Monday, June 24, 2019

Singing, Summer Solstice, and St. John the Baptist

Today we celebrate the birth of St. John the Baptist. I love that in the middle of summer we get a little foretaste of Christmas because St. John prepares the way for our Lord Jesus. Our little Latin choir is named for him and yesterday's High Mass for Corpus Christi, followed by a Eucharistic process and benediction, was so beautiful. I believe the angels always come to assist us. I took this picture during Adoration--I love how the smell of incense reaches into the choir loft, the gold vestments of the priest and deacon, and all the candles. Our priest didn't preach because St. Thomas Aquinas already did so beautifully in the Lauda Sion Salvatorem sequence. Our organist always makes such lovely worship aids--I've been saving them for the past two years. I started taking notes during the homily in a little notebook but I ran out and started scribbling on the worship aids. Plus, sometimes I wonder what will happen if we ever have to go in the time of Byrd. Below, I made some mehndi art--I clearly need more practice!

In Church, all the feasts of the various saints are actually their death days because it's their heavenly birthday. But we celebrate three birthdays on earth--of our dear Lord Jesus (Christmas), of His blessed Mother Mary (Sept. 8), and of St. John the Baptist (June 24). Both Mary and John were sanctified before they were born. "Do not be afraid Zachary, your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John; and he shall be great before the Lord, and shall be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb; and many will rejoice at his birth." ~ Luke "Before I formed you, I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you." ~ Jeremiah. St. John leapt in joy in his mother's womb when he felt the presence of Jesus in Mary's womb. I always marvel at this scene, two little babies, leaping and tumbling for joy and two mothers rejoicing! St. John's birthdate makes sense according to Scripture because when Mary conceives Jesus, the angel tells her that her cousin Elizabeth is in the 6th month. And Mary stays for 3 months with her cousin.  I love how John's birth falls right after the summer solstice because after he baptizes Jesus, John says, "He must increase; I decrease." And he does, just like the days begin to get shorter after the summer solstice. And then comes our dear little Jesus, the Light of the world!!! Right after the winter solstice. I am so grateful St. John allowed me to make him the patron of my little blog. Pray for us, St. John. Five years ago, I posted a novena to him.

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