ERRY CHRISTMAS! Christmas is upon us and I would like to wish all our readers a blessed Christmas. About two thousand years ago, the angles appeared to shepherds, announcing to them the good news and sang “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests”. (Lk 2:8-14, from the Mid-night Mass Gospel) What can we learn from the Holy Angels? There are two things we can learn from the best and most perfect choir.
(1) Deliver the Message – We know from Luke’s Gospel that the angels delivered the good news to the shepherd outside of Bethlehem and the shepherd understood them clearly. Although our choirs on earth might not be perfect, we can all do our best to deliver the message. One way to make sure that messages are delivered is to sing with good diction. Imagine that the angels who spoke and sang to the shepherds mumbled the whole time, the shepherds probably wouldn’t have gone to adore our Lord. Also, when the chant or choral pieces are not in the vernacular, it would be nice if we can help the congregation to understand the text. Do everything you can to get the message across, especially to those who are visiting your parish during Christmas.
(2) Constantly Praying and Praising – Christmas can be a stressful time for church musicians. But it really should be a prayerful time. So, learn from the Holy Angels this Christmas and make every pieces of music a prayer to God. There will probably be quite a few “CEO (Christmas and Easter Only) Catholics” in church who will be “singing at Mass”. But we have to make sure that we sing the Mass. We are not just performing or caroling, but we are singing the Mass itself! Try to understand and even meditate on the texts that you will be singing. This will allow you to pray the texts as you sing and this will also help deliver the message.
Asking for the intercession of the Holy Angels is also a good idea. Through their intercession, may the Lord help us to grow closer to Him, sing joyfully and prayerfully to the world the good news. And as the conclusion of every Preface in the Mass says, may we “join in one voice with all the Angels and Heavenly Hosts” and proclaim the Glory of God.