Is there a certain song that defines your Easter season? For about the last 12 years or so, my congregation has been singing In the Breaking of the Bread by Michael Ward (WLP) as our recessional song for the Easter vigil and Easter morning. The words are based on Luke 24 and Acts 2. I’ve heard a recording of the song from the CD. The tempo marking says a quarter note = 72 but we sing it at a faster tempo. The song is included in the Celebremos / Let Us Celebrate hymnal by WLP and I’m sure other WLP hymnals. I believe the Franciscan parish in downtown Sacramento also uses this song at their Easter vigil. As with many other songs we sing at critical parts of the liturgical year, it passes the goose bump test. There is something about the words and pace of the song–and the melody that defines the meaning of Easter for me.
I had a young lady come up to me after mass this morning in tears (of joy). She was so moved by the music. She told me she has contemplated many times leaving our parish and going elsewhere (for various reasons) but it was the music that always brings her back.
I feel so blessed to be a liturgical musician. God has given me a wonderful gift! I get to do something that I love (music) but I also get to share it with so many other people. I have been told time and time again how the music we do in church touches so many lives.
In the walking on the road, we we saw him.
In the telling of our hopes, we saw him.
In the burning of our hearts, we saw the Lord.
At the meal he took the bread and then he blessed it,
broke it, offered it. In the breaking of the bread, We saw him!
Suddenly our eyes were opened, And we knew he was alive!
Last weekend I had the honor of being the “best man” at the wedding of a very dear friend of mine. We have been singing together in our church choir for 25 years now. Lee has been the “bass” section leader and I have been the “tenor” section leader until I became the choir director. Lee is one of the few “Anglo” men I know who can belt out gospel music like he was—ah…you know…born do sing it. The wedding was at our church in Sacramento but He wanted the reception to be memorable so he booked a cruise of the San Francisco bay (4 hour trip). We started the cruise from the port in Alameda, sailed around Angel Island, went under the Golden Gate Bridge and then back again. It was beautiful and will be a cherished memory. And of course, it was a beautiful sunset!