While the rest of the world is having a big crazy party for the new year, drinking without thinking about anything that is important, the Church calls us to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (January 1 is a Holy Day of Obligation) and to consider the essential things, such as God’s presence in our lives and His call to us to live according to His Will.
January 1 is both the Octave of Christmas AND the feast day of Our Blessed Mother under her very highest, most exalted title: Mother of God. I like to think of it as Christmas Day again (we are still singing Christmas Carols at Mass!) with a special focus on our Holy Mother and her obedience, faith, and trust in God that allowed Christmas to happen.
That is why Our Lady is the perfect person to whom you should entrust your New Year’s Resolutions in prayer, that she may pray for you as you strive to improve. As you reflect on what you want for the new year, thank our good God for the past year and pray for the Holy Spirit to enlighten you in the coming year. Here’s how we’re going to do it:
Sacred Music for the New Year
- On Tuesday evening, after everyone has left the anticipatory Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, our Schola will be singing the Te Deum Laudamus (We Praise You, O God), the Church’s venerable hymn of thanksgiving, to praise and thank the Almighty for the blessings of the past year. You can find the sheet music here. Under the usual conditions, it is possible to gain a plenary indulgence by praying the Te Deum publicly on December 31, and a partial indulgence when praying it privately.
- Our Schola has also been asked to sing for Holy Mass on Wednesday morning, the morning of the feast day, and so after the church is empty we will then ask for the Holy Spirit’s blessing on the new year of 2014 by singing one of my most favorite Latin hymns, the Veni Creator Spiritus (Come, Holy Spirit). It’s an accessible piece, and you can find the sheet music here. Again, under the usual conditions, it is possible to gain a plenary indulgence by praying the Veni Creator on the first of January, and it may be either sung or recited.
- If you would simply like the texts for the prayers, here are the links to the (English/Latin) Te Deum and the Veni Creator Spiritus.
Enjoy these gorgeous hymns–I’ll bet your New Year’s celebrations are going to take on a really beautiful new significance!