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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Church Music (Liturgy)

Why do so many churches complain about their music,
especially catholic churches?
I have visited many parishes over the years and when I ask the parishioners how they like their music, I am often giving a reply "It Stinks."
Many of the musicians are talented and they have service in their hearts, so why are so many unhappy with their music?
I have decided that if a choir or a band can keep their focus on being a leader or a facilitator, and not a performer, that can make all the difference.
I have noticed, that when the music ministry actually picks and uses songs that the people are familiar with, the people will sing, and when the people sing and are able to participate, they enjoy the music.

What does our church say about music in the church?

“Liturgical action is given a more noble form when sacred rites are solemnized in song, with the assistance of sacred ministers and the active participation of the people....

Choirs must be diligently promoted, but bishops and other pastors must ensure that, whenever the sacred action is to be celebrated with song, the whole body of the faithful may be able to contribute that active participation which is rightfully theirs....

Gregorian chant, other things being equal, should be given pride of place in liturgical services. But other kinds of sacred music, especially polyphony, are by no means excluded....

Religious singing by the people is to be skillfully fostered, so that in devotions and sacred exercises, as also during liturgical services, the voices of the faithful may ring out” (Constitution on the Liturgy, 112-118).

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Wow, doesn't that say it all!

If only our musicians would try to forget about variety and uniqueness so much and foster the promotion of familiar songs that are easy for most to sing, wouldn't the liturgy be enhanced significantly.

When we visit Guatemala each year, I am overtaken by how everyone sings out loud and with all their hearts as they worship and praise God. The songs do not change for the most part from year to year. They all know then, they are familiar, and they are in a note range that is comfortable.

Music is wonderful.

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