Sunday, September 23
By Mark Scozzafave
Perched atop our newly refreshed worship aid we see “Who Is My Neighbor?”, our theme for contemplation and action this year at Old St. Pat’s. The question comes from the Lucan account of the Good Samaritan, to which the punchline answer is “one who shows mercy” — and yet the question comes amid much uninvited turmoil and anger in our church. Kyrie eleison indeed.
I believe OSP thrives on music that challenges with its text, energizes with its composition, and weaves a liturgical fabric of sacred word, ritual, and art—all in the context of our often troubling world. It is Christ who makes all things new through a revelation of truth to and with the action-oriented, mission-driven church. I would like to offer my perspective on today’s music and its trajectory through our unfolding liturgy, in the thematic context of mercy, renewal, and neighbor.
We sing about longing for light in a dark and troubled world in our gathering song. Often associated with Advent, Bernadette Farrell’s piece implores Christ to be our light and shine a light of truth and service on the living church. Our music during communion is meant to be well-known, even comfortable, in its melodic composition, and yet textually poetic and challenging. After singing the near-anthemic canticle Holy Is Your Name, we are reminded in simple analogy that the Church is meant for mission, Gospel witness, and finding neighbors. (And by “finding neighbors”, we mean encountering those to whom we can show mercy.) Let us give our strongest voice to these words!
In the spirit of newness and renewal, we offer two new pieces of music to sing today. Maybe that’s a lot to ask, but I don’t think so. The first is a text that Dominic and I came across in Baltimore this summer at the National Association of Pastoral Musicians annual meeting. The tune, refreshed in its style and harmonic backdrop, should feel familiar as we sing together verses 2, 3, and 5. If what we have we freely share to meet our neighbor’s need, then we extend the Spirit’s care through every selfless deed.
We are sent forth today with Chris de Silva’s Go Out To The World. New to our community, it debuted at the Special Friends mass this past Sunday; and all Music Ministry choirs will be engaging with it this fall (including the children’s choir and teen choir). While the rhythms may appear daunting, take a chance, especially on the catchy refrain.
Finally, in the spirit of establishing connection, I want to highlight members of the music ministry over the coming months to help foster encounter and relationship with the incredibly talented and generous people who lead us Sunday after Sunday. My friend Michael Boschert was willing to go first:
Name: Michael Boschert, baritone
Typical masses you sing: 9:30am and 11:15am
How long have you been singing at OSP: 13 years
Primary profession(s) / positions: Editor at GIA Publications, Inc.; Chicago Symphony Chorus; freelance singer
Favorite OSP piece of music: The God of Second Chances
Top pieces on your playlist: Verdi’s Otello; Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion; all things Ella Fitzgerald
P.S. I hope you have enjoyed our new Steinway Model B in the church. Catch a video of us picking it out here: tinyurl.com/yan6a5mv
Mark Scozzafave | Director of Music Ministries | firstname.lastname@example.org