Happy Easter (SAP 3/31/24 Bulletin)

Christ is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Happy Easter, brothers and sisters. Our Lenten pilgrimage toward Jerusalem of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving has culminated into today – the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection.

Before going any further, the parish has quite a few people to thank. First, we owe a debt of gratitude to our clergy: Fr. Steve, Fr. Vincent, Deacon Antonio, as well as Fr. Bob, Fr. Jim, and all of the priests that helped with Confessions.

To our liturgical volunteers, thank you! Not to minimalize the critical work of other ministries, I often tell people that the most important ministries in a parish are the liturgical volunteers. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

“The Eucharist is ’the source and summit of the Christian life.’ ‘The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch’” (CCC 1324).

The work of our sacristans, lectors, altar servers, ushers, greeters, musicians, and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion cannot be emphasized enough. Our priests cannot serve us without their help! Without the work of these individuals, many of whom have spent countless hours away from their families these past few weeks, our Lenten, Holy Week, and Easter celebrations would have simply not happened. So, on behalf of all that attend liturgies and services here:


I also want to thank our music team. While it is the practice of the Archdiocese to often have professional cantors and organists, our choir is all volunteer. Over the past two months, the choir has often been singing three or four Masses a week (keep in mind that most American parishes only do that every two months!) on top of practices. All of you guys rock!

As we move into a new season, you will continue to see consistency in the music we sing at the Sacred Liturgy. The antiphons, like the Scriptural readings, change from week (“The Propers” are the correct term for these), but the songs and hymns don’t necessarily need to change from week to week.


Sacrosanctum Concilium, a Vatican II teaching on the sacred liturgy, states that, “full active participation of all God’s holy people in these liturgical celebrations” is critical (SC 41).

How does one learn music well enough to actually pray it, if it’s constantly changing? When you were in band or choir back in school, you worked on the same pieces for quite a while until they were “just right.” Why isn’t that the standard when it comes to praising God? Remember, music is not only a tool for the ultimate glorification of God, but also a tool to catechize – or teach – the faith.

Unfortunately, that practice fell by the wayside in the years after Vatican II. Poor theology in the lyrics typically focused on making people “feel good,” which often introduced bad theology into the Catholic faith, muddied the waters. Music, like all things cultural, is ever-evolving and cyclical. What was once new is now old and what was once old is now new.

For about 40 years, there was a prevailing attitude, without any concrete evidence, that young people wanted more popular styles in church music. Admittedly, while most of the world has abandoned that practice, it still continues in many places throughout the USA though the pews at the “youth Mass” tend to not have many youth present. There’s been a growing movement to measure the success of reaching youth similar to how they do overseas by examining vocations to religious and married life. (Yes, my fellow married Catholics, we have a vocation just like our priests!)

As a former high school music teacher also working with youth on the weekends at church, one thing that became very clear to me working with youth seven days a week: today’s youth are looking for constancy, consistency, and stability. These are things that our world does not offer, but you know who does?

God the Father. Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit. The Catholic Church.

As we traveled through COVID, I came to realize that ultimately adults are looking for the same thing, too. By chanting the antiphons, all coming directly from Sacred Scripture, we are providing that constancy by connecting with our ancestors going all the way back to the ancient Hebrews. The Word of God doesn’t change. Adding in familiar hymnody, of sound theological value, and maintaining consistency there, we connect the “old” with the “new” and the Sacred Scriptures with texts based on Sacred Scriptures.

As we travel the next seven weeks of the Easter season, let’s continue to rejoice in our Lord, and grow closer to him through song.