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Ordained in 2011, Father Friel served for five years as Parochial Vicar at St. Anselm Parish in Northeast Philly. He is currently studying toward a doctorate in liturgical theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
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The soul is distracted from that which is sung by a chant that is employed for the purpose of giving pleasure. But if the singer chant for the sake of devotion, he pays more attention to what he says, both because he lingers more thereon, and because, as Augustine remarks (Confess. x, 33), “each affection of our spirit, according to its variety, has its own appropriate measure in the voice, and singing, by some hidden correspondence wherewith it is stirred.” The same applies to the hearers, for even if some of them understand not what is sung, yet they understand why it is sung, namely, for God's glory: and this is enough to arouse their devotion.
— St. Thomas Aquinas

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The Artist
published 9 March 2012 by Fr. David Friel

Not all people consider themselves artists, nor do all perceive themselves as students of the sacred liturgy. To some extent, however, I believe we are all (at least tacitly) both.

As a self-professed artist and student of the liturgy, I was captivated by one of the intercessions the Church prayed in Vespers this past Tuesday (of the Second Week of Lent). We prayed: “Inspire all teachers and artists to prepare mankind for Your Kingdom.”

What a mission statement! I have thought about the vocation of artists in many ways, but I was struck by this particular expression of the artist’s redemptive role. The arts are, after all, meant to lead us to Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. They are meant, indeed, to lead us to salvation.

I imagine that most visitors to this website and blog consider themselves artists. Have you ever meditated on your role in preparing mankind for the Kingdom of Heaven?