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Speaking out: Offering my gifts at Sunday Mass

By  Christina Donati, Speaking Out
  • January 17, 2018

I believe it is natural for people to go through a period where they don’t feel the desire or the need to go to Church.

There have certainly been days when I felt the loss of desire to attend Mass.

When I was young, there were Sunday mornings when I didn’t even want to make the effort to get ready. I would show up incredibly late almost every week and I would debate the thought of even attending.

I felt unmotivated because I felt there was no purpose for me at Mass. I sat in the pew, not contributing in any way. I felt like just a number, and not one of God’s special children.

This all changed at 13 years old when my dad invited me to join the choir. He was the choir director at the time and he was very passionate about keeping music lively in the church.

Singing is one of my passions, so being able to do it at church every Sunday gave me a reason to attend Mass. I became part of a group of people who all had a passion for music as well.

It was fun to get to spend my time in Mass doing one of my favourite things, and it felt really good to know that I was somehow participating in everyone else’s Mass experience instead of just sitting in the pew and listening.

As the years went on, I noticed that other people in the choir started to become dependent on me and this was a nice feeling.

As someone who has studied music my entire life, catching onto the choir’s ways was not too difficult.

The choir is a voluntary group that anyone can join, so there are singers who did not have the same musical training as I did. Some people started to depend on me to be there to help guide them through certain songs and this was another way I started to feel like I belonged at Mass.

I have learned that music is a big part of Mass because it is an expression of God’s Word, a strong force which can unite people together.

By sharing my musical expertise, I found a place where I belonged. I may not be going across seas to help spread the Word of God, but in my own small way, I am giving back to my Church. This is a great feeling.

Of course, the choir isn’t the only way to be part of Mass.

For example, there is altar service where the servers help the priest with the celebration.

Being a lector is another wonderful opportunity because they are able to spread God’s teachings to everyone.

Or becoming a Sunday school teacher and being one of the first influences a child has about their faith.

Whatever the role, they all serve to make for a richer Mass experience.

(Donati, 22, is a fourth-year English and sociology student at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ont.)

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