BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - On the first Sunday of advent, the music is flowing at Nativity BVM Cathedral.
"It's a time to prepare, to wish, to hope for all of the things that will be good in our lives," said Father Dennis Carver, Nativity BVM Cathedral Rector.
A mass choir from throughout the region is part of the church's concert series. This marks the Cathedral's first Concert Service that intermixes Christmas lessons with traditional choral music.
"Music is a device if you will, a way in which our heart and soul offers, many times, the essence of what we cannot even say," said minister of music Terry Maddox.
"You get to have a fantastic experience," said choir member KC Arnold. "It really touches you inside when you do formal music with four parts, and we're working hard to perfect that and have a beautiful sound to bless people here that come to the celebration."
The music offerings here under the direction of Maddox provides something beyond self.
"When you are singing, you are literally part of something greater," said choir member Sean Ross. "And so, when you join in that song, you have your voice become part of this larger, grander more beautiful thing."
It isn't always easy for the faithful to navigate through a secular-soaked Christmas season, but this worship music represents a good way to smooth the transition from secular to sacred.
"The commercial aspect of it is a signification of the religious aspect of it," Father Carver said. "Because everyone prepares their homes. We prepare our food. We also prepare and want to give to one another."
Maddox added, "You know, Santa Claus and the Grinch are great stories about giving selflessly, about redemption and the giving back selflessly. They are all aspects of Christian faith put in a secular mode."
For Ross, there's a lesson to learn.
"I find myself on Black Friday obsessed with what kind I buy? What kind of deals? Then I come back to church and then, you know, forget all about that," he said. "I guess the lesson there is to hopefully stay that way when you leave church."