Lent is time of deep retreat and of personal conversion. Everything slows down and simplifies so that we can experience this change of heart. The music for Mass is an integral part of this time of conversion. The Alleluia and Gloria are omitted. We sing the Latin/Greek chants of the Mass: the Kyrie, Sanctus, Agnus Dei. Hymns such as "Deep Within", "Tree of Life', "Without Seeing You"reflect the readings for Cycle B, and inspire us to deepen in the prayers of Lent.
The responsorial psalm for this Fourth Sunday of Lent is Psalm 137:1-2,3,4-5,6. The refrain "Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you." is our calling to bring the life of Jesus more deeply into our hearts and never forget his love for us. The psalm verses reflect on what is means to be in a foreign land within ourselves...separated from God.
The Jewish people sang when they were captives in Babylon, and this is also our song: "By the streams of Babylon we sat and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the aspens of that land we hung up our harps. For there our captives asked of us the lyrics of our song, and our despoilers urged us to be joyous: "Sing for us the songs of Zion!" How could we sing a song of the Lord in a foreign land?
As music ministers, how can we sing a song of the Lord if our hearts are not deeply connected to him and the journey of his life and death and resurrection?