CONFERRING OF THE BENEMERENTI MEDALS ON
THREE MEMBERS OF THE CHOIR – Friday, 22ndof September, 2017.
The Cathedral Choir, here in this magnificent Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul continues to provide an intimate link between music and the Mass, between the songs and the sacrifice, between lyrics and liturgy. Music is one of the purest expressions of human emotions. Music keeps our worship from being merely a matter of mind and after all as we relate to God we do so not just with our intellect.
Universal appeal of Sacred Music
Who among us cannot identify with the anxious Advent pleading in “O come, O come, Emmanuel”; Christmas joy in “Angels we have heard on high”; penitential sadness in the “Kyrie”; the agonising “were you there when they crucified my Lord?”; Easter ecstasy in “Christ the Lord is risen today”; elation in each “Gloria”; hope in “Be not afraid”; profound Eucharistic piety in that solemn “Ave Verum”; and the heart-stirring “Ave Maria; Christian lightheartedness in “I danced in the morning”; thunderous gratitude in “Now thank we Lord ourGod”.
It has been said that Music
Gives soul to the universe,
Wings to the mind,
Delight to the imagination
A charm to sadness
Gaiety and life to everything.
It is essence of order
To all that is good, just and beautiful.
Liturgy, Eucharist, the Mass is not a private party, a me and Jesus duet. Good liturgy is done by the community, in community and for community.
Prayer Sacred Music
I love the beautiful words that captures the centrality of sacred music in our prayer and liturgy – it runs:
“The Lord is worthy of all praise,
May he give you the gift,
Of striving to sing a new song to him,
With your voices, your hearts and your lives,
So that one day you may sing that song forever in Heaven”.
St. Augustine reminds us that Singing is praying twice. With that on mind we acknowledge and celebrate the serious amount of praying that the medal recipients have done over a life time of dedication, diligence and outstanding service to Community and Church.
Joining with the PP, Fr. Tom, the parish clergy and the whole congregation I warmly congratulate those who are receiving the Benemerenti Medals today. This medal is an expression of the extraordinary service that they have given to the Church by sharing their great gifts of music and song over almost 50 years in each case. This unbroken commitment, extraordinary dedication is something which we delightfully acknowledge today conferring the BenemerentiMedal.
I warmly congratulate Michael Collins, Michael Crimmins and Michael Cullinan. What a coincidence to have three Michaels being conferred this evening and 3 MC’s! In congratulating them I congratulate their families who have been very supportive of them in the extraordinary service which they have been giving. When you reflect that between these three men they have rendered a service of over one hundred and fifty years to this Cathedral Choir, an extraordinary achievement!
Praise of Ennis Choir
The parish of Ennis and the whole diocese is very proud of our Cathedral Choir. Their total dedication to rehearsals is evident week in, week out. While today belongs to these three men I congratulate the organist, choir director, soloists and all the members of the Choir for the joy and that they bring into our lives in the liturgy.
Congratulations again to our 3 Michaels on this significant achievement in receiving this special award from Pope Frances the Benemerenti Medal, Benemerenti – well merited, well done and so well deserved. Go gcúití Dia bhur saothar libh agus gura fada buan sibh. Áiméan!