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Feature News | Thursday, April 16, 2020

Here comes the 'Son'

Epiphany's singing priests share musical ray of sunshine for Easter season

MIAMI | The coronavirus pandemic has certainly revealed the various talents of archdiocesan priests. Among them: Father Jose Alvarez and Father Alex Rivera, pastor and parochial vicar, respectively, of Epiphany Church in South Miami.

The two provided a musical Easter greeting to their parishioners April 15, which was posted on Epiphany School’s Instagram (@epiphany_school_miami) and the parish website. Father Alvarez took up his 12-string acoustic guitar and joined Father Rivera in a mellow rendition of the Beatles classic, “Here Comes the Sun.”

Before the singing started, Father Alvarez noted the connection between Easter and the new life that arises in spring.

“Birds sing, flowers bloom and the sun shines all the brighter in the spring — the s-u-n,” Father Alvarez said. “But also during the spring, and during Easter, the Son — the s-o-n, the risen Son of God — also comes to us, to bring new light into our lives.”

The “Here Comes the Sun” video was meant “to remind you of this reality,” Father Alvarez explained in the video.

The two priests have been taking turns posting online reflections for their parishioners each week, in addition to recording the weekend Masses and posting them on YouTube.

“This time is all about reaching people through the website and social media,” Father Alvarez told the Florida Catholic. Though he admitted he personally has no social media presence. “I’m lucky I know how to use a cell phone.”

But he’s convinced this time of quarantine and pandemic is a moment of grace that everyone — priests and parishioners — should treasure.

“The Lord had a river of life within him and that’s what led to the resurrection. That’s what I try to tap into and make people aware of, that there’s a whole culture of life within them in the middle of all this,” Father Alvarez said.

The idea for the duet came from that conviction, and something else he noticed about Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances in the Gospels.

“The risen Christ is very creative. He appears. He surprises them (his disciples) constantly. So we thought how can we surprise in a creative way that is consistent with the Easter message,” the priest explained.

The video is the priests’ first public collaboration. According to Father Alvarez, they only rehearsed “two or three times” before hitting the record button.

“We live in the same house. I play all the time and Alex can obviously sing but this is the first time we do anything together,” Father Alvarez said. “The response has been overwhelming. My phone hasn’t stopped. And I don’t even have social media. It’s gone viral – whatever that means.”

“I’m just happy about the fact that it brings people joy,” he added. “A little joy and hope goes a long way at this time.”

Comments from readers

JOSE IGNACIO JIMENEZ - 04/24/2020 02:06 AM
Fathers, American Idol called. You're going to Hollywood!!!
Carlota E Morales - 04/18/2020 10:28 PM
Thank you for bringing music in these difficult days!! It was a beautiful surprise! God bless, Carlota E. Morales
Kathy Donovan - 04/17/2020 02:59 PM
thank you, gifted Fathers!
CAROLINA PLANA - 04/17/2020 10:07 AM
I could really hear the SON Calling me little darling!! Beautiful and so uplifting. Thank you & Blessings!!!
Ambrosio Hernandez - 04/16/2020 07:41 PM
Congrats to Father Alvarez and Father Rivera. I loved it. This is probably my #1 Beatle song. But better yet is the message you both sent by changing the word Sun for Son referring to our Lord Jesus Christ. You made my day. BTW Father Alvarez, it was David our music Director who sent me the link. Blessings. Ambrosio ✝️🎸
DR. CARLOS D. COTON - 04/16/2020 06:29 PM
Thank you so much Fathers for taking the time to do this. Not only is the rendition beautiful but the SUN and SON connection is right on. This is truly needed in our challenging times. We have now heard this countless times and will continue to do so. By the way, the Beatles have nothing on you!! :-)
Vilma Angulo - 04/16/2020 01:19 PM
During this time of crisis, as we are away from our places of worship, what joy this brings! So many pastors and priests have stepped out of their "comfort zone" and have tried to continue to reach out to their parishioners in so many creative ways. Thank you Father Alvarez and Father Rivera! May you know someday how so many of us have been nourished and encouraged by your faithfulness. Thank you for keeping us focused on the Son!
Cristina Cabrera - 04/16/2020 12:20 PM
This is one of my favorite Beatle songs ever! How wonderful that we have two great priests to share their Easter message with a little musical talent. God bless and keep you both safe. And please, keep the music coming!

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