As we continued unpacking and settling in after our Sisters joined us from our former Priory in Illinois, we finally got to boxes of music and tapped into the organ skills of our Lake Villa organists. This means we once again can sing the Mass, especially on Sundays and Solemnities to settings we learned as a community after the new Missal came out a few years ago.
It was also an opportunity to examine the state of our hardback hymnals we brought from New Mexico. Bound specifically for our use, they contained many community favorites but, unfortunately, lacked the sheet music. In the days when we have had to attend Mass ‘out’ in the Diocese, we’ve taken note of parish resources and were delighted to find a new hymnal, “The Saint Michael Hymnal“, we hadn’t seen before. Father Patrick Resen, of Holy Trinity parish in Jefferson City, was gracious enough to not only allow one organist to ‘test drive’ a copy, but to provide additional resources in finding a new hymnal for our musical needs. We settled, unsurprisingly, on the 4th edition of the Saint Michael Hymnal that now graces our Chapel pews.
To compliment this, one valiant organist worked through over 40 other hymnals and music books to find sheet music and/or lyrics to some of our must-have favorites that were not in the new hymnal. These were placed into seasonal folders which we have happily begun to use in our weekly choir practices as we prepare for Advent.
It is a joy because these pre-Advent Advent choir practices are enflaming our longing and ardent desire for the coming of the Infant King. The praise (and the praying that is singing to Our Lord) in these beautiful pieces composed in his honor to mark his birth lifts everyone’s spirits. We can, in between the notes, hear the pondering stillness of Mary’s heart awaiting her Lord – a little Advent before Advent.
After the difficulties so many have faced this year, as it draws to a close, we raise our voices in song for Our Lord and King. He is coming.
Will you be singing when he comes?