Today is the 7th and final Sunday of the Easter season. During this season we have heard stories of the risen Jesus from the gospel according to John. The readings at the beginning of the season describe Jesus revealing Himself to the disciples. He walks and talks with them. He even eats with them (proving he has been raised bodily from the dead). He teaches them about the relationship between Himself, His Father and them/us. (See John 15)
In recent gospel passages, Jesus prepares the disciples for His return (or Ascension) to God. One part of this preparation is the promise of the Holy Spirit.
“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—he will teach you everything and remind you of all that [I] told you. John 14:25-26
It is fitting that many parishes choose to celebrate the sacrament of confirmation around this time of year. We will celebrate the sacrament at two liturgies this weekend.
I have chosen 2 songs to begin these liturgies:
1. “Holy Spirit, Come to Us” - The prelude; found here in the bulletin.
2. “ Come Holy Ghost” - The processional Hymn (#444).
These songs are quite different in many ways. The most striking being how each names the third person of the Holy Trinity.
Many of us grew up referring to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Has our theology changed? In other words, has God or our understanding of the third person of the Trinity changed?
The short answer is “No”. The change is about language. Our everyday use of the word ghost has taken on meaning which might confuse our understanding of God, the Holy Spirit. (Google the word ghost and see if you agree).
“Holy Spirit, Come to Me” is a contemporary composition written by Julie Hoy. The accompaniment, harmonization and lyrics are similar to the folk music of the 1960’s. The following comment describing her work and this song says it well:
"I have personally found Julie's music inspirational. Her lyrics and the journey of writing a song tell a realistic story of searching for and finding God in everyday experiences."
Rev. George Wolf, Holy Family Parish, Portland, OR
Many will be familiar with the hymn “Come Holy Ghost.” What makes this weekend’s version unique is it’s musical setting. Richard Proulx was a composer, arranger and the driving force in the hymnals used in Roman Catholic and Christian churches of other denominations. His arrangement brings a rich complexity to this straight-forward hymn. Of note is an additional a cappella verse between the 2nd and 3rd verse of the original text.
Blessed to be in ministry at St. Mary’s,
Welcome and congratulations to our Confimande, their families and friends.