Pentecost Sunday — June 9, 2019

Let us take His message out and breathe new life among all God’s disciples.

Gospel Acclamation: John 7:37-39

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.

We are now several weeks from Easter [50 days] and that is fitting as Pentecost is a season of celebration [in the Jewish religion], that is also known as the Feast of Weeks, or New Harvest depending on where in the Jewish world you find yourself.  We mark this particular day because we find the message in the Bible [LEV 23:16] that ye shall count the days after the feast of Passover and call it Pentecost, which is a Greek word meaning “50”.Unknown.jpeg

When looking at the Acts of the Apostles we find that it was on this Jewish date that the Holy Spirit came down upon the Apostles and gave them the strength and courage to go out and preach to Israel.

 

It might seem odd that in the Gospel reading from John today that it appears that the Apostles know nothing of the feast of Pentecost.   The story that is delivered this weekend is one coming from Easter Sunday when the now Risen Christ come upon the disciples to give them the gift of Spirit and peace. It is at this moment that the disciples are given the task of forgiveness of sins.  It was here that it is established that it was Christ that conquered sin, and that the task of the disciples was to act on an individual level to forgive sins.  Even though this is seen as the sacrament of reconciliation in terms of the Church—we are called to as sinners ourselves to forgive all those around us that have sinned.

KEY PHRASE: As the Father has sent me, so I send you.

images.jpegSeeking forgiveness is a sign of humanity.  This is something we do not always seek to do, which is why we often find ourselves in situations that are hard to control, full of grief and ultimately difficult for us to understand.  But a even bigger task that we are given is to not only seek forgiveness, but to forgive those who have done wrong unto us… That one sure is hard for most EVERYONE to do! But that forgiveness of others is in fact the pathway to salvation.   Do not seek to admire Christ by asking for forgiveness, seek to be a follower of Christ and deliver that forgiveness!

 

PSALM: Lord send out your Spirit and renew the face of the earth.

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We have come to the end of the Easter season.  Here is where we are given our mission—Go forth as Jesus did in His ministry and make disciples of people of all nations; PROCLAIM the redemptive love of God.

We find in the readings that Christ gave the gift of the Holy Spirit through breathing on the disciples. In the readings we hear “the mighty acts of God” and “Jews from every nation inder heaven.”  Yet, is it not amazing how every person is able to hear and understand the message in the own native tongue?  This is better explained in the second reading where we come to find and hear that the works of the Holy Spirit  is given to us through the many different gifts the God confers unto us. The Holy Spirit’s work is universal, so why wouldn’t the language be?  The mission is simple, UNIFICATION! As the Father has sent me, so I send you.

Penetcost-Mural-924x600.jpgDo not compare the gifts that each of us have.  They all come from the same place.  What a boring world it would be if we all had the exact same thing [though we do in the redemption of Christ].  Instead of comparing, let us look toward asking ourselves how we can use the gifts that we each have for the good of ALL GOD’S PEOPLE.

Let us take His message out and breathe new life among all God’s disciples.

St Norbert and St Boniface, PRAY FOR US!

Deus lo Vult!     †lvm†

StNorbert.jpg   Rethel_Bonifatius.jpg

Choir and Participation

The Catholic Church boasts of a complex structure that ensures efficiency and sufficiency of functions aimed at facilitating salvation and the drawing of followers to Christ. The church has adopted a variety of changes over the years with this regard. In the years preceding the Second Vatican Council, most choirs and organists in the Catholic Church appreciate their role as providers of liturgical songs. There was a 1903 publication of the church Inter Sollicitudenes document by Pope St. Pius X  “Motu Proprio”, which encouraged live singing of a variety of responses and Latin chants by the entire congregation. However, a majority of Catholics still experienced a liturgy whereby the songs were done by the choir, or a single singer (cantor); who on several occasions served as the organist.

Vatican II embraced reforms which were a representation of continuity and paradigm shift on how music would and should be used. The 1963 constitution on Sacred Liturgy (CSL) emphasized the use of liturgical songs as well as responses, antiphons, text acclaims and verses. The CSL incorporated a chapter on sacred music, with a declaration that it was of higher value than any other art. The argument was pegged on the formation of crucial parts of the solemn liturgy (No. 112) as the sacred songs firmly bind to the text. The dual purpose of music in the ceremony was also stressed in the constitution. One was to glorify God, and the other, to sanctify the faithful.

Vatican II introduced an aspect of active participation by the whole assembly, hence setting out a new agenda for liturgical musicians. Those charged with the responsibility of revising liturgical books were to prioritize active involvement. The role of the choir and other musicians in the church was reaffirmed, but with the condition that they promote the involvement of the assembly.

Many choirs may have been downgraded, or even eliminated in the years after. Nevertheless, they had a more significant role in the church. The result was a flourishment of a variety of parish choirs from versatile groups to more complex organs like Gospel Choirs, Life Teen Bands, and Chant Ensembles. Different parishes across the globe embraced array regarding church choirs in the quest to fulfill the constitutional requirement. Such groups include children, youth, and traditional choirs as well as a contemporary ensemble.

Church documents on liturgical music reveal a gradual change on the interactions between various choirs or music ministries and the general assembly. Some official records, amongst them, the recently revised Roman Missal General Instruction envision mass celebrations in which the meeting is involved in sung dialogue with priests and live singing with the choir or cantor. The documents have the presumption that the liturgy is a sung celebration with the priest and choir/cantor assigned different roles. The choir’s singing forms an integral part of the celebration and should, therefore, be to the plans of the prayers or song of the whole congregation. The situation has posed the challenge of fostering active participation by the congregants while still ensuring the utmost quality of music.

Lawrence V. McCrobie