By Winston Garcia
Truly, this was one of the most momentous musical liturgies I have ever had the privilege to lead. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, gratifying and, humbling.
There are so many variables which go into producing an exquisite, celebratory yet prayerful music liturgy, such as the one witnessed for the installation of Archbishop Charles Jason Gordon at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Wednesday, December 27.
I have been recognised and congratulated as the choral director and conductor of the thus-named Archdiocesan Festival Choir; but, there were many other persons who, generously giving of their time and talent, were instrumental in bringing the liturgy to life. I take the time now to extend my heartfelt thanks and gratitude.
The installation planning team, headed by chief liturgist and executive producer Msgr Michael de Verteuil, recommended that Gregory Wong-Fo-Sue should provide the musical support necessary for such an important occasion, and he certainly did!
Gregory is a humble genius, and given our long and successful history of producing music liturgies for our archdiocese, with him as the musical director, it was indeed a happy and inspired collaboration.
When it came to assembling the choir, there was a deliberate effort to include musical talent from all the vicariates, representing every part of the archdiocese.
The aim was to bring together a community of mature, talented, prayerful, musicians and singers to form a family of musical missionaries to complete a challenging task.
At the practices, care was taken, always, to highlight the fact that the main reason for our efforts was not entertainment, but ministry. We were encouraged to see ourselves as a musical army on mission for the kingdom of God, striving to make the installation a musical milestone in the liturgical life of the archdiocese.
The goal was to produce musical excellence in a short space of time, at a busy time of the year. From all accounts, we believe we can say “Mission accomplished”. Thank you to all the singers and musicians (see list).
Nothing happens in a vacuum; there is always work being done in the background. My being the Episcopal delegate for youth of the archdiocese afforded us the administrative support from the youth office, which was a crucial factor for the success of our mission.
The staff of the Youth Commission must be congratulated for their flexibility and selfless efforts which positioned us for success. They shouldered the responsibility for all administrative duties—making phone calls, securing venues for rehearsals, securing and printing hymn sheets and musical scores, making refreshments, and keeping communication lines open and active. Thank you ladies!
Finally, I want to thank Archbishop Gordon for bringing us all together in a special way. It was a unique privilege to prepare for, and serve at, the installation. As a choir, as a music ministry, we certainly tried our best to deliver at the highest level of musical excellence and ministry. We hope we made you proud.
I take this opportunity to personally thank every single person who contributed in any way to the success of the music liturgy at the installation.
The Archdiocesan Festival Choir
La Vaughn De Leon