Experience the Beauty…

…of the true presence of Christ.

A few weeks ago I wrote a bulletin column reflecting on beauty and how we can use beauty in  response to being created in the image and likeness of God. Many parishioners have written to share their very personal stories of mirroring beauty, from poets to sculptors, musicians, and those living out their baptismal vocations in family and married life. I want to take a moment to thank you; the reflections and beautiful works you all sent to me left me speechless, and I am taking time to consider and pray about ways we can incorporate these many beautiful gifts into the life of Saint Michael Parish.

For today, however, I want to draw your attention to an opportunity to experience beauty—true beauty—in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. 

On December 15, I have invited an apostolate nonprofit ministry called The Vigil Project to Saint Michael Parish for a special event called TRUE PRESENCE NIGHT. The evening, beginning at 7pm, will consist of inspiring talks, live music, Eucharistic adoration, and more, all led by this dynamic musical ensemble. For our parish, this will be a profound moment to experience the beauty of the Eucharist in the midst of our Advent journey; how Christ humbled Himself to be born in a stable in the same way He humbles himself for us in the sacred host. 

The Vigil Project has been a great influence for me and my journey with the music ministry at Saint Michael Parish. I first encountered their music during Advent 2018, and found them to be one of the few ensembles that both honors the musical tradition of the Church while creating something entirely new and beautiful. At that point we began using their music at Masses, such as their song Prepare Him Room. In 2019 I had the unique opportunity to go to Nashville to spend a week with The Vigil Project and 40 other Catholic musicians, entering into a time of prayer and creative renewal. This, for me, awakened a desire to write music for our local parish, and songs like Anima Christi were a result of this retreat. The Vigil Project has since hosted a virtual retreat for our volunteer musicians (2020) and our own Erika Peterson (Life Teen Band Director) & Bob MckenzieSullivan (Westside Choir Director) just returned from the 2021 Musicians Retreat with The Vigil Project in New Orleans. 

Their December 15 concert will be their first visit to the Pacific Northwest, capping off a tour of more than 20 parishes throughout the Advent season. You can preview their newest album, TRUE PRESENCE, online now (listen here). 

Save the date and join us for a night of recognizing Christ as truly present in the host, lifting our hearts to Him through prayer and beautiful devotional music. See you on December 15, 7pm in the downtown Church.

– Andrew Goldstein, Steward for Music