Christopher McElroy

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Through music, Man ascends to God

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Our lives may be seen as a journey. A journey to the promised reward of the heavenly kingdom. The liturgy that we celebrate Sunday by Sunday, day by day, is in itself a rehearsal for that day when we will join with the whole company of heaven in the praise of God.

It might seem strange to suggest that our liturgies are a rehearsal. We come together as a community, both those present, those gathered in other locations and those who have gone before us, to join together as one body in the praise and worship of our God. In the liturgy we learn of the experiences of our forefathers, we relate the sacrifice of Christ to our lives today and we look forward to our participation in the eternal banquet.

The music we offer in itself is a journey. St Thomas said ‘Praise itself is seen as a movement, a path, more than an understanding, a way of reaching to God. Music leads us away from what is opposed to God and leads to a sense of reverence’ (ST II-II, Q. 91, Art. 91, ad. 1 co)

The music that we liturgical musicians provide assists people on their journey, and more than that, provides a sense of direction. Indeed, St Thomas also said that is it ‘Through the praise of God man ascends to God.’ There can be no greater privilege for us to lead others on this journey and bring them closer to the merciful love of God.

First appeared as an Editorial in September 2015 Newsletter of the CCDM

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