This July pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Liverpool will journey to Lourdes for the 90th time. The Lourdes Pilgrimage is an integral part of the Archdiocese’s identity and it is a week of prayer, worship, fellowship and unbridled joy. There are a great many constituent parts of the Pilgrimage without whom the week would not be possible, from Hospitalité to clergy, St Bernadette team to medical staff and, of course, our wonderful and enthusiastic Youth Pilgrims. All sacrifice both their time and their money, gladly, for the good of our Pilgrims, assisted or otherwise. In this we are truly blessed. Another section of volunteers whose work is vital is the Lourdes Music Group.
The Lourdes Music Group, or LMG as they are known to many, began life in 1978. Their role is: ‘To provide the music for all major services of the pilgrimage and other key events throughout the year. This essential ministry creates the context of our worship and lies at the heart of the life and energy of the pilgrimage. It is in our liturgies that we are renewed, and our minds and hearts are raised to God in prayer and petition. We hold to the words of St Augustine – “singing is praying twice”.’
Throughout the years LMG has counted all manner of musicians and singers among its ranks, all committed to the enhancement of the Liturgy and the experience of pilgrims. Pianists, guitarists, flautists, percussionists, oboe, saxophone and trombone players and more; if it can be played and fits in the hold of an aeroplane, chances are it’s been played in Lourdes at some point in the last 41 years.
While LMG’s music ministry is its foundation, over the last four decades the group has grown into a community of praise and fellowship in itself. Through the Music Group, its members past and present have become family, growing with and nurturing one another on our faith journey, collectively and individually. LMG can now boast married couples who first met through the group as well as two priests and one present seminarian among their number.
As close as the group is, we always desire to expand our number and welcome new members into our extended family. If you or someone you know would like to hear more about what it means to be part of the group – to minister to people through music and experience potentially the most joyous and blessed week of your year at Lourdes 2020 – get in touch via email to: LMG@rcaol.co.uk