St. Cecilia Festival 2018

2018 marks the fifth year we have offered our St Cecilia Festival to the Jefferson County community - an extravaganza of music, poetry, art, and dance, followed by a reception featuring great food!  

This year, our theme is "Healing."  We will be exploring different views of healing, with a program that is designed to help heal the spirits of those who attend, through the creative arts of community song, instrumental and performance music, visual arts, and liturgical dance.  We will also be re-dedicating our 50-year old organ and honoring its builder, Dr J David Wagner.  This year our featured artist is acclaimed painter Frank Gunter of Madison.

Click here if you would like to make a donation to support Music Programming at Christ Church.  Thank you for your tax-deductible gift.

St. Cecilia is the patron saint of singers, musicians, poets, and organ-builders.  Tradition says that she was engaged to a pagan Roman named Valerian in the 3rd Century.  She converted him and his brother Tiburtius to Christianity, but they were martyred during some of the persecutions.  She was arrested at their burials, and tortured, finally dying of her injuries.

Remembered for the passion with which she sang the praises of God, Cecilia is first depicted in Christian art as a martyr, but since the fourteenth century she is often shown playing the organ (first and famously by Raphael).  Her story has inspired centuries of artistic representations in paintings, sculputres, mosaics, and stained glass.  Composers such as Handel, Purcell, Howells, and Britten have written choral works and mass settings in her honor.  Many music schools, choral societies, and concert series - and churches - bear her name.

In the ninth century, during th epointificate of Pope Paschal I, the remains of Cecilia were uncovered in teh catacombs of Callixtus.  On orders from the pope, the sarcophagus containing her remains was transfereed to the new basilica in the Trastevere region of Rome.  Bulit on what was believed to be the site of her home, a church named in her honor had existed on the site since at least the fifth century, and perhaps as early as the third century, one of the original cities in the City of Rome.

A Prayer for St. Cecilia:
Most gracious God, whose blessed martyr Cecilia sang in her heart to strengthen her witness to you: We give you thanks for the makers of music whom you have gifted with Pentecostal fire; and we pray that we may join with them in creation's song of praise until at the last, with Cecilia and all your saints, we come to shrae in the song of those redeemed by our Savior Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

Source:  Holy Women, Holy Men (c) 2010 by the Church Pension Fund.


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