Beauty is Indeed a Good Gift of God (St. Augustine: City of God Chapter 22)

St. Augustine recounts in his autobiography, Confessions, an experience he had during the singing of the Mass: “How I wept, deeply moved by your hymns, songs and voices that echoed through your church.  What emotion I experienced in them!  A feeling of devotion surged within me, and tears streamed down my face, tears that did me good.”

How can this conversion experience of one of our greatest saints be explained?  The catechism of the Catholic Church (1157) makes a direct reference to St. Augustine’s experience when it teaches that the music and song of the liturgy “participate in the purpose of the liturgical words and actions: the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful.”

The mass is a song that is meant to be sung from the Kyrie Eleison, the Gloria, the Psalms to Lamb of God, we have what is called sung speech.  Our sacred music binds us together.  It reaches everyone and is a great unifier as we come together as the mystical body of Christ.  How beautiful is the sound of our love for Christ, present, in the host we are about to receive.

Down through the ages the church has preserved the “heavenly, soul lifting” experience of Gregorian chant.  Also, the religious hymns “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art” in which our own hearts are overcome by the mercy and beauty God showers on us.

Please sing during the Mass as “singing is praying twice.”  Take part a hundred percent in this most beautiful worship of the Lord.  Better yet come and sing in the choir won’t you? 

Blessings, Jeanne

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