The Power of Joyful Music
When I look into the eyes of my youngest niece, Cecelia (Or Cece as my family likes to call her), I can’t help but think of the church's own St. Cecilia. St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music and musicians. Tradition tells us that when she was forced to marry and on her wedding day she heard heavenly music in her heart; it was said that she sat in the corner and sang to God during her reception.
My niece, Cecelia, although only two years old, is one of the most joyful babies I have ever known. She is always singing no matter if she’s in her room, in the car with her parents, or running through her house at full speed. Cecelia is always filled with so much joy and laughter for being just two years old. She brings joy to our family, and I can’t remember what life was like without her.
Music holds a special place for a lot of people. Music offers healing, wipes away sadness, gives people courage, offers a vast array of joy for people, and the list goes on. We play and hear music in our churches, in our cars, during road trips, in our offices, and in our downtowns. It can be heard through department stores, through the wall in your apartment, or down the street at your neighbor’s house. Music has been intertwined within the human identity since the beginning. If you live in my world, Country music is often blaring through my speakers, or Christmas tunes during the months of November, December, and January. Music often offers a sense of peace for myself as I work in an office alone and gives me a sense of protection.
Memorializing St. Cecilia is remembering that music is a pathway to connect to the Divine, a way to seek comfort, to praise and to pray. Singing can be soulful, prayerful, and powerful. It can be a way of connecting to God and deepening our relationship with Him. When St. Cecilia was later arrested and condemned to be suffocated in the baths she was still singing praises to God. When that didn’t kill her, she was sentenced to be beheaded and even then after being struck three times, the executioner left her bleeding, and she lived another three days, praying, preaching, and singing to God for all to hear. St. Cecilia’s feast day continues to be the occasion for concerts, and music festivals all over the world, and through her numerous songs, poems, and paintings we celebrate the heavenly harmony that music brings into all of our lives. St. Cecilia symbolizes not only the central role of music in our Catholic liturgy, but holds a very deep significance in human life and living our day-to-day lives.
Therefore during this week as we remember St. Cecilia, turn up those speakers and sing a joyful song to the Lord. You may just be surprised on how music can change your life and heal your soul.
Eternal God, you gave us the gift of St. Cecilia, a powerful protector and patron of music. We strive to pass our days faithfully and innocently like holy St. Cecilia so that we may come to Heave where we can praise You in concert with her. St. Cecilia, pray for us.