Good Shepherd Sunday

I am the Good Shepherd, say the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.  ALLELUIA!  This Gospel Acclamation sums up what we are all working towards in life.  To open our heart and accept Jesus as our shepherd. When He speaks, we should open our ears and listen.

I am the Good Shepherd, say the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.  ALLELUIA!  This Gospel Acclamation sums up what we are all working towards in life.  To open our heart and accept Jesus as our shepherd. When He speaks, we should open our ears and listen.

Drawing our attentions to the Gospel reading, though short in nature, it is simple and pure–one that we should take special attention to:

John 10: 27-30 L51C

Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.  No one can take them out of my hand.  the-good-shepherd-by-nathan-greene-5-options-available-15.jpgMy Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.  The Father and I are one.”

We should focus on the key phrase of:

No one can take them out of my hand.

From the readings, we are able to understand and form the image of Jesus—as the Good Shepherd.  One who calls out among His sheep; each by name, taking care to guide them to safety and to deliver them from all evils.  Though the message is short this week, we are able to gather that this relationship with Jesus is ESSENTIAL and of GREAT importance.  It is a message of an unbreakable bond between ourselves and that of our Shepherd.  We are told that we should listen to the call and message of Jesus, and that we should listen to the message with great care.  That this message will allow us to never have fear, and that we shall never experience a separation from God, as nothing can break the bond, nor remove us from the palm of His hand.lost-sheep

Our second reading: from Revelation.

We are given the image of a “great multitude.” Something that is beyond our comprehension [size wise].  It is full of a message that this “multitude” is the body of Christ.   That the group comes from all nations, race, tongues—composed of those that suffered and survived great distresses; those that washed themselves in the Blood of the Lamb.

Jesus-and-His-followersThose in the early Church were faced with great adversity.  Even our Apostles suffered greatly [John is the exception as he died from old age on the island of Patmos] –they were martyrs of the violence inflicted unto Christians by the Romans.  Because of this persecution, many people would have had reason to doubt Jesus, to doubt the word of God—to flee from His promise of Salvation.  Yet, He gives us the message that NO ONE can take them from the palm of His hand.  Even in death, we are not separated from our Heavenly Father.  Our Good Shepherd gives us Eternal Life, something that NEVER changes.

Psalm 100: 1,2,3,5

Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.

Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.

The LORD is good:
his kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.

This Psalm is an invitation for all to come to the Lord and to do so with a great sense of Joy and Thanksgiving.  We are joyful and thankful because we come knowing that we are jesus-and-the-lost-sheepGod’s people, that we are a community with Him.  That we cannot be taken from Him.  Even though we receive the call individually, we come to our Lord as a community.  As a GROUP of disciples that are there to listen to the Lord and to go forth and bring others to Him.  In this multitude we experience diversity, knowing that ALL are welcome.

Holy Family, PRAY FOR US!

 

Deus lo Vult

 

©2019 Lawrence V. McCrobie  |   http://www.LawrenceMcCrobie.com   |   http://www.OneStepCloserCatholic.org

 

Sunday Music Goers

Each of the Sunday mass goers, as well as the musicians, has a differing opinion on instances in the mass when there should be singing by the assembly. Singing is of utmost importance during the mass and should also be done with consideration to people’s culture and various abilities in each liturgical assembly. The mass begins with an entrance hymn, whose purpose is to enhance unity among those present and introduce their thoughts the liturgical time and also welcome the ministers’ and priests’ procession. One way in which this sense of unity is encouraged is by choosing music that the assembly is conversant with and which is appropriate for opening the celebration. The cantor should ensure that he sings the Liturgy of the Word and the assembly should also sing in response as this is important on Sundays and major feasts. The responses may also be seasonal to suit specific seasons like during Lent and not only limited to singing those set for Sundays only.
Responses such as the Lamb of God, Gloria, and a few other acclamations are regular parts of the Mass and should be sung on every Sunday as they take precedence over others sang at the mass.
During communion, a chant is begun when the priest is receiving the sacrament to express the communicants’ spiritual union by the union of their voices and gladness of their hearts. This is sung during the whole period of administration of sacrament after which the faithful pray quietly or sing a psalm, whichever is desired. A final hymn is not mentioned; however, it is necessary to bring the Eucharist to an end. It is not necessarily as long as the entrance song, and it ends as soon as the procession is out.

Lawrence V. McCrobie

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