Sunday, October 23, 2016

Music in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary with David Woodcock and Janet Coxwell

For the second year in a row, special guest conductors David Woodcock and Janet Coxwell of the Early Music Academy in England have joined with our Director of Sacred Music Music, Dr. Janet Hunt, to conduct the Saint John's Seminary Festival Choir in a concert of Marian music spanning several centuries, from plain chant to Eric Whitacre. We are grateful to our sponsors: Santini, Inc and Wessling Architects for making this Concert possible.

Here are the remarks I offered at the beginning of the Concert:

Perhaps the life of no single human being has so inspired the composition of music as the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is appropriate since the life of the “most blessed among women” is the most perfect song ever sung to the God of all beauty and truth. Composed in tones of humility, obedience and faithfulness, the composition begins with an Immaculate Conception and concludes with a sorrowful mother at the foot of the Cross. But the constant theme in every movement is the opening lyric: “Be it done to me according to your word.”

We are deeply Blessed today by the presence of two of the finest musicians of our age: Janet Coxwell and David Woodcomb, who with our extraordinary Dr. Janet Hunt have prepared our scola to lead us in a spiritual exercise of meditation on the life and the truth of the great Mother of God, Mary, Most Holy. All I can say, in word totally inadequate, are that I am deeply grateful.

Let us pray.

O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary bestowed on the human race the grace of eternal salvation, grant, we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

(Collect from the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God)