Every year Cornerstone Media releases a CD of the traditional Stations of the Cross complimented by a brief selection from a pop song that reflects the themes of prayer and life. Actually, it comes with a whole kit of resources.
I listened to this year’s CD on the way home from the Religious Education Congress last Sunday. What a way to make holy the task of driving for an hour in Los Angeles traffic.
As I listened and prayed I reflected on how catechisms and youth ministers, indeed anyone leading the Stations of the Cross, could transform this practice into a relevant spiritual moment. If you visit the website you will discover the many applications. The first thing I wanted to do was to prepare a PowerPoint of visuals to go along with the CD (which can be paused to add reflection time). Then lo and behold, you can actually download PopwerPoints from the website, too.
Some of the artists included are Shakira, Carrie Underwood, and 12 others. A second CD has reflections that you can use as a guided meditation for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday.
Cornerstone Media has been producing “The Dirty Dozen (The 12 worst songs of the year) and Psalm 151 (the 21 best value songs of the year)” for sometime now. The 2009 edition is available now.
I don’t think I can say enough how important these resources are for religious education, catechesis, evangelization, and so fourth. All ministries. The exercise of focusing on values in popular media can lead all of us to be more media mindful, to discern our media choices, and once we choose, to make meaning from the media we experience. To ask what the story means, does it make a difference, how can I make a difference?
Of course, it is understood that each person reflects on and articulates the values they live by first of all.
Cornerstone’s mission is faith formation, to integrate discernment skills with popular culture, spirituality, and scripture.
I once heard Anna Scally, president of Cornerstone Media, speak to a group of Catholic communicators. The most important thing she said, if I recall well, is that we are to honor our students, our young people. If we honor young people, our whole attitude and ways of relating changes. To honor their music may seem more of a challenge, but there is a lot to savor and contemplate in popular music.