In a new summer series, OLMC music director and music professor, Ms. Andrea Covais explores the rich tradition of sacred music. Each week we will feature a new song that will be sung during that weekend’s Masses at communion. We hope these short pieces enrich and deepen your spiritual journey during these times.
“Many and great are bearers of the Word: the Christ speaks; the heart seeks. Gathered as one, we listen to the Word and share the meal of new birth”. These lyrics are from the hymn “Many and Great” by Rev. Ricky Manalo, CSP, PhD, Paulist priest, author and liturgical composer. Many of us at OLMC know Fr. Manalo not only as a composer of music, but as a friend and colleague to our late Fr. Leonard and friend to our dear Fr. Ashley. I met Fr. Manalo in 2018 at the National Association of Pastoral Musicians convention where he was receiving the NPM Pastoral Musician of the Year Award. We spoke for only a few minutes about our joint alma mater Manhattan School of Music, and his connection to OLMC, especially his fond memories of visiting and making music in our church. His hymn “Beyond the Days” is dedicated to Fr. Leonard.
You may know some other hymns by Fr. Manalo such as “In these Days of Lenten Journey”, “Spirit and Grace”, “With One Voice” and “Ang Katawan Ni Kristo”. His music is not only beautiful with high integrity and respect for the liturgy, but he is also a pioneer of bringing Asian Catholic liturgical music to the United States. His melodies are often pentatonic, a scale with its roots based in East Asia and because of this groundbreaking work, his music has been used in liturgies for Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis.
The hymn we will sing this week is called “By the Waking of Our Hearts.” It uses an Asian pentatonic melody and words based on the Pentecost sequence “Come, Holy Spirit.”
Check out the links below to hear Fr. Manalo discuss his music in his own words as well as a link to “Beyond the Days”, written for our former pastor Fr. Leonard Gilman, O.Carm.