Mercy Mondays: Celebrating the mercy within music
“For the common things of every day, God gave us speech in the common way; For the deeper things we think and feel, God gave poets words to reveal; But for the heights and depths no words can reach, God gave us Music, the soul’s own speech.”
When I think about music ministry, I’m often struck by the vast number of songs that speak of mercy. The theme of mercy in church music has steadily grown and made its way into contemporary hymnody and liturgical choral music, ranking with some of the most popular musical liturgical themes of the past century: love, joy, faith, comfort and hope.
What I love the most about mercy is its ability to be understood. At Salve Regina, a Mercy institution, mercy lives everywhere. Mercy infuses who we are as a university, reminding us of our roots with Catherine McAuley — while at the same time giving us a framework to understand the world we’re currently living in and challenging us to create a world that is more harmonious, just and merciful.
And in music ministry, harmony is at the core of the beauty of the music we sing and take part in. There is a popular idea that those who sing pray twice, simultaneously through words and through music. Music often speaks a language we cannot interpret or explain through words. When we hear music in an unexpected place, we instinctively look for its source. There is something alive and intrinsically stirring when we hear music, and in the church music ministers strive to always ensure the dignity of the music. We do this my ensuring that the music pairs with the themes of the liturgical celebration, and that the music is performed well.
To that end, the Mercy Center for Spiritual Life is pleased to be introducing a beautiful acoustic baby grand piano to Our Lady of Mercy Chapel in the upcoming academic year. The piano will enhance the beauty of the music at the chapel and will be an instrument that will endure for decades to come.
Fundraising for the new piano begins this week, and we hope that those who have been touched by the sound of music will consider a donation.
Offered by Matthew J. Kelly, campus minister of liturgical music, service & social justice
This post is part of an ongoing series called Mercy Mondays that highlights Salve Regina’s dedication to its Mercy Mission. Search the tag Mercy Mission for more updates on the Mercy branches of Salve Regina.