January 6, 2010


One of the spiritual practices that helps me get through daily struggles and difficulties is to recall how God redeems our gifts, personal histories, and even our eccentricities for His own purposes. This is one of the ways I try to work to stay grateful. Gratitude saves us from a multitude of sins and distractions. Here's an example from my own ministry.

Yesterday I had a large funeral Mass to offer, and the family had been very diligent about planning it. I wanted to try to make some extra effort for them, so I tried to sing some of the Eucharistic Prayer, which I had never done before. It wasn't anything grand, just EP III from the Memorial Acclamation to the Doxology from the simple notation (only three notes!) in the back of the Sacramentary. I was very nervous. It wasn't great, but it came out o.k.

After Mass I was thinking of the hours and years spent with the 'alpha female' music teacher in my elementary school, being put through the Kodály Method and standing there wondering what on earth could be the use of singing "Sol-Do-Sol-Do" over and over. I even remember the hand signals that went with it. But here I am, thirty years later, putting it to practical use for the glory of God, singing the Eucharistic Prayer. That's the way God works.


Mark D. said...

Well, everything works for the glory of God, even the stuff that drives us crazy.

I had a teacher once when I was in law school who used to have us do what I thought was endless busy-work. Turns out this teacher was getting us prepared to do some very, very detailed technical drafting regarding jury instructions. Anyway, I didn't realize this until I actually had to prepare jury instructions for my very first trial after I had become a lawyer. Suddenly, all that maddening busy-work rushed back to me and the task at hand - which would have been dauntingly complicated in this particular case - was quite manageable. Thank goodness for that teacher!

Anonymous said...

I've sung in the church choir for as long as I can remember, and from someone who has studied music, I can tell you that those Sol, Do exercises are a Godsend in learning how to site read music. It has saved many a last minute occasion where I've had to sing something completely new on 15 minute notice. And yes, we in the choir (in a loving way of course) make it a point to observe and comment on priestly pitch and breath support. No pressure Father, but you may yet consider joining the choir to master Gregorian chant :)

Brother Charles said...

I was always a choir member in my parishes before religious life, and I should do it again. Thanks for the push.

Bless said...

Very well Father, I like when priest chants during the Liturgy. I feel the prayers much better than on a monotone voice which feels like reading to me.