Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Spirit Rejoices: Holy God and As Long As Our Hearts Are Beating

{sweet sounds for your Mass and reception}

One of my most treasured memories is the two day pilgrimage I embarked on with my college prayer group, Militia Immaculata, to Saint Mary's City in southern Maryland.  It's a gorgeous area filled with grassy landscapes and surrounded by water.  The city is so significant for the Church in America, and for me personally.  The colony of Maryland was so named as "the land of Mary," being founded by English Catholics who left their country in the name of religious freedom.  They settled in the area, built their churches and a life, and the very first Mass ever celebrated in the colonies took place there.  Given the current culture, I love to consider that my home state was one of the first to defend religious freedom in this country.  What's more, my dad's ancestors were passengers on the first two ships to sail to Maryland, the Ark and the Dove, and were some of the original settlers!  I was amazed to learn on the pilgrimage that the Ark and the Dove set sail on the feast of my patroness, St. Cecilia.

Anyway, it was on this trip that I fell in love with Holy God We Praise Thy Name, a hymn previously familiar to me, but never particularly acknowledged.  Standing on the edge of the pier across from a beautiful island called St. Clements as the setting sun turned the sky pink, all of us sang the song, the way the settlers reportedly did at their first Mass.  I carry it in my heart, and I now consider Holy God an expression of complete joy and contentment--what could be more fitting for a nuptial Mass?

Speaking of treasured memories, some things are just too special to share with everyone.  Christopher West says that intimacy literally means "into-me-see," which I think is so beautiful, and so fitting--it's true that you don't let just anyone deep into your soul.  So, my other song suggestion for today maybe isn't for playing at your reception, but for when you're alone with your husband (your husband!) later.  The delicacy, the intimacy, of it feels so private and fragile; besides, your grandma might blush.  As Long As Our Hearts Are Beating is an amazing duet by Jenny and Tyler, a married duo from Nashville, that so wondrously expresses the pure love between a bride and bridegroom.  It's about really seeing the person you love, not just in body but in entirety.  I ache.  You can listen to it here.

Leave a comment and tell me your take on these two songs!


  1. I love this series! My fiance and I finally got our music ministers lined up and it's pretty daunting to think about choosing all of the music for a MASS! haha! Thank you for your help.

    1. Aah, how exciting for you!! So glad these ideas can help!

  2. As Long As Our Hearts Are Beating is my favorite, most cherished song....and as I [not so] patiently wait for my husband to show up, I can't wait to share that song with him! I'm just now discovering this series and I LOVE it! :)

    1. That's beautiful! Thanks so much, Morgan!



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