Being touched by the music

When you’re having a bad day or a bad week in general, sometimes the smallest thing can turn everything around. For me, these past six days have been tough on a physical and emotional level. I’ve felt angry, alone, scared, depressed, weak, tired – and all at different times. I was relieved when Sunday afternoon rolled around, and I got ready to depart for 5 p.m. Mass. I’m trying to develop this new habit of not letting adverse emotions weigh me down for too long before surrendering them up to Jesus.

As the holy water touched my forehead as I made the sign of the cross inside the sanctuary I instantly felt this calming sensation. It was like I had passed a barrier that separated me from the burdensome feelings I’d been suffering from all week. I don’t normally attend Mass alone, but because I was unaccompanied by my boyfriend or family members, this weekend was a solo venture, which happened to be a perfect remedy. The perfect hour with minimum distractions, but what really made the hour perfect was the music.

You see, most weekend Masses include a church choir, but on Sunday nights Church of the Ascension brings in a group of musicians who utilize the wall behind the alter to project the lyrics for the congregation to follow. These songs are always contemporary Christian songs, like the ones you’d  hear on the K-Love radio station as you’re driving. I love being able to stand in my pew without a hymnal and just sway and belt out some of the best praise and worship songs imaginable. It feels so good to just be when all the negativity you arrived with just isn’t there anymore.

One song from tonight’s Mass in particular mended my heart after this week’s struggles. This song was called Heart of Worship. While being a beautifully composed piece that fits my vocal range perfectly, it reminded me of the days I spent as a member of Ascension’s Heart of Worship choir in high school. That song was our designated theme song that we would sing as often as possible in hopes that people wouldn’t grow tired of it. The overall message is that our lives should be centered on God, not ourselves, and if we stray we can always return – hence the lyric: I’m coming back to the heart of worship. That message alone left me exiting church with a more grateful attitude and genuine smile.

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