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The purpose of Liturgical Music is:

To Glorify God and Gather God's People

.....we acknowledge who God is and God brings humans into union with himself.

Fostering Festivity in Liturgical Celebration enhances the expression of celebration and the festal nature of the liturgy.

Enhancing the Proclamation of the Word of the liturgy, be it hymns or anthems, should purposefully correspond with the lections or theme of the day.

Strengthening Bonds of Community

.....the congregation sings or actively listens together.

Promoting Participation

.....liturgical music fosters active participation by all gathered.

Fostering Cultural and Artistic Goods that can be considered accomplishments and master pieces of western culture are offered in the context of the liturgy.  This allows for a healthy interaction between liturgy and human culture.

Overall, music is a dynamic, transforming force that edifies and enhances our worship week after week. Music is nourishment for our spiritual lives.  Through music, God’s word to us in worship is amplified, our fellowship is enlivened, and our learning is underscored.

Roles in Music Ministry
Roles in Music Ministry

The Role of the Choir

The choir has both a liturgical and a professional role. Liturgically, the choir has a unique role in assisting the whole liturgical assembly in sung worship. The choir supports the singing of the liturgical assembly, responds with the faithful to the dialogues of the celebrant, alternates in the singing of litanies, and at times sings alone. Professionally, the role of the choir is to present the sacred music of the Church at services and in concert settings on a professional level to the best of the individual and corporate abilities of its members. The choir enriches the celebration of the Liturgy by adding musical elements beyond the capabilities of the congregation alone. Choir members should possess the requisite skills for the musical tasks and an understanding of liturgical music and acknowledge their role in the celebration of the Liturgy.


The Role of the Cantor and Psalmist

The cantor should be present at the absence of the choir. Their role is to provide support to the singing of the liturgical assembly. The cantor is charged with singing the ordinaries of the Liturgy, and in some cases, the hymnody. The cantor can if needed, assume the role of the psalmist, whose responsibility is to proclaim the psalm. Both the cantor and psalmist, should have musical abilities above that of the congregation, be able to blend their voices with the whole assembly, and effectively lead the assembly.


The Role of the Instrumentalists

Instrumentalists in the parish, particularly the organist, are the principal leaders of the music in the celebration of the Liturgy. Instrumentalists aid in adding an extra dimension to the liturgical music of the Liturgy. These players should have the skills needed to be sufficient instrumentalists. The organist should know the liturgical rites and be able to also engage in the Liturgy.


The Role of the Director of Music

In most moderate parishes, cathedrals, and basilicas, the direction of the music is charged with directing cantors, psalmists, instrumentalists, and organists. In some instances, the director of music might as well be the organist. These persons should be properly trained in music and Liturgy.

Characteistics of a Servant Leader
Characteristics of a Servant Leader

Pastoral Leader

Self-Knowledge of your real strengths and weaknesses

Self-Confidence - True sense of one's skills and value as a human being and child of God


Person of Integrity




Sense of Humor

Life-Time Learner

Committed and Consistent

Sensitivity to Language 

Respectful of Others

Create a Positive, Fear-Free Environment

Show Appreciation 

Show Compassion

Share Control

Exude Enthusiasm

Expect the Best of Others

Take Risks

Communicate Effectively

Honor the Congregation and Their History


Qualities and Skills of Effective Musicians
Qualities and Skills of Effective Musicians
Have a relationship with Jesus Christ

Commit to daily prayer and worship

Have a philosophy of music

Appreciate How God Speaks to Us through music

Know that the congregation is the church's most important choir

Embrace music as sacred

Educate the congregation


Know the congregation to which you serve

Help church recognizes its program needs



Connect with all church's musicians

Value talent of others

Exercise diplomacy

Use humor 

Expand Competency

Acquire familiarity with a theological language

Know the liturgical year

Demonstrate sensitivity to the way music fits into the service

Be creative

Build Community in your ensembles

Be mindful of demands on colleagues

We won't and can't please everyone

Be Professional 

Avoid Being Discouraged

Acknowledge that we won't and can't please everyone

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