Before I detail some different music opportunities for the year, I’d like to spend some time talking about congregational singing. The question I heard most frequently last year was “when are we going to sing again?” The answer is now! (Actually, it has been since June, but in case you didn’t get the memo, here’s the go-ahead). Let me tell you, it was incredibly unnatural and counterintuitive for a music director to ask people to refrain from singing! It has made my heart so happy in recent months to hear the congregation wholeheartedly sing out hymns at Mass. As we enter into the coming months, I want to reiterate that the invitation to sing at Mass is for everyone. Choirs can help elevate the music quality of the Mass, but ultimately they should lift up the most important choir - the music of everyone gathered in the pews. Through the Mass we praise God together, and the quality of our voices is less important than what’s on our hearts.
So no matter if you like the way your voice sounds or not, feel free to sing out! Singing at Mass has the dual effect of lifting praise to God while He moves our own hearts in return. Keith and Kristyn Getty, who wrote the song “In Christ Alone,” summarize it well: “Don’t sing primarily because you love singing, or keep quiet because you do not. Sing because you love who made you, and formed you, and enables you to sing.” My hope for our parish is that we can be a group of people who love the Lord so deeply and know His love for us so well that we can’t help but sing our praise to Him.
If you already know you love to sing and can carry a tune (this doesn’t mean that you’re going to go out and win The Voice, but just that you’ve got a fairly pleasant singing voice), there are several opportunities for you to get more involved. I’ve detailed a few of them below.
If you have any questions about these groups, please feel free to email me at email@example.com
Adult Choir: Anyone aged high school and up welcome to join this group. Our weekly rehearsals begin Wednesday, September 15 at 7:30, and we will sing for every 8:30 Sunday Mass from September 19 through (tentatively) June 5. One of my favorite aspects of this choir is the community we build from spending time together each week, and I love to see this community grow. Besides weekly 8:30 Mass, we sing on Christmas Eve, for Confirmation, and for the Easter Vigil.
Children’s Choir: We are going to take an “easing back into things” approach to children’s choir this year so that we can work well with the schools and any covid-related parameters that may come and go throughout the school year. Right now, the plan is for the children’s choir to sing for 4:30 Christmas Eve Mass, 10:30 Easter Sunday Mass, and First Communion Mass. We may also sing for an Advent music & prayer service, TBA. We will have weekly after-school rehearsals beginning in November. Stay tuned for an official start date and sign-up information.
Funeral Choir: The funeral choir sings for funerals when the family requests it, so we sing for most but not all funerals throughout the year. This is open to anyone who enjoys singing, the ministry of supporting grieving families, and bringing beauty to the Mass. There is no need to have other choir experience or to be consistently available for funerals; just come when you are able. We start singing around 10:15 before 10:30 funeral Masses.
High School Choir: I’m currently gauging interest to see if any high school students would be interested in singing for 10:30 Mass once a month. We’d sing a combination of contemporary worship music and traditional hymns. If I can get at least 5-7 interested students, we’ll be able to make it work. We’d meet around 9:45 to go over music before Mass; no outside rehearsals. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
Other opportunities: We are always looking for talented and enthusiastic singers, accompanists, and instrumentalists. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please email me and we can talk about ways for you to get involved.
Please keep all of us musicians in your prayers as we launch into this school year! Thank you so much for your continued support.