Sunday, December 8, 2013

Gorgeous Music at St. Mary's in Painesville!

Today Mary Ann Ratchko-Gamez played an ancient tune ("Creator of the Stars of Night") on her whistle at 9 o'clock mass. The tune is from the 9th century chant "Conditor Alme Siderum." Mary Ann also played "O Come O Come Emmanuel" on whistle. Nobody plays the Irish whistle better than Mary Ann Ratchko. St. Mary's, this little church in Painesville, Ohio, with Mary Ann on flute and whistle and Francesco Binda on piano, has some of the greatest liturgical music in Greater Cleveland.

Today we lit a candle for my mother, Margaret Ann, who died 10 years ago today. Her beautiful spirit is alive in our hearts!

A line in today's gospel from St. Matthew, chapter 3, verse 9:

Don't think to yourselves, "We have

Abraham for our father," for I tell
you that God is able to raise up
children to Abraham from these stones.

My family knows this to be true. We were the discarded, the riffraff of Ireland, barely surviving the Great Famine. We believe that the Lord can raise up these stones and know that "the stone the builder rejected has become the cornerstone." This is the truth for the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the outcast, the riffraff, the rejected. It has happened over and over in human history.

Here is a youtube version of this beautiful advent chant (alas, without the whistle):

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