top of page
  • Jarred Tafaro

LENT: A Gift for the Church

A few notes from one musician....  

by Music Director Jarred Tafaro

This week we enter our Lenten Journey, a journey of forty days in the"desert", following Christ and also countless Saints who have journeyed in either the literal or figurative desert.  The three classic Lenten practices include prayer, fasting, and alms giving. Although we might be culturally conditioned to see these practices as forms of "privation", I wonder if a better image might be "medicine for our heart." God offers these medicines for us as a means to seek and find wholeness: Wholeness in yourself before the living God.


For example to take one of the three: Alms Giving. In explaining the concept of Alms Giving to our CGS students, one teacher simply named it "Sharing." Certainly we've all seen in our lives how, if we share what we have with someone who has less, so many wonderful things can happen. Friendships and relationships can form; other people share what we have, leading to a sense of fulfillment. But perhaps most importantly for our Lenten practice: We ourselves can find healing through the Sharing. Through Sharing we might realize we actually have enough, and don't need to strive to fulfill some imagined lack. This viewpoint could lead to a calmer and happier lifestyle of Trust in God. Perhaps we end up balancing spending more time with those we love rather than excessively pursuing mere material well being. Perhaps through some gentle fasting, our bodies and minds can grow healthier, more integrated. The inner healing Lent brings can enable us to find joy,  health and peace in Christ through simple yet profound means. The tools are prayer, fasting and alms giving.  

On another note, our Liturgical music will also reflect the Lenten practices. In keeping with Church documents and the suggestion of our Bishop, music during Lent will be more centered on the human voice, with less organ playing. During the singing, the organ will also tend to be more subdued, giving greater prominence to the elemental instrument of praise: the Human Voice. 

We will also have more silence before Mass starts... a way of "fasting" from sound. Mozart said that silence is more important than sound. Silence can give us room to search our heart before God. Silence in any relationship is a test of attention, of attunement to the heart. Before Mass starts,  the cantor will then sing the entrance Antiphon before the first Hymn. Please pray during that time. During the Hymn singing, please try to join in completely by singing as a prayer. 

During Communion we will have less organ and more simple, repetitive sung prayer. Following Communion we will continue singing the Marian Antiphon for Lent,  Alma Redemptoris Mater. Please sing, and let us try to make the singing part of our communal prayer. God does not care as much about the quality of our singing as our intention, so don't be embarrassed. The texts of the hymns are timeless expressions of devotion, often composed by Saints, another gift to the Church. We in the music ministry hope that these slight musical alterations during the Liturgy will help you enter into the fullness of the season, and accept God's rich blessings for you and your family. 

Wishing you and yours a blessed Lent.

53 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page