Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Spirit Rejoices: Panis Angelicum and I Have And I Always Will

{sweet sounds for your Mass and reception}

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, wise man that he was, said, "with all the strength of my soul I urge you young people to approach the Communion table as often as you can. Feed on this Bread of Angels where you will draw all the energy you need to fight inner battles.”  I love hearing the Eucharist called the Bread of Angels.  It's a reminder of the divine life we're invited to take part in, but even more than that, it reminds me what a singular blessing it is to be human.  Think about it!  As human beings, we're the only living creature on earth who can consume the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Love Himself, come down out of love for us.  The first lines are translated as, "the bread of angels becomes the bread of men."  Total gift!

I think this gorgeous hymn can awaken your soul and lift you right up to Heaven, and it'd be perfect before or after communion during your Mass.  Listen to it here, and look here for the English translation!

Little known fact: I missed the Hanson train back in the 90s, but luckily, my best friend introduced me to them in college, to my immense gratitude.  Hear me out before you start laughing and just write me off.  With puberty and haircuts, these three brothers are still writing awesome, melodic pop songs, playing all of their own instruments, and even doing charity work on the side.  I'm obsessed.

Believe it or not, this is not a Hanson commercial.  The song I want to share with you is today by someone else, whom I first heard open at a Hanson show!  Dave Barnes makes groovy, jazz and gospel-inflected music with incredibly romantic, tender lyrics.  You know Blake Shelton's song "God Gave Me You?"  He wrote it, and sang it first!  Anyway, his quiet ballad "I Have and I Always Will" would be a beautiful choice for your first dance.  Some love songs seem specifically intended to be wedding songs, which usually seems a little contrived to me, but this one stops way short of any of that.  Consider the chorus:

Underneath all your white,
my lady, my love, my bride,
in your darkest hours
will I love you still.
I have and I always will.  

I love the image of purity that can withstand any fire, and all of it's just amplified so amazingly when you consider the bride and bridegroom imagery of Christ and the Church.  Listen here, and let all that beauty sink in:

Do you have your first dance picked out yet?  I'd love to hear your choices and the stories behind them!

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