Thursday, May 19, 2016

Trinity Sunday

Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity.   This is the second of three Solemnities which follow the Easter season:  Pentecost, Trinity Sunday and The Body and Blood of Christ.

Trinity Sunday presents an opportunity to pause and reflect upon the nature of God.  The belief in a triune God i.e God being three (tri) in one (une) unites Christians of varying faith traditions.

As is often the case, one can find out a great deal of what a people believe by reading the text of the hymns they sing.  Consider our entrance hymn “O God Almighty Father.” (#714) Each of the verses describe one person of the Holy Trinity.  As you sing, listen for various words used  to describe Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We speak and hear of the Trinity regularly in worship.  Many of us bless ourselves “In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” as we enter the church.   In the introductory rites of the liturgy the priest begins with a similar invocation.   

Our scripture readings continue to speak of the Holy Spirit.  Note that today's gospel (found on page 174) took place prior to Pentecost.  (This explains why it speaks of Jesus promising to send the Holy Spirit.)

You will hear references to the Holy Spirit in today's music.  

We will again sing "Veni Sancte Spiritus" as the response to the prayer of the faIthful.  (For more on this, go to and see last week's "liturgical notes.).   

We will also go from church singing "The Spirit Sends Us Forth." (#377)


It is also important to point out that the coming of the Spirit is not a one-time event.  As Christians we believe that the Holy Spirit is active in the world today both in individuals, communities and in the church.

Over the past two weeks 14 adults and 80 teens received the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of Confirmation.  We congratulate them and their families.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Come, Holy Spirit
Today we celebrate Pentecost Sunday; when God fulfilled Jesus’ promise to send the Holy Spirit.   
We hear the Pentecost story proclaimed in today’s first reading taken from the Acts of the Apostles. (You can find this on page 170.)  What astounded all on this day the is described in the second paragraph of the story.  Though they are speaking a dialect of Aramaic, people of multiple nations and languages hear and understand the Apostles’ word.  This is like someone who speaks German or Cantonese understanding someone speaking a local dialect of Italian!  
It is interesting to view this story juxtaposed with the first reading proscribed for the Pentecost Vigil Liturgy: The Tower of Babel.  (You can find this on page 168.) In this story, people who originally spoke the same language now hear the words of others as babble.  A careful reading of the reveals the lesson:  the people are punished for the sin of pride.  
Here is an interesting math equation for those of you getting ready for the SAT’s: 
Holy Spirit = common language
                                                                 pride = babble.
As director of music; my concerns lie in the top half of the equation.   I am constantly dreaming, choosing, critiquing and refining my music selections with the goal of developing a common language here at St. Mary’s.  I recognize this common language (or repertoire) is but a subset of the church’s language, which is a subset of the language of praise spoken and sung by all of God’s creation.
Today we will replace the “Hear Our Prayer” that we have been singing as our response to the prayer of the faithful with Veni Sancte Spiritus (Come Holy Spirit.)
What makes this setting of the words unique is that it comes from an ecumenical monastery in Taize’, France.  Since the people who live in and visit from monastery come from many places and tongues, the majority of the music sung at Taize’ utilizes Latin:  The mother tongue of the church.  
All you need to do is to repeat what you hear.  For those who are visual learners the refrain is pronounced:  “Vay’-knee sonk-tay spee’-ree-toose.                                       
                                     PUT MUSIC HERE

As with all the music, I invite you to open the book, follow the words and let the Holy Spirit do what it will.
Blessed to be serving at St. Mary’s,
Bruce Mauro

Touching the heart
With the joy of music & memories
(609) 558-1035

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