singer, or choir member would approach me and introduce themselves! Now I can confidently say there is something for everyone, every age, every level of musicality or commitment.

Adult Choir – rehearses every Thursday evening to sing each Sunday at the 10:30 a.m. Mass as well as special events and holy days. The ability to read music is helpful, but not required. If you have a song in your heart, please come and share the joy of singing with us!

Chamber Choir - a smaller vocal ensemble, music reading is highly recommended, as well as a love for music from the early centuries.

CrossRoads Trio - a contemporary guitar ensemble well-established here at St. Magdalen's most often leading our prayerful song at the Saturday vigil masses.

Sisters of Song – another well-established, but still growing group, providing music for Wednesday devotions, Friday Benediction, weekend liturgies and special occasions.

Youth Choir - teens sing praise once or twice a month, rehearsing early evening each Wednesday

Children's Choir - Wednesday afternoon rehearsals prepare the youngest set to sing once a month at the Sunday 9:00 a.m. Mass as well as Christmas Eve.

Cantors - Each Mass has a song leader who is also Psalmist; we even have a husband and wife team – piano & cantor – often joined by friends who simply love providing musical accompaniment to beautify our liturgies.

Friday Schola - don't want to drive at night to attend Thursday evening rehearsals? Start your Friday bright and early, enjoy a simpler choral experience, and sing with us Friday morning.

Instrumentalists - do you miss your days of high school, college or community orchestra? Please consider enhancing our sung prayer with instrumentation!

From chant to traditional hymnody to beautiful, modern settings of scriptural text, WE SING (therefore pray twice, as St. Augustine tells us) at St. Magdalen's. I welcome all to share their God-given talents as our music program gets bigger and better every week; please call me!

Music has such power to make things memorable for us. Music speaks to the heart in ways words cannot express. Try just reading Psalm 23, for example. So full of comfort and consolation; but raised to a whole new level when set to music. Psalm 23 has been inspiring composers throughout the centuries. Let the music lift your spirits next weekend. On All Saints Day the Church celebrates the communion of saints who intercede for us. These holy men and women continue to inspire and encourage us; offering us heavenly companionship during our earthly life. The procession of holy ones continues on All Souls' Day, as we pray for all those who have gone before us. Our prayers help them obtain mercy and forgiveness in Purgatory.

"Combining sacred music and words forms a necessary and integral part of solemn liturgy." (Sacrosanctum concilium 112)

"Address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart." (Eph 5:19)

Music leads us to the window of heaven and lets us gaze within. Those who praise God on earth with joyful song will feel at home in heaven! With that in mind, sing your heart out this Sunday!

Cheryl Manfredonia