Homily for St Cecilia’s Day
The legendary Acts of Saint Cecilia say that on her wedding day this Roman virgin saint “sang in her heart” to God alone. And in 1584, when the Academy of Church Music was founded in Rome, they chose her as their patron, and so she became more popularly regarded as the patron saint of musicians.
Given the close association of music and singing with St Cecilia, the first reading is especially apt. St John presents us with a vision of heaven, and a choir made up of all those redeemed by Christ. And they are all musicians: playing on harps and singing. And they sing a new song which only they – the redeemed – can learn to sing. But as I was reading this, I wondered what the old song was.