The Feast of St Cecilia is celebrated on 22 November. Not a lot is known about this early saint of the church. She is reported to have always had a song in her heart in praise of God, even in the face of persecution. She is known as the patron saint of music and of musicians. The image featured in this story is one of three stained glass windows that adorn the staircase leading to the choir loft at Our Lady of Victories in Camberwell. St Cecilia is joined by St Gregory, the father of Gregorian chant and David, to whom the psalms are ascribed. If you have not visited this staircase at Camberwell it is well worth the effort; the glass is beautiful.
These saints have inspired generations of Church musicians. In the twenty-first century contemporary musicians continue to add to the repertoire and style of church music. In the last few years our own Michael Ryan from Deepdene and Balwyn Parish composed the Mass of Our Lady of Good Counsel which is used often at the church in Deepdene.
Now that our Churches are open again, and density restrictions are being relaxed, our parish choirs and cantors are once again taking up their ministries. You are invited to consider joining one of our choirs or becoming part of our team of cantors and musicians.
John Weymouth has taken up the position of Director of the Basilica Choir at Our Lady of Victories and would welcome anyone who would like to join the choir. The choir rehearses on Thursday evening at 7.30 pm at Our Lady of Victories Basilica and they perform each Sunday at 10.00 am Mass. Rehearsals will soon be underway for Christmas. If you would like to join, you would be welcomed on Thursday evening. For further information visit the Parish website or contact the Parish Office.
Similarly you also might like to consider being part of our group of cantors who lead our congregations in song. There are many opportunities for you to be supported as a young cantor and to create a pathway for you to be a lead cantor in our churches. You can visit our website and listen to a number of psalms performed by our parish cantors today. Madeleine Ryan and Johnny de Simone are two who feature at the moment.
There are plans underway to expand our music ministry in 2022. John Keuneman from Our Lady’s, Wattle Park will be assisting in the formation of a new choir. Anne Marchingo and Chris Collery will also continue to support this important ministry at Surrey Hills Wattle Park Parish.
I enjoy working with our musicians and would love to welcome new and renewed members to our team. Please contact me if you would like to be involved in liturgical music as our churches open up.