When I joined Jubilate as a second-year student I don’t supposed I’d ever thought about praise, much less its importance. I probably wouldn’t have listed it as a spiritual necessity then or maybe even 10 years later. But gradually I came to see praise as one of the essential differences between Catholicism and Protestantism. As a cradle Catholic, singing with a Baptist choir was a unique and—from the first minute—wonderful experience.
Much of my reaction was due to things many Jubilate singers would name: fellowship in Christ, the wonderful music (and directors), the lifelong friendships formed, and community in the midst of a sometimes bewildering university experience. The thing I loved most though was the experience of lifting my voice to the heavens in song. I loved the essence of Jubilate—praising God through music.
Now don’t get me wrong, Catholics sing their praises to the Lord. Maybe the difference was that the Jubilate experience was so joyful. Also, the people I met in the group and on tour were very open about their feelings about Christ and their spiritual journeys. There wasn’t anything analytical or Jesuitical about these discussions. They simply wanted to share their praise of the Father and His Son.
Singing in general and Jubilate in particular has been key to my understanding of praising God. I am so thankful for the opportunity to sing in the group all those years ago and stay connected as an alumnus.