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
.....music enhances the expression of celebration and the festal nature of the liturgy.
Enhancing the Proclamation of the Word
.....music 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.
.....liturgical music fosters active participation by all gathered.
Fostering Cultural and Artistic Goods
.....music 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
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.
Characteristics of a Servant 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
Committed and Consistent
Sensitivity to Language
Respectful of Others
Create a Positive, Fear-Free Environment
Expect the Best of Others
Honor the Congregation and Their History
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
Acquire familiarity with a theological language
Know the liturgical year
Demonstrate sensitivity to the way music fits into the service
Build Community in your ensembles
Be mindful of demands on colleagues
We won't and can't please everyone
Avoid Being Discouraged
Acknowledge that we won't and can't please everyone