The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that: “the musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as a combination of sacred music and words, it forms a necessary or integral part of solemn liturgy.” Music, in service to the liturgical celebration of Holy Mass, is a necessary and integral part of divine worship. Music – in liturgy, and song, and instrumental offerings – assists us to proclaim and experience the truth, beauty and goodness of our Catholic faith. The Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, teaches us in the Summa Theologica that such music in the liturgy should have three distinct characteristics:
The first is integritas, or integrity—meaning that something has the completeness of what it claims to be. Catholic liturgical music should reflect faithfully the fullness of the teachings of the Church and be appropriate for use in divine worship.
The second characteristic is consonantia, or harmony of composition, with all parts of the music working well together and complementing each other so that the faithful, through this music, are enabled together to lift their hearts and minds to God.
The third is claritas, meaning clearness or accessibility wherein the worshipper is able to grasp the purpose of the music being offered, and to receive it joyfully as part of their shared experience of the faith.
Here at OLR we are striving to achieve this understanding of beauty in music given to us by St. Thomas in order, through our music, first of all to offer fitting praise and worship to Almighty God, and then to also proclaim the faith to all, helping to build up the Body of Christ. Has God given you the gift of being able to sing? If so, it is incumbent upon you to use your gift for him. Jesus said: “to whom much is given, of him much will be required” (Luke 12:48). If we have been blessed with talents, then God expects that we use those talents to his glory and honor, and for the edification of his people.
To that end, please take note of upcoming opportunities for you to do just that. The adult Corpus Christi Choir will soon have rehearsals for the music they will sing on the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. Sectional rehearsals will be in Guadalupe Hall on Thursday, June 9, at 7:00 p.m.; a combined rehearsal on Thursday, June 16, at 7:00 p.m.; and a Sunday morning rehearsal on June 19, at 9:30 a.m.
I encourage you to make available your time and talent for this worthy purpose. You don’t need to be able to read music. All you need is a willingness to sing, and a commitment to this important venture. I thank you in advance for your willingness, and pray that God will bless you as you offer to him this sacrifice of beauty and praise in grateful response to the gifts that he has given so generously to you.
Fr. Richard Ballard,