WO WEEKS AGO, I went on a trip to the South. It was a very relaxing and musical trip. And how appropriate is it to celebrate the Feast of the Body of Christ, Bread of Life, during the Memorial Day weekend when we remember those who lost their lives in battle. The Body of Christ is the eternal bread from heaven, the source and summit of our faith.
I spent my Sunday in Chattanooga, TN, and I went to a Novus Ordo Mass at the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul for the first time. We celebrated the Solemnity of Corpus Christi (technically not an external solemnity since it was in the new form). I sang with the choir at the Sung Mass and the Eucharistic Procession. It was a very powerful experience and here is why:
—It was a real Sung Mass (Propers and Ordinaries, including the Creed, chanted in English or Latin);
—Everyone sang their parts in the dialogue (the deacon even intoned the Kyrie, which is the proper way to do it in the OF);
—The basilica was filled with large families (at least half of the faithful were children and youth);
—The Anglo and Hispanic communities joint together for the Eucharistic Procession;
—There was a strong presence of the clergy (5 priests and 2 deacons were in the procession, which is very good for a medium sized parish).
I was impressed by these people of the parish, both clergies and laity. They are very passionate in their faith and are willing to be witnesses by marching through downtown Chattanooga in the warm weather.
The part that impressed me the most the presence of the clergy. I see the clergy of the parish interact with people a lot when I visit this parish every time. They all wore their cassocks which help parishioners to recognize them, even from a far distance. I never understand why some people are always against the idea of priests wearing cassocks! Wearing cassocks is not a form of clericalism! The cassock shows the identity of a priest, who is ordained by the bishop to minister to the Church. They are the “fathers” of the community and the cassocks show their role. One of the things I learned during my pastoral year is that the presence of the clergy and staff members at parish events is very important! The cassocks are tools that help bring people to the priests.
USICIANS in the Southeastern region will have the opportunity to attend a one-and-a-half day Summer Sacred Music Workshop at this wonderful parish. The workshop will be held at the basilica on July 22 and 23. Now is the time to REGISTER for the workshop and spread the news to your pastors, parish musicians and any friends you may have in the area. Participants don’t have to be Catholics and there is no limit on their age (last year, we had a few middle schoolers joining our workshop and they enjoyed it a lot). So, download the picture of the flyer on the left and SPREAD THE NEWS NOW! The more participants we get, the better the experience will be! We hope to see you there!
For those of you who cannot make it to this workshop, I would ask you to keep all the faculty members and participants in your prayers. Please pray that our workshop will have a good and successful turnout, for the final preparation that is going on now, and that God will touch the hearts of everyone participating through the beautiful music. Thank you.
A preliminary schedule with the session descriptions is available for viewing now.