Over the weekend, I attended Holy Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Parish in Jasper, Indiana. After Mass was over, we knelt as we always do to say our “After Mass” prayers. As we were praying and talking a bit, I said to Tara, “Wow! Listen to that organ!” The organ throughout the Mass lifted us into the Heavenly Kingdom because that’s exactly what the mission of Sacred Music is to do. As the Second Vatican Council document, Sacrosanctum Concilium (The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy) states, “In the Latin Church the pipe organ is to be held in high esteem, for it is the traditional musical instrument which adds a wonderful splendor to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up man’s mind to God and to higher things.”
We must return to a Holy Mass that is sacred, beautiful, and prayerful. The music at Mass is not meant to distract us nor is it there to entertain us. In the Holy Mass, we are reminded of the Sacrifice of Christ and we renew the covenant He established with us at the Last Supper. In his new book, Evangelical Catholicism, George Weigel says,
“To begin: Evangelical Catholicism understands the liturgy to be fundamentally God’s work, not ours. To celebrate the Church’s liturgy, especially the Holy Mass, is our privileged participation in the liturgy of the angels and saints [emphasis mine] around the Throne of Grace of the thrice-holy God…Evangelical Catholic liturgy can and does accommodate various musical forms, although following the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, it takes seriously Gregorian Chant as a kind of universal Catholic musical grammar; at the same time, it welcomes more modern chant forms and seeks to incorporate into Catholic worship the great hymn traditions [emphasis mine] of other Christian communities.” (72-73).
With the help of De Montfort Music, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles release their new CD today – Angels and Saints at Ephesus. This is the follow up CD of their debut album – Advent at Ephesus. The Benedictine Sisters are prophetically living and preaching words of Weigel at this very moment. They see that Sacred Music will lead to a Sacred Liturgy.
I encourage you to purchase this beautiful music, listen to it, and encourage others to do the same. You can buy the music either at their website here or via iTunes. I would also encourage you to share this album with your Priests and Directors of Music/Liturgy. Ask them to have at least one Mass at your parish with Sacred Music. With music like this being produced and with work of De Montfort Music, we have the ability to bring back a sacredness to the Holy Mass sooner than later.