APPY CHINESE NEW YEAR! I am so glad that I can start writing as a contributor on this very special day. Some of you may already know that I grew up in Hong Kong. Thanks to the British, Hong Kong is a special region of China and we are allowed to practice our faith freely. Like most of the Catholics in Hong Kong, I am familiar with traditional hymnodies (with Chinese texts) and organ playing because that is the kind of liturgical music we have at home. I grew up with the “4-hymns sandwich” and that’s all I knew about church music. Singing the four hymns was a routine I do every Sunday and most of the time, I didn’t even pay attention to the text.
I am very blessed and grateful that music is part of my life. I started my musical training in preschool at the age of two, and since then music has been part of my life. Music was just a hobby for me until my discovery of the “Fullness” of Sacred Music, Gregorian Chant and Polyphony. I came to the United States five years ago to attend Franciscan University of Steubenville where I studied the Church’s music.
In order to preserve Sacred Music, a treasure and an essential part of the Church, education is very important. Unlike any other kind of music, Sacred Music is so unique because of its holiness. It is set apart from other kinds of music. I always remind myself that singing the Mass or rehearsing with the choir is not just a routine, it is an opportunity to teach or learn about the Church’s music, both spiritually and musically. It is an educational experience and part of the process of preserving “the Treasure”.