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.