Music and Hospitality

Carmel Bulletin, 14 August 2016

The Second Vatican Council’s instruction on music said: “One cannot find anything more religious and more joyful in sacred celebrations than a whole congregation expressing its faith and devotion in song” (Musicam Sacram, no. 16).  That, of course, is easier said than done!

While it may take effort to encourage everyone in the church to sing, it can also be easy to discourage singing.  Different factors can contribute to people feeling that they are not encouraged to join in the music that is being led by the music ministers.  In turn, we now have in the Church plenty of statistical and anecdotal evidence that proves that people’s engagement and connection with the music in liturgical celebrations is a key factor in them wanting to return to a particular parish community.

Parish Vision StatementAs part of our parish vision that all families feel supported, connected and valued as they live and grow in their faith, and our strategy to welcome all who come to worship, our Liturgy Committee and music leaders have been working on a way to develop a more focused and consistent music repertoire.  As it is developed and implemented, we hope this repertoire will help everyone in our parish know what we’re singing.

Parish Mass Settings Workshop

This morning, music ministers from our parish gathered together to learn more about some of the Mass settings that are available and recommended for use.  This is an integral part of the formation we’re providing in our parish as we implement the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

Our parish has generally been using the revised edition of Mass Shalom since the beginning of this year.  After being introduced to several other settings this morning, they can now move ahead with using more settings with their liturgical assemblies.

While our workshop attracted a relatively small number, we had at least one representative from each of our various music groups.  This means that these representatives can take the music back to their groups and start work.

Thank you to everyone who joined us this morning.  I hope you found it to be informative and productive.  Thanks also to Frank, who took a few pics with his iPad.

Introducing music group representatives to new Mass settings for the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, 23 July 2011
Introducing music group representatives to new Mass settings for the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, 23 July 2011
Introducing music group representatives to new Mass settings for the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, 23 July 2011
Introducing music group representatives to new Mass settings for the revised English translation of the Roman Missal, 23 July 2011

2/1/11 – New Mass Settings

This is an important weekend.  Yes, we are celebrating the feast of the Epiphany (on the earliest date possible in the liturgical calendar).  It is also the first weekend of the New Year, 2011.  This means that in Australia, we can begin to take the first steps towards implementing the new English translation of the Roman Missal.

The bishops in each country are responsible for determining when and how a new liturgical book such as the missal is to be implemented.  In the United States, for example, they hope to implement the missal – all of it – from the First Sunday of Advent this year.

Given the amount of work and preparation involved in implementing a liturgical text as large as the missal, our bishops have opted for a different approach.  Based on the recommendation of their National Liturgical Council, Australia will gradually implement the missal in stages.  The first stage begins now.

From 1 January 2011, parishes are able to begin using Mass settings (collections of parts of the Mass set to music) that have been newly composed or revised to suit the texts of the incoming missal.  From Pentecost Sunday, parishes are to gradually introduce the assembly’s spoken responses, with all spoken responses mandatory from November.  The prayers the priest recites would then be introduced sometime from November onwards, depending on when the published missal is available to parishes.

In Wentworthville, we already have copies of the revised edition of Mass Shalom by the Late Br Colin Smith CFC on order.  Australian composer Paul Mason has reworked this well-known Mass setting to the new texts.  Once it arrives, we will start to gradually introduce it into the Mass.  We will also display the words to help you learn the changes.

Hopefully we can all work together, not only to learn the new texts of the missal, but also to reflect on the meaning of our Church’s prayers, and come to a deeper understanding of the Eucharistic celebration.

30/5/10 – Our Music Ministry: Still More Helpers Needed

Music MinistersLast weekend, we began an initiative to encourage more parishioners to join our music ministry.

It has been great to see people already volunteering their support.  There is still time for you to volunteer – there are more forms available from the parish centre.

In particular, there are some Masses that need particular support:

  • We have a new organist, Astrid, at 10:30 a.m. Mass on the first and third Sundays of the month.  Astrid needs, however, the help of a small group of singers to lead the music with her
  • Our Sunday evening Mass also needs musicians and singers so that we may provide live music on a more regular basis.

Our team of music ministers is only too willing to help and support people who are interested in joining them.  If you believe your gifts and talents lie in areas other than music and singing, then help our music ministry by looking for musicians and singers within our parish.  An encouraging word from others may be all that’s needed for them to give it a go.

23/5/10 – Join the Music Ministry

The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few…

This weekend, we are appealing to you as we look to improve our parish’s music ministry.  The first part of this is working to ensure that all our Sunday Masses have live music.  This requires the participation of more singers and instrumentalists in our ministry.

You may ask why we members of the Liturgy Committee consider the provision of music to be so important?   Music has been an integral part of our Church’s prayer since its earliest days.  In St Paul’s letters to both the Ephesians (5:19) and the Colossians (3:16), he implores them to sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to God.

Furthermore, the bishops of Second Vatican Council remind us that “liturgical worship is given a more noble form when celebrated in song.”  They remind us that music allows our prayer to be expressed in a more beautiful way, and that our sense of worshipping together as one body in Christ is strengthened through the action of us all joined together in sung prayer (Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, 113).

Our music ministers are a relatively small group who show a great deal of commitment.  They appreciate the positive feedback they receive from parishioners on special occasions when our music is of a very high standard.  They will be the first to tell you, however, that they need more people to help them provide quality music Sunday after Sunday.

Perhaps you enjoy singing, and maybe people have even suggested to you that you should?  Perhaps you can play a musical instrument?  If you fall into either of these categories, we ask you this weekend to consider joining one of our existing music groups, or forming one of your own.  The music ministers here in Wenty provide a great deal of support to each other, and are always willing to help new ministers in whatever way they can.

In his first letter to the Corinthians, St Paul urges Christians to use their spiritual gifts for the building up of the Church and the kingdom of God.  This Pentecost Sunday, please take some time to consider how you may use your gifts for the good of all.