Welcome to St. Mary’s! Welcome to Liturgical Notes!
You can find this column with music and links to the readings and songs can on the St. Mary’s website at www.stmarysnutley.org and follow the banner link to Music (Liturgical Notes).
First a brief explanation of the what, who and why I write this column each week.
I write on the connection between the music and the day’s readings. It’s what I do.
From time to time, I add a little bit about myself, beginning with being an altar server at St. Mary Mother of Jesus parish in Brooklyn through nearly 40 years as a church musician. What I do makes up a large part of who I am.
Every one in a while, and sometimes for the period of a few weeks I get a little philosophical (Some might call it inspired. Others might call it preachy.)
Whichever it is, the scripture proclaimed each week moves me. This is the why, the Who does what he does. (My apologies to Dr. Seuss.)
Throughout all of this I wonder about you. What brings you to St. Mary’s today?
Is it a life-long faithfulness to Sunday worship or maybe even daily mass? Is it a persistent desire to deepen your connection with (or reconnect with) God?
Do you come relaxed and ready? Or have you just raced and ranted to make sure an entire family is dressed, fed and (close to) on time? Perhaps you are wishing that a family member who is not with you had accompanied you today.
I wonder about the twists and turns, the bumps and pitfalls that you have passed through on your way through the doors of St. Mary’s today.
So what about the readings?
If you are reading this during the Triduum (Holy Thursday, good Friday or Holy Saturday) you will have a deeper experience of what leads up to that Easter morning where Christ rises from the dead. If not, you can still look at these readings beginning on page 104.
In the first reading on Easter Sunday, (found on page 148) Peter preaches about Jesus’ death and resurrection. He exhorts the early disciples (and us) to testify to Jesus death for the forgiveness of sins.
As you take a look at today’s gospel (page 151) try for a moment to suspend what you know. Consider Mary of Magdala at the tomb. Mary is both literally and figuratively in the dark. She doesn’t rejoice and say, “Alleluia, He is risen.” Instead, she frantically runs to Peter and John saying “They have taken the Lord from the tomb and we don’t know where they put him.”
I suspect at times many of us fall somewhere between Peter and Mary of Magdala. The song that says it best for me: Resucito’ (#177) was composed by artist, philosopher, musician and founder of the Neocatechumenal Way, Francisco (Kiko) Arguello.
The song expresses our movement from the trepidation and uncertainty that we share with Mary of Magdala to the joy of witnessing to Christ’s resurrection that the first Pope has challenged the church to share since its’ very beginning almost 2000 years ago.
Blessed and Joyful to be at St.Mary's,