‘It’s the work of the Trinity’
“Today is about the Eucharist and it’s about the gift of love,” said Sister Kathleen Harmon, featured speaker at the National Pastoral Musicians Fall Meeting and St. Cecilia Banquet, September 23. “Do not confine him to the tabernacle. He is there, but he’s not there to be confined.”
More than forty attendees listened to her message on the role of the Eucharist in Mass and throughout their lives. Terra Sancta Retreat Center hosted the event, which featured several presentations by Sr. Kathleen including “The Gift of the Eucharist,” “Becoming the Eucharist: The Body of Christ,” and “Becoming the Eucharist: Ministers of Music.” Guiding the attendees on the Paschal Mystery Structure of the Mass, she noted the presence of the Trinity in the Mass from the Sign of the Cross, the Gloria, the Eucharist, and even the Liturgy of the Word. “The Mass is the work of the Trinity,” she explained. “The Liturgy says step outside a little bit so you can look at it. What does it mean to be a Christian? What does it mean to be a human being? The liturgy keeps telling us what it needs,” she explains. “So, we stop all the frenetic ‘I’ve got to take care of this. Take care of that. I’ve got to do this, do that’ and just enter the Liturgy and look at what it’s about on the deepest level possible. It’s the work of the Trinity.”
In her second presentation of the day, Sr. Kathleen addressed the Paschal Mystery and how its effects are renewed in the Liturgy describing the relationship of the Paschal Mystery between Liturgy and life as the Gathering Rite (daily Christian living) to the Liturgy (full, conscious, active participation), to the Dismissal Rite (daily Christian living). “The Paschal Mystery is continuous; it’s going on all the timein the liturgy. It’s made completely present,” she said. “It’s the mystery of the presence of God, the Trinity, working within every element of creation including the human beings, the earth itself, the cosmos to continue the incarnation eternally in every possible way. The incarnation is God.”
The afternoon included a business meeting, board elections, and awards ceremony. The following individuals were elected to 2-yr terms as officers on the Chapter board: Chantry Nelson (St Michaels, Hermosa) – Co-Director; Suzanne Reeve (Our Lady of the Black Hills, Piedmont) – Co-Programming Coordinator. The following individuals were appointed to the board: Maria Snow (St Isaac Jogues, Rapid City) – hospitality coordinator; Ed and Jeanine Fischer (St. John the Baptist, Custer) – ad-hoc advisory members. Departing board officer, Jeanine Gerlach (Co-Programming Coordinator) was given a parting gift in appreciation of her service on the board.
Sr. Kathleen Harmon then gave a final presentation on the Eucharist, expanding further on the morning’s programs. Citing from St Augustine, Sermon 272, “Now you are the Body of Christ and individually members of it” (1 Cor 12:27), “If you are the Body of Christ and members of it, then it is that mystery which is placed on the Lord’s table: you receive the mystery, which is to say the Body of Christ, becomes your very self.” Harmon added, “’Do this in memory of me’ entails being the Eucharist in your daily living, and noted the Eucharist is a beautiful gift – to us, for us, and to others. God’s transformation is twenty-four/seven, and our process of surrender to God’s will (giving him our weaknesses and failings) is perpetual. As ministers of music, we surrender ‘self’ and reflect on the sounds we make represent force meeting resistance. Sounds become words, and words reveal the interiority of thoughts. Singing reveals a deeper interiority, and we share that interiority (resistance and surrender) to draw closer to God in the music we provide at Mass.”
The NPM chapter encourages all Rapid City Diocese music ministers and clergy to attend quarterly NPM meetings at which education, prayer and fellowship are the focal points. For more information about the Rapid City Chapter of National Pastoral Musicians, visit their website or their Facebook page.
- St. Cecilia (laity) – Holly Waddell (Blessed Sacrament, Bison); Geralyn ‘Lynn’ Hahne (Holy Rosary, Trail City)
- St. Cecilia (clergy) – Fr. Mark Horn (Hispanic Liturgies Chaplain; St Rose of Lima, Hill City); Deacon Jim Hulm, Jr. (Holy Cross, Timber Lake)
- Peggy Langenfeld Memorial – Sue Englin (St. Therese, Rapid City)
- Emerging Music Minister (Adult) – Andrew Cernicky (Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Rapid City)