Chrism Mass choir sings praises

Apr 6, 2023
Trinity Catholic High School students from Ocala traveled to the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe in Orlando to join the adult choir during the Chrism Mass April 3, 2023. (COURTESY)

ORLANDO | Almost 20 freshmen and seniors from Trinity Catholic High School Choir joined adult voices in singing during the annual Chrism Mass at Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, April 3.

The experience was unlike others for the singers. Although most of their venues differ and they sing a combination of secular and religious music, the students enjoyed participating in the Mass with its blessing of oils used to anoint the people receiving the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Ordination of priests and sharing in the recognition of jubilarian priests celebrating landmark anniversaries.

Bishop John Noonan noted, “The Oil of Sacred Chrism will anoint the hands of our Deacons Angel Garcia, Zachary Parker, and Edgar Serrano on May 27, at their Ordination to the Priesthood here at this basilica.”

Recalling the sung responsorial psalm for the day, “Forever I will sing the goodness of the Lord”, Bishop Noonan said, “we affirm this goodness through the ministry of our jubilarians, for their 60 (Msgr. John Bluett, Msgr. Manuel Fernandez, Father Philip Gallerani, Father Howard King, Msgr. James Lichtenthal, Father Thomas McMackin), 50 (Fathers Robert Hoeffner, Ronald Krisman, and Robert Mitchell), and 25 (Fathers Miguel González and Justin Vakko) years of service to the Lord and His people.

The psalm celebrated God’s goodness and the gifts He bestows, including the ability to sing.

“The choir comes together every day to sing, whether sacred or secular music, realizing that their talents come straight from God,” said, Elizabeth Cook, Trinity’s campus minister. “They make up their own little Body of Christ every day and are going forth using their talents to minister to others.”

Adam Pryor, basilica music director, could not accompany the choir, but added, “Singing is such a vulnerable art form. When we play physical instruments, such as the guitar for example, it can be easy to hide behind it, and most of the time there is a direct path between pressing down a fret, plucking a string and the sound coming out.

“With singing, we are born with our instrument and there isn’t always a direct path to creating a pleasing sound. It takes courage to learn to sing and sing in front of others. … I think singing in a group is a beautiful reminder of our humanity and is one of the greatest community building tools we possess. Singing in Mass is a gentle reminder that we don’t only use our God given gifts for ourselves, but for our community and for God’s glory.

By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic staff, April 07, 2023