About this blogger:
Andrew Leung is a seminarian for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio. He has served as Director of Music at St. Pius X Church (Atlanta) and taught Gregorian chant at the Cistercian Monastery of the Holy Spirit (Georgia). For two years, he will be studying in Macau, China.
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“One would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in Churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer's body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See.”
— Ven. Pope Pius XII (20 November 1947)

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Holy Week — A Week of Love
published 17 March 2016 by Andrew Leung

CTL-Love-Your-Choir HIS IS THE BUSIEST WEEK I have had since I began my pastoral year in October. I have never had so many appointments in a week! I also had an intense week last year around this time. The fifth week of Lent is always a crazy week for music directors: meetings with priests and others who are assisting in the liturgies, finishing up the worship aids for the congregation, figuring out the logistics for the complicated liturgies, making sure that choir members know the “call time” for the liturgies, fitting in time to learn and practice music, etc.

But Passiontide is not just a busy time; it is the time to pray more deeply and reflect on the love of God. The Paschal Mystery is the mystery of love. Out of love, God sacrificed His Son to redeem us. This is the time when we practice charity in response to God’s love for us. My favorite saint, Josemaría Escrivá, wrote:

In the Holy Sacrifice of the altar, the priest takes up the Body of our God, and the Chalice containing his Blood, and raises them above all the things of the earth, saying: Per Ipsum, et cum Ipso, et in Ipso — through My Love, with My Love, in My Love! Unite yourself to the action of the priest. Or rather, make that act of the priest a part of your life. (The Forge, 541)

This is a time when we are called to love God and to love our neighbors more deeply. As church musicians, we show our love through singing to God and uniting ourselves with the priest in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. We should make every note a prayer to God, and we should not forget to set aside time in this busy week to speak to God privately.

How can we love our neighbor? St. Paul makes it clear: “Love is patient, love is kind” (1 Cor 13:4). We love our neighbor when we are prepared and punctual and give our best during rehearsals and liturgies. And we are loving when we are patient and kind to our fellow musicians when they make mistakes or we disagree. That’s how we can love one another.

Finally, I would like to wish everyone a blessed Holy Week and share a piece by Aurelio Porfiri. Maestro Porfiri has set a simple and beautiful melody to the text “Adoramus te, Christe“ (in English) as a refrain. The verses are taken from Isaiah 53, which is rarely seen in a sung form and is a great text to meditate on during this sacred time. This piece can be sung during Lent, Passiontide, on Palm Sunday, Good Friday and the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross.