New Hymn Board

stm-hymn-board.jpgFor my church musician colleagues out there: have you ever found a satisfactory way of announcing music at liturgy? Especially visually? I know I never have.

The pastor and I have talked about phasing out the verbal announcement of music: something we both want to see. (I know what a few of you are thinking: there are visually impaired folks in the pews who cannot see these numbers. We’re not abandoning these people.)

A parishioner and friend, Paul, crafted this board and its twin on the other side of our nave. Up till now, we’ve had two catalogue-bought, four-line boards. Now we have an excellent upgrade. Paul gave us ten lines for music–and no jokes about the Ten Commandments, please. Note the board can fold up in the middle and be tucked back along the wall.

We now have full silent announcement capability: entrance, gloria, psalm, alleluia, and preparation on the left panel, with Mass setting, Lamb of God (need to move the “L” over) & two communion songs (or no Lamb and three) and exit on the other.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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4 Responses to New Hymn Board

  1. Padrevic says:

    We use paper worship aids. I was thinking about doing something with a large flat panel monitor on each side of the Sanctuary. I saw something at Mass in Berlin and thought…”I could do that with a monitor.” For what it is worth. peace

  2. Randolph Nichols says:

    Even for those of us requiring coke bottle lenses, the hymn board is to be preferred to the vocal announcement. Provided the celebrant isn’t excessively chatty, it removes a too common obstacle to the desired reverential tone. The printed order of service,of course, complements the hymn board. Unfortunately,at least here in the Northeast, most parishes don’t follow that route unless there is a tradition of exceptional care taken with music. People don’t seem to realize what a wonderful educational tool the printed program can be. For example, knowing the title and composer of music that leaves a positive impression helps to clarify what has been missing and what should be striven for.

    There is a caveat. In areas with a large Catholic population and multiple weekend masses,preparing programs (sorry, I’ve never warmed to ‘worship aids’)creates a significant amount of added work. Parishes that do use them tend to have no more than two Sunday morning masses. I would be interested in reading commentary from those who have attempted to resolve this problem.

  3. Jimmy Mac says:

    Our parish uses an order of worship insert in the bulletin. All music to be sung by the congregation is printed therein. If the selection is commonly used (Alleluia, etc.) just the title and composer are printed. Most of us are familiar with the variations on a theme triggered by the composer’s name that, once the opening strains start, we know right away which version is being used. Visitors catch on quickly because they are in the presence of a large group of enthusiastic congregational singers.

    We have 2 Sunday AM masses and one Saturday PM one. Of course, except for the 10 AM Sunday mass, the others are for God’s Frozen Chosen who dislike singing, intimacy, etc. They also serve, those who kneel and ignore.

  4. Daniel says:

    Electronic hymnboards (Liedanzeige) are commonly used in Germany and other European countries, but are extremely rare in America. They are very easy to read, have larger numbers than paper slides, they can be changed by the organist at the last minute before the number is displayed, and the numbers disappear when turned off after the hymn. They usually have white or red lighted numbers, but do not flash or make the church look like Las Vegas. This would be my first option if only they were available here.

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