A Message From Fr. Pat...
To my dear St. John Neumann Parish family:
Last week, Soo-Jin and our music ministry team began to teach us a new set of “Mass parts” (Gloria, Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Great Amen, Agnus Dei). We will all probably struggle a little bit for several weeks to get accustomed to the new music. Of course, the good part is that the words are the same, just the tune, tempo, word emphasis, etc. will be a different than the Mass setting we were previously singing.
Some of you may think, “UGH! Why do we have to change? I liked the old Mass parts!” Others may be happy to try something different. I, for one, welcome periodic rotation in the music we use. There are some Mass settings that I find to be more joyful. Others seem to have a “majestic” feel. A more traditional chant might bring with it a sense of reverence and contemplation. A Lenten setting may evoke a feeling of sorrow, remembering God’s loving mercy. And all of them, no matter what your musical taste, are BEAUTIFUL! All of them are appropriate! Why? Because our God is a source of true joy! His grandeur is beyond our ability to grasp, and we should experience His great majesty in song! He is holy, a being of pure love whom we must contemplate in His gentleness and tenderness. And He is merciful, whose goodness we fully know when we feel true contrition for our sin. God is EVERYTHING, which is why He can’t be captured in just one musical setting.
We are invited to know the fullness of God each time we participate the liturgy. Many times, however, we come to Mass so distracted and unprepared that we just mumble the words and go through the motions at Mass. As we approach the beginning of Advent (in just two weeks! Yikes!), I invite you to fully enter into the beauty of the Mass. Listen to the words we pray together. Think about what they mean. Read the Scriptures for the day before you get to Mass, so that the words won’t just roll off your back, but will marinate inside you and penetrate your heart. And let the music help you do that, by singing along, as best you can, during all parts of the Mass.
Our God is so wonderful! He wants you to know Him! He is knocking on the door of your soul. Won’t you answer, and let Him in?