A new way to pray the Divine Mercy Novena is being offered this year by St. Margaret Mary Church’s director of liturgy and music.
Each day from Good Friday, April 7, to Divine Mercy Sunday, April 16, at 1 p.m. on the church’s Facebook and YouTube pages, those who wish to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy can tune in to hear the prayers sung by people from area churches in different musical styles.
Dr. Holly Smith-Brooks, the parish’s liturgy and music director, noted that various composers have published their own musical arrangements of the Divine Mercy Chaplet and that gave her the idea to offer the novena this way.
“I discovered there were a few different musical arrangements and wondered how many are out there,” she said. “How cool would it be to do a different one every day of the novena?”
She reached out to area parishes, including one outside the Archdiocese of Louisville, to join her in recording the arrangements she found that had been produced by various composers — one for each of the nine days.
“I think it was all the Holy Spirit,” she said of the way the project came together. “I wanted to get others involved and figured we could record them. … It’s a way to showcase the beauty and diversity of all the (participating) churches.”
The first day will be a chant arrangement, which Smith-Brooks said is popular and typically used by the Eternal Word Television Network. She recorded that arrangement at St. Martin of Tours Church with Dr. Emily Meixner.
Another arrangement included in the mix is more contemporary and used by youth groups. She said there are some she hadn’t heard of until she went looking for versions to use.
“Some are brand new,” Smith-Brooks said. “LaRosa’s was published within the last year. Galea, who is a priest in Australia, that one’s pretty new.”
In addition to St. Martin of Tours, Smith-Brooks collaborated with musicians from St. Gabriel, St. Martha, St. Raphael, Immaculate Conception, St. Albert the Great, Ascension and St. James churches in the archdiocese; she also worked with Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
“The primary goal is to help expose other people to this beautiful devotion,” Smith-Brooks said. “By using so many different arrangements, maybe they can find one that is appealing to them.”Each of the arrangements is around 16 minutes long. To tune in, visit https://www.facebook.com/stmmlouisville or https://www.youtube.com/@stmmlouisville daily from April 7 to April 16 at 1 p.m.