O SING TO THE CHIEF MUSICIAN
Oct. 21, 2016
A Tribute to Fr. Aniceto Nazareth in Celebration of his Sacerdotal Golden Jubilee (Sunday, October 16, 2016, St. Pius X College, Goregaon) It was an evening of glorious Sacred Music in the Seminary chapel, where The Proclaimers – the all-Bombay choir originally trained by Fr. Aniceto Nazareth – raised their voices in cohesive and strong harmony to showcase not just his compositions but also the liturgical training and insights that he had imparted to them. These insights threaded through the commentary that stitched together the evening’s program, moved His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, to remark that it was a privilege for all present to attend the presentation of the music of our faith as it should be sung and the catechesis that was included. His Eminence also commended The Proclaimers for living up to their name and intended purpose – to spread the Gospel message by training choirs in their individual parishes. It was indeed a complete experience and His Eminence invited Fr. Aniceto to ‘throw away the wheelchair’ and resume the teaching that was so appreciated by those who had had the privilege to receive it. The program commenced with the prayerful ‘Spirit Source of Wisdom’ by the Priests’ Choir conducted by His Lordship, Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes. This was followed by The Proclaimers ringing out their joy to the Lord through Fr. Aniceto’s most popular and best loved compositions and arrangements, familiar in their lyrics and melody to parishioners of the Archdiocese yet wonderfully new in the rendition of rafter-raising five-part harmonisation: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass and congregation!! In this case, the ‘congregation’ listened in rapt attention and was generous in its praise. Thirteen choirs and their accompanists participated. In addition to the Priests and The Proclaimers, there was representation from Our Lady of Health, Sahar, St. John the Evangelist, Marol, Our Lady of Health, Versova, St. John the Baptist, Thane, Holy Cross, Kurla, St. Jude Jeri Meri, St. Pius X, Mulund, IC Church, Borivli, St. Francis Xavier Church, Vile Parle, and ‘Proclaimers’ from Goa and Canada. The last was ‘beamed’ via a video recording. The citation prepared by The Proclaimers was read by Bishop John Rodrigues, who added his own personal thanks for Fr. Aniceto’s tremendous contribution over the years to generations of priests in training who, in turn, have passed on the benefits to their congregations. Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes also expressed his thanks and appreciation. His Eminence, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay and Chief Guest at the function added many joyful notes of his own in his speech and one was the anecdote of time shared in Rome when he and Fr. Aniceto were students there: Fr. Aniceto’s ever present love of music took him to a nearby shop which sold musical instruments, where he picked up one of the instruments for an impromptu performance. The shopkeeper was so taken up by Fr. Aniceto’s talent that he requested him to come in once a week to play for the customers!! The study of Liturgy took precedence and the shopkeeper’s dream was left unfulfilled. The occasion was also graced by the presence of Msgr. Markus Graulich, Under Secretary, Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Bishop Lourdnada (Lourdes) Daniel, Bishop of Nashik and Bishops Emeritus, Bosco Penha, Percival Fernandez and Agnelo Gracias. ‘10 ways for all to sing the Our Father’, Fr. Aniceto’s latest publication, was released, adding to the rich legacy of Liturgical Music that the Archdiocese enjoys, for which gratitude is also due to Fr. Jean Mercier with whom Fr. Aniceto enjoyed a happy collaboration to produce the Sing a New Song series.
Fr. Aniceto’s Wiki page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aniceto_Nazareth) was inaugurated by His Eminence, Cardinal Gracias, at the press of a button, to much applause. The Vote of Thanks was profuse in acknowledgement keeping in mind the magnitude of the occasion. How does one convey a listening experience, in all its beauty, in mere words? Impossible. The Proclaimers have promised a CD of the event, so you will soon be able to listen for yourselves. For those who were actually present, it was an unforgettable lift of the spirit through the hymns dedicated to the Chief Musician brought to life in the rendering of
Fr. Aniceto’s labour of love.
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