22 November 2010

22 November - Saint Cecilia

According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, Humpback Whales migrate to Hawaii now.  Smart whales!  Wish I could migrate to Hawaii.

Today is the feast of Saint Cecilia, martyr, patroness of music and musicians, also of
  • composers
  • luthiers (makers of stringed instruments: guitars, harps, dulcimers, violins, etc.)
  • martyrs
  • musical instrument makers
  • poets
  • singers
  • Academy of Music, Rome, Italy
  • the city and archdiocese of Albi, France
  • the archdiocese of Omaha, Nebraska
  • the diocese of Valleyfield, Québec
You can read an account of her life here in the Golden Legend; in truth, not much is known about her, except that she was martyred.  Her body, which had been buried in the catacomb of San Callisto, was transferred in the 9th century to a new church built over the ruins of her house in Rome, called Santa Cecilia in Trastevere.

Prayer to Saint Cecilia
Dear Saint Cecilia, one thing we know for certain about you is that you became a heroic martyr in fidelity to your divine Bridegroom. We do not know that you were a musician but we are told that you heard Angels sing.  Inspire musicians to gladden the hearts of people by filling the air with God's gift of music and reminding them of the divine Musician who created all beauty. Amen.

(P.S. Could you inspire our liturgists to remember that the music at Mass is for the Glory of God, not entertainment for the congregation?  And that we are not in a cocktail bar, at a Broadway musical, or watching "America's Next Greatest Singing Talent Ever!"?  Thank you.  Amen.)

Today would be a good day to send a note of appreciation to your liturgist, choir, or schola (if indeed you appreciate their efforts).  If you have any instruments lying around the house, which are no longer played, donate them to your local school or church.  Attend a concert of sacred music, or put on a CD of Gregorian chant or Handel's Ode for Saint Cecilia's Day.

And to make the day special, a recipe for Cecilias, a marzipan confection, can be found here at Catholic Culture.