By Emily Schmid, Directory of Liturgy and Music
In my journey through life, I often experience mile markers through music. I create playlists for every season. Before digital music, I had CDs labeled for particular events or moods. Before that was the mix-tape generation, creating a music collection to commemorate an event, relationship, or moment in time. Music is universally a way we mark time and remember. After smell, music is the most prominent memory trigger for most people. The first time I ever played in an orchestra, we played Beethoven’s Egmont Overture. When I hear that piece now, I am taken back to when my 16-year-old self sat in that rehearsal room full of instruments in awe, wonder, and excitement. When I hear Edelweiss, I will always cry as it was the closing song for my grandfather’s funeral. The song “MMMBop” fills me with all the emotions from middle school. Songs can transport us back to significant moments in our lives where we remember and at the same time actively participate in that moment once again.
The Sacraments help us remember and participate in the story of our lives. Through the Sacraments, not only do we receive the grace from God to live a Christian life, but these Sacraments also mark life events, both personally, but also mark events in our communal history as the People of God. Each Sacrament is a mile marker on our path toward God and shows our development in life and faith. We are baptized into the community of faith and continue our initiation through Confirmation and First Communion. We discern how we are to serve the Lord as adults and enter into the Sacraments of Marriage or Holy Orders. And because no life is without suffering, we have the Sacraments of Healing to mend our spiritual and physical wounds. Sacraments help us remember our journey while filling us with the graces to move forward in faith.
In the Sacraments, we play our role in Salvation history, journeying through lives with the Old Testament figures. In the Old Testament, God’s covenants are the mile markers showing God’s continued love for His children and the continual renewal of our relationship with Him. These covenants parallel and even foreshadow the Sacramental life of the Church that we live in today. We watch each covenant progress as God draws more and more people into relationship with Him until finally, in Jesus, all the people of the earth are called into union with God. We live out the covenant of Jesus Christ in the way we participate in our faith. Much like our experience with music, we can actively participate in and remember the history of faith through the Sacramental life.
This Lent, make some memories through scripture, through the Sacrament, and through music. St. Francis’ Lenten playlist is on Spotify for you to pray with as you journey. Read through the Old Testament figures portrayed throughout Lent in the first readings for Sunday Masses. Check out our website and social media channels for opportunities to worship and enter into the Sacramental life of the Church. In your journey through Lent, may the entire life of the Church come alive in the joyful hope we experience at Easter.
St. Francis’ Lenten Playlist