“May the smile on your faces, the freshness of your voices, and the harmony of your songs dispose you to prayer and arouse in those who hear you the true joy of life and hope for the future.”
– Pope Francis
I am blessed with a great parish that consistently has music at Mass that is well done and really helps one offer praise to the Lord. Ever since we joined the parish several years ago, I have loved the tune or, more properly, the “Mass setting” that we have used. Whether it was the Gloria or the Memorial Acclamation, every part just helped me focus and really enter deeper into prayer.
A couple of weeks ago, we happened to be at another parish for Mass and, as we finished singing a different Gloria than the one I am used to, my wife leaned over with excitement and said, “that’s the one we are going to start using at our parish soon.” Her excited face was met with mine, which was replete with shock and horror. The music was nice, and appropriate, and well-played. It just wasn’t my music. Somehow, I must have missed the memo. With my nonexistent liturgical music background, my Top 40 secular musical palette, and my lack of any formal role in the parish, I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t consulted on this one?
When the dreaded day arrived and the cantor at our parish pointed us to the hymnal page of our new Gloria, I mumbled through the unfamiliar tune. While externally I put on a brave face, internally I was moping. I strolled out of Mass expecting to find a cohort of fellow musical malcontents. Much to my chagrin, I heard glory and praise for the glory and praise.
Driving home, I couldn’t help but reflect on how challenging change can be. Even in a situation where I knew the words, had them in front of me, had someone leading me, and knew it was coming, the change still threw me off. As a leader in my family or workplace, how do I not only enact needed change but accompany people through their personal journey with the change? Do I see acceptance of a change only as a choice or also as a process? How often in my own life am I trying to sing a new song, change a tune, build a new habit or break a bad one, and I just can’t hit that note? How patient is our Lord with my never-ending process to get on key?
I remembered once hearing that change happens in one of three ways: crisis, evolution, or choice. I decided rather than simply getting used to the new Mass setting, I would adjust my settings and choose to focus on the beauty of what I get to sing, and that I get to sing in “glory and praise of our God who alone gives light to our days.” Praying that your week ahead is full of His harmony.
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