To learn about the life and death of Saint Cecilia
To appreciate music
To use our musical talents
Selection of musical instruments
On or close to November 22nd
If there are some children with a musical talent
in the class, they could perform towards the end of the assembly.
1. Today is November 22nd . It is the
feast day of Saint Cecilia. She is the patron saint of music.
2. She lived about 17 hundred years ago.
There are many stories about her,
but we are not sure if they are all true.
3. Most people agree that she was a rich
Roman lady, who was put to death, because she was a Christian. You were
not allowed to be a Christian at that time. Other stories about Cecilia
we are not so sure about.
4. Some people say she married a
non-Christian called Valerian. Valerian and his brother Tiburtius then
became Christians also. This was a dangerous thing to do.
5. Even more dangerous was the job which
the two brothers decided to do.
They devoted their time to burying people who had been martyred because
they were Christians. This was not allowed. Eventually, the two
brothers were put to death as a punishment.
6. Cecilia buried the two brothers. She
was then arrested and sentenced to death herself. She was to be
suffocated in steam in her bathroom. This failed and a soldier was sent
to behead her. Pope Urban dedicated Cecilia's house as a church.
7. In the Middle Ages, Cecilia became the
patron saint of music. Again, this was because of a story. When music
was played at her wedding Cecilia is said to have sung hymns to God in
her heart. In paintings, Cecilia is shown with a lute, an organ or a
8. Cecilia is now a symbol of the Church's
belief that music is an important part of worshipping God. Music in the
Church is as important as paintings, statues and candles. The Church
says that when sacred action is celebrated with song, everyone should
sing. The voices of the faithful should ring out.
9. This of course means that anyone who
has a talent for singing or playing music should use that talent, or
the talent will be wasted.
10. Lord, we thank you for the gifts you
have given us. We thank you especially for the gift of music. May we
continue to enjoy music, using it to bring joy to our world. Amen.
11. Lord, we pray that music will draw us
closer to you, who gives us so many beautiful sounds. Amen.
12. Psalm 150 tells us to praise God with
music. (Read Psalm 150.)
13. There is a saying, "When you sing, you
pray twice." We will now sing "For all the Saints" by William How.
(Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 176)