Music’s Measure

Icon of the Pentecost
Icon of the Pentecost (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m writing this on the feast of Pentecost, hours after being a part of two wonderful Masses at St Julian’s. First, a glorious afternoon where our Lady Chapel and New Build was dedicated anew to her patronage and prayer, and today the glorious end of Easter itself. In both cases, the message was about exciting new beginnings – first to ensure our new building is used well in the service of God’s church, and second to ensure our own lives show the Holy Spirit alive in mission and outreach.

I hope the music in our liturgy over these two days has helped to express that sense of ‘work to be done in and through us’.

In the Mass of Blessing itself we started with the hymn ‘Let us build a house where love can dwell’, words and music by Marty Haugen, a North American based composer who has written extensively for the Roman Catholic church. We make good use of his material (for example, the new sprinkling song at Easter this year, ‘Up from the waters’, was one of his pieces). ‘Let us build a house’ is an obvious metaphorical choice for dedication/building focussed events but it is written in a way that emphasises the contents  of the building – the people, the reaching hands, the service to the outcast, the sentiment that  ‘all are welcome in this place’. It speaks of the parish church we strive to be – the welcome at St Julian’s is something we rightly cherish.
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