Music Ministry

05-25-2014Weekly ReflectionCheryl Manfredonia

Bless me Father, for I HAVE been singing!! It's been 50 years since Vatican II.

Yes – fifty years since Pope John XXIII (now Saint John XXIII) convened the Second Vatican Council. Pope Saint John XXIII was perhaps the most influential pope of the twentieth century. One of the greatest reforms resulting from Vatican II is the full and active participation of the assembled congregation.

What exactly does that mean for us? The opportunity to enter into the sacred liturgy with all of our senses, heart, body, mind, and voice - - a sacred, prayerful dialogue with the celebrating priest in spoken and sung prayer.

I am grateful for all the parish cantors, musicians, and a singing congregation! Together we praise and thank God, the angels and saints, the Blessed Mother in joyful hymns and songs. I encourage all ages, men and women, boys and girls, to please… Don't be shy…..Give Music Ministry a try! Summer is a great time to join the team who lends support to our congregational song. Sacred song, united to biblical text, forms a necessary and integral part of the treasure of the Catholic Church – our solemn liturgy.

Pope Saint John Paul II wrote a beautiful letter to artists and musicians, stressing the importance of maintaining quality music within our church. We have over 2,000 years of sacred pieces to choose from – Gregorian chant, Palestrina, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, through and including contemporary composers.

John Paul II highly admired Mozart. He felt Mozart's masterful settings of the Catholic mass emanated a great faith, trust and belief in God. This Sunday, at the 10:30 a.m. mass, our adult choir offers a Mozart Alleluia – isn't it wonderful to be singing Alleluias again? Music is truly a gift from God; and coming to share this special gift with the St. Magdalen community is a priest from Italy.

If you watched or listened to any of the canonization ceremonies on Mercy Sunday, you heard gorgeous, sacred choral music. This was written and conducted by the Pope's very own choir director, Msgr. Marco Frisina. Msgr. directs the choir from St. John Lateran – the Pope's 'parish' church in Rome. Msgr. is also Rector of St. Cecelia's right outside of Rome. He composes for special events that take place at the Vatican, as well as scoring the two films on Saints John Paul II and John XXIII.

Watch the bulletin for his choral workshop, keynote address on Music in the New Evangelization, and a concert - - save the date: Saturday, August 2, 2014. . . more to follow

God Bless you, and sing out with gusto this Sunday – He is Risen – Alleluia!!

Cheryl Manfredonia
Sacred Liturgy Commission
Director of Music