Seven Last Words: A remarkable beacon of light in the drama of Jesus’ Passion

April 3, 2024

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)

It is said that God is nearest to us in difficult times. Yet, if we were being honest, the turbulence in our spiritual journeys - particularly during Lent - could leave us feeling alone, as though God were staying silent.

Quite to the contrary, if Good Friday evening’s Seven Last Words service were any indication, the Young Adults Ministries (YAM) community are blessed with His presence in resounding abundance.

The YAM choir, under the passionate leadership of Audrey Fitchett, gave it all their heart and soul in a 90-minute-long contemplative service of music and reflection, joined by masterful pianist Bobby Chen. Father James Conway SJ opened the event, introducing an evening of scripture and reflections by former Superior General of the Society of Jesus, Father Pedro Arrupe.

In a beautifully thematic programme, seven members of the YAM community read reflections on Jesus’ seven last words on the Cross, interspersed among a remarkably diverse selection of choral music - including profound interpretations of “Wa Habibi” (Lebanon) and “Heyr himna smiður” (Iceland). As the YAM choir are now known for, each piece was skilfully executed with impressive harmonies, reverberating throughout the high ceilings of the church.

Chen mentioned that keeping a choir together is not easy. It goes without saying that the Herculean effort - over a month of Sunday afternoon rehearsals and steadfast musical direction - was wonderfully rewarding.

Among the audience were parishioners of Farm Street, who have made it a custom attending the YAM choral services. Even before the first note was sung, they, along with the family and friends of the YAM community, knew they were in for a memorable evening.

In the Gospels, Matthew said that, “where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.” With tremendous thanks to YAM Fathers James Conway SJ and Kensy Joseph SJ; Audrey Fitchett; the YAM choir; the readers of the evening; and Bobby Chen; God was overwhelmingly present in this grand commemoration of the drama of Jesus’ Passion.

Blog by Christian Duhay, member of Jesuit Young Adult Ministries.

You can watch the full service on Farm Street Church’s YouTube channel here.

Individual choral performances can be found here.

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