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Sing Your Amazing Mercy
U. S. A. | MEMBERS | NEWS
Regnum Christi consecrated women praise the Lord at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy

RC consecrated singers

On April 15, 2012, the consecrated women of Regnum Christi attended the feast of Divine Mercy celebration at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, along with 22,000 pilgrims. The consecrated women provided the music for the celebration, as well as volunteering in other capacities. Following is an account of the event by one of the choir members, Mary DeGoede.

“My daughter, look into the abyss of my mercy and give praise and glory to this mercy of mine. On the day of my feast, the Feast of Mercy, you will go through the whole world and bring fainting souls to the spring of my mercy. I shall heal them and strengthen them” (Jesus to St. Faustina).

Stockbridge, Massachusetts -- 

As we lead the crowd of 22,000 in praise and worship songs before Mass, I look out at the sea of faces in amazement. Although this is my second time singing at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy, the sheer volume of people still leaves me a bit incredulous. This is our Church, I think to myself; this mass of people who have arrived with umbrellas, sunhats, and all the faith of our hearts to a grassy hill in Stockbridge, and are now praying for God’s mercy on the world. A group
The clergy
of Filipino ladies in the fifth or sixth row stand up and begin to sway and clap to the music, singing the simple prayer with all their hearts: Lord, I lift your name on high; Lord, I love to sing your praises! I’m so glad you’re in my life; I’m so glad you came to save us! I’m moved by their deep devotion, and suddenly the nervousness brought on by a large choir performance is gone, because this is no performance. We happen to be standing in the front, but we are here to praise God and pray for his mercy, right alongside the rest of the faithful.

The Mass begins, celebrated by Springfield Bishop Timothy McDonnell, accompanied by many other priests and deacons. As we pray and sing our way through the consecration, my eyes are drawn again to the crowd, now on their knees on the grass. I wonder if the crowds in Palestine looked like this when Jesus was preaching. And to think that we were worried about the sound system! However Jesus managed it at the time, his words now echo across the hill: Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me. These words seem to hold a special power today, as we “do this in memory” of him on this feast for sinners. As he asked St. Faustina to do, we are coming before him not only for ourselves, but for all souls in need of mercy. Behold the Lamb of God; behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb!

During Communion, I look over
The crowd
to the far left of the crowd, where a priest in gold vestments is pressed up against one of the low barriers, placing the Body of Christ into the outstretched hands of the people crowding up to the other side. This picture will remain in my mind over the next few days; a picture that says “hunger.” That’s me, I think to myself; that’s all of us, hungering for God and his mercy. The Divine Mercy devotion has become particularly meaningful for all of us consecrated in the last few years – years of asking for forgiveness, as well as finding forgiveness in our own hearts. Last year, the choir’s trip to Stockbridge turned into a pilgrimage for all of the consecrated in Greenville, as well as several others. When we were invited back to sing this year, everyone wanted to part of it again. Most of us prayed the novena leading up the feast, and all of us have felt blessed to be a part of the celebration – singing or otherwise.

I was a bit bemused by the meticulous scheduling of the “preshow” – we sang from something like 11:47 to 12:16 – but now I understand it: everything is carefully orchestrated so that the Divine Mercy Chaplet begins at 3:00 on the dot. Have mercy on us and on the whole world. The prayer rises thunderously, over and over, from thousands of voices. If Jesus is “in the midst” of two or three people gathered in his name, than this prayer must have serious power! It’s impossible to have any sort of
RC Singing group
The RC consecrated sing for the second year in a row at the Stockbridge Massachusetts Shrine
bleak outlook on the world as I unite my voice to the voices of so many others who have faith in God’s mercy. One of my family’s stock phrases comes to mind: “it’ll all work out.” As long as faithful people like these remain, it will indeed work out for good in the end!

After the triumphant closing song ends, as the crowd begins to stream off of the field, one of the priests asks us to accompany a special guest: Jesus is on his way back to the church at the top of the hill. As the priest carries the Blessed Sacrament up the hill, we follow behind, singing. The few remaining people drop to their knees as we pass, and after a few moments we arrive at the church. Once inside, it turns out that a large group of people who weren’t able to receive Communion during Mass are now approaching the altar. As they receive, we start another song. And then another. And another. And one more. No one seems to want to leave. The crowds are gone, the cameras are gone; we like to say that we sing for Jesus, and now we’re literally doing just that.

The celebration has ended, but the impact on all of us is deep. Even if the memories fade, experiences like these change you in a small but permanent ways. 

For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation.

Trust God and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in him.

You who fear the LORD, wait for his mercy, turn not away lest you fall.

You who fear the LORD, trust him, and your reward will not be lost.

You who fear the LORD, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy.

Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the LORD and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his fear and been forsaken? Has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?

Compassionate and merciful is the LORD; he forgives sins, he saves in time of trouble. (Sirach 2:5-11)

To learn more about the Feast of Divine Mercy, visit www.thedivinemercy.org. Watch the video of the liturgy at Stockbridge here.

 


PUBLICATION DATE: 2012-04-19


 
 

Related links

Official web site of the Vatican.
Legionaries of Christ
For Your Vocation
Ancora
Mater Ecclesaie College


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