St. Cecilia has long been venerated in the Church as a virgin-martyr, and has equally-long been the patroness of musicians because with a “song in her heart,” she converted her husband while preserving her vow of virginity. Her association with music is especially meaningful for me because music has been an ever-present part of my life; even now in the convent, I serve as choir director and assistant organist. When praying about the choice for a religious name, the sacrificial dimension of her life began to appeal to me as much as the musical aspect. Her willingness to lay down her life literally is a haunting, challenging, and uncomfortable prospect. And so I pray to gracefully and gratefully suffer the smaller day-to-day “martyrdoms” as my religious vocation continues to be nourished through prayer, community life, and especially the sacrifice of the Mass.
Lately, I find special delight at Mass whenever the First Eucharistic Prayer is prayed. St. Cecilia is mentioned only after the bread and wine have been consecrated to become the Body and Blood of Our Lord. It seems fitting that my special patron “waits” until her Lord is present on the altar to greet him along with her sister-martyrs: Agatha, Lucy, Agnes and Anastasia. St. Cecilia and all you holy women, pray for us!
~ Written by Sister Cecelia Clare