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Musical Musings from Joy


I took some time to travel to Europe after Easter, and was blessed to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday in St. Mark’s Basilica. The current Byzantine-style structure has been in place since the 11th century.
For those of you who may not know, (I certainly didn’t before this trip,) the tomb of St. Mark the Evangelist resides underneath the main altar. Stolen, (or, as the Venetians like to say, relocated,) from Alexandria in the 9th century, the tomb and St. Mark himself have become the centerpiece of Venice. The winged lion with an open book, a symbol of St. Mark, can be found all over the city. I must say, kneeling at St. Mark’s tomb was a profoundly moving experience for me. I cannot describe the awe and wonder I felt in those few moments.

I was nervous about the Mass because it was all in Italian. (I studied French for nearly ten years and there aren’t too many similarities!) However, even though I had trouble following along with the spoken words, I knew every single song that was sung!

For those who have ever been to Lourdes, France, you’ll have heard their famous Lourdes Mass for the Mass parts. The Latin editions were sung in St. Mark’s that night, as well as familiar European hymns, including the Regina caeli.

The sense of “home” and comfort I felt in the music was incredible. I am so thankful that my love and knowledge of liturgical music can take me anywhere in the world and find this peace. For anyone who has ever celebrated Mass abroad, or even in a different language, what were your thoughts? I’d love to hear them!

Hymnal Scavenger Hunt How’d you do with last week’s Hymnal Scavenger Hunt? It was At the Lamb’s High Feast, which can be found in your red hymnal at #463 and your green hymnal at #407. Here’s this week’s clue:

This song is a setting of Psalm 118 by St. Louis Jesuit, Bob Hurd. In it, we offer our song to the Earth in order to acclaim the Lord. Hint: This song may be found in both hymnals.

Categories: Weekly Columns