By NICHOLE GOLDEN, Staff Writer | Published June 11, 2018
SANDY SPRINGS—The St. Jude the Apostle school community held its third annual Praise and Worship event May 17 in the church sanctuary.
Father Tim Hepburn, director of vocations for the archdiocese, led the program. Ed Bolduc, Jeff Simpson, music teacher; Chris Fason, physical education teacher; and Mike Hinton also lent their musical talents.
Simpson teamed up with Carol Cuviello, the school’s religious activities coordinator, to transform the school Mass by using kid-friendly music. The music was based from the Life Teen movement, spearheaded by Bolduc at St. Ann Church, Marietta, in the 1990s.
“We carefully incorporated new music every year to keep the fire going so to speak, and it has paid off with joyful children singing and responding through the songs at Mass,” said Simpson. “Then Carol had the idea for the Praise and Worship event where we introduced contemporary Christian songs and where the children could really get behind the songs, through primarily Father Tim and Ed Bolduc, and help them focus on the words and understand our faith walk better.”
In class, Simpson makes time to review the praise and worship songs ahead of time to enhance students’ familiarity with the music and message.
“It’s also great for the children at our school to get a chance to see their teachers and staff all joining in with the music and the event becomes a shared celebration of our faith on a different level and one that expresses joy and fulfillment,” said Simpson.
Song selections this year included “Open Up the Heavens,” “Grace on Top of Grace,” “No Such Thing as Impossible,” “Here’s My Heart Lord,” “O Come to the Altar,” “10,000 Reasons,” “Burning In My Soul” and “Old Church Choir.”
Cuviello said Father Hepburn shared that words of songs are like a prayer, which draws one closer to Jesus, and how wonderful it can be to praise the Lord through music.
It’s a wonderful way to wrap up each school year, said Cuviello.
“It is our intention to send the students off into summer with a joyful reminder of how important it is to keep Christ and the joy of our faith as part of their summer, and that Christian music helps us to do just that,” she said. “I shared with the students that joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God and that we need to have that joy so as to be living billboards for Christ.”