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You are here:Home / Family News / NEF 2013 / Family News - 2013 July 14th / Lay spirituality
Jul 13, 2013

Lay spirituality

The joy of singing for St Michael Garicoits

Lay spirituality
Sunday 23rd June:  The solemn Mass in the Church of St Louis des Francais in Rome will be celebrated.   The “St Michael Garicoits Choir” which  has come specifically from Pau is ready.  At last, the melody and voices rise heavenwards to reecho in the Lord’s house the beauty and simplicity of the spirituality of our Founder.
It was certainly good for the faithful to be able to listen to these new hymns from the “Me Voici” group, it was also an experience full of meaning for those men and women of the “Petit Choeur” whose joy it was to transmit, in music, St Michael’s message.

 

The Saint Michael Garicoits Choir sings in honour of the Holy Spirit on the second Tuesday of the month at the Saint Michael House, formerly the Carmelite monastery in Pau, according to the wishes of Blessed Mariam.

“If you want to find me and to follow me, call upon the light, meaning the Holy Spirit.  Speak to the dove of fire, the Holy Spirit, who inspires everything.  It is my ardent desire that each month the priests should celebrate a Mass in honour of the Holy Spirit.  Whoever celebrates this Mass or is present at it will be honoured by the Holy Spirit.  He will have light; he will have peace; he will cure the sick, and rouse those who are sleeping”.  (Blessed Mariam)

With  respect and love for the liturgy, the Saint Michael Garicoits Choir sings the praises of the Lord, it sings its love and fidelity, and its joy at being  Christian. “Sing to God with all your heart with gratitude, with psalms, hymns and sacred canticles”, (The Epistle of St Paul to the Colossians).
With all our heart we sing the marvels performed by God, our faith in Jesus Christ.  There is nothing too beautiful for praising the Lord, for beauty, simplicity and recollection in the celebration of the liturgy are a treasure, leading us to prayer and elevating our whole being heavenwards.
“Happy the man who sings thus adding to the beauty of the world.  Happy the man who lends his voice to express the hopes of mankind.  Happy the man who knows that music is a child’s game played out in all freedom.”  (Didier Rimaud)
The suggestion that was made to us to celebrate in music this jubilee year marking the 150 anniversary of the death of St Michael Garicoits filled us with enthusiasm; indeed it is  impossible not to think of St Michael Garicoits when you know  Blessed Mariam’s life!
The Mass of St Michael Garicoits, composed by Eric Saint-Mark, burst forth in an inspired melody which is truly remarkable.  This project lead us to explore and discover the musical treasures which lie hidden in the archives of Betharram and Rome.  The words of the songs, written by the Fathers of Betharram, of yesterday and today, gradually filled our spirits and our hearts with thoughts from St Michael Garicoits.
“God is everything, I am nothing.  Humble, devoted, constant,  Here I am, Father, I come to do your will.”  By dint of repetitions we made these messages ours.  The wish to procure a similar happiness for others is something which is very much alive in our group which is like a little family.  By our singing we wish to extend this same happiness even further afield, outside our walls.
Each new choir member is greeted by the following  text composed by one of the Betharram Fathers:

“No one is any better than the next one.
We are all  on our way.
No one is master of any one.
Everybody must learn the lesson.
No one is lord over any one else.
Everybody is made to give,
To be of service and to love freely!
The best way to progress
Is to take each other by the hand.
The best way to learn
Is to know how to listen
The best way to love
Is to serve freely”.        Fr Geraldo L. Bastos.

Ours is a way of life consisting of fraternal and friendly sharing within the group.  We are deeply aware that we can do nothing without each other.  We are to remember that “God is all and that we are nothing! And that “doing everything required in so far as our means and situation will allow”, is attested by St Michael Garicoits himself.
Singing St Michael Garicoits helps us to be missionaries of the Gospel and of God’s love, as we celebrate Jesus Christ and joyfully announce this good news: “It has so pleased God to be loved  and so he gave us his only begotten Son”!
Our pilgrimage to Rome helped us to enter more intimately and more solemnly into the message of St Michael;  and our reception in a family atmosphere by the Betharram Fathers filled us with joy and hope.
As we conclude, we naturally sing for St Michael and Mariam as part of this choir linked to the Fathers of Betharram from its beginning.
Our song is a cry of love for our Father in Heaven and St Michael has shown us the way: “Do God’s will.  To see God’s will one must love.  Love is clear sighted, it sees everything, understands everything, it informs, it guesses.”  So, “Father, here we are without delay, without reserve, without looking back, for love’s sake.”
Véronique Leid

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