The “ministry” in music ministry has two expressions. It’s a service to the congregation and God, so in that way, the people involved minister to the community. What I think is lacking in many church music programs, however, is ministering to the choir members and musicians themselves. This means that being a part of the program should fill people even as they give. For me, this has meant selecting music that helps us pray and ultimately deepens our understanding of God to His praise. It means providing an opportunity for people to take time for connecting with each other and God amidst going to basketball games and band concerts. It has meant picking music that the choirs can feel good about singing, even when the learning curve is sometimes challenging.
You do not need to be able to read music to join choir. You don’t have to have a solo-ready voice or availability every single week. Half the current adult choir members don’t read music; I never have anyone sing solo who hasn’t expressed interest and capability; and most of the year, choir members can come and go as they need to for weekly rehearsals and Sunday Masses. What makes the group cohesive is that everyone has a shared love of music and contributes to a steadily growing community of people who genuinely enjoy spending time together and singing together.
In other words, if you feel any interest in music ministry at all, I don’t want fears about not being good enough or not having enough time to scare you off! It is genuinely exciting to me every time someone takes the step to just try things out. This ministry is about being willing to give, receive, and learn along the way, not being perfect to begin with! With that being said, I want to give you a quick overview of various ways to get involved.
Funeral Choir: This is a very simple come-as-you can group. If you’re around during weekday or Saturday mornings when there’s a funeral scheduled, feel free to come up to the choir loft and sing. There is no rehearsal and no expectation that you have to consistently show up at every funeral to sing. If you’re available, enjoy singing, and want to participate in this ministry to families, come when you are able. It’s a really beautiful and important ministry to celebrate our hope in the Resurrection as we remember our loved ones.
Adult Choir: The community of people in this choir is reason enough to join! We’ve had a couple new people join each year I’ve been here, and every time, it’s awesome to see how the group dynamic develops. The best part about the group is the consistency; we get to see each other every week for rehearsals and every Sunday for Mass (although members can come as they are able), so the amount of growth that happens is really encouraging. I consistently get feedback that this has helped choir members be more present and involved in the Mass, helped them to connect to God by praying through music, and given them an outlet for their own time during the week.
Rehearsals: Men meet on Thursday 9/12 at 7:15 and Thursday 9/19 at 7:00.
Women meet on Wednesday 9/11 & 9/18 at 7:30.
Full group rehearsal on Wednesday 9/25 at 7:30
Children’s Choir: Over the past year, we shifted the focus away from simply preparing a monthly Mass toward cultivating prayer and praise. Music is such a powerful way to experience God’s love and to praise Him and show love in return, and in the already-busy lives of students, singing to God should be freeing, not just another item on the to-do list. For that reason, we will continue a schedule of separate 2-4th grade and 5th-8th grade rehearsals with joint worship and adoration once each month. The children’s choir will also sing for 4:30 Christmas Eve, 10:30 Easter Sunday, and 4:30 First Communion Mass this year. This group is open to public, Catholic school, and homeschool students, and rehearsals begin in October.
High School Youth Band: Music is consistently one of the most powerful aspects of an encounter with the Lord on retreats and conferences. This group fosters the ability to continue to grow in that form of prayer. To work with the ever-busy schedule of high school students, we meet 45 minutes before 10:30 Mass to rehearse. We sing once a month, and students can be updated about the group by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cantors & Accompanists: If you are looking to sing for Mass or play piano/organ, I am happy to work with you and coach you through that process. I never throw anyone right in to do Masses by themselves; I will walk with you through things and help you learn and gain confidence. To discuss opportunities, please email me at email@example.com.
Thank you, and I hope to see some new faces soon!