This morning, for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, we sang Introit (in English) instead of a 'hymn.' (what I mean by 'hymn' here is one with the text of individuals.) Although it's not a Holyday of obligation, the church was full. In this parish people are used to spoken Entrance and Communion antiphones in daily Mass, so many people know what they are, but singing the Introit was a historical event in this parish. The celebrant was very happy that he can solemly process without carrying the hymnal and lead us to the Holy of Holies.
It was amazing!!! You can say I'm wrong, but I truly sensed that the silence in the church channel people to LISTEN to the Word, the text of the Proper in a beautiful music. It was a beautiful moment.
The schola sang Veni Creator before the Mass (Plenary indulgence) and Te Deum after the Mass (we invited people whoever wants to stay after the recessional hymn, Hail Holy Queen. I made copies of texts and music on the back of handouts of the Mass. Amazingly inspite it was first time sung, there were some people actually stayed for Te Deum.( I know indulgence for Te Deum was yesterday, but the schola wanted to sing it anyway. It was a tough one to learn.), and the celebrant joined us in singing it.
After the Mass a lady came and told us that she was from out of town but was so glad that she came. She said it was absolutely beautiful. It wasn't just a polite thank you, which is also nice to hear, but I can tell she was glowing with joy. I'm sure there were people who didn't like the way it was done, although I didn't hear any, but as we know we cannot satisfy everyone. Our schola was very very happy, and the priest and people told us it was beautiful. But most of all, I pray that it pleased God the most, because I believe what pleases God the most truly sanctifies us the most. After I started to sing Gregorian chant, that's what I learned. The more we focus on God, not on us, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, even a small sacrifice like conforming our taste to what the Church desires the most for the Church's liturgy, helps us to remember the sacrifice of our Lord on the cross which was offered in obedience to the Father with humility. We still have lots of difficulties and take small steps, but this is the goal of our schola and share that experience with others around us.
Happy New year to you all.