Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

A Blast of Trumpets

The design of our parish draws heavy inspiration from the great Italian basilicas. A large dome binds together the transepts, and the oversized sanctuary, adorned in stone, creates a huge, open space with the altar perfectly centered. It’s the kind of design that elevates the mind; beauty that shocks the faithful out of the routine of our daily lives and reminds us of the specialness of this place.

To accompany the breathtaking architecture, we also have a robust liturgical music department. At many Masses throughout the year, guest instrumentalists join the organ and choir to truly elevate the music. A few weeks ago, a trumpet and trombone played at Mass on Mother's Day. The musicians are seated right up front, off to the right, but where the expansive sanctuary meets the dome. The result, in addition to the acoustically friendly building materials, is a church-filling sound that resounds throughout the entire space.

It’s been many years since I attended a parish where Mass was a standing-room only occasion, where young families like mine filled the pews, and where songs were sung by more than just the cantor. Add to the mix the sound of brass and stringed instruments, and it’s hard to not get taken up in the transcendent experience.

I’m grateful to Fr. Mike Schmitz and Ascension Press for their Bible in a Year podcast. It was just a few years ago that I completed the journey, and I find myself frequently reaching back to what I heard and learned that year. Having that grasp, that context, of the Bible is enriching to my daily life. Hearing the brass horns blaring at the Mass is one of those times.

We go to Mass weekly, sometimes more often, and that can have the effect of lulling us into complacency. Our encounters with the Divine are expected, scheduled, and presumed. But when you are at Mass, and the entrance procession is welcomed with a trumpet blast, your mind is immediately pulled to Psalm 47 or St. John’s descriptions in Revelation. It becomes so easy to imagine the triumph of Jesus Christ mounting His throne to the fulsome blasts of trumpets. You’re instantly reminded of what it is that you labor for, and why we don’t just give up our values and drift mindlessly through life like most of our friends and neighbors.

When I stand there, surrounded by my family, the blast of trumpets reminds me who I am, Whose I am, and where I want to be. It’s enough to shake me awake, to get back in the game, and to keep fighting for that day when I hope to be admitted to the Heavenly Mass, where the trumpets never stop blasting.