On Friday, February 22, 2019 at 8:00 p.m., Concerts at Saint Mary will present harpist and composer Emily Mason as she performs an evening of music for harp. Ms. Mason will also be joined by internationally-acclaimed Philippine-born American tenor Allan Palacios Chan and organist David Uschold.
Originally from southern Virginia, Emily Mason now, for over eight years, calls District of Columbia area her home where she has an active career as a harpist, classical/jazz pianist, mezzo-soprano and organist. She has been heard in venues such as the World Health Organization, the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Saint Thomas More Cathedral in Arlington, Virginia, and events for the Library of Congress. In addition, she occasionally joins the Manassas Symphony Orchestra. Known for her original transcriptions of orchestral, piano and ensemble music for harp, she enjoys playing music which is unusual to hear on the harp – jazz, pop, and even classic rock. Ms. Mason is currently Director of Music at St. Veronica Church in Chantilly, Virginia.
The concert program which will be presented by Ms. Mason will include performances of a variety of repertoire from classical to secular and will feature two original transcriptions: Movement No. 2(“The Lyre of Orpheus”) from the fourth piano concerto by Ludwig van Beethoven arranged for harp and organ; and Love Bade Me Welcomefrom Five Mystical Songsby Ralph Vaughan William arranged for tenor, harp and organ. Admission to the concert is free and a free-will offering will be taken to support future Concerts at Saint Mary productions. Following the concert there will be a reception in the church’s Parish Life Center where there will be an opportunity to meet the artists and share fellowship with others.
Parish Office Closed Monday February 18 in observance of President’s Day
A friend recently told me that years ago I gave a homily that had helped him to change a habit of leaving Mass early! He said that I used the analogy of being a dinner guest in someone’s home, and that nobody would ever get up and leave while the host has gone to the kitchen to clear the table. We always wait and express gratitude and have an appropriate farewell expression. In the Mass the appropriate farewell is the final blessing and the recessional hymn. Jesus wants to bless us for our coming to his wedding feast, and bid us farewell!
I also get asked, “What is that latest I can arrive for Mass and fulfill my obligation?” I understand the human urge to cut the corner, to take a short cut, but should we be doing this in regards to our weekly worship of God? No Way! I know what family life is like, and that sometimes the family walking in late is not doing so because of sloth. Sometimes it is because the children decide to walk the dog, or visit the bathroom, or hide in the basement at the very time when parents are trying to shepherd them to the mini-van to go to Mass.
Tardiness is not always directly willed, and I will always try to be understanding of late arrivals. (Yes, and know that I am most guilty of this! Mass often is late because I am waiting for altar servers to vest, or trying to find a lector, or talking to a grieving widow, or sometimes I am just plain late). If I ask your understanding as a parish family, I can give it as well.
However, everyone knows that missing Mass without serious cause is a grave sin. To look at this issue in terms of ‘when is the latest I can arrive?’ or ‘when is the earliest I can leave?’ is the wrong way to look at this. It is a recipe for spiritual disaster to measure our love for God by what is the minimum permissible. I give you this quote from St. John Chrysostom: “When we perform an act of kindness we should rejoice and not be sad about it…. If you do away with miserliness and counting the cost, with hesitation and grumbling, what will be the result? Something great and wonderful! What a marvelous reward there will be: Your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will rise up quickly. Who would not aspire to light and healing?”
What costs are you counting? Extra time in the parking lot? First in line at IHOP? Jesus gives you life at the cost of his own life. Is it really too much cost to stay for the entire Mass?