Each year, Archbishop Mitty High School selects a different liturgical theme that the community explores during all liturgical celebrations throughout the year. The theme is generally derived from a selected contemporary song that promotes the school’s Catholic Christian identity and its mission statement and that encourages 1,700 teenagers to sing their hearts out. Past liturgical themes such as “Nothing More” by the Alternate Routes and “I Lived” by One Republic serve as wonderful examples. Guests often remark after an Archbishop Mitty liturgy that they cannot believe that an entire student body would sing together with arms around each other, generating an incredible spirit in such a genuine symbol of unity.
With the bar set high to recreate this annual experience, this year’s liturgical theme appears to be another success. The process began last spring when the liturgy committee collected more than 150 song submissions by the student body and came away with a clear winner. “Unpack Your Heart” by Phillip Phillips embodies all the values the community hopes to embrace. The theme song was introduced to the student body (with a very positive reception) at an all-school assembly on the first day of school.
In the song “Unpack Your Heart” the lyrics say, “Bring your secrets, bring your scars. Bring your glory, all you are. Bring your daylight, bring your dark. Share your silence and unpack your heart. Oh, I’m on your side so shed your shadow and watch it rise. Into your darkness, I’ll shine a light.”
There are three major themes the school hopes to articulate throughout the year during our liturgical celebrations. The first is that students understand that they don’t need to be perfect; they simply need to be completely authentic to who they are created to be. God desires us to share all of ourselves — our struggles, our doubts, our hopes, our failings, our anger, our love, our laughter — all of it.
The second theme is that as a community we never carry our burdens alone. God wants us to share our burdens in prayer and in conversation with people we love and trust. The burdens will still be real, but they will be lightened and we will be able to handle them because we stand together in community.
The last theme embodied in the some is that as a member of a community, students can feel a powerful sense of inner freedom that allows them to bring their gifts to others. By taking all they have received, students can be the face of God to those who need help. What most teenagers say they really want (yet most struggle to get) are experiences and encounters with others that are real, not fake. This year the Archbishop Mitty community is challenged to create an authentic community that allows all to grow into the best versions of ourselves possible.
The Archbishop Mitty community looks forward to another wonderful liturgical year and hopes this year’s theme of “Unpack Your Heart” will continue to speak to the hearts of their students to find God in themselves, in their experiences, and in each other.
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