Our Holy Apostles Music Ministry has been preparing for a celebration of Christmas that begins even as Advent ends, on Dec. 24 — Christmas Eve.
From ministering at special events throughout Advent, to Christmas Masses, the talented members of our Music Ministry will shine bright for our parish community in the spirit of stewardship during this blessed season.
Audrey Sujkowski, our Director of Liturgy and Liturgical Music, has been serving the people of Holy Apostles as a staff member for the past 22 years. Although she puts in a lot of extra work this time of year, the end result is always worth it.
“This year, Christmas will be a marathon weekend, with the fourth Sunday of Advent going right into Christmas,” Audrey says. “There will be seven Masses our ministry will serve, including the 8 a.m. Mass on Christmas Day.”
There are 20 members in the parish choir, as well as a Hand Bell choir and a Samoan choir, which will all be ministering to the parish at the various Christmastime liturgies.
A special choral piece is planned for this year’s Christmas celebration — John Rutter’s “Candlelight Carol,” a work released in 1984. The piece by the English composer describes the Virgin Mary’s adoration of her Son on the night of His birth. This will be in addition to Rutter’s “Psalm 23,” and Audrey explains that the ministry started working on “Candlelight Carol” before COVID and is excited for the chance to revive it.
The Hand Bell Choir, made up primarily of homeschool students, ministered at the Feast of All Saints in November, and will minister at the Feast of the Immaculate Conception as well as all the high feasts. In addition to our vocalists, who serve as cantors and in the choir, Holy Apostles’ Music Ministry also includes several gifted instrumentalists, including two violinists, an oboist, clarinetist, and flutist.
The Music Ministry members share their talents in
stewardship, and they are also very giving of their time.
“For some, they have a lot of other things going on,” Audrey says. “I’m amazed they are able to come to practice. But maybe the one and one-half hours during practice is their time and it matters to them. The religious texts they are singing can pierce the soul in a good way as it deepens your faith or understanding.”
The gifts the Music Ministry shares with us are intended to bring us closer to Christ.
“We’re hoping that is what the ministry should do,” Audrey says. “And with the Eucharistic Revival, there are all different things that lead us to the love of Christ. Sometimes it can bring you home, which is what we’re currently doing with the Eucharistic Revival — understanding the presence of Christ in each other and the Eucharist.”
In addition to leading others to Christ through music, Music Ministry is also an opportunity for our choir and musicians to grow closer to Christ. Members pray together before each rehearsal and Mass and Audrey asks the members for any intentions and the members will offer prayers with what’s going on in their lives.
“We pray together,” she says. “This is another connection for us. And I’ll close with a prayer in the silence of our hearts. We offer it to Him.”
Those interested in joining the Music Ministry may contact Audrey Sujkowski through the parish office at 719-597-4249, but are asked to wait until after the Christmas Masses.