The importance of what music does to elevate the liturgy and bring our hearts closer to Him as we celebrate the Mass is clear — and it is even more evident during the Advent and Christmas seasons. The response we feel deep in our hearts as we hear the calm and preparatory songs of Advent lends a hand in preparing our hearts spiritually to celebrate the birth of Christ. The beautiful Christmas carols that bring peace and joy to our hearts are something that affects every single one of us. This allows us to appreciate the dedication and hard work that our talented musicians of the parish share with us throughout the whole year.
The Music Ministry at St. Patrick’s includes a choir that sings at the 9:30 a.m. Mass as well as several regular accompanists and cantors for the rest of the Masses. These musicians practice and prepare to make sure that they are ready to sing and play for the Mass. The choir has weekly rehearsals just for Sunday Masses and for holidays or high feast days, they have additional practices to learn extra music and practice with the additional instrumentalists that join them.
“Christmas has become very commercialized,” says Patty Henderson, the Director of Worship and Liturgy here at St. Patrick’s. “There are parts of this that bring us joy and it is good, but from a spiritual standpoint, we want to meditate on the birth of our Savior. When we think about His vulnerability and our own weakness, we can look at Him and lay down our own inadequacies and walk in the blessed hope of the Resurrection.”
At Christmas, many additional musicians step up to sing or accompany the choir. This year, with Christmas Eve falling on a Sunday, nine Masses take place in two days. This schedule is a challenge for all of those involved and any additional musicians are welcome to join to support the ministry.
“For me, singing is praying twice,” Patty says. “I refer to it as my ‘prayer language.’ Anything given to God or being done for God should be done with excellence and a pure heart as a gift. It allows me to give that gift from my heart back to God — the very gift that He gave me. It is like I am baring my heart as I bring that to celebrate Mass with the community.”
As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child at Christmas, hustling and bustling to decorate our homes, buy and wrap gifts, and attend parties and concerts, let us take note of just how much the music that fills the air affects our ability to immerse ourselves in the joy and celebration of this season. Additionally, as we sit in Mass each week, notice the importance of the music as we prepare spiritually to welcome Christ into our hearts.
Those interested in being a part of the Music Ministry may contact Patty Henderson at 719-598-3595 or firstname.lastname@example.org.