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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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

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It is Finished
published 6 April 2017 by Andrew Leung

CTL It is Finished EING A SEMINARIAN requires me to offer my whole self to God and the Church, which also means that I don’t always get to do what I like. I definitely don’t get as much opportunities and time to get involved in church music as I used to. But because of this change, I learned to be thankful for each opportunity and I pray more intensely every time I sing.

During this season of Lent, I have been reflecting on the last words of our crucified Lord, “It is finished”. These very last words of Christ show his complete humility and obedience to God the Father.

From a human perspective, one should be very proud after knowing that he has saved many lives. And one would probably proudly look at the result, the numbers and the outcome of his works and sacrifice. However, our Lord chose to conclude his sacrifice with “It is finished”, and this is true humility.

For us, musicians, humility is not an easy virtue to obtain. We are taught to be confident, strong, not to stop and not to apologize after playing a wrong note. And we are always pursuing and striving for beauty and perfection. Humility, of course, doesn’t conflict with the above. Sacred music makes us realize the greatness of God and help us to stay humble before Him, who is the source of all beauty and perfection.

Christ’s last words are a great lesson on humility. They show the right attitude that a church musician should have as he serves. May the Lord help us not to focus on our success, glory and the words of praise from others; but help us to conclude every Mass and postlude with: “It is finished.”