Open to Letter to Musicians Before Holy Week

Dearest Singers,

Just a few thoughts about what’s about to happen..

palm sundayWe’re about to enter Holy Week starting on Palm Sunday. It’s an intense week that begins at Christ’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem and journeys through the Last Supper, Crucifixion, and his burial and his Rising. That which makes us Catholic is born of this week’s event, and on Easter Monday, you feel a describable fatigue from bathing in continual Grace.
If there is ever a week to commit yourself to the sacred mysteries of Love itself, it is this week. Any hesitation you might have from participating will be overcome by the abundance of love graced upon you as you enter into the rites and rituals of Holy Week. This week illuminates our raison de etre for coming back every Sunday to be spiritually nourished by our togetherness and grace offered in our Sacraments.
On Palm Sunday, we sing triumphant, and then just as quickly as we hail Christ as King, we crucify him, and stare face to face with our own fickle, unstable, yet ever able to love nature, inspired by just how wondrous this Love is. Be beseech Christ to remember us…
holy week musiciansOn Holy Thursday, we celebrate the last supper and the institution the Holy Eucharist, and are given the supreme model of love and service as He washes the feet of the 12 apostles and given an example to serve in a way that is paradoxical to our world even today.  We sing Ubi Caritas,which means where there is Love there is God. God is Love. We see this made manifest. As the night proceeds, we process the Eucharist and stay and keep watch in Adoration. Can you not stay awake with me? Stay here, keep watch with me…
On Good Friday, weary from our vigil of prayer, we continue in silence and recount the passion or Christ, remembering his sacrifice and venerate the cross, as we bring our own sufferings, offering them up in thanksgiving to He who gave all. We share a Eucharistic feast from Holy Thursday’s supper. He knew he would die this day, and left the spiritual nourishment we would need to get through the agony of death. We leave in silence, intoxicated by our sobriety. ‘My people, what have I done to you?’
On Saturday, the darkness has reached its darkest point. By sundown, all has been stripped away: Alleluias, Shouts of Glory, sound itself, flowers, statues, the crucifix, but not hope…
From one single flame, the Easter fire is lit, the Church illuminates with the light of Christ as the Easter praises our sung. The history of our salvation is proclaimed and the once silence bells ring out with Glory as we echo the birth of our salvation with the same words that birthed Christ: Glory to God in the highest. How could an Alleluia not spill forth from our lips? With the light of Christ fully present, new members come into the Church and are baptized to go and make disciples of all nations and confirmed in the Holy Spirit. We share the light as we sing with all the saints in Glory the resurrection song, announcing the Gospel by our lives. We rejoice with Mary, because we know we too will rise…
When we rise on Sunday, we may be tired, but we are filled with a joy that cannot be described so much as experienced and felt, should we walk the Triduum of Thursday, Friday, Saturday. It is this joy we share, and how we as music ministers can in our humble way bring the joy of Resurrection through our presence and through our voice…
In other words, it’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. I promise you.
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