For more than a decade the Celebrate Conference has been one of the highlights of the annual CJM MUSIC ministry calendar. Each year, however, we face the challenge of finding new ways to bring the Liturgy to life in these great days of the Easter octave. The readings are always the same and it would be so easy to just do what we did last year …
After much prayer, brainstorming and time spent with the readings and that well known liturgical preparation tool – Google, we did come up with a few ideas that we thought we’d share.
The Easter Monday Liturgy is effectively the opening Mass for the Conference. Our approach for this Liturgy is always to have a core of material that is familiar to the assembly – perhaps songs that we introduced the previous year or two or well established pieces from the collective Catholic repertoire.
Our new addition this year was the anthemic Resurrection hymn by Stuart Townsend and Keith Getty, See, What a Morning. We opted for a Sprinkling as an echo of the Easter Vigil Liturgy and used Mike Stanley’s setting, Springs of Water. One of the musical threads through each of the liturgies was a sung response to the Prayers of Intercession – Christ Our Light. (Free downloads of both these unpublished pieces will be available on our website soon)
The weekday Masses of the Easter octave are celebrated as Solemnities of the Lord so we were, of course, singing a Gloria – using the setting from the Mass of St Jude which we’d introduced at the Conference last year. This joyful, contemporary setting of the new translation really became a lively outpouring of praise as it was sung throughout the week.
The Gospel reading on Easter Wednesday is the Road to Emmaus. This is perhaps one of the Easter stories that resonates with us most in our Eucharistic tradition. With a little help from Google, we discovered the Timothy R Smith setting In The Breaking Of The Bread, which we used as the Communion processional song. A really beautiful piece, somewhat Taizé-like in its simplicity and meter..
One of the things we have been exploring is alternative use of the settings and paraphrases of the previous translation of the Mass. We used Lord by Your Cross at the preparation of gifts and Forever Amen as a short of post-communion, thanksgiving song.
Our final song was a rendition of the Norris Garner gospel classic, He’s Blessing Me. We first learned this piece at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress in Anaheim some years ago and it proved a fitting end to the Liturgy on this occasion, echoing much of what Archbishop Kevin MacDonald had said in his homily.
This lively (and slightly chaotic) Family Mass featured a few key pieces that had been requested by the children’s streams. The Little Lights opened with Come on and Dance by Simon Parry from Vineyard’s Great Big God collection. The Sparklers brought forth their banners of praise and gifts for the offertory to Doug Horley’s, King of Love and we closed with a lively rendition of Every Move I Make by David Ruis from Hillsong’s Kids worship Collection.
You can click here to download our Mass planner sheets with details of all the music used during each liturgy.
Click here to see more pics of this year’s Conference
If you find this round up useful, or you have any questions, we’d really love to hear from you in the comments below…